“Introducing the Ancient Greeks”

am reading edith hall’s Introducing the Ancient Greeks. good stuff! (^_^) here’re some excerpts that i posted to twitter:

read all about phalaris, the most tyrannical of (sicilian) greek tyrants, here. *gulp*

(i know! i know! the greeks didn’t wear togas, it was the romans. i know!)

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east vs. west?

so! i tallied up all the responses to do you think like a westerner? and the repeat (see bottom of post for the results). (^_^) this was definitely fun, but the results here don’t tell us a whole lot (especially ’cause this was a very UNscientific poll).

one thing that i have to agree on with several commenters is that i think this little survey hints that nisbitt’s east-west cognitive divide is not a completely clear cut one (presumably he never said or meant that anyway — don’t want to put words into his mouth here). granted i only asked you guys about one of the tests, but, out of the individuals who identified themselves as of wholly european extraction, 38 responded “A” (the east asian response!) while only 25 answered “B” (the western response). another seven did switch from “A” to “B” so that does boost the “B” responses total up to 32. and one person switched from “B” to “A”. (there’s always one! (~_^) ) still, seems like a lot of westerners think like easterners — more collectivist and holistic than individualist and reductionistic — at least sometimes (including me!). so what’s going on?

i tried mapping the results (of only those people who said they were wholly european, so sorry jayman and santoculto, you guys are not on the map!), but didn’t have much luck. there were no clear patterns that i could see — two possible hints at patterns, but they’re very slight. ok. here’s the map:

europe map - do you think like a westerner 03

each colored square indicates one individual (irregardless of the size of the square). red=”A”, dark blue=”B”, light blue=”A to B”, pink=”B to A”. the yellow lines are the hajnal line, of course, just ’cause i can’t help myself anymore.

the large squares represent those individuals who only gave me a general region where they (or their ancestors) were from as opposed to a specific country. so we’ve got “Europe” (which i just positioned in the center of europe), “Northern Europe”, “Western Europe”, and “Eastern Europe”. the large squares should, therefore, not be read as being located in a specific country — they indicate regions only.

the smaller squares represent those individuals who stated their ethnic background. they’re generally just placed in the center of the country that the person indicated (as in the cases of ireland or spain or poland), but sometimes the person was very specific (“germany, baltic coast”), so i went with that. the small red square above the set of larger “N. Europe” squares represents someone who said they were irish + norwegian. the red square (heh!) on the border of germany and poland is a person who said they were from “in between eastern and western europe.” the two blue squares on the border of poland and belarus identified themselves as northern slavs. the small blue square by “W. Europe” is the person who said they were dutch + italian. and the red square on the border of france and spain represents the person who said they were ashkenazi + sephardic jewish.

some squares are floating out in the middle of seas or oceans. *gasp!* those represent people with mixed ancestries, and i tried to position their square approximately equidistant from each of their various nations of origin — like there’s a light blue square out in the atlantic — that person said they were “irish + southern european”. the two small blue squares off the southern tip of sweden are individuals with scottish and russian jewish ancestry.

there are ten individuals treading water in the north sea in between england and the netherlands. they are the following:

– irish + german (A)
– scots + irish + german (A)
– english + euro (A)
– english + german (A)
– english + scottish + german (A)
– irish + scottish + french + swiss + german (B to A)
– english + austrian (B)
– english + scottish + afrikaner (B)
– english + german (B)
– english + german (B)
_____

so, like i said, no obvious pattern(s).

the only hints of patterns that i can maybe see (if i squint really hard) are: 1) more “B” (western) answers from individuals from the broad regions of northern and western europe than those who just said “europe” — no idea what, if anything, that might mean; and 2) in looking at just the british isles, perhaps a trend of more scots and irish individuals + people of mixed ancestry including scots and irish responding “A” than english individuals + people of mixed ancestry including english responding “A”.

consider that, to start with, there are no “B” responses from scotland at all, in ireland the ratio of “A” to “B” answers is 2 to 1, and among the scots irish (in northern ireland there) it’s 2 to 1.5. but in england the ratio is 3 to 1. (extremely small “n” obviously. can’t be counted on for anything!) if we also take into consideration the floaters, all four of the “B” respondents there have some english ancestry (one also has scottish), but four out of the six “A” respondents have some irish and/or scots ancestry. so, maybe, perhaps, kinda/sorta there are more “As” from the scottish and irish than the english. maybe.
_____

i told you. no obvious patterns, really! except for the fact that there are westerners out there who, at least some of the time, think a bit — or a lot — like east asians, i.e. more holistic rather than individualistic.

and you KNOW which groups of europeans i’d put my money on if i were to bet on which ones (if any) think more holistically than the others…*cough*PERIPHERALEUROPEANS*cough*. (~_^)

and while i’m in the mood to gamble my money away, i’d also happily wager that there was a shift from more holistic to more individualist thinking in core europe beginning sometime right around the eleventh century.

that is all! thanks everybody for playing! (^_^)
_____

>> “A” (38) <<
– irish
– irish-american
– irish + german
– irish + norwegian
– scots irish
– scottish
– scottish
– scottish (from twitter)
– scottish + irish + scots irish
– scots + irish + german
– english + euro
– anglo
– anglo
– english + german
– english + scottish + german
– british (aussie. placed in england.)
– german (baltic sea)
– scandinavian
– scandinavian
– swedish + norwegian
– viking-american
– frisian
– northern european
– northern european
– nw euro
– nw european
– north european + europe (off germany)
– westerner (w. euro)
– westerner (w. euro)
– ashkenazi + sephardic jewish
– italian
– between western and eastern european
– eastern european
– hungarian + cuman + jewish
– euro
– european
– multiple euro ethnicities
– white american
NOT INCLUDED IN COUNT OR ON MAP
– scottish/english + amerindian + german
– scottish + lebanese + french
– mostly northern european, also mediterranean, dash of chinese
– south italian + german + native american
– mexican-american
– egyptian
– cameroon
– indo-guyanese + tamil-sri lankan
– chinese
– han chinese
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say

>> “B” (25) <<
– irish
– scottish + ashkenazi jewish + russian
– scots irish
– english + russian jewish
– english + austrian
– english + scottish + afrikaner
– english + german
– english + german
– southern (american) white
– belgian french
– swedish
– scandinavian
– nw european + finnish
– finnish (swedish-speaking)
– dutch + italian
– slavic
– north slavic
– european
– northern european
– northern european
– northern european
– nw european
– western european
– western european
– western european
NOT INCLUDED IN COUNT OR ON MAP
– english + black + chinese
– black + amerindian + iberian + italian + sephardic jewish
– european + native american
– american
– east asian
– eastern
– a taxonomist
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say
– doesn’t say (from facebook)

>> “A” to “B” (7) <<
– irish + southern european
– scots irish
– german
– polish
– north european
– iberian
– turkish
NOT INCLUDED IN COUNT OR ON MAP
– dominican + puerto rican (african descent)
– african american

>> “B” to “A” (1) <<
– irish + scottish + french + swiss + german

(note: comments do not require an email. one of these things is not like the other! (~_^) )

do you think like a westerner? (repeat)

i offered up this little pop quiz back in 2013, and i’m resurrecting it ’cause i want to talk about this some more. first, the quiz:

in which group does the flower at the bottom belong: group a or group b?

east west flowers

feel free to leave your answer in the comments and — only if you like — the reason(s) for your choice and/or your ethnic background. (^_^) (you don’t have to be specific — you can say “eastern” or “southern” european, etc., if you prefer.)

a lot of you responded to this last time ’round — no need to do so again! (^_^)

the correct answer (i.e. if you think like a westerner) is here. see also here. no cheating!

this is (obviously) in nisbett’s The Geography of Thought territory.

that is all. for now!

previously: do you think like a westerner?

(note: comments do not require an email. jackass [penguin].)

do you think like a westerner?

**update: the “solution” is in the comments here. see also here. (^_^) **

or an easterner (east asian)?

in which group does the flower at the bottom belong: group a or group b?

east west flowers

feel free to leave your answer in the comments and — only if you like — the reason(s) for your choice and/or your ethnic background. (^_^) (you don’t have to be specific — you can say “eastern” or “southern” european, etc., if you prefer.)
_____

this little test was lifted from the documentary below (thanks, gottlieb!). i haven’t watched the entire thing yet, but it looks to be good!


.

_____

see also t. greer’s excellent post: “West and East and How We Think.” (btw, t. greer has a really neat blog in general!)

(note: comments do not require an email. wild westerner?)

linkfest – 11/06/11

Siberians share DNA with extinct human species

Fossil Teeth Put Humans in Europe Earlier Than Thought

Ethnicity and camping – from the inductivist.

Is mental time travel what makes us human?

Lynn On The Jews: Yes, It’s Intelligence—But There’s Something Else Too – review of richard lynn’s latest book, “The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish Intelligence,” from steve sailer.

The ‘rich club’ that rules your brain

Decoding the Brain’s Cacophony“Scientists now know that the brain runs largely on autopilot; it acts first and asks questions later, often explaining behavior after the fact. So if much of behavior is automatic, then how responsible are people for their actions?”

Are birds’ tweets grammatical?

Back to the trees – greg cochran on the flores hobbit.

Bones reveal 18th and 19th-century breastfeeding fads

Exercise Cuts Risk From Obesity Gene“The obesity risk of a genetic variation can be least partially offset with exercise.” – from parapundit.

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain

Sperm Whales Really Do Learn From Each Other“Sperm whales, Earth’s biggest-brained animals, live in far-flung clans with lifestyles so different and vocalizations so complex that it’s natural to think they have culture.”

Does Inequality Make Us Unhappy?

Scientists and autism: When geeks meet“Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen thinks scientists and engineers could be more likely to have a child with autism. Some researchers say the proof isn’t there.”this week’s issue of nature is all about autism.

bonus: There’s just something about him… – the latest on the wonderfully weird Toxoplasma gondii from carl zimmer.

bonus bonus: An Unexpected Alliance“Lee Siegel considers the weird comedy of letters between T.S. Eliot and Groucho Marx”

(note: comments do not require an email. groucho cat.)