Well comrades, I'm off to spend the festive season in the Motherland, including a week in Siberia, probably with intermittent internet access, so don't miss me too much
Heh, I was waiting for a PUI spree like last year
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Heh, I was waiting for a PUI spree like last year
"ñøw mÿ šįg šüçkś!"
Anyone remember the 'Big Dog' military prototype robot that made it around the internet a year or two ago?
Someone just linked this on slashdot:
Zeus: Heres some pics, just a simpel piece of steel with 4 screws, i could make more of these
Oh yeah and this is what else i did today
Est Sularus Oth Mithas
I don't think there's much academic resistance to the idea that humans, males in particular, show aggressive behaviour. I don't recall any specific literature or lectures by professors that said blatantly otherwise. To be fair, I haven't read much literature on behavioural ecology or similar as that's not my current area of interest. I did attend a guest lecture thing by Agustin Fuentes, who's a behavioural ecologist/primatologist of sorts, and his objection was to labelling certain groups of people as innately more aggressive than other peoples. He did warn about making over-bearing generalisations of aggression in humans as a species; especially as a method for excusing certain violent behaviours.
So, in my experience, academics usually have no problem acknowledging that humans are fairly aggressive (and many use this as a basis for their research). The problem comes when you draw reckless conclusions, or make certain inferences, about this innate aggression without properly substantiating those statements. For example, it can be said that we are somewhat innately aggressive and you only have to look to chimpanzees to see evidence of that. But that comparison falls down when you realise bonobo's are far less aggressive, have a social structure and behaviour more similar to us, and are supposedly closer related to us than chimps are. You also have to take in to consideration that time period of humans that you are comparing with these examples as, for example, humans haven't always been so explicitly monogamous.
When scientists say aggressive behaviour might be innate, it doesn't give any indication of how much aggression is innate or to what it extent. Also, you have to think about the conditions in which aggressive behaviour is exhibited by our ancestors, contemporaries or evolutionary cousins. It may be that a lot of this aggression is related to the environment and social dynamics. If our hand did partially evolve due to fighting (which I personally doubt), it doesn't mean that this fighting behaviour is necessary or unavoidable. We don't live under the same circumstances as we did ~6mya. Because a lot of people do have anger issues, at least on a small level, I think it's fair to say that we at least have some innate aggressive behaviour (like many animals) that may or may not be able to be avoided to a certain degree. However, I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is an excuse for the way some people behave or for the behaviour of current society. On a whole, we're probably less aggressive than we were 50kya and that would make sense as levels of violence do tend to rely on social constructs and the surrounding 'environment' (I'm not talking about the climate and landscape, but more a behavioural, social, environment).
TL;DR - I think that quoted article above is making an issue when there actually isn't one. I don't recall reading a research article that relies so much on our innate aggression as a means for an evolved adaptation before, so I give credit to Carrier that he may be right that there isn't much literature on the subject as there could be. However, I think he's also making it seem as if it never crossed anyone's mind before and that he's doing something quite controversial and against the status quo. I think Carrier might be exaggerating things a little bit because it will help push media coverage, which in turn may help him acquire grants easier or something else like that.
I don't really think that's an argument for anything. For example, we're still not sure how we replaced Neandertals but since they were much more robust than us, I wouldn't think that it was due to us being more aggressive than them or anything. They also had tools and weapons just like us, with the added benefit (or eventual cost) of a larger average brain size. I imagine it (us replacing them) would probably be to adaptability or something else that meant we had higher fitness in the same environment (i.e. produced more).
If we start from ~4mya and continue the lineage to today, you see our ancestors (generally) becoming more and more gracile with the more-robust ancestors dying off. Similarly, sexual dimorphism has also tended to decline and sexual dimorphism is usually a sign of certain social dynamics or behaviours where the men are in a more fierce competition for mates (probably a polygamous mating society). Aggressive behaviour in chimpanzees is usually exhibited by males completing for females or social status. Thus, I think that our gracile adaptations may also be a sign that intra-species competitiveness has declined and that aggressive/physical behaviour has declined, to an extent, with it.
So of course we had to have some aggression to at least be where we are today, but whether it played a huge role in out-competing our more robust ancestors I'm not so sure. I think it's more likely that we out-competed them due to our adaptive differences (more gracile, larger cranial capacity, potentially different diets as inferred from the differences in tooth size and jaw, possibly more adapted for travelling long distances, etc). Saying that without aggression we wouldn't be here, is the same as saying without XXXXX we wouldn't be here. A lot of things could fill that space but whether they were absolutely instrumental in our survival is a different story. It doesn't really tell us much about why we succeeded or how important that behaviour/adaptation was to our evolution.
Does anyone here pretend otherwise though? I'm not sure if there's an argument here or whether you're just stating something
By having things like psychiatrists, psychologists, therapist, mental health experts and what not gives me the impression that society acknowledges people often have behavioural problems, especially of the violent kind. As with the previous article you quoted that I wrote a reply to on the other page, I'm always lost by the reasoning of things like "we need to acknowledge blah blah blah" because the reasoning always stops there. It doesn't seem to go further. I'm left thinking "well, we do acknowledge blah blah blah", "is there any evidence that we don't acknowledge this?", if so "what does it actually mean?", and "how does not acknowledging, or acknowledging, blah blah blah actually effect the problem we're analysing?". It seems that the argument thinks that if we suddenly told boys that they have a natural disposition to be angry sometimes that they will never exhibit violent behaviour again. Or that we should encourage their natural aggression but in controlled environments and this will prevent them from being overly violent. As I've stated, I doubt this is actually an issue and, if it was, I don't think it would target the at risk people who actually commit these horrendous crimes.
People are generally asking the right questions but they seem to stop after one or two questions and then make their conclusions about what they think the issue is. From my experience, nothing is that simple if you want to legitimately investigate the problem. Often, there's no objective way to test these hypotheses (acknowledging aggression/not enough good fathers/no honour, code, or ethics in children these days) because they're vague and don't really tell us much about what the hypotheses is actually saying. Questions need to be asked like the ones I hypothetically stated in the paragraph above.
If you want a more realistic summary of the research that BBC article is based on, this one pretty much sums up my original thoughts on it:
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com ... -to-fight/
99.9% of the time, take everything written in mainstream media about science research with a grain of salt. Sometimes they will have scientists to write about the research (not usually the scientists involved with that research, but a public figure with a known stance on the issue) but you have to look in to their background to see what their biases are. I've seen creationists with PhDs write articles about science research or scientists working for oil companies write about global warming. That's not to say journalists are always wrong but just that they might: leave out details, not reveal bias, not offer alternative explanations, not reach out to relevant scientists who have other thoughts about the study, or make conclusions/misinterpretations to spice up the story.
Without spending hours pouring through relevant literature to determine the merit of a research article, the best way to get an honest opinion on research is to read blogs by scientists. As I mentioned before, blogs by scientists tend to be linked in a close community. That means there's sort of a peer-review thing going on where articles written by one blog are analysed by other bloggers in similar fields as well as scientists who don't have blogs but actively read blogs and comment on them.
Sorry for the long post, I just think some of these topics we're talking about can't just be summed up in a couple of sentences; they need exploring from multiple angles. Again, I'm not really making any arguments about what may be the cause of violence like school shootings or whatever, I'm just questioning the arguments of other people as I don't think some of these arguments have been explored even close to their potential. Thus, I don't expect you to reply to the arguments by me in this post
If you can expand further on why you think we need to acknowledge aggression or whatever, that would be better than addressing the issues I raised here.
Visiting the lady so the liver at least will be fine ^D
MrC, got limited time on the laptop before I'm brutally ravished again so will reply in detail at a later date. Not trying to "start something" (agent provocateur? moi?! ) though, I do see that certainly the radical feminists seem to think that a cull to various extents of the male population would do the world a whole lot of good. These views are too extreme to be taken seriously by the mainstream, but on a less visible level it does seem to me that in terms of education for example boys tend to be systematically discouraged from being boys.
onу ща the funniest things I have seen in a long time, cheers!!!
Jake, nice one is the forest a sort of Finnish eBay for knife handle materials?
Nope, got 2 deer heads from my philosophy teacher few days ago as a christmas present... I skinned the other one and named it Rudolph, don't know what to do with the other one yet.
Rudolph will become a deer-trophy
Est Sularus Oth Mithas
I hope you kept that bucket.
you could drink deer all day long..
Gun Freak wrote:
Oh my friggin god stop being so awesome, that thing is pure kick ass. Most innovative and creative pneumatic that the files have ever come by!
Can't ask for a better compliment!!
and then play raindeer games!
When life gives you lemons...throw them back they suck!
... and touching himself.
hehe surprisingly sober
Build a simple cannon for new year, just to shoot blanks with nice flash and loud bang Thinking of burks disks, the plastic disks i have used will make small shrapnel and they are hard to cut. Do you think 154ml chamber at 6x would burst a 1" soda can disk?
Est Sularus Oth Mithas
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