#6441

toyotathon posted:

nobody else thinks it's weird how we are in a very tiny group of animals where from child to adulthood we are half-raised by non-mothers, to improve fitness of non-biological offspring

pretty weird social system for an animal. typically animal parents up fitness for just their own kids.

okay bye


i think it's clear enough that from a evolutionary perspective we're substantially down the path towards eusociality. we have a ton of social signal instincts that are advantagous for organizing and maintaining stable groups but whose involuntary nature arguably makes them bad for individuals, and a special word to describe the widely and rightfully reviled people who lack them, "sociopaths." this is why socialism is the future

#6442
(tears i made that post out of pure spite)
#6443
its the 70s sociobiology debates but every time someone says the word fitness i get madder
#6444

The Politics of Sociobiology

Stephen Jay Gould, Joseph Alper, Bertram Bruce, Robin Crompton, and Val Dusek, , et al.
May 31, 1979 Issue

In response to:
The Illusion of Sociobiology from the October 12, 1978 issue

To the Editors:

We were pleased to read Stuart Hampshire’s review of On Human Nature (NYR, October 12) in which he shows the crucial philosophical flaws which undermine the entire structure of human sociobiology. However, in restricting himself purely to the philosophical problems inherent in On Human Nature, Hampshire neglected the social and political issues which are at the heart of the sociobiology controversy. Three years ago many of us wrote a letter (NYR, November 13, 1975) in response to a review of E.O. Wilson’s earlier book, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, in which we pointed out the political content of this new field. We expressed concern at the likelihood that pseudo-scientific ideas would be used once more in the public arena to justify social policy. The events of the intervening years have fully justified our initial fears.

Numerous articles in the popular media have used sociobiological theories to justify the status quo. In an article entitled, “A Genetic Defense of the Free Market,” Business Week (April 10, 1978) stated: “Bioeconomics says that government programs that force individuals to be less competitive and selfish than they are genetically programmed to be are preordained to fail.” Newsweek and Time have both run articles on sociobiology which comment upon the inevitability of male dominance. Considering the upsurge over the past ten years in women fighting for equality, it is no coincidence that the press has seized upon theories that can be used to perpetuate and justify the subordination of women.

Fortunately, human sociobiology has not gone unchallenged. Hampshire, in his review, points out how Wilson’s theory founders when he attempts to explain mental states such as indoctrinability by a causal physical theory based upon genetics and neurophysiology. Hampshire argues that only those human processes that can be described entirely in terms of objective observable behavior, without recourse to descriptions of mental states, are amenable to a proper sociobiological analysis. The example of a trait accessible to proper study chosen by Hampshire is male dominance. We disagree. Since we live in a society that is rife with sexism, the definition and measurement of male dominance, by necessity, depends upon the outlook of the observer. In its entire treatment of sex roles and sexual selection, On Human Nature reveals the sexism of our culture. For example, Wilson casually, and without substantiation, makes such statements as: “In general, girls are predisposed to be more intimately sociable and less physically venturesome.”

Because human behavior such as male dominance is intimately connected with political concerns, sociobiology has been able to achieve a public prominence totally incommensurate with its intellectual worth. It is precisely as a result of this link to political questions that a purely philosophical critique, even one which amply reveals the emptiness and illusion of a human sociobiology, does not undermine the acceptance of this new discipline.

That On Human Nature is political, that it contains prescriptive and proscriptive conclusions for social policy, is apparent. Wilson states without any scientific evidence: “Even with identical education for men and women and equal access to all professions, men are likely to maintain disproportionate representation in political life, business, and science” (p. 133). He goes on to say that society could compensate for this innate inequality, but at a price: “…the amount of regulation required would certainly place some personal freedoms in jeopardy, and at least a few individuals would not be allowed to reach their full potential.” There is no evidence that equality entails such costs. And on a broader political front, Wilson also is confident, without evidence, in declaring that certain social organizations are inaccessible to us: “We already know, to take two extreme and opposite examples, that the worlds of William Graham Sumner, the absolute Social Darwinist, and Mikhail Bakunin, the anarchist, are biologically impossible” (p. 208, emphasis ours).

At the present time, many technical criticisms of sociobiology have come from within anthropology and biology. Among the issues that have been raised are the misuse of animal analogies, the methodological flaws in studies claiming to show evidence for the genetic basis of human social traits, and misreadings and distortions of the anthropological literature. Despite the sociobiologists’ disavowal of Social Darwinism, the science that stands behind sociobiology has as little rigorous standing in its application to human society as Social Darwinism did in its attempt to explain the social order. Unfortunately, there are those who have been attracted by the spurious promise of reducing such disparate fields as economics, government, and psychology to a biological science. Given the lack of scientific justification, this has only been made possible by certain ingrained cultural beliefs in biological determinism. Instead of quaint historical notions about individual human traits “running in the blood,” we now have “spite,” “competitiveness,” and “xenophobia” running in the genes, and with as little empirical evidence as had the outdated notions.

The application of sociobiological reasoning to the study of human behavior has met with controversy wherever it has been introduced. Since sociobiology has such political underpinnings, philosophical and scientific critiques alone will not deny it a receptive audience. Human sociobiology will rise and fall as one element in the political conflicts that surround the social institutions it tries to legitimate and defend.

Joseph Alper, professor of chemistry, University of Massachusetts, Boston; Jonathan Beckwith, professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, Harvard Medical School; Bertram Bruce, scientist, artificial intelligence, Bolt, Beranek, and Newman, Inc.; Robin Crompton, graduate student, bioanthropology, Harvard University; Val Dusek, professor of philosophy, University of New Hampshire; Edward Egelman, graduate student, biophysics, Brandeis University; Stephen Jay Gould, professor in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University; Ruth Hubbard, professor of biology, Harvard University; Hiroshi Inouye, research fellow, Harvard Medical School; Robert Lange, professor of physics, Brandeis University; Lila Leibowitz, professor of anthropology, Northeastern University; Richard Lewontin, professor of biology, Harvard University; Freda Salzman, professor of physics, University of Massachusetts, Boston

#6445
so neither of those posts address eusociality as a coherent system of animal organization, they address lazy biological determinism from the mid-70s. no argument here.

wilson's a big-name thinker with garbage politics, but since i'm not a liberal i know scientific truths exist external to the features of the people making them. doesn't say much of anything about the truth of GR that einstein was a socialist or early QM that heisenberg was a willing nazi. aside from his politics wilson has bad intellectual habits like being a massive reductionist, which slips into biological determinism; he's a bad mascot. but there are hundreds and hundreds of ecologists and biologists now studying eusociality because there's acceptance that 2 out of 3 characteristics of the eusocials are shared by humans (cooperative child care and overlapping generations in same dwelling). the widely-rejected third (reproductive division of labor) is the last eusocial trait to form, and locks in a class society as caste society. plenty of eichmanns in the human ruling class today salivate over total social control through genes, so to imagine this is an impossible path seems like a good way to unknowingly walk it.

the mass curiosity over human eusociality, whether we've invented a brand-new social system or are iterating on a rare (but successful) social system discovered by other animals first, is wider than just EO wilson. your arrows about the debate in the 70s miss the mark, sorry tears.
#6446
probably a sign that it was written in the 70s and doesn't address eusociality, is the just-so, lazy sociobiology explanations for patriarchy. eusociality is matriarchal in every instance. like the giant female nest-guards hound and peck at lazy workers like asshole bee cops. like i said tho that current is the last to form and transition species with eusocial labor organization sans reproduction have been discovered (i can dig up the paper if you want..)

good thing humans haven't discovered how to breed animals and don't exclusively eat and make company with plants and animals they've bred, otherwise our species might get taken over by enthusiastic human-breeders and lock in a caste society very quickly!!
#6447
anyway real life the fucking y axis on my DIY 3D printer broke last night, and that is a big problem, since i'm printing all my xmas gifts this year. i have no time to get a new one cuz my greyhound leaves in 48 hours. fuck. fuck fuck fvck fuck

always buy and hold onto spare parts

i'm so pissed i'm going to smoke a lot of weed. my presents were thoughtful and personal and now i have to amazon shit made by slaves to fulfill this holiday obligation in my family's eyes god dammmmmmmit

Edited by toyotathon ()

#6448
on the plus side it's easy to hide gifts that only exist in 2 dimensions
#6449
Note: C. H. Waddington died on his way back to his home planet
#6450
that's rough. holiday stress is a terrible sickness. good luck.
#6451

toyotathon posted:

anyway real life the fucking y axis on my DIY 3D printer broke last night, and that is a big problem, since i'm printing all my xmas gifts this year. i have no time to get a new one cuz my greyhound leaves in 48 hours. fuck. fuck fuck fvck fuck


I love having a family where everyone has really low self-esteem because we all decided mutually that we are not going to make a big deal out of christmas because nobody wants any gifts. Kinda reminds me of the discontinued forums "secret santa" event

#6452
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#6453

swampman posted:

I love having a family where everyone has really low self-esteem because we all decided mutually that we are not going to make a big deal out of christmas because nobody wants any gifts.


Same. Having a nice minimum stress meal with all the family together is gift enough.

#6454
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#6455
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#6456

Petrol posted:

Note: C. H. Waddington died on his way back to his home planet


this joke is too good for this place

#6457

toyotathon posted:

probably a sign that it was written in the 70s and doesn't address eusociality, is the just-so, lazy sociobiology explanations for patriarchy. eusociality is matriarchal in every instance. like the giant female nest-guards hound and peck at lazy workers like asshole bee cops. like i said tho that current is the last to form and transition species with eusocial labor organization sans reproduction have been discovered (i can dig up the paper if you want..)

good thing humans haven't discovered how to breed animals and don't exclusively eat and make company with plants and animals they've bred, otherwise our species might get taken over by enthusiastic human-breeders and lock in a caste society very quickly!!



How can you say this when the 70s sociobiology debates were specifically about eusociality and the extrapolation of Wilson's research in insects to humans? Which seems exactly what you are doing. I completely reject the Wilsonian hypothesis that humans are eusocial creatures in the way Wilson characterises eusociality i.e. as formulated through the lens of insect eusocials, while you seem to accept that basic starting point.

It seems like you should at least post something more developed than just repeating how soon we are all to be locked into caste society because eusociality is a single rigid concept equally valid across the entire animal kingdom. To me what you are saying seems as ludicrous as if you were making claims about about the similarities between humans and colonial hydrozoans, or slime molds.

Evolutionary biology is such an ideological mess on the one side you have the Wilsonians who go “humans cooperate because they are just like ants, observe, these ants are cops”, then the Dawkinsians pipe up going “no humans cooperate only when they are related to each other, observe the genes”, and that's it, thats the extent of the “debate”, Gould why did you die so young.

#6458
RIP to a real one
#6459

toyotathon posted:

there's acceptance that 2 out of 3 characteristics of the eusocials are shared by humans (cooperative child care and overlapping generations in same dwelling). the widely-rejected third (reproductive division of labor) is the last eusocial trait to form, and locks in a class society as caste society.


this is all rubbish, just another rehash of the same old determinism of extending the comparative study of animal social systems to human social systems, but from the left

Edited by tears ()

#6460
What you're doing is projective natural history, but from the left, projecting capitalist control structures etc onto the poor little ants - its just naturisation, looking for analogues to human behaviour in animal behaviour, and in doing so distorting the complexity of the subject your discussing in favour of fitting a narative. It's ridiculous to say things like ants go to war, or ants engage in policing, with any reference to what those things mean in human society - because they are fundamentally incomparable, like my facetious slime mold example above; there's no difference between this and the usual sort of projection of dominance heirachies into humans and saying thats "natural". It seems so strange to see someone latch onto sociobiology's erroneous projection of eusocial insects onto human society then flip it round the other way with no attempt to challnge the underlying assumptions. Especially since the very reason for drawing parallels between insect eusociality and humans is to serve an extremely repressive system that already exists in humans.


In the late 1970s I attended meetings at which sociobiologists E. O. Wilson and David Barash, critic Stephen J. Gould, and others were on a panel. Standing blocked by the crowd in the hall outside the doorway to the packed hall I was unable hear the speakers. I spied a little door near the stage, and figured that if I could get to that door, I could get next to the stage and the front row. I sneaked through the hotel kitchen and found the door. Just as I opened it I was passed by a number of African American students who ran up on stage and poured water on Wilson's head. Wilson responded by saying to the audience that he felt like he had been speared by an aborigine. The crowd applauded the martyred Wilson (on crutches at the time--from a skiing accident) and some in the front row muttered epithets at the disrupters and at me, who appeared to have held the door for the demonstrators. The water pitcher story has been repeated scores of times in journalistic accounts, but none of these mention Wilson's racially tinged response.

#6461
Getting back on topic, today i smoked a big spliff and saw the new star war, which owned, and now i get to enjoy reading a bunch of nerds hulking out about how bad they thought it was, which owns even more
#6462
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#6463

tpaine posted:

does chewbacca finally die


turns out darth vader is lukes father, did not see that one coming

#6464
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#6465
big fan of how sigourney weaver reprised her role as sergeant rita vrataski in in the latest installment of stephen spielbergs star trek trilogy
#6466
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#6467
uh, have you read any of my other posts?
#6468
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#6469

tears posted:

Especially since the very reason for drawing parallels between insect eusociality and humans is to serve an extremely repressive system that already exists in humans.



i mean that's silly. that's as silly as saying the reason for studying atoms is to make bombs, or that studying vietnamese concentration camps is to run them more efficiently. we don't study class society to support it, we study it to destroy it. the reason it's apt to compare social systems is because human class society and class/caste society in other animals formed to address the same material problems of what to do with surplus value.

here's Engels in Origins:

The increase of production in all branches – cattle-raising, agriculture, domestic handicrafts –
gave human labor-power the capacity to produce a larger product than was necessary for its
maintenance. At the same time it increased the daily amount of work to be done by each member
of the gens, household community or single family. It was now desirable to bring in new labor
forces. War provided them; prisoners of war were turned into slaves. With its increase of the
productivity of labor, and therefore of wealth, and its extension of the field of production, the first
great social division of labor was bound, in the general historical conditions prevailing, to bring
slavery in its train. From the first great social division of labor arose the first great cleavage of
society into two classes: masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited.



the physical, on-the-ground reality of "the capacity to produce a larger product than necessary for maintenance" is the permanent food store, a building, containing value, that must be defended from parasitism. if the food store can be defended, there are advantages to the animal: it averages out nature's fat and lean times, fat times can be exploited beyond the capacity of what can be eaten on the spot, young can be raised in safety, elaborate divisions of labor can develop, fed from the food store. in animals there is a range of food behaviors, based on the length of time that prey was killed or a plant was robbed, from a bear eating a berry immediately off the vine, to a cougar dragging a deer up a tree for a long feast, all the way to bees reprocessing plant sugars to honey for very long term storage.

but the longer the animal waits between gathering the food and eating the food, the greater the risk that something else will eat it first. so there are also disadvantages: it ties the animal to a sedentary lifestyle occupied with food store defense, it reduces food gathering range (no more seasonal movements), and the guards of the food store can quickly become social parasites while workers perform the physical labor of collecting food.

food store defense, the nest, is the most basal characteristic of eusocial animals. it's the most common feature and is reasoned to be the material driver of the transition into eusociality. here's for instance the proposed (using intrinsic fitness) path from wasps to ants by Howard E Evans:

1. Female stings prey, lays egg.
2. Female stings prey, places it in a convenient niche, lays egg.
3. Female stings prey, constructs a nest on the spot, lays egg.
4. Female builds a nest, stings prey, transports it to nest, lays egg.
5. Female builds a nest, stings and transports a prey item, lays egg, then mass provisions with several more prey (added quickly, before egg hatches).
6. As in (5) but prey items are progressively provided, as the larva grows.
7. As in (6) but progressive provisioning occurs from the start.
8. In addition to progressive provisioning in a preconstructed nest, female macerates prey items and feeds the pieces directly to the larvae.
9. Founding female is long-lived, so that offspring remain with her in the nest, add cells, and lay eggs of their own.
10. Little colony of cooperating females engages in trophallaxis (liquid food exchange), but there is still no division into reproductive and worker castes.
11. Behavioral division between a dominant queen caste and subordinate worker caste appears; unfertilized workers may still lay male-destined eggs.
12. Larvae are fed differentially; queen and workers that result are physically distinct, but intermediates remain common.
13. Worker caste is physically strongly differentiated, and intermediates are rare or absent.



the well-provisioned nest, the food store, is the first step in an elaborate path to eusociality. i didn't notice it the first time i read that, but it's funny that the communal food exchange in step 10 was the precursor to full caste society, because we know from our history how early agriculture used common, shared food stores. for the ants it's to explain the development of trophallaxis, though. interesting, anyway. all the other eusocials start with the nest as well, the eusocial marine shrimp defending a section of reef, the naked mole rat collecting and storing tubers. it is a rare-but-widespread behavior adaptation to food storage.

~~~~

i extremely love being called a nazi for being against human class-breeding though. those 13 steps in ant evolution took millions of years and we've been dealing with the food surplus for 8,000 or so. even at the rates of human artificial selection, any bio-determinism would struggle to explain history. but in any case here's fellow nazi friedrich engels who, by revealing human class-breeding, is clearly also in support of it, along with slavery and bridewealth for good measure

For now slavery had also been invented. To the barbarian of the lower stage, a slave was
valueless. Hence the treatment of defeated enemies by the American Indians was quite different
from that at a higher stage. The men were killed or adopted as brothers into the tribe of the
victors; the women were taken as wives or otherwise adopted with their surviving children. At
this stage human labor-power still does not produce any considerable surplus over and above its
maintenance costs. That was no longer the case after the introduction of cattle-breeding,
metalworking, weaving and, lastly, agriculture. just as the wives whom it had formerly been so
easy to obtain had now acquired an exchange value and were bought, so also with the forces of
labor, particularly since the herds had definitely become family possessions. The family did not
multiply so rapidly as the cattle. More people were needed to look after them; for this purpose use
could be made of the enemies captured in war, who could also be bred just as easily as the cattle
themselves.

#6470
because i'm really interested in this argument, and because it will die in real life thread, i have created sociobiology thread.

i did this also because it occurred to me we have a lot of interesting arguments and share a lot of useful information and interpretations here on various topics without ever pulling it together and making it publishable or digestible, and we don't update our front page very often.
#6471

tpaine posted:

does chewbacca finally die



actually he becomes vegan

#6472
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#6473

gay_swimmer posted:

tpaine posted:

does chewbacca finally die

actually he becomes vegan


Hey, no spoilers.

#6474

Petrol posted:

gay_swimmer posted:

tpaine posted:

does chewbacca finally die

actually he becomes vegan

Hey, no spoilers.

"Luke appears and confronts Kylo alone, giving the surviving Resistance fighters time to escape. Kylo strikes Luke with his lightsaber, but learns that he has been fighting a force projection, and Luke is still on Ahch-to. Luke defiantly tells Kylo that he will not be the last Jedi, as Rey clears a blocked tunnel behind the base so the remaining Resistance fighters can escape. Luke then peacefully dies and becomes one with the Force. The remaining Resistance fighters escape aboard the Falcon, and Leia reassures everyone that the rebellion has all that is needed to rise again." sounds pretty stupid

#6475
officer: what's your name you piece of shit.
me: kyle....o. kylo.
#6476

stegosaurus posted:

officer: what's your name you piece of shit.
me: kyle....o. kylo.



lol but also “The team threw a Hail Mary to George, saying the game would have more credibility if the apprentice had a ‘Darth’ title,” a Force Unleashed team member says. Lucas agreed that this situation made sense for Sith royalty, and offered up two Darth titles for the team to choose from. “He threw out ‘Darth Icky’ and ‘Darth Insanius.’ There was a pregnant pause in the room after that. People waiting for George to say ‘just kidding,’ but it never comes, and he just moved on to another point.”

Team members involved in the decision to not use these ridiculous Darth titles could not be reached for comment, but three LucasArts employees believe an excuse was made to push the Darth title to the sequel. By the time development on that title commenced, the names were long forgotten by Lucas and weren’t muttered by the development team again.

#6477
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#6478
mods please change my name to DARTH INSANEUS
#6479
[account deactivated]
#6480

swampman posted:

sounds pretty stupid


Breaking: sci fi film synopsis sounds fucking dumb