# As Evolved Hunter/gatherers, How Do We Manage To Live In Huge Societies?

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### #18 Turtle

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 12:27 PM

Don't you believe we have the right to spell word in more than one way? Would you take away that right! Maybe you don't believe in human rights!
Does your spelling sound any different from mine? Why are you so picky?

I will probably end up with more than one misspelling, considering there are so many silly posts to respond to . . .

i tend to overlook typos, but i see your misspelling(s) as another indication of your careless methods. your logical fallacies regarding my stance on human rights also indicate your sloppy reasoning.

again my direct question(s), and on topic, how do you define "small group"? less than 500? more than 2? what? at what (numeric) level of population does a society become "huge"? exactly how many group sizes are there and what are their ranges? how do your definitions agree or differ with "the social theorist consensus"? please answer the questions(s) directly and provide the appropriate citations. anything less is monkey-poo.

### #19 charles brough

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 02:43 PM

i tend to overlook typos, but i see your misspelling(s) as another indication of your careless methods. your logical fallacies regarding my stance on human rights also indicate your sloppy reasoning.

again my direct question(s), and on topic, how do you define "small group"? less than 500? more than 2? what? at what (numeric) level of population does a society become "huge"? exactly how many group sizes are there and what are their ranges? how do your definitions agree or differ with "the social theorist consensus"? please answer the questions(s) directly and provide the appropriate citations. anything less is monkey-poo.

I took out the jumping figures you put in. It seems a bit childish to have so many of them.

It is interesting that you equate misspelling with sloppy reasoning. I suppose you have some justification for that somewhere in tyhe dark recesses of your mind and can pull it out for all our "edification." Did I spell that right?

Any individual who has taken any anthropology in college is aware of the general size of the classic hunting/gathering troop. It is somwhere in the area of forty individuals. It can be smaller, and it can grow to over a hundred. No serious academic would ask for "the exact size" as you have done. Not even the speed of light is exact. We recently found out that some particles can travel faster. Perhaps YOU are dealing out "monkey-poo," as you say. Why be so hostile? I prefer not to put you down this way and embarass you but you deliberately call for it.

In "The Last Civilization," I have a glossary with over two dozen social science terms that I have defined only in one way and that is often functionally. Ill give an example of what that means. If you define a chair as a piece of furniture with a back and arms for sitting in, you are showing its function and are properly defining it. But if you define it only as a stool with arms and legs, it is not a functional definition. I define "religion" and "society" functionally because they both have a social evolutionary function. That, then, is the answer to your question as to how my definitions differ from the social theory consensus. I hope that is simple enough this time that you understand it.

### #20 Turtle

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 09:23 PM

[quote name='charles brough' timestamp='1316897018' post='310726']
I took out the jumping figures you put in. It seems a bit childish to have so many of them. [/quote]

probably an evolutionary genetic artifact from living in a huge group. nevertheless, i find the smilies a welcome addition to language; worth a thousand words. i see your striking them out, i.e. changing the context, as yet another exemplary example of the inadequacy of your analysis.

sidebar:[quotename='wilty peduncal']...The use of emoticons can be traced back to the 19th century, and they were commonly used in casual and/or humorous writing. Digital forms of emoticons on the Internet were included in a proposal by Scott Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a message on 19 September 1982...[/quote]emoticons @wikipedia

[quote name='chuck'] It is interesting that you equate misspelling with sloppy reasoning. I suppose you have some justification for that somewhere in tyhe dark recesses of your mind and can pull it out for all our "edification." Did I spell that right? [/quote]

"that" is correctly spelled; yes. given that you/we, writing here on the world wide web as we are, have every means at our immediate disposal to dot our i's and cross our t's before we hit submit, not doing so strikes me as carelessness and poor attention to detail. misspellers of the world untie.

[quote name='chucky'] Any individual who has taken any anthropology in college is aware of the general size of the classic hunting/gathering troop. [/quote]

there you go again. have you interviewed every individual who has taken anthropology in college? do you have a reference to a source that has done such a survey? is instruction in anthropology in a college a prerequisite to awareness/knowledge of the general size of a classic hunting/gathering group? no. you have not and it is not. you are, in the vulgar huge group vernacular, talking out your ***.

[quote name='chuckles']It is somwhere in the area of forty individuals. It can be smaller, and it can grow to over a hundred. No serious academic would ask for "the exact size" as you have done. Not even the speed of light is exact. We recently found out that some particles can travel faster. Perhaps YOU are dealing out "monkey-poo," as you say. Why be so hostile? I prefer not to put you down this way and embarass you but you deliberately call for it. [/quote]

why be hostile? well, don't you know? isn't that the kind of thing you claim to have special insight into? obviously i'm hostile because i live in a huge group.

[quote name='chuck']In "The Last Civilization," I have a glossary with over two dozen social science terms that I have defined only in one way ...
I hope that is simple enough this time that you understand it.
[/quote]

what!!!? a smilie!!!??? but...erhm...uhhh...isn't that childish?

[quotename='charles lutwidge dodgson' ]source...and that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents -- '

Certainly,' said Alice.

And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

I don't know what you mean by "glory,"' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected.

When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

The question is,' said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master - - that's all.' ...[/quote]

the real crux of the master here in this and your other threads is the promotion of your book by provocative means. cha togar m' fhearg gun dìoladh.

### #21 coldcreation

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 02:01 AM

Charles,

Let's get right to the point: You place the blame for the 'demise of civilization' on "the inability of the world's present ideological systems to unit us."

Firstly, there are no objective facts or empirical evidence that suggests civilization is on a path toward demise, or is in decline. This is simply your subjective assessment. You provide no quantitative data to support your argument that such is the case.

Secondly, there are no objective facts or empirical evidence that suggests that the unification of the world's current (or future) ideological systems would solve the problem you perceive as real.

CC
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### #22 modest

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 09:27 AM

I never wrote that we could not form big groups.

Yes, I know what you said and what I said and how they are related. I guess I need to explain it.

You wrote the following (which is what I quoted and responded to) in order to mock social theorists who believe it:

"there is no reason why we cannot live in huge societies even though we are the product of millions of years of evolution in small hunting/gathering groups"

"Is there a specific reason that we cannot live in large groups if we evolved in smaller groups?"

You mocked the idea that "there is no reason" and I asked "Is there a specific reason". Relevant in the verbatim sense, yes?

I said that we evolved biologically as small group primates and manage to function in large groups only because we have ideologies that unite us into them and enable us to adapt to and function in them.

I'm asking for what reason "biologically-limited group size" is a necessary property of species that evolved in groups of 'small' size. Whether you think the biological limitation is overcome by ideology is beside the point.

Yes, this forum has the most amazing collection of graphic characters.

And some real characters as well

Years ago I was acquainted with the former XO of a Korean war era navy cruiser who told me very credibly that he knew all of his crewmen, well over a thousand, by name.

Is there anything in social science that you cannot find an exception to? It is not like physics. We have to deal in generalizations.

If you can find an exception to anything you would do well to avoid saying things like:

Also, psychologists have recently discovered that none of us can feel compassion for, recognize faces of, and feel connected to more than 200 people.

That would prevent people like me from giving a counterexample to refute your statement... which I did, eh?

Oh come on! Be honest with yourself...

Without yet reading the rest of your paragraph I'm going to predict that a strawman is fast approaching. Just the tone of "Oh come on! Be honest with yourself" seems to announce it.

Do you feel the same compassion and concern for some eleven million black and Muslim people supposedly near starvation in NW Africa as for the thousands killed or still suffering from the 9/11 attack?

Hummm... I'm afraid the nasty overtones of your statement overwhelm the gratified feeling I was expecting for having called the strawman.

The pertinent answer is that I don't feel equal compassion and solidarity with every living human in desperate straights. But, that neither supports your claim nor contradicts any of mine.

Aside from that, let me think of the best way to put this...

Did you see the woman in Libya who showed up at the international hotel after being raped by Gadafi's thugs? Everyone's heart, the international media, the west, everybody, went out to her. By your reasoning that kind of sympathy and solidarity for someone of a different culture, language, religion, and worldview, is impossible. I stress, impossible.

The only reason we are able to identify with and feel that more compassion, for example, for the 9/11 victums, is that our common ideological systems bonds us into the larger groups ("nation" and "society", the one bonded by Christianity and Secular Humanism).

oh, boy!

The victims of 9-11 were Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, nearly 50 nationalities and all different races and ethnicities.

Saying that my compassion, or anyone's compassion, is somehow predicated on the victim's personal beliefs and social backgrounds is unbelievably offensive, indecent, and just not true.

Likewise with other tragedies. Who could follow the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami and think "Japanese people are quite different from me so I just don't feel much for them"? Is this really how you see humanity?

If we had no common ideological systems, our nations and societies would all collapse into small groups again.

No, that is not necessarily true. Other things besides ideology can and do hold groups of people together. Look at the Roman empire as an example. From the tribal level to the level of an empire you find counterexamples of your assertion.

In his 1972 study, The Notion of the Tribe, anthropologist Morton H. Fried provided numerous examples of tribes the members of which spoke different languages and practiced different rituals, or that shared languages and rituals with members of other tribes. Similarly, he provided examples of tribes where people followed different political leaders, or followed the same leaders as members of other tribes. He concluded that tribes in general are characterized by fluid boundaries and heterogeneity, are not parochial, and are dynamic

http://en.wikipedia....Tribe#Evolution

And look around you. In the slow decade by decade social evolutionary way, it is happening.

No it isn't. If anything societies are becoming more homogeneous. But, this is all beside the point.
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### #23 charles brough

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 10:02 AM

probably an evolutionary genetic artifact from living in a huge group. nevertheless, i find the smilies a welcome addition to language; worth a thousand words. i see your striking them out, i.e. changing the context, as yet another exemplary example of the inadequacy of your analysis. :kick:ebar:emoticons @wikipedia

"that" is correctly spelled; yes. given that you/we, writing here on the world wide web as we are, have every means at our immediate disposal to dot our i's and cross our t's before we hit submit, not doing so strikes me as carelessness and poor attention to detail. misspellers of the world untie.
there you go again. have you interviewed every individual who has taken anthropology in college? do you have a reference to a source that has done such a survey? is instruction in anthropology in a college a prerequisite to awareness/knowledge of the general size of a classic hunting/gathering group? no. you have not and it is not. you are, in the vulgar huge group vernacular, talking out your ***

why be hostile? well, don't you know? isn't that the kind of thing you claim to have special insight into? obviously i'm hostile because i live in a huge group.
what!!!? a smilie!!!??? but...erhm...uhhh...isn't that childish?
the real crux of the master here in this and your other threads is the promotion your book by provocative means. cha togar m' fhearg gun dìoladh.

I feel honored to have such an elaborate attack, when I consider the source . . .

### #24 charles brough

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 11:45 AM

I'm asking for what reason "biologically-limited group size" is a necessary property of species that evolved in groups of 'small' size.

Without a common ideology, a group larger than the optimal size to that species results in a build-up of stress and tension. Even though we may not have measured how other animals "feel," we still have reason to assume that the groups invariably break up because of stress and tension. Some animals do die of excess adrenalin, such as deer. Rats and mice experience behavioral changes that result in colony collapse. Apparently we are so attuned to small group living that we feel less secure when the group grows larger and we have no common ideology to fall back on. Social theorists don't want to move in that direction, so there seems to be a lack of research in it. But what other reason would cause small group animals to break up into smaller groups again when they grow to exceed the norm? The larger the group, the more alpha males and hence the more likelihood females do not desert the group with their young. All our social emotions are honed to small group living and to breaking up into rival alpha-led groups so that the internal rivalry is lessened and replaced by group rivalry. Our emotional/instinctive nature is shaped by millions of years of biological evolution.

Yes, I did make the same mistake because there are always (or perhaps I should say "usually") exeptions.

Did you see the woman in Libya who showed up at the international hotel after being raped by Gadafi's thugs? Everyone's heart, the international media, the west, everybody, went out to her. By your reasoning that kind of sympathy and solidarity for someone of a different culture, language, religion, and worldview, is impossible. I stress, impossible.

No, we felt sympathy for her because she was in the news and the media knew we would feel compassion. It is especially remembered by you and the rest of us because she was attacked by our enemy and could speak in English about it. But we feel compassion for most any individual whose suffering the media presents to us. As small group primates, we focus on the individual who we can see more than we do on masses of people. We are attuned to that by our evolution.

victum s of 9-11 were Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, nearly 50 nationalities and all different races and ethnicities.

They were Americans and we are united by a Constitution-led Secular ideology that helps bridge our religious differences. The attack temporarily restored unity to us. It also led many of the less-faithful back to church and enabled then President Bush to engage in a so-called "war against evil."

Saying that my compassion, or anyone's compassion, is somehow predicated on the victim's personal beliefs and social backgrounds is unbelievably offensive, indecent, and just not true.

Compassion is a human trait this is universal to all races and religions. Social background has nothing to do with it, and if you mean "personal (non-ideological) beliefs" that also has nothing to do with it.

Likewise with other tragedies. Who could follow the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami and think "Japanese people are quite different from me so I just don't feel much for them"? Is this really how you see humanity?

No. I am realistic enough to see that if the same destruction were visited on us, you would feel more distress than you have for it there. They are not "the enemy small group" to us, but they are Shinto and not part of "our christian/West small group." But it would still hold true even if the disaster hit one of our “own group” such as Australia because we have even a small group, that is our nation.

If you expect all this to be simple and need it to be simplistic, I have to disappoint you. As you know, it is a most complex world we live in. However, I do have it consistent and will be consistent as long as you raise issues and ask questions.

Other things besides ideology can and do hold groups of people together. Look at the Roman empire as an example. From the tribal level to the level of an empire you find counterexamples of your assertion.

The Roman Empire was a great example. Like in modern times, it's many old polytheistic parts (now ours is monotheistic parts) were held together not only by the most powerful military force the ancient world had ever assembled but also by a secular ideology. It was called "Hellenism" and, for example, the ruling elite of Egypt were Hellenist. Cleopatra was a Hellenist ruler.

If anything societies are becoming more homogeneous.

The old Christian faith was once a single doctrinology. It has split up into thousands of sects. That opened us up to the Age of Reason and we developed a secular ideology that enabled us to surface over the christian division and restore peace among waring European nations.

In the last century, however, our secular ideology has also broken up into divisions or sects. We are now divided into Libertarian, unionist liberals, Earth liberation, Ann Rand ideologues, Tea Party militants, animal rights fanatics, vegetarians, nudists, etc. most all forming active, religious-like sects that push only their own beliefs.

### #25 charles brough

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 12:08 PM

Charles,

Let's get right to the point: You place the blame for the 'demise of civilization' on "the inability of the world's present ideological systems to unit us."

Firstly, there are no objective facts or empirical evidence that suggests civilization is on a path toward demise, or is in decline. This is simply your subjective assessment. You provide no quantitative data to support your argument that such is the case.

Secondly, there are no objective facts or empirical evidence that suggests that the unification of the world's current (or future) ideological systems would solve the problem you perceive as real.

. . . a good post, short and right to the point!

First, as you say, none has been found. Less than a century ago, scholars tried to find out why civilizations rise and fall so they could tell where we were. They never could find out because they would not deal with social evolution. They felt it might support Nazism and led to the conclusion that religions served only an evolutionary function. So, the research in that directed ended.

What I had to do is go over the history of every mainstream civilization and study the social, economic, political changes that came during each stage of the rise and fall process. It took a long time as you can immagine. but I found there were a number of changes that were uniform to each society and that the change followed a cause and effect process.

For example, each civilization began with a strong patriarchal/monogamous ideological system. We can even refer to it as barbarian-like. As their unity enabled them to progress, their growing technology began to conflict with their old ideology, weakening it and leading to it breaking down into sects. Then, women and other races (as in Egypt) became "more equal." Social problems multiplied, and religious regression began. That resulted in a decline of science.

My evidence is that we follow that same pattern and that it is there for anyone to see who wants to look through the whole history of human mainstream civilization.

Second. We built our whole Western civilization on the single more advanced (monotheistic over polytheistic) religion. We united a good part of the world with it. With an advanced new non-theistic ideological system, why do you think it would be impossible to unite the whole world?

### #26 modest

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:05 PM

I'm asking for what reason "biologically-limited group size" is a necessary property of species that evolved in groups of 'small' size.

Without a common ideology, a group larger than the optimal size to that species results in a build-up of stress and tension. Even though we may not have measured how other animals "feel," we still have reason to assume that the groups invariably break up because of stress and tension. Some animals do die of excess adrenalin, such as deer. Rats and mice experience behavioral changes that result in colony collapse. Apparently we are so attuned to small group living that we feel less secure when the group grows larger and we have no common ideology to fall back on. Social theorists don't want to move in that direction, so there seems to be a lack of research in it. But what other reason would cause small group animals to break up into smaller groups again when they grow to exceed the norm? The larger the group, the more alpha males and hence the more likelihood females do not desert the group with their young. All our social emotions are honed to small group living and to breaking up into rival alpha-led groups so that the internal rivalry is lessened and replaced by group rivalry. Our emotional/instinctive nature is shaped by millions of years of biological evolution.

Not even close to an answer to my question.

No, we felt sympathy for her because she was in the news and the media knew we would feel compassion. It is especially remembered by you and the rest of us because she was attacked by our enemy and could speak in English about it.

She didn't speak English.

It is 100% irrelevant to my point that she was in the news or raped by an enemy. Shared ideology is not the only reason people feel compassion, connection, and solidarity. That was my point, remember?

victims of 9-11 were Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, nearly 50 nationalities and all different races and ethnicities.

They were Americans and we are united by a Constitution-led Secular ideology that helps bridge our religious differences.

"nearly 50 nationalities". Listening and contemplating what someone says to you is a fantastic skill — worth giving a try.

Compassion is a human trait this is universal to all races and religions. Social background has nothing to do with it

No, no, no. You completely misunderstood. I wasn't talking about my ability to feel compassion for a victim being predicated on my ideology. I was talking about my ability to feel compassion for a victim being predicated on the victim's ideology.

Who's on first?

No. I am realistic enough to see that if the same destruction were visited on us, you would feel more distress than you have for it there.

If it is impossible to form a 'large' group without shared ideology then feelings of human solidarity should be impossible without shared ideology.

Besides which, it isn't true . I followed the aftermath of the tsunami closer and felt more involved, for example, than I followed the Katrina aftermath.

The old Christian faith was once a single doctrinology. It has split up into thousands of sects.

If "doctrinology" is a word and it means "study of doctrine" then I don't understand how you used it there.

In case you mean "The old Christian faith was once a single doctrine", that has never been the case.

We are now divided into Libertarian, unionist liberals, Earth liberation, Ann Rand ideologues, Tea Party militants, animal rights fanatics, vegetarians, nudists, etc.

It's "Ayn Rand" (pronounced I'n).

The world is becoming more culturally homogeneous all the time (as is the US). The internet's panoptic nature pushes that trend as does mass media. Think about today's social differences between north and south — city and farm — african-american and european-american as compared to a generation ago.
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### #27 Turtle

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 08:19 PM

so let's see why this discourse of mr. brough's belongs off our main page.

first some pertinent rules:
hypography rules
[quotename='hypography']...How should I behave?
Be yourself. But please respect these ground rules:

■If you make strange claims, please provide proof or at least backup of some kind. If you fail to do so, or the backup you provide is not deemed adequate, the moderators may move your post to the Strange Claims forum. ...[/quote]

now some pertinent content:
[quote name='modest' timestamp='1316964438' post='310745'][quote name='charles brough' timestamp='1316884120' post='310714']
...
If [sic] is our common ideological, heritage (the Constitution, secularism, Christianity) that enables us to feel the nation and society to be much the same as what our small group once felt to us. The only reason we are able to identify with and feel that more compassion, for example, for the 9/11 victums, is that our common ideological systems bonds us into the larger groups ("nation" and "society", the one bonded by Christianity and Secular Humanism). [/quote]
...
oh, boy!

The victims of 9-11 were Muslims, Jews, Christians, Atheists, nearly 50 nationalities and all different races and ethnicities.

Saying that my compassion, or anyone's compassion, is somehow predicated on the victim's personal beliefs and social backgrounds is unbelievably offensive, indecent, and just not true. ...[/quote]

[quote name='charles brough' timestamp='1316972757' post='310748']
...They were Americans ...[/quote]

[quote name='modest' timestamp='1316995539' post='310753']
"nearly 50 nationalities". Listening and contemplating what someone says to you is a fantastic skill — worth giving a try.[/quote]

now some pertinent facts via a link (boldenation mine.):
casulaties of september 11 @wikipedia
[quotename='bona fide supporting data reference']The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 by al-Qaeda resulted in 2,996 immediate (attack time) deaths, including the 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims.[1] 372 foreign nationals (excluding the 19 perpetrators) perished in the attacks, representing just over 12% of the total. The immediate deaths include 246 victims on the four planes (from which there were no survivors), 2,606 in New York City in the towers and on the ground, and 125 at the Pentagon.[2][3] About 292 people were killed at street level by burning debris and falling bodies of those who had jumped from the World Trade Center's windows. All the deaths in the attacks were civilians except for 55 military personnel killed at the Pentagon.[4] Some immediate victims were not added to the list until years later.

More than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center.[5] The foreign countries with the highest losses are the United Kingdom (including the British overseas territory of Bermuda) with 67, the Dominican Republic with 47, and India with 41....[/quote]

now some analysis & a conclusion:
charles is either unwilling or incapable of conducting an honest and fact based discussion per our rules here at hypography. we have a recourse for that; let's use it.

### #28 Qfwfq

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 05:43 AM

The social theorist consensus seems to be satisfied with the
assumption that there is no reason why we cannot live in huge
societies even though we are the product of millions of years of
evolution in small hunting/gathering groups.

"The fact that we do live in bigger groups just proves we are not
evolved to live in smaller groups" is no answer because there is a
method we natural selection evolved (social evolution) that has
partially enabled us to get around our biologically-limited group size
Is all this a mystery to you master anthropologists in this group?

Er, uhm, what's your point mate?

I read through most of this thread and I don't really get what all the trouble is for, I don't see any value in stirring it up.
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