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eglaser's picture

Erin the piano key

You know, I never really thought about what it meant to be "a piano key" (as it was phrased in class) the idea that we are nothing but products of our genes and memes has simply never crossed my mind before. However, now that it has I find that I don't have as much issue with it as I thought I would. I guess it just doesn't hold the same weight for me as it does for Professor Grobstein. I absolutely think that we are a product of our genetics and culture I have seen too much evidence of this in my life. How many times have you done something, worn something or said something that you find, to your horror, is identical to something your parents have done when they were young? How many times have you realized your habits and way of thinking mimic the culture you were born into? I know I see that in myself everyday. I do see myself as a piano key, constantly being played upon by forces outside my control. The question is, if we still get to enjoy the wonder of this world, if we are still capable of creating beautiful things, does it matter?

A person will always be unique no matter what cultural or genetic forces are actingupon them, if only because the organization of each persons brain (in all of human history) is and probably always will be unique. Even identical twins who are raised in the same environment can be completely opposite. Thus we arestill capable of creating truly unique works that no one else could ever recreate. Plenty of men were around in Elizabethian England with the ability and the desire to write but only Shakespeare could ever write Hamlet. Maybe, if William had been born a few centuries later his plays would have been very different as a result of his culture but they would stilll be timeless works of art. Being a piano key is not shameful and it is not as limiting as it seems.

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