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Wanderlust
13-07-16, 21:38
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160713102955.htm

"Camp stability predicts patterns of hunter–gatherer cooperation"

Date: July 13, 2016
Source:University College London - UCL

Reciprocal food-sharing is more prevalent in stable hunter-gatherer camps, shows new UCL research that sheds light on the evolutionary roots of human cooperation.


The research explores patterns of food-sharing among the Agta, a population of Filipino hunter-gatherers. It finds that reciprocal food-sharing is more prevalent in stable camps (with fewer changes in membership over time); while in less stable camps individuals acquire resources by taking from others -- known as 'demand sharing'.


Exploring social dynamics in the last remaining groups of present day hunter-gatherers is essential for understanding the factors that shaped the evolution of our widespread cooperation, especially with non-kin.


The study, published in the Royal Society journal Open Science, is the first to report a real-world association between patterns of cooperation and group stability.


First author of the study, Daniel Smith (UCL Anthropology), said: "Cooperation between unrelated individuals is rare in animals, yet extensive among humans. Reciprocity -- the principle of "you scratch my back, I scratch yours" -- may explain this non-kin cooperation, yet requires stable groups and repeated interactions to evolve.


"Our research shows that hunter-gatherer cooperation is extremely flexible -- reflecting either reciprocity or demand sharing depending on the frequency of repeated interactions between camp members."


The authors looked at two types of food-sharing data. Firstly, details of actual food-sharing from six Agta camps were examined to explore whether differences in camp stability predicted patterns of food-sharing. Secondly, games were also conducted in which individuals were asked to distribute resources between themselves and other camp-mates. These games were conducted with 324 Agta over 18 separate camps.


In one of the games, participants were shown their own picture, along with other randomly selected adults from camp. They were then given a number of small wooden tokens, each representing 125g rice, equal to the number of camp-mates' photos. Not every picture including the subject's could end up with rice on it, introducing a social dilemma regarding whether to share, as it would be impossible for everyone to receive rice. Participants then decided, token by token, whether to keep the rice for themselves, or to give to a camp-mate.


The results showed that, firstly, stable camps were more likely to display reciprocity in the actual food-sharing analyses. Patterns of food-sharing in unstable camps were not reciprocal, consistent with demand sharing, whereby individuals take resources from others rather than being given them. Secondly, individuals from more stable camps were increasingly likely to give resources to others and less likely to take resources in the games.


Despite differences in cooperation, individuals from both stable and unstable camps received resources from others. This distribution of resources among camp-mates is crucial for hunter-gatherers' survival. As foraging success is variable it is likely that, on any given day, an individual may return to camp with no resources. Food-sharing is therefore essential to reduce the likelihood of individuals going without resources for extended lengths of time.


Last author, Professor Ruth Mace (UCL Anthropology), added: "Food sharing and cooperation are at the centre of hunter-gatherers lifestyle. No other Apes share food or cooperate to the extent that humans do. A complex network of sharing and cooperation exists within camps and between camps in different hunter-gatherer groups, regulated by social rules, friendship ties, food taboos, kinship and supernatural beliefs. Sharing is a crucial adaptation to hunter-gatherers' lifestyles, central to their resilience -- and central to the evolution of humankind."

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For me, some takeaways are:

1.) Humans are prone to ingroup bias. No surprise there.

2.) Group stability (fewer changes in membership over time) is important to encouraging a reciprocal sharing of resources.

3.) Proximity and repeated interactions encourage a reciprocal sharing of resources.

4.) Where there is greater group instability (newer faces, more differences, less familiarity), people are less inclined to share and more inclined to take what they need--needless to say, this could cause fighting, resentment, create social instability and inequality.

5.) As far as a modern day implication and application, all of the above reasons are why I believe that ideally, more ethnically/racially/religiously/socially homogeneous communities are better served by a slower, more gradual, measured infusion of "outsiders" over time and that true integration, garnered in part by "proximity and repeated interactions," is crucial.
a.) Integration is aided by the sharing of certain traits, qualities, values, etc.... The article doesn't specify which traits (adhering to the same social rules, friendship ties, supernatural beliefs, etc...) are more valued or have a "higher currency" in regards to forming stronger and more cohesive group stability but theoretically, possessing any of the traits could be enough to "overpower," "pardon" or "make up for" the lack of another trait. Ex: If everyone follows the same social rules--two of which might be to not steal or murder--than what someone looks like, where they come from, or what they believe in may become irrelevant in the eyes of the "ingroup." Or if an outsider is befriended or married, whether they follow all the social rules or not may not matter as much.
6.) This study could also be used to justify why humanity may be better served by staying in our own corners, amongst ourselves, with people we identify with for whatever reasons, and limiting exposure to outside things that disrupt group stability.

LeBrok
14-07-16, 00:19
I find it very interesting, like a window into human primal instincts, or human soul (if someone cares).
I touched on this sharing/justice instinct in this thread:
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/29142-Were-Hunter-Gatherers-first-communists
And have to find time to finish this one:
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/30658-What-We-Inherited-From-Hunter-Gatherers-(The-genetic-memory-of-the-past)

LeBrok
14-07-16, 00:50
For me, some takeaways are:

1.) Humans are prone to ingroup bias. No surprise there. "Ingroup" might be misleading description. It happens usually in a group which has subgroups. Members strongly identify with subgroups and this is where their loyalty is strongest.
Solution: Make everybody feel as belonging to one group, no matter how big.


2.) Group stability (fewer changes in membership over time) is important to encouraging a reciprocal sharing of resources. Solution: Be inclusive and equal towards new members and make them feel like belonging to one group.


3.) Proximity and repeated interactions encourage a reciprocal sharing of resources. It binds and unites the group, therefore increases sharing.


4.) Where there is greater group instability (newer faces, more differences, less familiarity), people are less inclined to share and more inclined to take what they need--needless to say, this could cause fighting, resentment, create social instability and inequality. We are discendents of the strongest groups on earth. The weaker ones were either killed off or assimilated. Common denominator for these strongest groups was one religion, one culture, one language, and often same physical appearance but not necessarily. Obviously a uniform society is more coherent and internally more peaceful, therefore stronger.
However, there are still so many different groups left on this planet, that typical and traditional "war and conquer" method to fully unify the planet is out of the question. The Islamic Radicals are fully subscribed to this archaic process and we can see the disastrous results. Stalin and Hitler had their own versions of unification of the world by force. Let's not go there anymore.
The second option of living in peace is total isolation and living in "airtight" countries, like an Amish village. However it is not a realistic idea and the insulation doesn't protect countries from invasion. US tried that before WW2 and even during and it didn't work out at all.
But the world is getting smaller, turning into a global village, so other solutions for living in peace are in dire need. I don't see other way but only through tolerance, inclusiveness and equality.
On a sad note, my idea of one mixed society of the future scared many off:
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/28314-Will-all-people-of-the-world-mix-creating-one-race-in-the-future
We are not ready!

Wanderlust
14-07-16, 06:23
I like the way you think LeBrok! :good_job:


I find it very interesting, like a window into human primal instincts, or human soul (if someone cares).
I touched on this sharing/justice instinct in this thread:
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/29142-Were-Hunter-Gatherers-first-communists

I totally buy the notion that communal sharing is embedded within our DNA. However, if humans are at our core, tribalistic, then that means we possess the innate potential for both "communism" and "fascism"; in times of war and conflict, or of scarcity and hardships, it may have been beneficial to our ancestors' survival to unite behind a "focused" leader, rally around self-serving myths and narratives, oppose egalitarianism, and create prejudicial stereotypes in order to justify disenfranchising others and taking what we needed. The study I mention in the OP posits that "demand sharing" or taking from others, is what happens within a "less stable" or dissimilar group--the more we "otherize" another person or group, the less inclined we are to share and cooperate with them, to the point where we will simply take what we need. Perhaps it's just that bad times bring out the worst in us--there was just a study done by a group of German economists who found that far right/nationalist/fascist political movements always gain traction for a decade following severe financial crises.

Nevertheless, I do agree with you that the enduring impulse that guides us is one towards fairness, reciprocity, equality and justice; even in times where feudalism, imperialism, fascism and unfettered capitalism dominated, there were always voices crying out and fighting for freedom and justice for all.

And somewhat tangentially, but still related, there was a study done at UC Berkeley a few years ago that found that "the pursuit of self-interest is a fundamental motive among society’s elite, and the increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing." So, to your point, the farther we stray from communal sharing and reciprocity, the greedier and more self-interested we're inclined to become. No shock there...


The “upper class,” as defined by the study, were more likely to break the law while driving, take candy from children, lie in negotiation, cheat to raise their odds of winning a prize and endorse unethical behavior at work, the research found. The solution, Piff said, is to find a way to increase empathy among wealthier people.


“It’s not that the rich are innately bad, but as you rise in the ranks -- whether as a person or a nonhuman primate -- you become more self-focused,” Piff said. “You can change that by reminding upper-class people of the needs of others. That may not be their default, but have them do it is sufficient to increase their patterns of altruistic behavior.”

Poorer participants may be less likely to cheat because they must rely more on their community to get by, and thus are more likely adhere to community standards, Piff said. By comparison, “upper-class individuals are more self-focused, they privilege themselves over others, and they engage in self-interested patterns of behavior,” he said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-02-27/wealthier-people-more-likely-than-poorer-to-lie-or-cheat-researchers-find



And have to find time to finish this one:
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/30658-What-We-Inherited-From-Hunter-Gatherers-(The-genetic-memory-of-the-past)


This inspires another tangential conversation: Are you familiar with the hunter vs. farmer hypothesis? It concerns ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and posits that the disorder is indeed genetic, but far from being a disadvantage, was an evolutionary asset millennia ago when our ancestors were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Purportedly, many of the typical traits attributed to ADHD -- such as impulsivity, hyper focus, distractibility and novelty-seeking -- were beneficial at a time when our forebears were struggling to survive in harsh and uncertain pre-agricultural, subsistence environments, but that as we evolved into an agricultural society, ADHD became more of a maladaptive trait.

http://i66.tinypic.com/vyw5kp.jpg

Researchers even tested the theory using data from the northern Kenyan Ariaal tribe. About 35 years ago, the tribe essentially split in two, when some members who had been nomadic settled down into an agricultural way of life. Both factions of the tribe were tested for the DRD4 7R+ allele, a genetic variation linked to ADHD symptoms. The study found that the still-nomadic members who had the variant allele were generally healthier than those who lacked it. Conversely, the "agricultural" tribe members exhibited the opposite effect: Those with the allele associated with ADHD fared worse than those lacking it, mirroring the situation in, for instance, the U.S.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14100-did-hyperactivity-evolve-as-a-survival-aid-for-nomads

And coming back around to your "What We Inherited From Hunter Gatherers" thread, as someone who has ADHD, I have never felt more connected to my hunter-gatherer ancestors. lol For example, I like that next to your ethnicity, you put "citizen of the world" because that's precisely how I see myself. I'm a restless nomad and wanderer at heart. The world and its inhabitants are too magnificent, full of wonder and most importantly, stimulating--they beg to be explored and indulged. I've always been a bit more fascinated by what lay beyond the horizon. I know for a fact that's partially why I embrace "difference" and am not put off by it--I'm driven more so by curiosity, adventure-seeking and risk-taking than I am by fear. Those traits tend to serve me personally, but they certainly come with potential consequences and implications for everyone else. lol

Wanderlust
14-07-16, 07:57
"Ingroup" might be misleading description. It happens usually in a group which has subgroups. Members strongly identify with subgroups and this is where their loyalty is strongest.
Solution: Make everybody feel as belonging to one group, no matter how big.

Solution: Be inclusive and equal towards new members and make them feel like belonging to one group.
It binds and unites the group, therefore increases sharing.

Both of these solutions are spot on! :good_job: But how do we implement them? This may seem harsh but I don't put much faith in the ability of most people to rise above their basest impulses. I think people need catalysts; they need to be herded and directed towards doing the right thing, even during the best of times--and in times of uncertainty and crises, they require this even more so.

I know that Sweden has primarily fallen on the Left-Wing establishment (government, media, social institutions, nonprofit organizations) to successfully indoctrinate the masses and I say this without cynicism. Again, in times of hardships, as they exist now throughout the world, people may retreat to clannish tribalism and xenophobia, but generally speaking, I don't feel that Sweden is a reluctantly multicultural nation--there may be some low level resentments concerning "political correctness" but we tend to move on and/or repress. lol Scandinavians are already prone to tribalism, so for Swedes to be as open as we are, is an accomplishment, in and of itself. But I think the politically sponsored campaign to promote humanitarianism, multiculturalism, etc... has had more success here than say in Norway or Denmark where there seems to be a different "feel" in the air about these matters.

In a country like the US, where the cult of personality is particularly strong, it seems that they benefit most immediately from what I call the "healers, rebels and redeemers":exceptional people that rise up as exemplars and push them forward culturally, socially, and politically. The "healers" belong to the dominant group, the establishment, the status quo, like Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt and Pres. Lyndon Johnson who must force their own into acquiesce by hook or by crook; then there are the unapologetic rebels like Gloria Steinem, Malcolm X and Che Guevara that provoke and shake the status-quo to its foundation; and last but not least, there are the redeemers like MLK Jr., Malala Yousafzai, and Pres. Obama, who bluntly and arguably, serve more as the "credit to their race" style catalysts for openness and acceptance.

So, I'm guessing...a multi-pronged approach? lol


We are discendents of the strongest groups on earth. The weaker ones were either killed off or assimilated. Common denominator for these strongest groups was one religion, one culture, one language, and often same physical appearance but not necessarily. Obviously a uniform society is more coherent and internally more peaceful, therefore stronger.
However, there are still so many different groups left on this planet, that typical and traditional "war and conquer" method to fully unify the planet is out of the question. The Islamic Radicals are fully subscribed to this archaic process and we can see the disastrous results. Stalin and Hitler had their own versions of unification of the world by force. Let's not go there anymore.
The second option of living in peace is total isolation and living in "airtight" countries, like an Amish village. However it is not a realistic idea and the insulation doesn't protect countries from invasion. US tried that before WW2 and even during and it didn't work out at all.
But the world is getting smaller, turning into a global village, so other solutions for living in peace are in dire need. I don't see other way but only through tolerance, inclusiveness and equality.On a sad note, my idea of one mixed society of the future scared many off:http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/28314-Will-all-people-of-the-world-mix-creating-one-race-in-the-future
We are not ready!

Agreed on all accounts. And I certainly agree that after another 1,000 years, we'll most likely be a lot closer to global homogeneity across racial/ethnic/cultural/social lines. It took us thousands and thousands of years to look and act differently but I'm guessing rapid globalization and technological advances will more speedily revert us back to a brown mass of interconnected, communal dwellers. lol

P.S. I made a post before this one but was told that it was awaiting a Moderator's approval or something to that effect. Is there a particular reason for this?

LeBrok
14-07-16, 08:50
There is a filter embedded in this BB/website to catch unwanted posts. It is not clear however how and what it exactly filters, perhaps Maciamo have an answer. On occasions my posts get stuck too. From time to time I'm visiting posts in Limbo to free the lost "souls", or send them to "Hell" if they deserve this.
I posts responses later when time allows.
Later

LeBrok
15-07-16, 07:03
I like the way you think LeBrok! :good_job:



I totally buy the notion that communal sharing is embedded within our DNA. However, if humans are at our core, tribalistic, then that means we possess the innate potential for both "communism" and "fascism"; in times of war and conflict, or of scarcity and hardships, it may have been beneficial to our ancestors' survival to unite behind a "focused" leader, rally around self-serving myths and narratives, oppose egalitarianism, and create prejudicial stereotypes in order to justify disenfranchising others and taking what we needed. The study I mention in the OP posits that "demand sharing" or taking from others, is what happens within a "less stable" or dissimilar group--the more we "otherize" another person or group, the less inclined we are to share and cooperate with them, to the point where we will simply take what we need. Both traits of basic tribalism, strong in small hunter gatherers groups. Share only with your group and protect and die for own group. It is common for every group to think of themselves as superior people, chosen people, just people, etc. A natural human condition, a blessing when in fierce competition with other groups for limited food and land resources and to kill the others to survive, but a handicap for our modern world when we have to live in peace.



Perhaps it's just that bad times bring out the worst in us--there was just a study done by a group of German economists who found that far right/nationalist/fascist political movements always gain traction for a decade following severe financial crises.
As one of the study you cited states that fearful people are more conservative. We could paraphrase it, that fear potentiates conservative side in people. The same people in peaceful and plentiful times are more liberal and tolerant, but they change to conservative stand in face of danger. Example of today's Europe in face of rampant terrorism, unrest in middle East and overload of emigrants gave a springboard to conservative/nationalistic political parties.


And somewhat tangentially, but still related, there was a study done at UC Berkeley a few years ago that found that "the pursuit of self-interest is a fundamental motive among society’s elite, and the increased want associated with greater wealth and status can promote wrongdoing." So, to your point, the farther we stray from communal sharing and reciprocity, the greedier and more self-interested we're inclined to become. No shock there...It is still in agreement with "my group" primal instinct. The privileged class, the elite, stuck together, protected their own, benefited their own. The harm and injustice was done to the others, to the other group. The elite could have done more wrong to the others because they had the means to do so. Unless, there is a revolution and the other group dominates. Russian, Chinese and French revolutions come to mind. The best cure again is to make all of participants to feel like belonging to one group. If there is only one group, there are no the others to blame, harm or kill.




http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-02-27/wealthier-people-more-likely-than-poorer-to-lie-or-cheat-researchers-find
I would think it is a function of means and opportunity. Having wealth gives more means and opportunities to do bad or just silly mistakes. I don't think rich are necessarily a different nature people from the rest. Same as to answer a question "why rich donate more to charities?" In my mind the true answer is "If poor had the money they would have donated a lot too."





This inspires another tangential conversation: Are you familiar with the hunter vs. farmer hypothesis? It concerns ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and posits that the disorder is indeed genetic, but far from being a disadvantage, was an evolutionary asset millennia ago when our ancestors were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Purportedly, many of the typical traits attributed to ADHD -- such as impulsivity, hyper focus, distractibility and novelty-seeking -- were beneficial at a time when our forebears were struggling to survive in harsh and uncertain pre-agricultural, subsistence environments, but that as we evolved into an agricultural society, ADHD became more of a maladaptive trait.
It is quite intriguing. On one had HGs have to change attention often to make sure they notice a danger or opportunity around. On other hand they should have long attention span when they sit quietly for hours in a bush waiting for a prey to go by. Perhaps it is context oriented. They only are able to concentrate when they have something joyful to do. We naturally embrace pleasure and avoid discomfort. By way of natural selection, they should be wired to experience hunting and anything related to hunting pleasantly. We don't have a specific genes implicated in it yet, matter of time, but a simple observation should give us right clues. For instance, you don't need to force HGs to go hunting, they eagerly run for it, but you need to force them into farming or sitting in classroom for hours. Now the latter feel very uncomfortable to them, and no wonder they constantly shift attention, just to find something joyful.


Researchers even tested the theory using data from the northern Kenyan Ariaal tribe. About 35 years ago, the tribe essentially split in two, when some members who had been nomadic settled down into an agricultural way of life. Both factions of the tribe were tested for the DRD4 7R+ allele, a genetic variation linked to ADHD symptoms. The study found that the still-nomadic members who had the variant allele were generally healthier than those who lacked it. Conversely, the "agricultural" tribe members exhibited the opposite effect: Those with the allele associated with ADHD fared worse than those lacking it, mirroring the situation in, for instance, the U.S.I'm suspecting that they could have gotten some admixtures of farmer's genes from around. Affecting the stability of the group perhaps. It is very unlikely that pure HGs would do farming on their own accord. Getting farmer genes, the predisposition to farming, would. Genetic admixture can also explain why the group with farmer admixture had less ADHD genes and the group of pure HGs more. You see, small hunter gather groups have same genetic code. They all look and behave almost like twins, have almost exact same genes with very small variations.



And coming back around to your "What We Inherited From Hunter Gatherers" thread, as someone who has ADHD, I have never felt more connected to my hunter-gatherer ancestors. lol For example, I like that next to your ethnicity, you put "citizen of the world" because that's precisely how I see myself. I'm a restless nomad and wanderer at heart. The world and its inhabitants are too magnificent, full of wonder and most importantly, stimulating--they beg to be explored and indulged. I've always been a bit more fascinated by what lay beyond the horizon. I know for a fact that's partially why I embrace "difference" and am not put off by it--I'm driven more so by curiosity, adventure-seeking and risk-taking than I am by fear. Those traits tend to serve me personally, but they certainly come with potential consequences and implications for everyone else. lolI'm less of a roaming person than you. The type of Indo-European cowboy roaming the Steppe on domesticated horse, if you like. However my curiosity of everything was much stronger than the fear of unknown. Or should I say the excitement of unknown for me, compared to fear of unknown in most of people.

LeBrok
15-07-16, 07:47
Both of these solutions are spot on! :good_job: But how do we implement them? This may seem harsh but I don't put much faith in the ability of most people to rise above their basest impulses. I think people need catalysts; they need to be herded and directed towards doing the right thing, even during the best of times--and in times of uncertainty and crises, they require this even more so. For short term we should use reason, education and explanation. It will be helped by prosperity and peace, which makes people more mellow. Long term look is more exciting. Once we blend together in few hundreds or a thousand years and start speaking one language there will be no others, just us.
Not that I'm a fan of this brownish type of citizen and lack of cultural diversity, but no matter what I like or not, the world is on a trend towards this scenario.




I know that Sweden has primarily fallen on the Left-Wing establishment (government, media, social institutions, nonprofit organizations) to successfully indoctrinate the masses and I say this without cynicism. Again, in times of hardships, as they exist now throughout the world, people may retreat to clannish tribalism and xenophobia, but generally speaking, I don't feel that Sweden is a reluctantly multicultural nation--there may be some low level resentments concerning "political correctness" but we tend to move on and/or repress. lol Scandinavians are already prone to tribalism, so for Swedes to be as open as we are, is an accomplishment, in and of itself. But I think the politically sponsored campaign to promote humanitarianism, multiculturalism, etc... has had more success here than say in Norway or Denmark where there seems to be a different "feel" in the air about these matters. I like Canadian multiculturalism, openness and inclusiveness. I'm proud to call myself Canadian from day one. Coming from Europe I couldn't even imagine that people can be this tolerant, though I was treated very well in Italy too. And if feels damn good!


In a country like the US, where the cult of personality is particularly strong, it seems that they benefit most immediately from what I call the "healers, rebels and redeemers":exceptional people that rise up as exemplars and push them forward culturally, socially, and politically. The "healers" belong to the dominant group, the establishment, the status quo, like Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt and Pres. Lyndon Johnson who must force their own into acquiesce by hook or by crook; then there are the unapologetic rebels like Gloria Steinem, Malcolm X and Che Guevara that provoke and shake the status-quo to its foundation; and last but not least, there are the redeemers like MLK Jr., Malala Yousafzai, and Pres. Obama, who bluntly and arguably, serve more as the "credit to their race" style catalysts for openness and acceptance. I would add Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos and few alike, the best entrepreneurs together with above listed giants. And let's not forget that Albert Einstein lived there too.