Culture is such a weird thing. It defines nearly everything we do. The time we wake up in the morning. The side of the road we drive on. The size of cups at McDonalds. Whether of not we have to capitalize mCdonalds. The types of cellphones we own. The size of our car tires. The width of our roads. The varieties of beer at the store. The taxes we pay. The way we cook meat. The designs of our kitchens. The prevalence of dryers. Where we take our shoes off. How we bathe. What we eat with. Partially, our language.
We all live our lives, yet we never really think about it.
Unless we leave it, and experience another.
What the hell is culture determined by?
Geography (latitude, longitude, continentality, elevation, precipitation, population, population density, access to the outside world, access to resources, electrification, wildlife), media access, art, politics, climate, history, (including dumb, random, sad, stupid, and unfortunate history), and of course (with the extent of which debatable) language.
Yet, culture itself can determine half of those things. What boggles me about culture is that no one can really define it well. Karl van Wolferen, in The Enigma of Japanese Power, quotes it as “the totality of man’s products.”
But what is that? It’s essentially a copout explanation of the confusing crap I’ve already written above.