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Terms in this set (62)

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.

Agriculture brought:
- 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.
- 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

- Display more risky behaviour as they will try to attract the women

- 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.

- 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 human individual knows that he must die, but has thoughts larger than his fate. Religion is an effort to be included in some domain larger and more permanent than mere existence. There are multiple arguments as to why religion is likely here to stay:

VERTICAL COMPONENT: notion of salvation and promise of everlasting life (soul is not impermanent even though the body is). This component calms the curse of consciousness, legacy drive makes you want to live with 'meaning' and transmit your genes.

HORIZONTAL COMPONENT: worshipping religious institutions makes you part of a group - reinforces vertical component. Benefits fitness in 3 ways:
1) Reinforces vertical component: fellow people who believe in same things
2) Vehicle for memetic legacy: membership of a "larger than self" institution buffers self-impermanence anxiety (sense of legacy)
3) Incentive for prosocial behaviour: those who behave prosocially get better status and transmit their genes better (more attractive)

- The horizontal component allowed for the membership of an organized group and served as a cultural by-product
- The vertical component was selected along with it, during times when acting morally and being a part of a group was advantageous (which when successful would contribute to the success of its group members or would allow one to achieve a higher status via membership and consequently attract mates).
- Religion was attractive because it provided explanations to the wonders and questions about nature/origin that humans were driven for (due to their curiosity).
- But some immorality mixing into the religion allowed it to be re-defined at times, where the authority adjusted norms to promote their own survival => proliferation on number of religions.
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
deceive others