22 November 2008

Air vs. Earth vs. Water vs. Fire

Today, I investigated the four classical elements that, according to ancient Greek, Medieval, Renaissance, Hindu, Buddhist, Japanese, etc. cultural/philosophical traditions, combine in different proportions to account for everything in the world.

Air dominated this face-off. Earth came next but had an irregular trend line: it started the lowest, then went all the way to the top in September 2005 only to settle in second place. Water and fire completed the quartet. How about the country rankings for the four elements:

A few observations: the US seemed very interested in fire and water but not so much in air and even less in earth. Indicative of the stereotype of Americans maybe? Fire and water reign, two aggressive and antagonistic elements contrary to the more subtle earth and air. Maybe Americans are not well grounded (earth), always have big dreams (air)? ;-) Popular psychology, it's a funny thing. How to explain New Zealanders' fondness for air and then fire? They are dreamers with spunk? Haha, of course this is all rather simplistic. Still...

Update: See also the next post.

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