One of his most famous studies was on the cognitive and social processes of remembering. He retrieved a series of short fables (the best known was the Native American fable called The War of the Ghosts), each of which comprised a sequence of events which were ostensibly logical but subtly illogical, and there were several discreet non-sequiturs. He would recite this story to subjects, then later (sometimes much later) ask them to recall as much of it as possible. He discovered that most people found it extremely difficult to recall the story exactly, even after repeated readings, and hypothesised that, where the elements of the story failed to fit into the schemata of the listener, these elements were omitted from the recollection, or transformed into more familiar forms.
One night two young men from Egulac went down to the river to hunt seals and while they were there it became foggy and calm. Then they heard war-cries, and they thought: "Maybe this is a war-party". They escaped to the shore, and hid behind a log. Now canoes came up, and they heard the noise of paddles, and saw one canoe coming up to them. There were five men in the canoe, and they said:"What do you think? We wish to take you along. We are going up the river to make war on the people."One of the young men said,"I have no arrows.""Arrows are in the canoe," they said."I will not go along. I might be killed. My relatives do not know where I have gone. But you," he said, turning to the other, "may go with them."So one of the young men went, but the other returned home.And the warriors went on up the river to a town on the other side of Kalama. The people came down to the water and they began to fight, and many were killed. But presently the young man heard one of the warriors say, "Quick, let us go home: that Indian has been hit." Now he thought: "Oh, they are ghosts." He did not feel sick, but they said he had been shot.So the canoes went back to Egulac and the young man went ashore to his house and made a fire. And he told everybody and said: "Behold I accompanied the ghosts, and we went to fight. Many of our fellows were killed, and many of those who attacked us were killed. They said I was hit, and I did not feel sick."He told it all, and then he became quiet. When the sun rose he fell down. Something black came out of his mouth. His face became contorted. The people jumped up and cried.He was dead.
There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who "love nature" while deploring the "artificialities" with which "Man has spoiled " 'Nature'". The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artificts are not part of "Nature" - but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers purposes) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purposes of men) the "Naturist" reveals his hatred for his own race - i.e., his own self-hatred. ---Robert Heinlein
"Summoned, I take the place that has been prepared for me. I am Grey. I stand between the candle and the star. We are Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light."Delenn, "All Alone in the Night"
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