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Dances with Wolves  RSS feed

 
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Recently shown on German TV



Wonderful film
 
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Nominated as one of the most historically inaccurate films; the movie is fine if you understand it as a fairy tale.

"..based on political correctness and historical inaccuracy, that was fatal for the traditional western. A relentless sentimentalization of Plains Indian culture, Mr. Costner's film tapped into the New Age sensibility by turning the Sioux with whom Mr. Costner's cavalry officer bonds into environmentally conscious peaceniks. That the Sioux were as warlike as the Pawnee Indians, whom the film vilifies, and rapaciously wasteful in their slaughter of buffalo, was ignored by this box office smash, which effectively terminated the racist dynamic of the old-fashioned ''cowboys and Indians'' movie. (Released two years later, Michael Mann's ''Last of the Mohicans,'' with its good and bad woodland Indians and its unflinching images of their atrocities, was a much more authentic portrait of the frontier than Mr. Costner's rhapsodic apologia.)


http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9804E2D61239F936A35750C0A9669C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all

http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/86225.html

http://archive.southcoasttoday.com/daily/02-00/02-12-00/b03li072.htm (nominated worst film for historical accuracy)
 
Darya Akbari
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
Nominated as one of the most historically inaccurate films; the movie is fine if you understand it as a fairy tale.



Don't forget that this film got 7 Oscars.

I think the Pawnee Indians will agree with your quote.

While the story is not an autobiography, it nevertheless shows parts of Indian way of life as it was during that time including confrontations with the army and settlers.

Lots of what is shown in the film belongs to America's history and heritage which all American should be proud of.
 
frank davis
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The reason Kevin bonded with the Native Americans is that recent research indicates that the original Native Americans were of European descent. As one example of this line of research : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080701193203.htm
 
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We should take this line of reasoning a step further and note that all people are of African descent.
 
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Originally posted by Darya Akbari:


Don't forget that this film got 7 Oscars.



That's always rankled a bit with me. The same year Jean-Paul Rappeneau's fantastic version of Cyrano de Bergerac was released and only got one.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Ulf Dittmer:
We should take this line of reasoning a step further and note that all people are of African descent.



But since the African migration happened much longer ago, humans had more time, compared to the time scales invovled in the Americas migrations, to differentiate and evolve into distinctive and recognizable sub-groups. So, while Kevin bonding with a more alien Asian type culture would have been more remarkable and movie worthy, in the end, he was just re-meeting kindred from his own group.
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
The reason Kevin bonded with the Native Americans is that recent research indicates that the original Native Americans were of European descent. As one example of this line of research : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080701193203.htm

It is quite possible that the first "native American" settlers rowed in from prehistoric Europe, but genetic research suggests that most of today's Native Americans are most closely related to Siberian nomads in Russia. (Should the European angle be proved, we'll want to learn whether a small from-Europe Native American population was absorbed into a much larger from-Siberia Native American population, or whether they were exterminated.)

I don't think it makes that much difference with respect to cultural compatibility between Native Americans and modern Europeans, because Siberian and European culture 14,000 years ago probably weren't all that different (from our perspective, of course).

The genetic studies are facinating, yet raise questions. Assuming random mutations, the more recent a population split occured, the more genetically similar the two resulting populations are. Thus, chimps are genetically more similar to humans than to gorillas (and about equally similar to bonobos), and kinky-haired dark-skinned flat-nosed Samoans are more similar to Europeans and Chinese people than to Africans.

But is it not possible that after the split between Eurasians and Africans, quickly followed by the split between Negroid Pacific islanders and other Eurasians, that Africans and Negroid Pacific islanders simply did not change as rapidly as the other Eurasians? Perhaps not outwardly, but random genetic mutations seem to accumulate pretty reliably over time everywhere.

Does that mean that the shark and the crocodile, which _seem_ to have changed little in hundreds of millions of years, probably have had genetic drift as rapid as, say, mammals? Where as changing environmental pressures can cause one species to change rapidly, could it be that stable environments cause other species to "run in place"? Evolve a hair this way and then back again, over and over -- more of a vibration than a movement? Is it then likely that today's sharks and crocodiles would probably be unable to breed with their virtually identical ancestors of a hundred million years ago, and would indeed be considered different species were prehistoric DNA were somehow found and revivified?

What does it mean when genetics tells us that mushrooms are genetically more similar to human beings than they are to vegetables?
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
[QB]

... random genetic mutations seem to accumulate pretty reliably over time everywhere... Where as changing environmental pressures can cause one species to change rapidly...

[QB]




As easy as it is to accept a fairly universal rate of genetic mutations within a given species; its just as easy to accept that some environments change more than others. So, a simple chronological measurement of the times that different groups diverge from another doesn't provide a reliable measure of their similarity or differences based on that alone. Mutations in one group may be eliminated over and over again as they arise, yet in another group many mutations could provide some advantage in a changing environment so that each mutation spreads amongst group and becomes a permanant fixture.

In any event, there are limits as to how fast such real divergence can occur amongst isolated groups. Generally its seen as taking place very, very slowly. However, when human factors are introduced, genetic changes in an entire country can take place in a few hundred years : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060720112040.htm
 
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Sense I don't want fictional movies for historical accuracy, I enjoyed Dances with Wolves. I thought it was a great movie. Next to Field of Dreams, probably Costner's best film, considering Costner has no depth.
 
Frank Silbermann
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:



As easy as it is to accept a fairly universal rate of genetic mutations within a given species; its just as easy to accept that some environments change more than others. So, a simple chronological measurement of the times that different groups diverge from another doesn't provide a reliable measure of their similarity or differences based on that alone. Mutations in one group may be eliminated over and over again as they arise, yet in another group many mutations could provide some advantage in a changing environment so that each mutation spreads amongst group and becomes a permanant fixture.

In any event, there are limits as to how fast such real divergence can occur amongst isolated groups. Generally its seen as taking place very, very slowly. However, when human factors are introduced, genetic changes in an entire country can take place in a few hundred years : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060720112040.htm



I believe the genetic changes that are counted by molecular anthropologists are mostly DNA noise -- most mutations that survive have little or no effect. These seem to build up even if a stable environment weeds out unnecessary or counterproductive genetic change. Thus, when environmental pressures cause evolution, it selects for mutations that are more meaningful in consequence, but not necessarily greater in number than those which occur in the environmentally stable population.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:


I believe the genetic changes that are counted by molecular anthropologists are mostly DNA noise -- most mutations that survive have little or no effect. These seem to build up even if a stable environment weeds out unnecessary or counterproductive genetic change. Thus, when environmental pressures cause evolution, it selects for mutations that are more meaningful in consequence, but not necessarily greater in number than those which occur in the environmentally stable population.



I agree there can be 2 sets of genetic differences between groups of humans. There are those that are neutral in survival effect and those that aren't; both can be markers to some degree to differentiate human groups.

The only reason I bring any of this up is that I've encountered people who deny that groups of people can be classified in any meaningful way based on genetics (such as "race" to use an admittedly crude concept and term).
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:
I agree there can be 2 sets of genetic differences between groups of humans. There are those that are neutral in survival effect and those that aren't; both can be markers to some degree to differentiate human groups.

It's actually more complicated than that; a genetic difference might be neutral in one environment but not in a different environment. For example I live in an area where there is no malaria, so any genetic "features" I have which are related to malaria resistance are neutral. But if I move to Africa, then they aren't neutral any more.

The only reason I bring any of this up is that I've encountered people who deny that groups of people can be classified in any meaningful way based on genetics (such as "race" to use an admittedly crude concept and term).

You can certainly classify people based on genetics. And some of those classifications are certainly meaningful: for example women with defective BRCA genes are more at risk for breast cancer. But groupings at a higher level don't seem to be especially meaningful, as far as I can see. People seem to prefer to use visible characteristics as a surrogate for genetic characteristics anyway, hence the problems with "race".
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Paul Clapham:
You can certainly classify people based on genetics. And some of those classifications are certainly meaningful: for example women with defective BRCA genes are more at risk for breast cancer. But groupings at a higher level don't seem to be especially meaningful, as far as I can see. People seem to prefer to use visible characteristics as a surrogate for genetic characteristics anyway, hence the problems with "race".



Even though the standard categories of race are often too broad to be generally of use in a logically coherent way due to intra-racial variations; politically they are used daily in US public policy on a number of levels and different arenas. The purposes for which they are used are generally not based on genetics or relevant to genetics. However I work for a public health agency and I commonly see articles or studies based on race/genetics such as this: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/health/sfl-flahiv0719sbjul19,0,7444940.story

Ignoring the political machinations of racial politics, there are well known racial/ethnic genetic differences (Asian vs Northern Euro lactose intolerance rates, Sickle cell anemia prevalance in different races, Tay Sachs?, etc). Locally, within my statewide Dept, there is a controversy about a certain health condition that affects one group more than another. Many summits have been held about remedying the gap between the races on this issue. I have had at least one study come before me (and I don't look for them), that suggests a possible genetic influence at least to some degree in regards to this issue. The problem is any issue with race is a hot potato in US, to suggest a genetic influence to any degree has some danger for a politician.

So, all the summit reports on this issue list every possible variable that could be influencing the problem except a genetic one. Now, arguably, a genetic influence is not relevant perhaps because not much can be done about it from a public policy viewpoint (except to designate a group as high risk and entitled to extra care). But, because genetics cannot be considered a factor, for political reasons, the gap in the rates between groups is explained by other things that are even more polarizing. For example, racism is defined is significant factor by some and as the sole factor by others.
 
Frank Silbermann
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:


I agree there can be 2 sets of genetic differences between groups of humans. There are those that are neutral in survival effect and those that aren't; both can be markers to some degree to differentiate human groups.

The only reason I bring any of this up is that I've encountered people who deny that groups of people can be classified in any meaningful way based on genetics (such as "race" to use an admittedly crude concept and term).

Because of mixing, there is probably no single gene for which one can say, "The gene is like this in this race, and like that in that race." However, by correlating from the various distributions of various genes in various populations, geneticists are becoming able to determine from DNA a person's "socially attributed race" with almost perfect accuracy. They can also estimate with high accuracy the racial mix of a given person. For example, they might say that for the "white" American, 5% of his ancestors were living in central Africa 3,000 years ago, whereas for the average central African 95% of his ancestors 3,000 years ago were living in central Africa, and maybe 3% of his ancestors 3,000 years back were living in Europe. (For the average "black" American, about 20% of his ancestors were living in Europe 3,000 years ago.) I'm just guessing at these numbers, but you get the idea.

I don't know what use Hitler would have made of such information. On the one hand, it would have helped him recognize, say, fair-haired Jews with fake ID passing as ethnic Poles. On the other hand, it would have been hard for him to draw a racial purity standard because wherever you put the cut-off there would be lots of people ever so slightly to one side of it or the other -- the relativism of "racial purity" would have been exposed.
 
frank davis
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Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:
I don't know what use Hitler would have made of such information.. .



Hilter would have been too busy with MS Vista problems:

http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=ExeyrNZwzwQ
 
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Originally posted by herb slocomb:


Hilter would have been too busy with MS Vista problems:

http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=ExeyrNZwzwQ



Pretty good shit.
 
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