Jack Weatherford

What are some of the questions that seem to be the biggest, most recurring themes that you are curious about?

“The curiosity centres around this diversity of human beings. All the different kinds of civilizations and cultures that have been created and how they fit together. How do these different cultures interact with one another? What has been the influence of one on another?

Because now in western intellectual thought, our ideas about cultural evolution have broken down. We really do not see it as a steady climb up from primitive life to savagery to barbarism and finally to civilized western world. We have broken this down but we haven’t exactly come up with another model that simplifies the story of world history, of global culture.

How do these things fit together? And what is the relationship of all these different kinds of people? If it is not just a simple evolution, then how do all the tribal peoples fit together with all the great civilizations in the world?

The world is an incredibly rich place when you look around, when you visit different countries and see the great creations of human beings, it is really amazing and sometimes we live in such an isolated world, and we think about all we have today, television and radio and instant news from around the world all the time.

And yet in some regards I think we are becoming more isolated intellectually because we have an evermore limited pool from which we are drawing information and evermore limited topics we are looking at, rather than going around to all the different cultures in the world and including information about them.”

from Portrait
A stimulating journey into the minds of notable Minnesotans
Twin Cities Public Television, 1993

Jack Weatherford Portrait Part One – Film
Jack Weatherford Portrait Part Two – Film