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Vanessa Maynard (F, 34)
Immortal since Jan 9, 2008
Uplinks: 0, Generation 3

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    From rebecam
    What makes us human:...
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    Branding the Species
    Background: Voyager’s Interstellar record is a disk with encoded information that was attached to two space probes currently making their...

    The Voyager update project
    Description has not yet been created.
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    What is unique to humans:
    we can express our feelings (or affect) through our hands.



    Two or more people voluntarily hold hands for one of the following reasons and purposes:

    in various rituals:

    handshake
    in certain religious services, to pray
    in various occult rituals
    to express friendship or love
    to enjoy physical intimacy (not necessarily of erotic character)
    for emotional support
    to guide (a child, a blind person, in darkness, etc.)
    to urge to follow
    to keep together (in a crowd or in darkness)
    to help the other walk, stand or climb up
    to dance

    Whether friends hold hands depends on culture and gender: in the Western culture this is mainly done by women and small children. In Arab countries, Africa and some parts of Asia it is done also by men. On Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's 2007 visit of Iran he was publicly holding hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    Affect, like the adjective affective, refers to the experience of feeling or emotion. Affect is a key part of the process of an organisms interaction with stimuli. The word also refers sometimes to affect display, which is "a facial, vocal, or gestural behavior that serves as an indicator of affect."

    The term "affect" can be taken to indicate an instinctual reaction to stimulation occurring before the typical cognitive processes considered necessary for the formation of a more complex emotion. Robert B. Zajonc asserts this reaction to stimuli is primary for human beings

    "I remember being somewhat stunned one day when asked by one of my professors a question about the common coffee cup, what it implied about being human. After much pondering, I came up with a few feeble observations, such as, a cup approximates the proportions that a human being can comfortably wrap the hand around. Directing my attention in this way to function and form started my thinking about the relevance and significance of the human hand to the lived world."

    "The two most expressive features of the human body are probably the eyes and the hands. We are told that the soul is revealed through the expression of the eyes. Think of Beatrice leading Dante upward, traversing the rings of Paradise with her ever brightening eyes. Next is surely the hand."

    We use our hands to declare ourselves.

    The hand is an avenue of communication, independent of the verbal medium. The baby points and puts its hands over the eyes or the ears in pre-verbal expression or it claps its hands to convey joy. Have you ever played the hand game Here’s the church and here’s the steeple? Or the one where you stretch a string and make a cradle’s bow? What we do with our hands can define a complete attitude or our whole relationship to others. Hands are expressive. Think of the thumbs-up or thumbs-down gesture. Having someone rudely flash us the finger is a gesture that is a frequent occurrence on the road. In the Eastern tradition, hands are folded together to acknowledge the other in meeting. In the West, we greet each other or make a deal by shaking hands. We use the hands to say ‘Bye, bye.’ We raise our hands to say we want to speak. We put our hand on the Bible to make an oath. We say: "It’s out of my hands; it’s in the hands of God." We pray by clasping our hands together. We make the sign of the cross by passing our hands over our heart.

    A recent study reported in Nature indicates that gesturing with the hand helps people lay out abstract thoughts or recall words. Gesturing isn’t learned. Children blind from birth use hand gestures, even when speaking to other blind children.

    Hand gestures are innate

    When we hurt, we instinctively put our hands on the spot. The healer too uses the hand to massage or stroke the body. It is through the hands that we are most aware of touching and being touched.

    One of the aspects of Bachelard that I most appreciate is his acceptance of human anger not as a liability but often as a spur to action. Tantalizingly, he says "To imagine a fist clenched for no reason would be a dishonor to the high drama of ANGER, a blemish on the image of invincibility." For Bachelard, "Always anger is a revelation of essential being. In anger one feels reborn, renewed, called to new life." Anger is energy potential.
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