Bryn Oh: Hidden Scene

Bryn hides things in his art exhibits. See Obedience – part eight.

Byrn’s statement that in 2,000 BCE that most of the population could not read is accurate enough. But, it is a bit misleading because of Bryn’s reference to people of the day being less sophisticated than the people of today. Using a lack of reading skill to say there is a lack of sophistication is a non-sequituar.

such interesting textures as clouds go over the moon

such interesting textures as clouds go over the moon

Imagine. You need to run a business and a sheet of paper is yet to be invented. How do you keep track of things? How did you educate people? Record history, law, stories? 

Until the 4th millennium BCE memory, or stated another way an oral tradition, was how the majority of business, law, accounting, storytelling, and religion were communicated and recorded. In the 4th millennium things were getting to the point memorization was to slow and there was too much to remember. But, that ‘oral’ tradition remained the choice of all but the wealthy elite into the first millennium AD. Paper did not come along until about 300 BCE.

The memorization abilities of the majority of people from that 5,000 years of history would likely have them considering us mentally handicapped with our weak memories… sophisticated?

Bryn’s acceptance of the ‘self contradictions’ said to be found in the bible as a basis for his interpretation of what was happening with Abraham and Isaac shows a shallow understanding of those issues. While Bryn’s imagination and talent are remarkable, so is his lack of curiosity.

6 thoughts on “Bryn Oh: Hidden Scene

  1. The alphabet was invented by the slaves in Egypt, as they needed something better for writing down all the book-keeping they had to do.

    The letters were taken from the names of things around them, for example, the letter \L\ is an ox-goad as it’s a stick with a handle..

    My favourite is the letter \K \, which came from the word for the palm of your hand ….. look at the palm of your left hand and spread your fingers and fold your thumb – the four fingers are the letter K.

    • Thanks. I had not seen the slaves thing before. It doesn’t fit well with what I know of those times and writing. So, I added it to my list of things to consider.

      You may want to reconsider how you define alphabet. The Egyptian writing using pictographs doesn’t qualify for an alphabet as we define it today. The Phoenicians 8th century BC are attributed the first TRUE alphabet with their addition of vowels. But, other ‘letter’ based languages preceded that. So, you are right, or not, depending on how specifically you define what is an alphabet.

      Leaving out the idea of an alphabet, the Egyptians and Mesopotamians appear to have started it.

  2. I agree that some people would have had exceptional memory skills, but I expect the vast majority of the population would not be the elders, business owners, educators and so on that you list. My thoughts are that a textbook of say… math is compiled of many experts over many years. That textbook can be reproduced and distributed to many more people over greater distances than an oral teacher or elder. Those people who read the text can then communicate and refine their knowledge with a wider range of participants. Also a textbook is something that can be picked up and read.. put down and picked up again at a later time. Learning orally depends on a single or a few people giving out information at a time that is convenient for them as well as the people learning, and it must be regular.. also if you tell ten people a story and have them repeat it a week, a month a year later it can be dramatically different. A text generally doesn’t change. Not to mention the life expectancy of people were much less than what we have today, so elders might actually be people in their 40’s and they may suddenly die, whereas a text burnt in a fire is replaced by an identical text. The details to your argument is based upon things you have read in texts or googled.. you have the ability to speak with confidence on thousands of years of history due to your ability to read various sources of information gathered by a wide range of scholars. Living in a village with the best of the best oral teachers still wouldn’t give such a wide range of accurate details of various cultures worldwide that someone who reads can draw from. These are some reasons why I believe that people who can read are generally more sophisticated than those who can’t. Were there extremely sophisticated people before text? Of course. But on the whole I would say there were less.

    Shallow? a remarkable lack of curiosity? Really was that necessary? With an open mind I would have enjoyed discussing this topic without resorting to insults.

    • Some people then would have exceptional memory skills just as some people today do. But, in general most people had to remember the common day-to-day things and far more than we credit them with.

      Merriam-Webster – Sophisticated: having or showing a lot of experience and knowledge about the world and about culture, art, literature, etc. – We may know more things now. But, are people today more sophisticated? Not that I can see.

      Your idea that oral tradition stories changed with time is historically incorrect. I’m not saying deviation never happens. But, for important matters oral tradition was amazingly accurate. Living in today’s world most of us can’t imagine.

      Also, the idea that people then knew less (less sophisticated) about their world than most of us know about our world today doesn’t stand up. Did lawyers (Pharisees) then know less about their laws than today’s lawyers do? Does having more laws today really provide the possibility for more sophistication? Or is sophistication more a matter of how well one knows or is experienced with existing law or just a matter of how much is known? Is sophistication a matter of knowing a lot or being able to cope with one’s world? Isn’t sophistication ≠ know-it-all?

      I mostly noticed the lack of curiosity on your part regarding biblical ‘self-contradictions’ and commented on it. The Genesis 3 reference has such a simple common sense explanation only those that have never questioned the so called contradictions accept it. If you are insulted because I pointed that out… do something about it, get curious add some depth.

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