Posted by Steve Price on April 30, 1999 at 05:41:32:
In Reply to: interaction? posted by Erol Abit on April 29, 1999 at 16:53:35:
All the matters under discussion have to do with the development and maintenance of certain cultural characteristics among people. There is hardly any subject I can think of that is less amenable to mathematical analysis, and I doubt that formal mathematics will get anywhere with it.
My setting up of the question ignored the time factor since I am unaware of any significant abrupt change occurring at a particular time that has relevance to the issues.
The Turkmen and NW Persians don't occupy the same pastures, although they do both use pastures in ways that are similar in some respects. It's been said that I overstated the similarity of the lifestyles of these folks, and perhaps that is true. But if we were to make some kind of a diagram in which we placed different groups closer or farther from each other based on similarities or differences in lifestyle, I am sure we'd find that Americans and western Europeans would form a cluster, and that the tribal peoples of Central and western Asia would form another. We'd have little difficulty in enumerating the reasons why some of the cultural differences between those clusters exist. It gets more difficult as we move within clusters and consider more closely related cultures. That makes it a more interesting thing to do (for me), and, with any kind of success, a more eduational thing to do.
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