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kme : anthropology   41

Use Vim Inside a Unix Pipe Like Sed or AWK | Hacker News
Good point.This argument that domestication lowers intelligence (among other powerful abilities) and that we are unquestionably domesticating ourselves is pretty damn solid. The only argument against it seems to be "... but my ego!".

Obviously there is some interplay with the fact that we develop new mental models and thinking tools to augment intelligence.

Also immersion as children in highly abstract ways of thinking further augments/multiplies raw intelligence (most convincing explanation to the Flynn effect imo).

I've lost the link, but there was an excellent article I read related to the amazing Otzi discovery ( describing how adults of that era (modern humans, primitive societies) would likely have been terrifying to us now in just how much they outclassed us in raw strength, intelligence and stamina. We would be relying a lot on the benefits of childhood nutrition and education to feel superior. This isn't completely convincing, there are a lot of factors in play, but those levels of brutal competition and danger would have a profound effect, especially epigenetically.
vim  texteditors  anthropology  history  forthecomments 
october 2019 by kme
Every Hug, Every Fuss: Scientists Record Families’ Daily Lives - The New York Times |
Inside, the homes, researchers found rooms crammed with toys, DVDs, videos, books, exercise machines; refrigerators buried in magnets; and other odds and ends. The clutter on the fridge door tended to predict the amount of clutter elsewhere.

Outside the homes, the yards were open and green — but “no one was out there,” said Jeanne E. Arnold, a U.C.L.A. archaeologist who worked on the study. One family had a 17,000-square-foot yard, with a pool and a trampoline, and not even the children ventured out there during the study.

That, of course, would mean leaving the house, which is not always as simple as it sounds.
parenting  kids  anthropology  research 
august 2018 by kme
Neanderthals Were People, Too - The New York Times
Wearing feathers, eating seals — maybe none of this sounds particularly impressive. But it’s what our human ancestors were capable of back then too, and scientists have always considered such behavioral flexibility and complexity as signs of our specialness. When it came to Neanderthals, though, many researchers literally couldn’t see the evidence sitting in front of them. A lot of the new thinking about Neanderthals comes from revisiting material in museum collections, excavated decades ago, and re-examining it with new technology or simply with open minds. The real surprise of these discoveries may not be the competence of Neanderthals but how obnoxiously low our expectations for them have been — the bias with which too many scientists approached that other Us. One archaeologist called these researchers “modern human supremacists.”
For millenniums, some scientists believe, before modern humans poured in from Africa, the climate in Europe was exceptionally unstable. The landscape kept flipping between temperate forest and cold, treeless steppe. The fauna that Neanderthals subsisted on kept migrating away, faster than they could. Though Neanderthals survived this turbulence, they were never able to build up their numbers. (Across all of Eurasia, at any point in history, says John Hawks, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “there probably weren’t enough of them to fill an N.F.L. stadium.”) With the demographics so skewed, Stringer went on, even the slightest modern human advantage would be amplified tremendously: a single innovation, something like sewing needles, might protect just enough babies from the elements to lower the infant mortality rate and allow modern humans to conclusively overtake the Neanderthals. And yet Stringer is careful not to conflate innovation with superior intelligence. Innovation, too, can be a function of population size. “We live in an age where information, where good ideas, spread like wildfire, and we build on them,” Stringer told me. “But it wasn’t like that 50,000 years ago.” The more members your species has, the more likely one member will stumble on a useful new technology — and that, once stumbled upon, the innovation will spread; you need sufficient human tinder for those sparks of culture to catch.
He had commissioned the Neanderthals from Dutch artists known as Kennis & Kennis, and he was initially taken aback by the woman’s posture in their sketches. She stood oddly, with her arms crossed in front of her chest, resting on opposite shoulders, as if she were mid-Macarena. But Kennis & Kennis barraged him with ethnographic photos: real hunter-gatherer people standing just like this, or even more strangely, their hands behind their necks or slung over their heads. As it happens, the artists had an intense personal interest in where human beings leave their hands when they don’t have pockets.

I’d never thought about this before — I’ve always had pockets — and I wondered if artists might expose these perceptual bubbles more pointedly than archaeologists. Kennis & Kennis appeared to be major players in the tiny field of Paleolithic reconstruction. Scientists who had worked with them encouraged me to seek them out. “They’re great people,” one archaeologist told me. “Hyperactive. Like rubber balls.”
This uncorked a frantic seminar on known global hairstyles of the last several thousand years. They began pulling up photos on Adrie’s laptop, dozens of them, from anthropological archives or stills from old ethnographic films. These were some of the same photos they had shown Finlayson. The brothers had pored over them for years but still gasped or bellowed now as each new, improbable human form materialized. The pictures showed a panorama of divergent body types and grooming: spiky eyebrows; astonishingly asymmetrical breasts; a towering aboriginal man with the chiseled torso of an American underwear model, but two twigs for legs; a Hottentot woman with an extraordinarily convex rear end. “People would never let us make buttocks like this!” Alfons said regretfully. “All this variation! It’s beautiful!” shouted Adrie, refusing to look away from the screen. He had to look: These were reaches of reality that our minds didn’t travel to on their own. “If you live in the West, you’d never imagine,” he went on. The brothers’ delight seemed to come from feeling all these superficial differences quiver against a profound, self-evident sameness. Finally, Adrie turned to me and said very seriously, “These are all Homo sapiens.”
neanderthals  anthropology  humans  prehistory 
january 2017 by kme
How monotheists modelled god on a harem-keeping alpha male | Aeon Essays
Stretches the analogy to the breaking point, but makes some interesting connections.
It seems likely that the human brain – for all its wonders – also contains a mammalian component that has evolved in an environment of male-dominated polygyny, along with more subtle, female-oriented polyandry – something I haven’t described here, but that also warrants attention. As a consequence, we are predisposed not only to overt polygyny plus covert infidelity, but also to a familiarity with and inclination to participate in systems of social deference and followership associated with an alpha-male polygynist. Not a pretty picture, but as Charles Darwin noted in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871), ‘we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with truth as far as our reason permits us to discover it’.
polygyny  anthropology  culture  religion  beinghuman 
july 2016 by kme
» Who Do We Write For? Global Anthropology
This situation is largely a product, I believe, of the tenure system in American anthropology, whereby each new generation of anthropologists must be seen to be doing something very different from its recent forebears in order to gain lifetime employment as professors. Ethnography-driven books are of less value in this pursuit than theory-driven books, since the latter can demonstrate an apparent advance over anthropological forebears, however fictitious this advance may be upon closer examination. This is also why, in a broader arena, music and art have also become progressively less comprehensible to the layperson: they have been increasingly confined to the academy, to departments of music and art in universities, where specialists produce work comprehensible only to fellow specialists. The Anglo-American academic world in the arts and soft social sciences seems, in its emphasis on specialists, to privilege incommunicability with the world beyond the academy.
anthropology  academia 
april 2014 by kme
Any interest in a Digital Anthropology subreddit? : Anthropology
Fair point, and I've been frustrated myself when subreddits proliferate needlessly (at one point there were four competing filmmaking communities). But as the r/anthropology sidebar used to say, it is "the world's best four disciplines" (or something like that) -- the field is so broad that it fractures quite naturally. So it should be a different subreddit rather than a duplicate subreddit.

It's actually
Anthropology: The best 4 fields ever.
anthropology  reddit 
april 2014 by kme
Jan Chipchase: The anthropology of mobile phones | Talk Video | TED -
Meh. But I thought the part about Sente ("money," to send money as airtime) was interesting.
money  africa  mobile  communication  cellular  anthropology  memory  video  ted 
march 2014 by kme
Modest Proposal For Stopping Hackers: Get Them Girlfriends - Slashdot
"Hackers/crackers who get arrested are typically male and young adults — if not minors. Why is that? According to research by online psychology expert Grainne Kirwan, it's because the typical hacker 'ages out' once they get a girlfriend, job, kids, and other responsibilities that make it difficult to maintain their hacking/cracking/hacktivist lifecycle. Could that finding offer a way to help keep more young hacking enthusiasts out of jail?"
insightful  forthecomments  tech  anthropology 
july 2012 by kme

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