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kme : humans   36

Why do humans get "goosebumps" when they are cold, or under other circumstances? - Scientific American
The contraction also causes the hair to stand up whenever the body feels cold. In animals with a thick hair coat this rising of hair expands the layer of air that serves as insulation. The thicker the hair layer, the more heat is retained. In people this reaction is useless because we do not have a hair coat, but goosebumps persist nevertheless.
butwhy  humans  homosapiens  evolution 
april 2017 by kme
Why I am not going to buy a cellphone | Aeon Ideas
The decisive reason, however, for me to refuse a cellphone is the opposite of everyone else’s reason for having one: I do not want the omnipresent ability to communicate with anyone who is absent. Cellphones put their users constantly on call, constantly available, and as much as that can be liberating or convenient, it can also be an overwhelming burden. The burden comes in the form of feeling an obligation to individuals and events that are physically elsewhere. Anyone who has checked their phone during a face-to-face conversation understands the temptation. And anyone who has been talking to someone who has checked their phone understands what is wrong with it.
humans  cellphone  communication  consumerism 
march 2017 by kme
The Link Between Complicated Pregnancies and Child Prodigies - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus
Joanne Ruthsatz, a psychologist at Ohio State University, who’s studied prodigies for nearly 20 years, says prodigies are “the most morally sensitive and generous individuals” she’s ever met. They often have a deeply felt sense of justice and the determination to improve the world. Along with their other exceptional capacities, this assertive benevolence may speak to latent but universal capabilities. Treffert, for one, believes the suddenness with which normal people can be transformed into acquired savants indicates that everyone may have some “Rain Man” capacity within.
savants  thebrain  humans  neuroscience  prenatal  development 
january 2017 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
Framing the World in Terms of “Left” and “Right” Is Stranger Than You Think - Facts So Romantic - Nautilus
It’s tempting to assume our own habit of framing the world “in relation to ourselves” is the natural default, the intuitive starting point; the way the Nambians or the Yupno frame things seems deviant. But a new set of findings, recently published in Cognitive Psychology, suggests this is the wrong impression.3
perception  humans  proprioception 
october 2016 by kme
The Psychology of the Brexit: Hillary Clinton May Face Similar Results in Facing Donald Trump - The Atlantic
People are what behavioral economists call strong reciprocators and altruistic punishers. Humans are wired for reciprocal cooperation: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine, etc. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived in small groups, for whom cooperation was essential for survival. A key step in human development was when people expanded this circle of cooperation from close kin to strangers through trade, customs, religions, alliances in warfare, and eventually through laws and institutions. Modern society is a vast intricate web of cooperation.

But cooperation also creates the potential for cheaters, for those who don’t reciprocate and keep their end of the bargain. Humans are thus also wired to be altruistic punishers—not altruistic in a nice sense, but altruistic in the sense that they will punish people, even to their own harm, to enforce fairness. Behavioral economists show this through a well-known experiment called the Ultimatum Game, in which one person is given some money (say $100) and asked to offer a share of it to another person (say $20). If the second person accepts the offer, both keep the money, but if he or she rejects it, both get nothing. The rational solution is to accept any offer except $0, as even $1 is better than nothing. But experiments on thousands of subjects around the world show that offers below around 30 percent are typically rejected, thus harming both individuals.

But for the majority of Leave voters, the immigration issue was perceived as one of reciprocity and a loss of control. Rightly or wrongly, many voters felt immigrants have been getting a better deal in terms of jobs, benefits, and public services than they were. They felt immigrants were unfairly “jumping the queue.” And they felt the country had lost control of its borders.
humans  psychology  society 
june 2016 by kme
Emotions Seem to Be Detectable in Air - The Atlantic
But Williams didn’t come away from the stadium empty handed. As he sat and watched the fluctuating readings on the air sensors, he got an idea. In the manner of a typical European soccer crowd, the people went through fits of elation and anger, joy and sorrow. So Williams began to wonder, as he later put it to me, “Do people emit gases as a function of their emotions?”
humans  emotions  pheremones 
may 2016 by kme
Urban Dictionary: Human
Bipedal creature found on Earth. First creature in the biosphere to succesfully refine abstract thought into more than the ability to lie and/or delude itself, humans developed the technique of picturing the way things might be and then planning ways to make reality fit the pattern.

This faculty turns in upon itself, however, when the attempt fails, leading to such emotional conflicts as self-loathing, bias against more succesful others, self-worship, or sublimation of individualism into a group mind.

Humans have borrowed many traits from other species such as hunting for pleasure ( from cats and squids ), enslaving other species ( from ants ), protecting and nurturing other species to gather products from them ( from ants ), spoiling other creatures habitats by their own constructs ( from beavers ), and creating and sharing habitats with other creatures ( from corals, rodents and birds ). Humans have invented several concepts for themselves, such as artistic endevour for its own sake, resource gathering and stockpiling for its own sake, ignorance and self-delusion as a natural right, love and attraction not solely for the purpose of reproduction, worship of the different, lack of diversity as a positive, and worship of the identical.

Humans are capable of percieving that they are less than what they imagine themselves to be. This is not only their major problem, it is also their major strength.
" Some say modern humans are smarter than cavemen, some say we are less. I think we are exactly as smart as cavemen, and that is pretty smart indeed".
humans  hahaonlyserious 
september 2014 by kme

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