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HMP: Backwards People

HMP stands for Hank's Mystery Page.

This is the place where I select some thing, some event, some idea that I believe has changed my life in a fairly substantial way. Or perhaps I should say -- that I think has the ability to change my way of thinking, being, eating, or doing in a substantial way.

I will keep the current HMP to one item and then refer to an archival page for past HMP winners.

Believe me, they are all worth a visit.
With the Future Behind Them: Convergent Evidence From Aymara Language and Gesture in the Cross linguistic Comparison of Spatial Construct's of Time.

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 NYT piece.

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:

Get the article that will change all of our minds about time stuff money drive


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.

Did deep,


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. (thanks c.)

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 it:

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:









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