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carnatic.com > Karmasaya > People > Steven Morgan Friedman


"I'm an easily amused compulsive people watcher"

I subscribe to his Random Thoughts : ...It is the forum that I use to share insights, information, and interpretations with interesting people from around the world...

One of the recent RTs started

... Merely talking about something confers importance on it. What I value isn't revealed by a declaration of values that I may make or recite but rather by what I do--how I spend my time and other resources. I may declare my hatred of materialism; but if I spend all of my time talking about that new Rolls-Royce, then maybe I'm deceiving myself. We are, in other words, what we talk about.

What we talk about of course differs not only by individual, but by region, profession, ideology, and countless factors. Take the subset of what people talk about upon meeting each other for the first time. College students, for example, ask each other what they are majoring in--they all do--upon meeting. But there are some commonalities among other groups as well. What do such conversation beginnings say about each society? ..... Mark Twain suggested one answer, observing in his autobiography, "In Boston they ask, 'How much does he know?' In New York, 'How much is he worth?' In Philadelphia, 'Who were his parents?'" Perhaps examining the question that Twain posed humorously might prove a bit illuminating as to the issues that every society places importance on ..... Imagine what we don't ask when we meet people. What if it were the societal standard that our first question upon meeting someone for the first time was, "What have you read lately?". Imagine we expected people to ask and answer this question in social situation after social situation. This would certainly reveal a very different value system. It would suggest that society expects people to read a lot, to discuss what they read--in other words, to value reading.....

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(last edited July 13, 2003 by Kishore Balakrishnan - @bekishore - Contact for feedback and suggestions) [info] [diff] [full] EditText of this page

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