background preloader

Sociology

Facebook Twitter

The Flat Areas Of Europe Tend To Be The Most Right Wing. Computational sociology. Social Media Distractions Cost U.S. Economy $650 Billion [INFOGRAPHIC] Social Infrastructure. Population Density. KCNA (Pyongyang Overwhelmed with Grief at Demise of Kim Jong Il)

Steven Pinker: Humans are less violent than ever - science-in-society - 21 October 2011. Read full article Continue reading page |1|2 Pessimists, anti-capitalists, conservatives and greens, take note – we are much more peaceful now than we used to be, says the psychologist Interactive graphic: The 20 worst things people have done to each other What got you interested in the history of violence?

Steven Pinker: Humans are less violent than ever - science-in-society - 21 October 2011

I was struck by a graph I saw of homicide rates in British towns and cities going back to the 14th century. Then in Lawrence Keeley's 1996 book War Before Civilization I read that modern states at their worst, such as Germany in the 20th century or France in the 19th century, had rates of death in warfare that were dwarfed by those of hunter-gatherer and hunter-horticultural societies. Isn't this topic a departure for you? Where did you find evidence for how violence has changed over time? What Can Dolphins Tell Us About The Evolution of Friendship? A version of this post was originally published on November 18, 2010. Click the archives image to see the original post. Scientists thought they had a pretty good handle on the social interactions of bottlenose dophins (Tursiops).

They’ve used the term fission-fusion dynamics to describe dolphin (and non-human primate) society and so far it has served researchers well. Fission-fusion societies among dolphins are characterized by two levels of social hierarchy: groups of two or three related males (“first-order alliances”) which work together to guard one or more females from other males, and larger teams comprised of several first-order alliances (“second-order alliances”) which cooperate to “steal” females from other groups. Since the individuals in first- and second-order alliances are related and therefore share genes, this sort of cooperation can be explained by kin selection. Consider the following interactions, which were observed in 2002 and 2006. Connor and colleagues note that: How Animals Make Decisions & Neural Decision-Making.

Ignorance can be bliss, but it seems it can also promote democracy.

How Animals Make Decisions & Neural Decision-Making

Strongly opinionated members can determine a group's consensus decision, even when they make up only a small minority. New research of animal behavior shows, however, that adding ignorant or uninformed members to the group can counteract the minority’s powerful influence and promote a more democratic outcome. Researchers used several computer models to investigate the decision-making process in various animal groups when a majority wants to travel in one direction and a minority wants to go in another.

When the strength of the two packs' preferences was equal, the group was much more likely to follow the majority. But when the minority had stronger feelings than the rest of the group about its direction, it was able to control the decision. TGIF: El parque temático definitivo con Minecraft. Minecraft Timelapse - Theme Park. The Decline of Violence. On July 22, 2011, a 32-year-old Norwegian named Anders Behring Breivik opened fire on participants in a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya after exploding a bomb in Oslo, resulting in 77 dead, the worst tragedy in Norway since World War II.

The Decline of Violence

English philosopher Thomas Hobbes famously argued in his 1651 book, Leviathan, that such acts of violence would be commonplace without a strong state to enforce the rule of law. But aren’t they? What about 9/11 and 7/7, Auschwitz and Rwanda, Columbine and Fort Hood? What about all the murders, rapes and child molestation cases we hear about so often? Can anyone seriously argue that violence is in decline? Take homicide. As for wars, prehistoric peoples were far more murderous than states in percentages of the population killed in combat, Pinker told me: “On average, nonstate societies kill around 15 percent of their people in wars, whereas today’s states kill a few hundredths of a percent.” Computer simulation reveals why it's hard to export democracy to the world. Ah!

Computer simulation reveals why it's hard to export democracy to the world

Freedom to Riot: On the Evolution of Collective Violence. It's been said that any society is three square meals away from anarchy.

Freedom to Riot: On the Evolution of Collective Violence

Personally I've always found it depressing that we are still so base we will be literally moved by our stomachs before any principle or outrage you can name. The reason policy makers and the people on your televisions break out the ultra conservative rhetoric over rioting (animals, mindless, anarchists etc) is that they sit comfortably at the top of the structure that depends on you and everyone around you not realising you're at the bottom of it, hold its stability in your hands and could take everything they are and own for yourselves if you had the collective will to do so.

The governed, fairly or unfairly, must always consent to governance. They simply have to propagandise against that realisation, ensure that protesters and the people are cast as the enemy rather than themselves. Which is easy to do because they control the media most people draw their opinions from. Even this article contributes.

Bodycard 0254