With the Future
Behind Them: Convergent Evidence From Aymara Language and Gesture
in the Cross linguistic Comparison of Spatial Construct's of
This is a bit of a strange situation.
A few months ago there was a little piece in the NYT about
the 60's, time concepts, nothing much, turn on, tune in kind of stuff. It was
short, just a few hundred words. But in that article there was mention of a
race of humans recently discovered that look at time in the opposite way from
the rest of the planet. The article says: "speakers
of Aymara, an Indian language of the high Andes, think of time differently
than just about everyone else in the world. They see the future as behind
them and the past ahead of them."
OK, I could go no further and I have
been unable to let go of this concept.
After sending out a query to some of the smartest people I know
about what to do with this piece of information and how to find
out more, I found myself alone; one fellow told me he didn't believe
I had ever seen such an article. I was driven to find and read
the full text of the article that is only briefly quoted in the
This is where it gets a bit odd.
The article is included in the thirtieth
volume of the journal "Cognitive
Science: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 2006, Vol. 30, No. 3, Pages
401-450". And to make matters worse, the only way to
read the article is to either be a member of the Cognitive Journal,
whatever that entails, or pony up 24 beans to download the article.
As interested as I am I just didn't feel like it was worth the
24 bucks. After sending out another email trying to discover
if anyone I knew was indeed a member
of the cognitive journal society, I struck out.
Then I had a brilliant plan: round
up the coin on HMP!
So, here is the pitch. If you are
interested in learning more about a culture that has been seeing
the world of time in the opposite direction from everyone else
for god only knows how long and if you too don't feel like you
have 24 dollars to spare for such an endeavor, how about donating
a buck to the:
article that will change all of our minds about time stuff money
When the total of 24 arrives, as
I am sure that it will, I will post the tasty bits of the article
right here on HMP.
Wow!, not even 24 hours later and
I already have an update.
If you can't wait to know more about the Aymara you can read this
piece also about their backward telling of time here.
Official Tally: $22 (thanks
c and Matt and Cheryl)
I got it, I got it!! I got
enough dough to purchase the article, here is the receipt to prove
There are few things that surprise
me here on interactivehank, but this is certainly one of them.
After only a few months of patiently waiting, I actually received
enough donations to go over to the LEA and
purchase the article I have been blabbering about here on HMP.
It is a bit lengthy (50 pages) and goodness knows if I will be
able to understand any of it, but I will give it a shot.
Meanwhile, if you would like to
take a gander at the possible solution to constantly moving forwards,
here is the article in it's entirety: