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世界文化素描 – C. Sterbenz
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This Chart Explains Every Culture In The World                

 

Christina Sterbenz, 07/03/14

 

Cultures are complicated, and anyone attempting to explain or group them will struggle to avoid giving offense.

 

Political scientists Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan and Christian Welzel of Luephana University in Germany put forth their best effort by analyzing data and plotting countries on a "culture map." Their system stems from the World Values Survey (WVS), the largest "non-commercial, cross-national, time series investigation of human beliefs and values ever executed," which dates to 1981 and includes nearly 400,000 respondents from 100 countries.

 

The latest chart, published several years ago, includes data from surveys conducted from 1995 to 1999, 2000 to 2004, and 2005 to 2009.

 

Check it out: (請至原網頁參考文化特性」分類圖)

 

So what's going on in this chart?

 

On the y-axis, traditional values emphasize the importance of religion, parent-child relationships, and authority, according to WVS. People who embrace these tend to reject divorce, abortion, euthanasia, and suicide. These societies usually exhibit high levels of nationalism and national pride, too. In the U.S., these values would likely align more with conservative ideologies. Oppositely, secular-rational values represent the other extreme and tend to relate to liberal ways of thinking.

 

On the x-axis, survival values revere economic and physical security and safety and are linked to low levels of trust and tolerance. On the other side, self-expression values give high priority to protecting the environment, promoting gender equality, and tolerating foreigners and gays and lesbians.

 

The chart also groups nearby countries with shared characteristics such as "Islamic" or "English Speaking," showing how much things like language and religion shape culture.

 

Here's how WVS explains the main trends:

 

A somewhat simplified analysis is that following an increase in standards of living, and a transit from development country via industrialization to post-industrial knowledge society, a country tends to move diagonally in the direction from lower-left corner (poor) to upper-right corner (rich), indicating a transit in both dimensions.

 

However, the attitudes among the population are also highly correlated with the philosophical, political and religious ideas that have been dominating in the country. Secular-rational values and materialism were formulated by philosophers and the left-wing politics side in the French revolution, and can consequently be observed especially in countries with a long history of social democratic or socialistic policy, and in countries where a large portion of the population have studied philosophy and science at universities. Survival values are characteristic for eastern-world countries and self-expression values for western-world countries. In a liberal post-industrial economy, an increasing share of the population has grown up taking survival and freedom of thought for granted, resulting in that self-expression is highly valued.

 

For example, Morocco, Jordan, and Bangladesh (all Islamic countries) score high in traditional and survival values, while the U.S., Canada, and Ireland (all English-speaking countries) score high in traditional and self-expression values.

 

Russia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Moldova (all Orthodox countries) score high in secular-rational and survival values, while Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland (all protestant Europe countries) score high in secular-rational and self-expression values.

 

In their 2005 book "Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy," Inglehart and Welzel argue that "socioeconomic development tends to bring predictable changes in people's worldviews." Notably, these developments tend to democratize countries, and modernization -- "a syndrome of social changes linked to industrialization," as the duo define in a 2005 Foreign Policy article -- kick-starts the process.

 

For example, Inglehart and Welzel link industrialization with a move from traditional to secular-rational values, leading to separation of religion and authority. Next the post-industrial phase of modernization produces a shift from survival to self-expression values, which brings greater freedom from authority.

 

But cultural and historical traditions, like Protestantism or communism, matter, too. They "reflect an interaction between driving forces of modernization and the retarding influence of tradition," Inglehart and Welzel write in their book.

 

WVS is currently preparing data from wave six with surveys conducted from 2010 to 2014.

 

Another attempt to explain world cultures, the Lewis Model based on observations from linguist Richard Lewis, charts countries in terms of "reactive," "linear-active," and "multi-active" tendencies.

 

SEE ALSO: How Different Cultures Understand Time

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/inglehart-welzel-culture-map-2014-7



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目前所發現最古老的洞穴創作 - R. Pomeroy
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Tropical Cave Art Alters Origins of Creativity               

 

Ross Pomeroy, 10/09/14

 

The tropical karst landscape of Southern Sulawesi in Indonesia is dotted with sinkholes and caves, forming, in many places, a vast, underground world. You can thank soluble rocks like limestone, dolomite, and gypsum for that. The caves afforded our ancient ancestors cover from the torrential rains that define the island chain's climate. The walls inside also granted them easels to express their creativity.

 

Archaeologists have known about the wondrous rock art in the Maros–Pangkep caves of Southern Sulawesi for over half a century. What they didn't know was how old they were. A team primarily based out of the University of Wollongong in Australia has just found out, and the answer has altered the timeline and geography of human creativity.

 

Dr. Anthony Dosseto and his colleagues dated the art to roughly 40,000 years ago. Among the dozen drawings analyzed is a hand stencil that -- at a minimum age of 39,900 years old -- is now the oldest known in the world, and a drawing of half-deer, half-pig looking animal called a babirusa, which may be the earliest figurative depiction in the world.

 

Dating cave art is easier said than done. Often, due to weathering, the pigments in the paintings themselves don't contain enough carbon for typical dating methods. Contamination can also lead to inaccuracies. So instead, scientists may rely on clues in the immediate vicinity. For example, they might date nearby artifacts or remains and apply those ages to the artwork. Occasionally, scientists will bring out their magnifying glasses and attempt to sleuth out a painting's age by examining its depictions. A drawing of a mammoth, for example, would lend a rough estimation because we already know when mammoths existed.

 

To gauge the paintings' ages in this case, the researchers dated mineral deposits called speleotherms that had grown on top of the drawings. When formed, the crystal-looking objects contain small amounts of uranium which slowly decay to thorium. Since the scientists already knew that rate of decay, they were able to extrapolate and determine the rough age of the paintings.

 

For a long time, human creativity was thought to have been born in Europe in a sort of prehistoric Renaissance. Only from there, did it truly flourish. A great many cave paintings dating to more than 30,000 years ago have been discovered in France and Spain, including the amazingly preserved and transcendent artwork in Chauvet Cave and the oldest known artwork in the world, a simple red "disk," found in El Castillo Cave. (The latter may actually have been painted by Neanderthals!) The current finding may require anthropologists to rethink that Eurocentric narrative.

 

"I think this suggests that modern humans had this creativity, this artistic expression, with them when they spread out of Africa," Chris Stringer, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in the United Kingdom told Nature.

 

“Europeans can’t exclusively claim to be the first to develop an abstract mind anymore. They need to share this, at least, with the early inhabitants of Indonesia,” Dr. Dosseto said.

 

The discovery was published October 8th to the journal Nature.

 

(Images: Kinez Riza)

 

Source: Dosseto et. al. Pleistocene cave art from Sulawesi, Indonesia. Nature 514, 223–227 (09 October 2014) doi:10.1038/nature13422

 

請至原網頁瀏覽相關圖片

 

http://www.realclearscience.com/blog/2014/10/tropical_cave_art_may_be_oldest_in_the_world.html



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古代「全球」文明衰亡的教訓 - A. Frank
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Lessons From The Last Time Civilization Collapsed

 

Adam Frank, 08/19/14

 

Consider this, if you would: a network of far-flung, powerful, high-tech civilizations closely tied by trade and diplomatic embassies; an accelerating threat of climate change and its pressure on food production; a rising wave of displaced populations ready to sweep across and overwhelm developed nations.

 

Sound familiar?

 

While that laundry list of impending doom could be aimed at our era, it's actually a description of the world 3,000 years ago. It is humanity's first "global" dark age as described by archaeologist and George Washington University professor Eric H. Cline in his recent book 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed.

 

1177 B.C. is, for Cline, a milepost. A thousand years before Rome or Christ or Buddha, there existed a powerful array of civilizations in the Near and Middle East that had risen to the height of their glory. Then, fairly suddenly, the great web of interconnected civilizations imploded and disappeared.

 

The question that haunts Eric Cline is why. What drove such a complex set of societies to all perish almost all at once? The answers and its lesson, Cline argues, are a story we moderns should not ignore. When I asked him about the parallels between 1177 B.C. and A.D. 2014, Cline responded:

 

"The world of the Late Bronze Age and ours today have more similarities than one might expect, particularly in terms of relationships, both at the personal level and at the state level. Thus, they had marriages and divorces, embassies and embargoes, and so on. They also had problems with climate change and security at the international level. These are not necessarily unique to just them and us, but the combination of similar problems (climate change and drought, earthquakes, war, economic problems) at the very same time just might be unique to both."

 

The Late Bronze Age that Cline is interested in stretches from about 1500 B.C. to 1100 B.C. The Bronze Age itself, as opposed to the Stone Age before it, begins somewhere around 3000 B.C. At that point, people developed sophisticated metallurgy techniques allowing them to mix copper and tin into an alloy -- bronze -- strong enough for serious sword blades and other goods. It is in the Bronze Age that city building, and the sprawling kingdoms they engendered, begins in earnest. Egypt of the pharaohs was a Bronze Age civilization as was the Babylonian empire.

 

It was the transport of copper and tin for bronze that helped establish complex trade networks. Grain and manufactured goods also became part of that transportation web. Alliances between city-states followed. In this way, the Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, Cypriots, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Assyrians and Babylonians became the economic powerhouses of the ancient world -- what Cline calls the "Group of 8." Together they built the first version of a "global" culture using long-distance economic and military partnerships that required advanced -- for its day -- technologies.

 

So what took all these cultures down at the same time? The story begins, but does not end, with climate change.

 

The evidence that a prolonged shift in climate was a factor in bringing down the Mediterranean Bronze Age comes from a number of studies, including one published in 2013, showing that cooling sea surface temperatures led to lower rainfall over inland farming areas. Pollen analysis from sea sediments also indicates a fairly rapid transition to a drier climate during this period that includes the Late Bronze Age collapse.

 

What followed were drought, scarcity and desperation. Ancient voices, preserved in stone, tell the human side of the climate change story. A letter from a commercial officer living in the starving, inland city of Emar begs the recipient in his hometown of Ugarit, in northern Syria, to bring aid quickly. "There is famine in your [i.e. our] house; we will all die of hunger. If you do not arrive quickly, we ourselves will die of hunger. You will not see a living soul ..."

 

And with famine came migration and wars. The scourge of the era was the mysterious "Sea Peoples" who had swept across the region. According to Cline, it is likely that the marauding Sea Peoples came from the western Mediterranean and "were probably fleeing their island homes because of the drought and famine ... moving across the Mediterranean as both refugees and conquerors."

 

The wars took their own toll. "Be on the lookout for the enemy and make yourself very strong!" proclaims a letter to the King of Ugarit near the end. The warning appears to have arrived too late. Another letter tells of the army's humiliation. "The city was sacked. Our food in the threshing floors was burned and the vineyards were also destroyed. Our city is sacked. May you know it! May you know it!"

 

For Cline, climate change -- along with the famines and migration it brought -- comprised a "perfect storm" of cataclysms that weakened the great Bronze Age "global" culture. But the final blow, the deepest reason for the collapse, may have come from within the very structure of that society.

 

The world of the Egyptians, Assyrians and Babylonians was complex, in the technical meaning of the word. It was a system with many agents and many overlapping connections. That complexity was both a strength and weakness. Cline points to recent research in the study of so-called complex systems that shows how susceptible they can be to cascades of disruption and failure from even small perturbations. Perhaps, Cline says, the Bronze Age societies exhibited the property called "hypercoherence" where interdependencies are so complex that stability becomes ever harder to maintain.

 

Thus complexity itself may have been the greatest threat to late Bronze Age civilization once the pressures began. And it is that fact, more than anything else, that speaks to the dangers we face today. As Cline wrote in the Huffington Post:

 

"We live in a world that has more similarities to that of the Late Bronze Age than one might suspect, including, as the British archaeologist Susan Sherratt has put it, an 'increasingly homogeneous yet uncontrollable global economy and culture' in which 'political uncertainties on one side of the world can drastically affect the economies of regions thousands of miles away.' "

 

So, what exactly is the lesson Cline thinks we should take away from 1177 B.C.? In an email to me, Cline wrote:

 

"We should be aware that no society is invulnerable and that every society in the history of the world has ultimately collapsed. We should also be thankful that we are advanced enough to understand what is happening."

 

But are we advanced enough to do anything with our understanding?

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2014/08/19/341573332/lessons-from-the-last-time-civilization-collapsed



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各種文化所孕育的行為模式 - G. Lubin
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The Lewis Model Explains Every Culture In The World

 

Gus Lubin, 09/06/13

 

A world traveler who speaks ten languages, British linguist Richard Lewis decided he was qualified to plot the world's cultures on a chart.

 

He did so while acknowledging the dangers of stereotypes.

 

"Determining national characteristics is treading a minefield of inaccurate assessment and surprising exception," Lewis wrote. "There is, however, such a thing as a national norm."

 

Many people think he nailed it, as his book "When Cultures Collide," now in its third edition, has sold more than one million copies since it was first published in 1996 and was called "an authoritative roadmap to navigating the world's economy," by the Wall Street Journal.

 

Lewis plots countries in relation to three categories:

 

Linear-actives — those who plan, schedule, organize, pursue action chains, do one thing at a time. Germans and Swiss are in this group.

Multi-actives — those lively, loquacious peoples who do many things at once, planning their priorities not according to a time schedule, but according to the relative thrill or importance that each appointment brings with it. Italians, Latin Americans and Arabs are members of this group.

Reactives — those cultures that prioritize courtesy and respect, listening quietly and calmly to their interlocutors and reacting carefully to the other side's proposals. Chinese, Japanese and Finns are in this group.

 

He says that this categorization of national norms does not change significantly over time:

 

The behavior of people of different cultures is not something willy-nilly. There exist clear trends, sequences and traditions. Reactions of Americans, Europeans, and Asians alike can be forecasted, usually justified and in the majority of cases managed. Even in countries where political and economic change is currently rapid or sweeping (Russia, China, Hungary, Poland, Korea, Malaysia, etc.) deeply rooted attitudes and beliefs will resist a sudden transformation of values when pressured by reformists, governments or multinational conglomerates.

 

Here's the chart that explains the world (www.crossculture.com): (請至原網頁參考「行為模式」分佈圖)

 

Some more details on the categories (www.crossculture.com): (請至原網頁參考「行為模式」特徵表列)

 

The point of all of this analysis is to understand how to interact with people from different cultures, a subject in which Richard Lewis Communications provides coaching and consultation.

 

"By focusing on the cultural roots of national behavior, both in society and business, we can foresee and calculate with a surprising degree of accuracy how others will react to our plans for them, and we can make certain assumptions as to how they will approach us," Lewis writes.

 

SEE ALSO: The weirdest things about Americans, according to an Indian international student

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-lewis-model-2013-9



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