Re: virus: How Does a Shaman Pay?

Tim Rhodes (
Mon, 11 Aug 1997 09:55:22 -0700 (PDT)

On Sun, 10 Aug 1997, Brett Lane Robertson wrote:

> The shaman exchanges one coin for another (ie. raw material for
> influence)--this is not an easy task: Why use would a farmer have of
> influence...How would this--directly--produce more crops?

> S/he (the Shaman) is involved with freedom, specialization, children,
> language, art, imagination, standards, and recreation.

> Complete freedom from rules *may* result in bizarre behavior from the
> perspective of any or all of the subcultures. It is this bizarre
> behavior which insures that the shaman does not get caught up in the
> individual perspectives embodied by each subculture; thus, s/he can
> remain free from their control.

I excerpted these parts because they seem to get to the heart of the
matter (the first part of the post... well, if it got you to this point,
that's good enough).

The only part I'd change is in the last section. "Bizarre behavior" is
not a result of his compete freedom, but rather a necessary tool the
Shaman uses for attaining that freedom from the society he works for (Yes,
Wade, *works* It's no free lunch!). They must stand outside the culture
in order to create solutions that are not available within the limits of
the culture. Hence they must be seemingly "freaky", "bizarre", or
"frightening" even to their own society.

A much easier task in West actually, where the scientific model and the
culture that surrounds it makes even the slightest irrationality seem "way
out there". (Of course, under the rule of Science the penalties for
being "out there" are much stiffer, as well.)

-Prof. Tim