The size of social networks | Primates on Facebook | The Economist
"What also struck Dr Marlow, however, was that the number of people on an individual’s friend list with whom he (or she) frequently interacts is remarkably small and stable. The more “active” or intimate the interaction, the smaller and more stable the group."
Here's The Economist article on FB. The best quote: ...people who are members of online social networks are not so much “networking” as they are "broadcasting their lives to an outer tier of acquaintances who aren’t necessarily inside the Dunbar circle,” says Lee Rainie, the director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.The Running Man, Revisited § SEEDMAGAZINE.COM
"A handful of scientists think that these ultra-marathoners are using their bodies just as our hominid forbears once did, a theory known as the endurance running hypothesis (ER)."
running animals to death
In tests where 15 subjects ran and walked on pressure-sensitive treadmills, Lieberman and Rolian found that toe length had no effect on walking. Yet when the subjects were running, an increase in toe length of just 20 percent doubled the amount of mechanical work, meaning that the longer-toed subjects required more metabolic energy, and each footfall produced more shock.
Running deer to death ...
The endurance running hypothesis, the idea that humans evolved as long-distance runners, may have legs thanks to a new study on toes.
But a handful of scientists think that these ultra-marathoners are using their bodies just as our hominid forbears once did, a theory known as the endurance running hypothesis (ER). ER proponents believe that being able to run for extended lengths of time is an adapted trait, most likely for obtaining food, and was the catalyst that forced Homo erectus to evolve from its apelike ancestors. Over time, the survival of the swift-footed shaped the anatomy of modern humans, giving us a body that is difficult to explain absent a marathoning past.
Endurance running hypothesisWhat Makes Us Happy? - The Atlantic (June 2009)
study of success and happiness or the lack of sameEdge: HOW DOES OUR LANGUAGE SHAPE THE WAY WE THINK? By Lera Boroditsky
By Lera Boroditsky
ong time, the idea that language might shape thought was considered
Interesting recent work on Linguistic relativity / Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis related ideas in cognitive linguisticsOldest "Human" Skeleton Found--Disproves "Missing Link"
Ardi instead shows an unexpected mix of advanced characteristics and of primitive traits seen in much older apes that were unlike chimps or gorillas (interactive: Ardi's key features). As such, the skeleton offers a window on what the last common ancestor of humans and living apes might have been like.
Scientists today announced the discovery of the oldest fossil skeleton of a human ancestor. The find reveals that our forebears underwent a previously unknown stage of evolution more than a million years before Lucy, the iconic early human ancestor specimen that walked the Earth 3.2 million years ago. The centerpiece of a treasure trove of new fossils, the skeleton—assigned to a species called Ardipithecus ramidus—belonged to a small-brained, 110-pound (50-kilogram) female nicknamed "Ardi." (See pictures of Ardipithecus ramidus.) The fossil puts to rest the notion, popular since Darwin's time, that a chimpanzee-like missing link—resembling something between humans and today's apes—would eventually be found at the root of the human family tree. Indeed, the new evidence suggests that the study of chimpanzee anatomy and behavior—long used to infer the nature of the earliest human ancestors—is largely irrelevant to understanding our beginnings.
Scientists today announced the discovery of the oldest fossil skeleton of a human ancestor. The find reveals that our forebears underwent a previously unknown stage of evolution more than a million years before Lucy, the iconic early human ancestor specimen that walked the Earth 3.2 million years ago."MISSING LINK" FOUND: New Fossil Links Humans, Lemurs?
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"Ida," the small "missing link" found in Germany that's created a big media splash.
May 19, 2009
missing link in human evolution May 2009 article from Nat. Geo.
News of a 47-million-year-old fossil that may give us more information on primate evolution.Why Are Europeans White? (E1) - a knol by Frank W Sweet
Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen social media galvanize thousands over politics, create as many industries as it has destroyed, and offer an abundance of visual and audio entertainment. But has all this incredible change actually changed us, or just the world we live in? ...
Below are some areas in which social media has had lasting, and arguably permanent effects on the ways in which we live. The question is, are these changes all for the better?
Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen social media galvanize thousands over politics, create as many industries as it has destroyed, and offer an abundance of visual and audio entertainment. But has all this incredible change actually changed us, or just the world we live in? Below are some areas in which social media has had lasting, and arguably permanent effects on the ways in which we live. The question is, are these changes all for the better? Child LiteracyEast Bay Express : Print This Story
Rich, Black, Flunking Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it. By Susan Goldsmith May 21, 2003 Chris Duffey John Ogbu has been compared to Clarence Thomas, denounced by the Urban League, and criticized in The New York Times. Amy Weiser It wasn’t socioeconomics, school funding, or racism that accounted for the students' poor performance, Ogbu says; it was their own attitudes, and those of their parents. Chris Duffey Lionel Fluker John McWhorter believes academia too readily blames white people. The black parents wanted an explanation. Doctors, lawyers, judges, and insurance brokers, many had come to the upscale Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights specifically because of its stellar school district. They expected their children to succeed academically, but most were performing poorly. African-American students were lagging far behind their white classmates in every measure of academic success: grade-point average, stand
John Ogbu attributes more of the responsibility for the achievement gap to Black people than other academics do.
Ogbu's work on the black middle class in Shaker Heights OHThe Americanization of Mental Illness - NYTimes.com
Finally read this NYT Mag article. Western individualism bad for mental health treatment?
To blog about later. "For more than a generation now, we in the West have aggressively spread our modern knowledge of mental illness around the world. We have done this in the name of science, believing that our approaches reveal the biological basis of psychic suffering and dispel prescientific myths and harmful stigma. There is now good evidence to suggest that in the process of teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we’ve been exporting our Western “symptom repertoire” as well. That is, we’ve been changing not only the treatments but also the expression of mental illness in other cultures. Indeed, a handful of mental-health disorders — depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anorexia among them — now appear to be spreading across cultures with the speed of contagious diseases. These symptom clusters are becoming the lingua franca of human suffering, replacing indigenous forms of mental illness."BLDGBLOG: Stonehenge Beneath the Waters of Lake Michigan
In a surprisingly under-reported story from 2007, Mark Holley, a professor of underwater archaeology at Northwestern Michigan College, discovered a series of stones – some of them arranged in a circle and one of which seemed to show carvings of a mastodon – 40-feet beneath the surface waters of Lake Michigan. If verified, the carvings could be as much as 10,000 years old – coincident with the post-Ice Age presence of both humans and mastodons in the upper midwest.
Underwater discovery 2
three peatGobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple? | History & Archaeology | Smithsonian Magazine
Information on the digs at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey.
Turkey: Archeological Dig Reshaping Human History - Newsweek.com
Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey's stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization
"Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey's stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization"
Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?'City of Heroes' character 'Twixt' becomes game's most hated outcast courtesy of Loyola professor - NOLA.com
Get New Orleans, Louisiana latest news. Find photos and videos, comment on the news, and join the forum discussions at NOLA.com
"As part of his experiment, Myers decided to play the game by the designers' rules -- disregarding any customs set by the players. His character soon became very unpopular."
Interesting blog about Professor Myers' research and paper on MMO rules vs MMO social norms
David Myers, a Loyola professor and computer game scholar, looks at his computer screen with his "City of Heroes" online computer game character "Twixt" reflected in his glasses at his home in Slidell Friday, July 3, 2009. "Twixt" became perhaps the game's most reviled, abused player because his playing methods were unpopular.Sacrificial virgins of the Mississippi | Salon Books
@sulaimansaif in reality, the native americans did own land: http://www.salon.com/books/review/2009/08/06/cahokia/index.html [from http://twitter.com/ZainabA/statuses/3161344492]
Timothy Pauketat's "Cahokia: Ancient America's Great City on the Mississippi" MCPL has on order Aug09The Technium: The World Without Technology
The problem with this line of questioning is that technology predated our humanness. Many other animals used tools millions of years before humans. Chimpanzees made (and of course still make) hunting tools from thin sticks to extract termites from mounds, or slam rocks to break nuts. Even termites themselves construct vast towering shells of mud for their homes. Ants herd aphids and farm fungi in gardens. Birds weave elaborate twiggy fabrics for their nests. The strategy of bending the environment to use as if it were part of your body is a billion year old trick at least.
Kevin Kelly on technology-and-humanity's coevolution. "Our genes have co-evolved with our inventions. In the past 10,000 years alone, in fact, our genes have evolved 100 times faster than the average rate for the previous 6 million years. This should not be a surprise. In the same period we domesticated the dog (all those breeds) from wolves, and cows and corn and more from their unrecognizable ancestors. We, too, have been domesticated. We have domesticated ourselves. Our teeth continue to shrink, our muscles thin out, our hair disappear, our molecular digestion adjust to new foods. Technology has domesticated us. As fast as we remake our tools, we remake ourselves. We are co-evolving with our technology, so that we have become deeply co-dependent on it. Sapiens can no longer survive biologically without some kind of tools. Nor can our humanity continue without the technium. In a world without technology, we would not be living, and we would not be human."
the evolution of humans is the evolution of our abilities to analyze and abstract patterns. Languagem, the ultimate pattern abstraction, was crucial to this. (math is just rigorously formal language)
Life before language and before technology
We are co-evolving with our technology, so that we have become deeply co-dependent on it. Sapiens can no longer survive biologically without some kind of tools. Nor can our humanity continue without the technium. In a world without technology, we would not be living, and we would not be humanHow Neanderthals met a grisly fate: devoured by humans | Science | The Observer
One of science's most puzzling mysteries - the disappearance of the Neanderthals - may have been solved. Modern humans ate them, says a leading fossil expert.
Neanderthals? Oh yeah. Humans totally ate them and made their teeth into jewelry - http://tr.im/lLZN [from http://twitter.com/s_m_i/statuses/1848014151]
>One of science's most puzzling mysteries - the disappearance of the Neanderthals - may have been solved. Modern humans ate them, says a leading fossil expert. Mmmm neanderthal burgers.
One of prehistory’s great mysteries is, what happened to the Neanderthals? Here’s an answer: we ate them.