[Weird] Accidental Re-examination of a system
I really like this kind of story, as told by MK:
Some cowboys left some guitars behind in Hawaii in about 1792, and the result was Hawaiian Slack Key guitar playing. The cowboys didn't leave behind any instructions on how to tune the guitars, so each person who picked up a guitar and taught themselves to play also learned their own individual way of tuning the guitar. These methods of tuning became highly prized, and musicians would loosen their strings when they put their guitars down, so no one could steal their tuning. Tuning styles were only shared within families, and this created a wonderful kind of family history, with some musicians able to re-tune their guitars and play in the style of their father, and re-tune again and play in the style of their aunt, et cetera.
It is a slightly different but it reminds me this other story I already told here (writtent by Miroslav Holub):
"The young lieutenant of a small Hungarian detachment in the Alps sent a reconnaissance unit out onto the icy wasteland. It began to snow immediately, snowed for two days and the unit did not return. The lieutenant suffered: he had dispatched his own people to death. But the third day the unit came back. Where had they been? How had they made their way? Yes, they said, we considered ourselves lost and waited for the end. And then one of us found a map in his pocket. That calmed us down. We pitched camp, lasted out the snowstorm and then with the map we discovered our bearings. And here we are. The lieutenant borrowed this remarkable map and had a good look at it. It was not a map of the Alps but of the Pyrenees."
The common point here is the way we use artefacts and the inferences we draw from them :) Human beings are a really powerfull 'machine' that interprete meanings!