050414 Culturgen – que?

By April 5, 2014zBlog Archives

050414_LRI think I might have got the wrong end of the stick on this one, but it’s far too highbrow for a Saturday (the brain likes to have weekends off). Today’s word was “culturgen”, which means ‘In the terminology of C. J. Lumsden and E. O. Wilson: an element of behaviour or cultural artefact whose repetition or reproduction is transmissible from one generation to another and may be subject to a selective process; a cultural trait considered as a theoretical unit of cultural evolution (and thus analogous to a gene).’(OED).   We’re getting into meme land here and that is definitely a no-go area at weekends.  So back to the WofTD … in terms of behaviour, are we talking about the sins of the father and all that? If so, I’m admitting to nothing on a public forum. Let’s deal with the cultural artefact side of things instead. I understand the term “cultural artefact” but I’m not sure I get it in terms of it being transmissible down the generations – surely, inherent in its meaning is that it is of a certain time? So rather than having a semantic breakdown over something, which is, after all, supposed to be a bit of fun, I’ve decided to interpret this as cultural traits that I’ve inherited from the elderly relative: a passion for Vienna; an appreciation of good wine; a tear shed at Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor and an obsessive desire to collect different editions of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It is a sample of this latter trait that I display here today.

Day #95 of a 365 project, where the daily pic is informed by the OED word of the day.