o Depend on things from our environment (clean water, food, wood,
o Inputs to sinks EX: natural resources->materials; fuels->emissions
o 71% of Earth is ocean, only 3% of land surface can grow food
o Virtually all of the arable land has been economically cultivated
Climate change, soil degradation, urbanization, water
shortages, rising populations, arable land dropping
o Growing population needs more land
More land =more deforestation, fertilizers, pesticides,
irrigation leading to salination
More land is being used to grow bio fuels instead of crops
o Destroying wildlife habitat and other essential ecosystems
- Current extinction is 1000x higher than in fossil record
- between 1/4 and 1/3 of the world's wildlife has been lost since 1970
- reduced biodiersity means millions of people will face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease and where water is irregular or short supply
- not enough is being done to tackle threats, such as habitat loss
- the rate of biodiversity loss does not appear to be slowing
- the world's ocean is at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history
- people will want to migrate to countries with more resources
- runaway climate change could cause: dwindling resources, massive population shifts, natural disasters, spreading epidemics, drought, rising sea levels, crashing economies, political extremism,
- human societies can have an acceptable human development index or an acceptable ecological footprint but NOT both
- if current trends continue, scientists warn that within a few decades at least half of all plant and animal species on earth will disappear forever
The IPAT equation is a way to calculate the impact of humans on the environment
I - impact of humans on the degradation of ecosystem services
P - population size (affecting total consumption, waste production, demand for spade)
A - affluence (consumption per capita)
T - technology allowing affluence, but with negative effects (pollution, climate change)
- It is a way of calculating human's ecological footprint (demand on nature). This is the global area (in hectares) required to supply the ecosystem goods and services that humanity uses and to absorb our waste.
Human's ecological footprint is in competition with world biocapacity.
Biocapacity - how fast nature can generate resources and recycle our waste.) This is the amount of biologically productive land and sea area that is availabel to provide, regenerate, and recycle the ecosystem goods and services that humanity makes demands on.
In terms of Great Acceleration, for more than 40 years, ecological footprint > biocapacity. Mostly due to a too large a population that was able to be sustained by oil energy use. This difference between the ecological footprint and world biocapacity is called an overshoot. The Human Development Index is an indicator of well being, calculated form life expectancy, literacy and education per capita.
- Explosion of cultural and technological innovation
Technology allowed range-expansion of humans, did NOT
improve quality of life- provided more food but more mouths
Different cultures pushed people outwards "Us VS Them"
Hostility made humans wary of each other
- First evidence of art, specialized tools and language and religion
Art: painting, sculptures, dance, music
Symbolic self-identity and an immortality
Jewelry sign of wealth, status, skill or success
Tools to kill animals and other humans at a distance allow for
larger game at further distances reducing injury
Larger brain capacity, altered brain structure,
development of larynx, tongue, etc to give humans
control over speech
- Coincident with the expansion of Homo sapiens in Europe
(1) Evolution of a sense of time
● Both past and future, planning for the future.
● Including awareness of mortality foresee one's own death, an awareness that one's life
is impermanent, made humans deeply troubled
● This awareness also made us fear the thought of death and because of this propulsion of genes into
future generations increased.
(2) Evolution of selfconsciousness/ selfesteem (theory of mind)
● Expanded our social intelligence, including anxiety about one's impermanence
● Gain trust, deceive/cheat/lie, empathize, feel pride and shame
(3) Consciousness and imagination
● Including predicting and comparing the thoughts of other minds
● Th eory of mind: associated with the power of imagination
● Beings that are able to see beyond the actual possible are better equipped to handle the exigencies
● Were able to anticipate the outcomes of their actions, deliberately control their behaviour and
consciously compare themselves to one's own standards, experience new emotions, able to put
oneself in the position of others
● Predict other people's behaviour
● Can see beyond the actual to the possible
● Imagine how others perceive you
The emergence of the agricultural revolution occurred 10,000 years ago.
Man had perfected weapons and techniques to the point that many species of large game were driven to extinction, effectively leading to the end of hunting as a way of life.
Although the agricultural revolution provided many benefits for humans, such as enlargement of the human carrying capacity and a stable surplus of food, there were also many drawbacks and problems created.
- Infectious disease and parasites
o From close contact with domesticated animals, and because crowded, sedentary people were constantly re-infected by each other and their own sewage.
- A greater risk of starvation and famine
o When there was extended crop failure - because of dependence on only a few crops (e.g. Irish potato famine, 1845-1850)
- Malnutrition from a less varied diet
o Farmers concentrated on high carbohydrate diets like rice and potatoes, and had high dependence on these crops. Hunter-gatherers in contrast, probably had a diet with higher protein and a better balance of nutrients, and so were probably healthier and suffered less disease
- It is also questionable whether hunter-gatherers had less leisure time
o Especially compared with modern societies where there seems to be 'no time for anything'
- Led to class divisions with wealth accumulation by only a few
o The dawn of the haves and have nots. Because agriculture generated surpluses, it created the possibility for a few to expropriate the surpluses for their exclusive personal use. This would not happen in hunter-gatherer lifestyles.
- May have exacerbated women sexual inequality
o Availability of food led to being drained through more frequent pregnancies.
- Allowed for a population overshoot
o Created more pressing needs to expand boundaries, larger armies
- Probably did not increase the average quality of life
o More food but more mouths to feed. This means hunger if crops fail. Overall, a greater variety in quality of life, with a lower minimum and a higher maximum. Overall, a lower median and mode. Only better life if among the 1%. Would eventually decimate soils and surrounding land.
WAR IS EXCLUSIVELY A MALE ENTERPRISE BECAUSE VIOLENCE ITSELF IS ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY A 'GUY' THING
- Because of polygyny, there has always been a greater variation in reproductive success between males than between females (the more dominant male had more mates)
- Hence, we are the ancestors of males who out competed other males violently
- The fact that male to male and female to female violence remains unvarying from place to place suggests biological underpinnings
- Masculine warrior men was a sexually selected trait, as women prefer warrior men / mates (they had more resources, better at protecting). For example, girls were always given the front tows in Nazi parades and rallies because they were hysterical and added to the atmosphere of fervour and adulation.
- Everyday male-male disputes, no matter how small they may seem, are not trivial, for they reflect the evolutionary past, when personal altercations were the stuff upon which prestige and social success - leading ultimately to biological success - were based.
YOUNG MALE SYNDROME: young men entering the mating arena show the greatest degree of risk taking and violent strategies
SIGHT OF A PRETTY GIRL MAKES MEN CRAVE WAR
- Display more risky behaviour as they will try to attract the women
WAR AS A PRODUCT OF BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION
- We are all descendants of the instigators and winners of war
- A thirst for war increased reproductive success by:
1) Securing more resources
2) Securing more access to mates
3) Securing a heroic reputation attracting mates and appealing to legacy need
The losers of war, who were less violent, were generally less successful at propelling their genes
Therefore selection has favoured those that seek out war. Hence, we have a penchant for war inherited from the genes of ancestors. This does not imply that men went to war because they specifically wanted to spread their genes. All that matters is that going to war did indeed serve to spread genes, and all that is needed to accomplish this is an effective behavioural motive for going to war. A motive that has no relationship to any cognitive desire for spreading genes may (and does) work just as well in terms of promoting fitness as one that does.
WAR WAS PERPETUATION BY
- Us vs them mentality
- Strangers may have had infectious diseases, making it advantageous to prefer your own group
- Even babies have in/out group biases
There is, of course, a far less benign path to reproductive success in warfare: the act of rape. One of the attractions of war is the opportunity to forcibly copulate with women.
The CURSE OF CONSCIOUSNESS: The ability to self-reflect on own's own past, and anticipate and plan for one's own future, including importantly, in the long term.
- Comes at an emotional cost of anxiety about one's own death in the future
- When natural selection gave us this, therefore, it necessarily allowed us to foresee our own death; we became acutely aware that our lives are impermanent - we are not immortal.
- This may have been all well and fine, but natural selection was not finished: it also made us deeply troubled by this awareness, and more specifically, by the awareness of our severely limited capacity to "leave something of oneself" for the future.
3 hypotheses speculate that the curse of consciousness is maladaptive, neutral or adaptive
- Curse of consciousness evokes anxiety
- Anxiety was a fitness cost but it was worth it because benefit of consciousness was greater
- Anxiety did not help with survival or reproduction
- Anxiety is a natural by-product of fear of the unknown that had no significant cost or benefit
- Anxiety at unknown things like the dark was adaptive to ancestors, but because eventual death was never an immediate danger, it was never adaptive or maladaptive
- Anxiety promoted gene transmission in ancestors
- The knowledge of one's own impermanence lead to people wanting to leave something of themselves behind (legacy
- So the ancestors that had the anxiety left more descendants, making it adaptive
A cool person: someone with a distinctive attitude that evokes a demeanour of composure, self-confidence and non-chance in situations where excitement or emotional vulnerability would normally be expected. Accompanied with a distinctive appearance or presentation, audacious choices for hobbies, or unusual or elitist tastes that evoke an impression of being impervious to the sway of fashions and conventions that are popular with the 'common people'.
Coolness Announced Superiority (Good at Tolerating Self-Impermanence Anxiety)
- Cool people were socially popular (people want to be around in hopes that it will rub off on them)
- Coolness was sexually attractive: perceived as a good bet for being able to provide for offspring (fitness signal)
- It was also advantageous to recognize cool for these reasons which is why we idolize it
Coolness can indicate celebrity / notoriety
- A form of accomplishment and legacy drive
- Being able to continuously keep up with 'cool' trends signals status symbol - attracts mates.
Perhaps, for our ancestors, it was a signal of high fitness to potential mates and to potential rivals, including in mate competition. "You can throw any challenge at me and I can handle it". Selection is likely to have favoured dispositions and presentations of many sorts that portray that it is possible to be confident, calm and collective despite knowing that one's life is impermanent. This could explain how 'cool' evolved. BUT, only if the signal is HONEST - i.e. only if the 'cool' phenotype really is, or was, associated with traits that would confer advantage in any trial or tribulation.
Cool and Consumerism
- The act of discovering something is cool is what causes cool to 'move on'. If everyone is doing it, it's not cool anymore. Therefore, what is seen as cool must continue to change over time, from place to place, and from generation to generation. Cool has become a central ideology in consumer capitalism.
Biosocial management involves a two pronged approach:
1. Ensuring that there are effective domains in place within cultural norms and institutions to sufficiently appease or mitigate our needs represented by the 'big four' human drives (survival, legacy, leisure, sexual/familial).
2. Ensuring that these provisions do not unduly compromise the principles for achieving a sustainable, environment-friendly, prosocial model for civilization - i.e. culture 'holding genes on a leash'.
The central tenet then of biosocial management is this: neglecting the former will compromise success for the latter - because genes can also 'hold culture back on a leash'. It amounts to making room on our 'radar' for both.
Evolution has given human nature a lot of things - but one of them is not a filter for selfdeception
∙ S usceptibility to distractions and delusions were in the best interests of our ancestors' genes
∙ As selfimpermanence buffers, they provided protection from the curse of consciousness, and in
so doing promoted its fitness benefits
∙ We have evolved more to manipulate others and to deceive ourselves than to perceive the truth
∙ The human brain did not evolve primarily to discover the truth
o L i k e a n y o t h e r o r g a n , i t e v o l v e d t o m a x i m i z e t h e r e p r o d u c t i v e s u c c e s s o f i t s o w n e r o I n the social world, where deception and manipulation often rule, it sometimes
pays not to know too much about your own agenda
o T h e c a p a c i t y f o r s e l f d e c e p t i o n m a y h a v e b e e n s e l e c t e d f o r b e c a u s e i t h e l p s u s
13th EditionDavid N. Shier, Jackie L. Butler, Ricki Lewis 15th EditionJohn David Jackson, Patricia Meglich, Robert Mathis, Sean Valentine 7th EditionJulie S Snyder, Mariann M Harding 1st EditionKenneth R. Miller, Levine