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View Poll Results: is fuzzyroes a sentient being
no he is not 4 22.22%
no he is not 4 22.22%
yes he is, but he lacks higher self-awareness 5 27.78%
spa_ced 5 27.78%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-11-2016, 08:33 AM   #91
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:08 AM   #92
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canamada

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:37 AM   #93
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no, bro, it's canamadanite, as in the canamadanite tribes

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:35 PM   #94
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foolofatook we talked about senescence in my evo psych class a few days ago. i thought of you. we were talking about why or if death is actually necessary for organisms, from an evolutionary standpoint

i appreciate you trying to re-define such a rad sounding word

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:51 PM   #95
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we were talking about why or if death is actually necessary for organisms, from an evolutionary standpoint
That sounds like a cool topic.

I don't see why it would be necessary for any given organism, from an evolutionary standpoint. It seems to me that organisms die because natural selection doesn't make organisms "optimal," it just makes them "good enough" to pass on their genes. And since reproductive age is a window of time out of an entire lifespan, there isn't really any selective pressure to lengthen organisms' lifespans after reproductive age. I guess some organisms don't really ever get too old to reproduce, but even then, natural selection would only really favour lifespans long enough that they've produced enough to keep their genes in the pool.

But from the standpoint of not a single organism, but a species, or even the biosphere in general, it seems that things need to die in order for new things to live, because there's just a limited amount of bio-matter in the world. Of course, in a world where nothing died, maybe nothing would really be born either, and you've just have a stable population of the same immortal organisms. I wonder if entropy keeps that from being a possibility, though.

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:28 PM   #96
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Well it's less of a philosophical why than a biological why.

Basically, the body is really good at adapting to situations. The problem is, it doesn't see or care about the future. So, for most of human evolution, humans died much earlier than they do now. Your body did all it could just to run away from predators or to prey. We didn't live much longer than 30-40 years, and so our bodies and evolution had no need to give a shit about what senescence does to the body.

We can see this idea clearly in two modern diseases:

Sickle Cell Disease. If you have it, you can't get malaria. So that's good, you won't die of malaria at a really young age. However, you will die of complications from sickle cell anemia in your 40s-50s.

Huntington's Disease. An inherited disorder that doesn't manifest until around 30-40. Evolution has apparently done jack shit to mutate our genes to get rid of Huntington's.

Keep in mind that advanced old age is a relatively recent phenomenon. Before agriculture, especially (aprox 10,000 years ago), everything was hunting and gathering.

There are some things that are basically immortal. Some crustaceans.

As far as why old age could be good from an evolutionary standpoint. Historically speaking, children in hunter-gatherer societies did (and do) better when there is grandparent involvement. If we talk about 10s of thousands of years ago, women had mensturation later than they do now (20ish) and basically made babies until they died. This included grandmothers. Grandmothers often cared for their grandchildren as well as their children, who frequently overlapped in ages.

This frees up the younger mom to have yet more children, since she doesn't have to breastfeed and go through that period of relative infertility. Since something like 50% of children died before adulthood (most common estimate in prehistoric humans), they relied on superfecundity to ensure survival of the species. Grandmothers were absolutely necessary for this to happen. But yeah, at this point evolution doesn't really seem to care about you or effect you very much. There are few notable epigenetic changes documented afaik. Much more in children.

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:37 PM   #97
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I learned something really cool yesterday... did you know humans are biologically programmed to be afraid of certain things, and that they manifest at the roughly the same ages in everybody? And there's been interesting experiments done to test this? For example, one study where I forget the age, something like 2 year olds, saw videos of people reacting in a very scared matter towards snakes, and towards something else like rabbits. Later, infants who saw both of things are exposed in real life, and are immediately scared of snakes but not rabbits.

Sorry, some of this stuff is hard for me to explain even. It was much more convincing than that. I've seen a bunch of interesting experiments. There was one with mallard ducks.

Mallard duck is born in normal circumstances, goes to mother most of the time.
In an incubator, still goes to mother.
In an incubator all by itself? Still goes to mother. So that's pretty good proof it's biological disposition, yes?

It turns out the duck is still hearing itself, which is enough to activate the genes necessary for imprinting on the correct species. So it doesn't need to hear an adult duck - even hearing itself, before birth, is enough. And it will go to the right species almost every time, even when only exposed to it's own pre-birth chirping. If you do surgery to make the duck mute before birth and put it by itself, it will usually not go anywhere if exposed to two different species of possible "mothers".

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Old 02-11-2016, 08:37 PM   #98
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Well it's less of a philosophical why than a biological why.

Basically, the body is really good at adapting to situations. The problem is, it doesn't see or care about the future. So, for most of human evolution, humans died much earlier than they do now. Your body did all it could just to run away from predators or to prey. We didn't live much longer than 30-40 years, and so our bodies and evolution had no need to give a shit about what senescence does to the body.

We can see this idea clearly in two modern diseases:

Sickle Cell Disease. If you have it, you can't get malaria. So that's good, you won't die of malaria at a really young age. However, you will die of complications from sickle cell anemia in your 40s-50s.

Huntington's Disease. An inherited disorder that doesn't manifest until around 30-40. Evolution has apparently done jack shit to mutate our genes to get rid of Huntington's.

Keep in mind that advanced old age is a relatively recent phenomenon. Before agriculture, especially (aprox 10,000 years ago), everything was hunting and gathering.

There are some things that are basically immortal. Some crustaceans.

As far as why old age could be good from an evolutionary standpoint. Historically speaking, children in hunter-gatherer societies did (and do) better when there is grandparent involvement. If we talk about 10s of thousands of years ago, women had mensturation later than they do now (20ish) and basically made babies until they died. This included grandmothers. Grandmothers often cared for their grandchildren as well as their children, who frequently overlapped in ages.

This frees up the younger mom to have yet more children, since she doesn't have to breastfeed and go through that period of relative infertility. Since something like 50% of children died before adulthood (most common estimate in prehistoric humans), they relied on superfecundity to ensure survival of the species. Grandmothers were absolutely necessary for this to happen. But yeah, at this point evolution doesn't really seem to care about you or effect you very much. There are few notable epigenetic changes documented afaik. Much more in children.
That's pretty interesting. I think I remember hearing about the grandmother example in an anthropology class. I've never thought about sickle-cell or Huntington's in that way before. It makes a lot of sense.

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:45 PM   #99
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holy shit i found this article to try to explain the concept of evo psych

https://evolution-institute.org/arti...ing-childhood/

and it so happens that one of the psychologists quoted in the article is my professor

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 08:49 PM   #100
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I learned something really cool yesterday... did you know humans are biologically programmed to be afraid of certain things, and that they manifest at the roughly the same ages in everybody? And there's been interesting experiments done to test this? For example, one study where I forget the age, something like 2 year olds, saw videos of people reacting in a very scared matter towards snakes, and towards something else like rabbits. Later, infants who saw both of things are exposed in real life, and are immediately scared of snakes but not rabbits.
Wow, that's cool. I always wondered if I could raise a child to have completely unconventional fears and non-fears by exposing them to frightening imagery (like goblins and evil clowns and whatnot) from a young age, and spooking them with teddy bears or something.

I guess it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint that some fears are just innate, as an adaptive strategy to avoid common dangers (predators, poisonous organisms, heights). Things like goblins and evil clowns, maybe those are different because those never existed in the wild. Or maybe some of the folk imagery we've created is scary because it borrows elements from dangers that were in the wild (maybe goblins are scary because they remind us of predators or diseased humans or something).

Complex behavioural adaptations like this boggle my mind. Like, your DNA can't think, "better create a mutation to make this person scared of snakes so that they are less likely to be killed by one." It would just so happen to be that a random mutation occurred that made one scared of snakes, and it was selected for. But even that is so hard to wrap my mind around. It probably didn't come all at once, because the chance of a mutation suddenly occurring that made one frightened by the cognitive schema that matches snakes very well is very low. Instead, it was probably gradual. First, a mutation occurred that only vaguely approximated "being scared by snakes, because our DNA doesn't "understand" and target our cognitive understandings of things. It just became more refined over time with subsequent mutations, until organisms existed that had their fear targeted at stimuli snake-like enough to give them the edge over organisms whose fears were less-precisely advantageous. I don't think I'm explaining what I'm trying to say very well. It's just too much for my brain to really intuitively grasp.

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:00 PM   #101
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Yeah it's kinda hard to grasp, for sure. I think the idea of epigenetic inheritance kinda makes adaptations at the physical level a little easier to swallow. If fearing snakes and spiders, which used to kill a decent minority of the population (10% perhaps) helped, it wouldn't necessarily have to be a mutation *first*. That's really the main takeaway - a person's experience, if it's adaptive enough and they've not finished having children, can change a gene's expression within one generation. Honestly I don't know if I buy this theory but there is a compelling case to be made. So, basically I'm saying we have the capacity for many fears, and your brain isn't afraid of "snakes" but afraid of "slithering things". At one point, probably way before the homo genus, someone had a near-death experience with a snake, and that turned on that genetic code that was previously turned off. So then, either at birth or at the same time as that person's child reached the age of the parent's incident, they'd have that fear. No genetic mutations required. So I guess the idea is that all of these things are already programmed as possibilities in genes, and then it is good ol' nurture that turns them on, and then nurture actually changes nature.

There is data, for example, that fetuses with impaired nutrition during the prenatal period have a higher incidence of obesity in adulthood. But so do *their* children - even when environmental attributions are controlled for. And so do their children, etc.

It's a really complex topic. Here's something I wrote to prep myself for the test tomorrow. Pretty sure this is going to be an essay question

2) Does evolutionary psychology imply a form of genetic determinism? Why or why not?

Evolutionary psychology does not imply genetic determinism - in fact, evolutionary psychology rejects that there is a clear separation between “nature” and “nurture” and the common notion that nature shapes nurture and never the other way around. It implies that genetics have an essential role in our behavior and thought processes, and that there is a basic human nature represented in our genes and in the structures of our brains architecturally, but that hard wired genetic code per se doesn’t control specific behaviors. For example, in Gottlieb’s duck experiment, it was shown that a behavior that was thought to be completely instinctual – a baby duck imprinting on and following its mother – actually needs input before birth to work correctly. In this case, ducks needed to hear the squawk of their own species (mother, siblings, or even themselves) prior to birth in order for the common behavior of following the mother to be induced.
We are additionally continually faced with novel situations that have an effect on our gene expression (aka epigenetics). Epigenetic theory explains that there are variations in phenotype trait expression that depends on our environment turning parts of our DNA on and off without actually changing DNA sequence. Our genetic programming at any one time is optimized for the past “environment(s) of evolutionary adaptedness,” as brains only evolve new and changed psychological mechanism (epigenetically or through direct mutations) once they have been exposed to environmental challenges that require domain-specific adaptations. This creates an endless feedback loop of development that has been increasing in speed exponentially as our species continues to advance technologically.
Further, evolutionary psychology posits that, even though humans have certain characteristic behaviors, culture strongly dictates how each human expresses those behaviors. Typical human traits will only develop in typical environments, and those traits can and are modified substantially as needed for survival.

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:07 PM   #102
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As far as fears of things that are now not nearly as deadly - there's the mismatch theory. Food is a really good way to explain this.

So, back in the day, 100,000 years ago, humans lived tough lives. They took calories wherever they could find them. And fatty and sugary foods were the best source of calories. Especially with fat - sometimes hunters had killed a bear and everyone had two days of all you can eat bear. But maybe you didn't get meat again for a month.

Now it's 100,000 years later and we drink sugar water and over-eat because our genes still think we're living in 100,000 BC and we might not have any food tomorrow.

So yeah, realistically we should be scared of guns and cars but instead we fear spiders and snakes and enclosed spaces.

It's like a fresh take on the nurture vs nature argument. It's made me question my beliefs a bit. I've generally been of the opinion that biology directs the vast majority of our behaviors but that people just don't want to believe that. Now I'm not so sure.

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:14 PM   #103
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Complex behavioural adaptations like this boggle my mind. Like, your DNA can't think, "better create a mutation to make this person scared of snakes so that they are less likely to be killed by one." It would just so happen to be that a random mutation occurred that made one scared of snakes, and it was selected for. But even that is so hard to wrap my mind around. It probably didn't come all at once, because the chance of a mutation suddenly occurring that made one frightened by the cognitive schema that matches snakes very well is very low. Instead, it was probably gradual. First, a mutation occurred that only vaguely approximated "being scared by snakes, because our DNA doesn't "understand" and target our cognitive understandings of things. It just became more refined over time with subsequent mutations, until organisms existed that had their fear targeted at stimuli snake-like enough to give them the edge over organisms whose fears were less-precisely advantageous. I don't think I'm explaining what I'm trying to say very well. It's just too much for my brain to really intuitively grasp.
In a way it's actually a bit more complicated if this is the way it works, because adaptations don't occur unless they are immediately advantageous. Evolution doesn't think ahead. So unless the gradual adaptations had some kind of advantage, they wouldn't happen. For example, birds just didn't develop wings out of nowhere, of course. It had to take 1000s of years to go from reptile arms or whatever to wings. The hypothesis is that the intermediate step - feathers - were originally used for warmth. Only then could feathers even be a proximal enough mutation to be selected for.

 
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:14 PM   #104
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stop me when im talking too much. im freaking out over my test tomorrow. all of my classes had tests this week. all 4. this is the last one.

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:31 AM   #105
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chillax!

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:12 AM   #106
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In a way it's actually a bit more complicated if this is the way it works, because adaptations don't occur unless they are immediately advantageous. Evolution doesn't think ahead. So unless the gradual adaptations had some kind of advantage, they wouldn't happen. For example, birds just didn't develop wings out of nowhere, of course. It had to take 1000s of years to go from reptile arms or whatever to wings. The hypothesis is that the intermediate step - feathers - were originally used for warmth. Only then could feathers even be a proximal enough mutation to be selected for.
For a while in biology, it was debated how something as complex as an eye could evolve, when the probability of it seemed really low if mutations are random. Richard Dawkins used a computer simulation to demonstrate the idea that mutations aren't completely random, which makes the probability of complex adaptations a lot higher. Something that functions 10% like an eye is still better than no eye at all, so that would be selected for, and then mutations that further improved the eye would also be selected for. The thought experiment was sort of like: it would take an insane amount of time for a it to be likely for a bunch of monkeys on typewriters to type the line from Shakespeare "Methinks it is like a weasel," but if you were to make the process iterative so that every correct character would stay and be built upon, you can get the phrase in just a few generations.

I guess a similar idea is at play in nature. Only difference is that, whereas the Dawkins experiment has a target goal, natural selection doesn't, because the environment is always changing. Something like an eye, I can imagine, would be advantageous in almost any environmental condition (unless you were some cave organism that lives in total darkness or something). I never thought of the idea that these complex adaptations come about because the intermediate forms are advantageous for something else other than what the adaptation will later be (your bird wing example), though. That's really interesting and it makes sense.

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:29 AM   #107
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As far as fears of things that are now not nearly as deadly - there's the mismatch theory. Food is a really good way to explain this.

So, back in the day, 100,000 years ago, humans lived tough lives. They took calories wherever they could find them. And fatty and sugary foods were the best source of calories. Especially with fat - sometimes hunters had killed a bear and everyone had two days of all you can eat bear. But maybe you didn't get meat again for a month.

Now it's 100,000 years later and we drink sugar water and over-eat because our genes still think we're living in 100,000 BC and we might not have any food tomorrow.

So yeah, realistically we should be scared of guns and cars but instead we fear spiders and snakes and enclosed spaces.

It's like a fresh take on the nurture vs nature argument. It's made me question my beliefs a bit. I've generally been of the opinion that biology directs the vast majority of our behaviors but that people just don't want to believe that. Now I'm not so sure.
Yeah, it seems to me that there will always be some sort of lag between adaptions and environmental changes. We haven't lived in an environment in which cars are a bigger danger to us than snakes for long enough for us to adapt to it. I don't know if we ever will, because I feel like society and safety regulations and norms make it so that people who aren't as genetically disposed to fear being run over won't be much more likely to be run over than people who would have that mutation, so it wouldn't really be selected for.

I've always kind of felt skeptical about people's uses of parental investment theory to explain differences in male and female preferences in partners for this reason. Like, males are more likely to value attractiveness in a mate, whereas females are more likely to value prestige and wealth (the direction of the relationship is somewhat stable across culture with exceptions here and there, but the amount by which men and women differ in these respects varies wildly across culture). Evolutionary psychologists would say, "yeah, because back on the savannah, because men can produce a shittonne of gametes and women only have a few and get pregnant for nine months, men and women have different mating strategies." But, since there is always going to be that lag, shouldn't women still be attracted to men with upper-body strength, rather than men with money or something? Shouldn't men still be attracted to women who look fertile, rather than women that fit the beauty norms of whatever culture they are from?

At the end of the day, though, the differences between genders in partner preference aren't as big as they are made out to be, because the most valued traits amongst both genders is stuff like "loyalty" and "kindness" and all that. The valued traits that the genders differ on don't come in until after all the stuff they agree on.

I've never really been a biological determinist, but I do feel like there's this weird trend on the left to deny that there is any sort of human nature and to say that humans are just blank slates determined by society. I can understand what that sentiment is in reaction to, as the history of biology and psychology is filled with bad science using alleged innate differences to justify inequality and domination. And you still see that today. Most studies into behavioural or neurological differences between men and women show now differences, but the few that do show differences make headlines, and researchers are pretty quick to claim they've found a difference on flimsy data.

But at the same time, the idea that humans are totally free of biology, unlike every other species, which everybody seems to agree have behavioural predispositions, smacks of anthropocentrism to me. Like humans are "special" and different from every single living thing. You have people like Michel Foucault claiming there's no such thing as human nature, and I'm like "you what?"

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Old 02-12-2016, 09:15 AM   #108
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Yeah, the blank slate shit is complete crap.

As for the shouldn't women still prefer men with upper-body strength/muscles and not men with money. That would only be true if the genetic pull was to muscles and not who could provide the best. At one point, muscles were it. At this point, money is it (arguably). So if women are attracted to the overall nature of the man, and not the superficial traits that classically meant fitness (species fitness I mean), it would make sense that preferences have changed so quickly.

I'm just throwing this out there, I have no idea if it could even have any merit.

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:00 PM   #109
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guys please keep the nerding outta my thread

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:26 PM   #110
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Yeah, the blank slate shit is complete crap.

As for the shouldn't women still prefer men with upper-body strength/muscles and not men with money. That would only be true if the genetic pull was to muscles and not who could provide the best. At one point, muscles were it. At this point, money is it (arguably). So if women are attracted to the overall nature of the man, and not the superficial traits that classically meant fitness (species fitness I mean), it would make sense that preferences have changed so quickly.

I'm just throwing this out there, I have no idea if it could even have any merit.
Let me modify what I'm saying. It is possible that women still prefer men with big muscles and other kinds of physical fitness. However, since it is put into our heads from a young age that we need to find a man with money (or whatever), I think it's possible that our instinctual attraction is modified after the initial pull. We are initially attracted to such things as physical fitness and waist-to-hip ratio (fertility), but if by the time we are an adult we've thought about sex every day for the last 5 years and intellectually decided that something is more attractive than physical fitness/waist-to-hip, I think that sort of self reinforcement could really change our knee-jerk reactions to people we find attractive. It's one of the few things people think about so often as to have this possibility. And if even before puberty culture has instilled in you the like of a different shape of woman, for example, it seems even more likely.

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:27 PM   #111
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guys please keep the nerding outta my thread
not sure you want to claim a thread that is asking if you're equivalent to something without consciousness but thats your call

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:45 PM   #112
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Wow, that's cool. I always wondered if I could raise a child to have completely unconventional fears and non-fears by exposing them to frightening imagery (like goblins and evil clowns and whatnot) from a young age, and spooking them with teddy bears or something.

I guess it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint that some fears are just innate, as an adaptive strategy to avoid common dangers (predators, poisonous organisms, heights). Things like goblins and evil clowns, maybe those are different because those never existed in the wild. Or maybe some of the folk imagery we've created is scary because it borrows elements from dangers that were in the wild (maybe goblins are scary because they remind us of predators or diseased humans or something).

Complex behavioural adaptations like this boggle my mind. Like, your DNA can't think, "better create a mutation to make this person scared of snakes so that they are less likely to be killed by one." It would just so happen to be that a random mutation occurred that made one scared of snakes, and it was selected for. But even that is so hard to wrap my mind around. It probably didn't come all at once, because the chance of a mutation suddenly occurring that made one frightened by the cognitive schema that matches snakes very well is very low. Instead, it was probably gradual. First, a mutation occurred that only vaguely approximated "being scared by snakes, because our DNA doesn't "understand" and target our cognitive understandings of things. It just became more refined over time with subsequent mutations, until organisms existed that had their fear targeted at stimuli snake-like enough to give them the edge over organisms whose fears were less-precisely advantageous. I don't think I'm explaining what I'm trying to say very well. It's just too much for my brain to really intuitively grasp.
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Yeah it's kinda hard to grasp, for sure. I think the idea of epigenetic inheritance kinda makes adaptations at the physical level a little easier to swallow. If fearing snakes and spiders, which used to kill a decent minority of the population (10% perhaps) helped, it wouldn't necessarily have to be a mutation *first*. That's really the main takeaway - a person's experience, if it's adaptive enough and they've not finished having children, can change a gene's expression within one generation. Honestly I don't know if I buy this theory but there is a compelling case to be made. So, basically I'm saying we have the capacity for many fears, and your brain isn't afraid of "snakes" but afraid of "slithering things". At one point, probably way before the homo genus, someone had a near-death experience with a snake, and that turned on that genetic code that was previously turned off. So then, either at birth or at the same time as that person's child reached the age of the parent's incident, they'd have that fear. No genetic mutations required. So I guess the idea is that all of these things are already programmed as possibilities in genes, and then it is good ol' nurture that turns them on, and then nurture actually changes nature.

There is data, for example, that fetuses with impaired nutrition during the prenatal period have a higher incidence of obesity in adulthood. But so do *their* children - even when environmental attributions are controlled for. And so do their children, etc.

It's a really complex topic. Here's something I wrote to prep myself for the test tomorrow. Pretty sure this is going to be an essay question

2) Does evolutionary psychology imply a form of genetic determinism? Why or why not?

Evolutionary psychology does not imply genetic determinism - in fact, evolutionary psychology rejects that there is a clear separation between “nature” and “nurture” and the common notion that nature shapes nurture and never the other way around. It implies that genetics have an essential role in our behavior and thought processes, and that there is a basic human nature represented in our genes and in the structures of our brains architecturally, but that hard wired genetic code per se doesn’t control specific behaviors. For example, in Gottlieb’s duck experiment, it was shown that a behavior that was thought to be completely instinctual – a baby duck imprinting on and following its mother – actually needs input before birth to work correctly. In this case, ducks needed to hear the squawk of their own species (mother, siblings, or even themselves) prior to birth in order for the common behavior of following the mother to be induced.
We are additionally continually faced with novel situations that have an effect on our gene expression (aka epigenetics). Epigenetic theory explains that there are variations in phenotype trait expression that depends on our environment turning parts of our DNA on and off without actually changing DNA sequence. Our genetic programming at any one time is optimized for the past “environment(s) of evolutionary adaptedness,” as brains only evolve new and changed psychological mechanism (epigenetically or through direct mutations) once they have been exposed to environmental challenges that require domain-specific adaptations. This creates an endless feedback loop of development that has been increasing in speed exponentially as our species continues to advance technologically.
Further, evolutionary psychology posits that, even though humans have certain characteristic behaviors, culture strongly dictates how each human expresses those behaviors. Typical human traits will only develop in typical environments, and those traits can and are modified substantially as needed for survival.
Quote:
Originally Posted by reprise85 View Post
As far as fears of things that are now not nearly as deadly - there's the mismatch theory. Food is a really good way to explain this.

So, back in the day, 100,000 years ago, humans lived tough lives. They took calories wherever they could find them. And fatty and sugary foods were the best source of calories. Especially with fat - sometimes hunters had killed a bear and everyone had two days of all you can eat bear. But maybe you didn't get meat again for a month.

Now it's 100,000 years later and we drink sugar water and over-eat because our genes still think we're living in 100,000 BC and we might not have any food tomorrow.

So yeah, realistically we should be scared of guns and cars but instead we fear spiders and snakes and enclosed spaces.

It's like a fresh take on the nurture vs nature argument. It's made me question my beliefs a bit. I've generally been of the opinion that biology directs the vast majority of our behaviors but that people just don't want to believe that. Now I'm not so sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco King View Post
Yeah, it seems to me that there will always be some sort of lag between adaptions and environmental changes. We haven't lived in an environment in which cars are a bigger danger to us than snakes for long enough for us to adapt to it. I don't know if we ever will, because I feel like society and safety regulations and norms make it so that people who aren't as genetically disposed to fear being run over won't be much more likely to be run over than people who would have that mutation, so it wouldn't really be selected for.

I've always kind of felt skeptical about people's uses of parental investment theory to explain differences in male and female preferences in partners for this reason. Like, males are more likely to value attractiveness in a mate, whereas females are more likely to value prestige and wealth (the direction of the relationship is somewhat stable across culture with exceptions here and there, but the amount by which men and women differ in these respects varies wildly across culture). Evolutionary psychologists would say, "yeah, because back on the savannah, because men can produce a shittonne of gametes and women only have a few and get pregnant for nine months, men and women have different mating strategies." But, since there is always going to be that lag, shouldn't women still be attracted to men with upper-body strength, rather than men with money or something? Shouldn't men still be attracted to women who look fertile, rather than women that fit the beauty norms of whatever culture they are from?

At the end of the day, though, the differences between genders in partner preference aren't as big as they are made out to be, because the most valued traits amongst both genders is stuff like "loyalty" and "kindness" and all that. The valued traits that the genders differ on don't come in until after all the stuff they agree on.

I've never really been a biological determinist, but I do feel like there's this weird trend on the left to deny that there is any sort of human nature and to say that humans are just blank slates determined by society. I can understand what that sentiment is in reaction to, as the history of biology and psychology is filled with bad science using alleged innate differences to justify inequality and domination. And you still see that today. Most studies into behavioural or neurological differences between men and women show now differences, but the few that do show differences make headlines, and researchers are pretty quick to claim they've found a difference on flimsy data.

But at the same time, the idea that humans are totally free of biology, unlike every other species, which everybody seems to agree have behavioural predispositions, smacks of anthropocentrism to me. Like humans are "special" and different from every single living thing. You have people like Michel Foucault claiming there's no such thing as human nature, and I'm like "you what?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by reprise85 View Post
Let me modify what I'm saying. It is possible that women still prefer men with big muscles and other kinds of physical fitness. However, since it is put into our heads from a young age that we need to find a man with money (or whatever), I think it's possible that our instinctual attraction is modified after the initial pull. We are initially attracted to such things as physical fitness and waist-to-hip ratio (fertility), but if by the time we are an adult we've thought about sex every day for the last 5 years and intellectually decided that something is more attractive than physical fitness/waist-to-hip, I think that sort of self reinforcement could really change our knee-jerk reactions to people we find attractive. It's one of the few things people think about so often as to have this possibility. And if even before puberty culture has instilled in you the like of a different shape of woman, for example, it seems even more likely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco King View Post
Wow, that's cool. I always wondered if I could raise a child to have completely unconventional fears and non-fears by exposing them to frightening imagery (like goblins and evil clowns and whatnot) from a young age, and spooking them with teddy bears or something.

I guess it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint that some fears are just innate, as an adaptive strategy to avoid common dangers (predators, poisonous organisms, heights). Things like goblins and evil clowns, maybe those are different because those never existed in the wild. Or maybe some of the folk imagery we've created is scary because it borrows elements from dangers that were in the wild (maybe goblins are scary because they remind us of predators or diseased humans or something).

Complex behavioural adaptations like this boggle my mind. Like, your DNA can't think, "better create a mutation to make this person scared of snakes so that they are less likely to be killed by one." It would just so happen to be that a random mutation occurred that made one scared of snakes, and it was selected for. But even that is so hard to wrap my mind around. It probably didn't come all at once, because the chance of a mutation suddenly occurring that made one frightened by the cognitive schema that matches snakes very well is very low. Instead, it was probably gradual. First, a mutation occurred that only vaguely approximated "being scared by snakes, because our DNA doesn't "understand" and target our cognitive understandings of things. It just became more refined over time with subsequent mutations, until organisms existed that had their fear targeted at stimuli snake-like enough to give them the edge over organisms whose fears were less-precisely advantageous. I don't think I'm explaining what I'm trying to say very well. It's just too much for my brain to really intuitively grasp.
Quote:
Originally Posted by reprise85 View Post
Yeah it's kinda hard to grasp, for sure. I think the idea of epigenetic inheritance kinda makes adaptations at the physical level a little easier to swallow. If fearing snakes and spiders, which used to kill a decent minority of the population (10% perhaps) helped, it wouldn't necessarily have to be a mutation *first*. That's really the main takeaway - a person's experience, if it's adaptive enough and they've not finished having children, can change a gene's expression within one generation. Honestly I don't know if I buy this theory but there is a compelling case to be made. So, basically I'm saying we have the capacity for many fears, and your brain isn't afraid of "snakes" but afraid of "slithering things". At one point, probably way before the homo genus, someone had a near-death experience with a snake, and that turned on that genetic code that was previously turned off. So then, either at birth or at the same time as that person's child reached the age of the parent's incident, they'd have that fear. No genetic mutations required. So I guess the idea is that all of these things are already programmed as possibilities in genes, and then it is good ol' nurture that turns them on, and then nurture actually changes nature.

There is data, for example, that fetuses with impaired nutrition during the prenatal period have a higher incidence of obesity in adulthood. But so do *their* children - even when environmental attributions are controlled for. And so do their children, etc.

It's a really complex topic. Here's something I wrote to prep myself for the test tomorrow. Pretty sure this is going to be an essay question

2) Does evolutionary psychology imply a form of genetic determinism? Why or why not?

Evolutionary psychology does not imply genetic determinism - in fact, evolutionary psychology rejects that there is a clear separation between “nature” and “nurture” and the common notion that nature shapes nurture and never the other way around. It implies that genetics have an essential role in our behavior and thought processes, and that there is a basic human nature represented in our genes and in the structures of our brains architecturally, but that hard wired genetic code per se doesn’t control specific behaviors. For example, in Gottlieb’s duck experiment, it was shown that a behavior that was thought to be completely instinctual – a baby duck imprinting on and following its mother – actually needs input before birth to work correctly. In this case, ducks needed to hear the squawk of their own species (mother, siblings, or even themselves) prior to birth in order for the common behavior of following the mother to be induced.
We are additionally continually faced with novel situations that have an effect on our gene expression (aka epigenetics). Epigenetic theory explains that there are variations in phenotype trait expression that depends on our environment turning parts of our DNA on and off without actually changing DNA sequence. Our genetic programming at any one time is optimized for the past “environment(s) of evolutionary adaptedness,” as brains only evolve new and changed psychological mechanism (epigenetically or through direct mutations) once they have been exposed to environmental challenges that require domain-specific adaptations. This creates an endless feedback loop of development that has been increasing in speed exponentially as our species continues to advance technologically.
Further, evolutionary psychology posits that, even though humans have certain characteristic behaviors, culture strongly dictates how each human expresses those behaviors. Typical human traits will only develop in typical environments, and those traits can and are modified substantially as needed for survival.
Quote:
Originally Posted by reprise85 View Post
As far as fears of things that are now not nearly as deadly - there's the mismatch theory. Food is a really good way to explain this.

So, back in the day, 100,000 years ago, humans lived tough lives. They took calories wherever they could find them. And fatty and sugary foods were the best source of calories. Especially with fat - sometimes hunters had killed a bear and everyone had two days of all you can eat bear. But maybe you didn't get meat again for a month.

Now it's 100,000 years later and we drink sugar water and over-eat because our genes still think we're living in 100,000 BC and we might not have any food tomorrow.

So yeah, realistically we should be scared of guns and cars but instead we fear spiders and snakes and enclosed spaces.

It's like a fresh take on the nurture vs nature argument. It's made me question my beliefs a bit. I've generally been of the opinion that biology directs the vast majority of our behaviors but that people just don't want to believe that. Now I'm not so sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco King View Post
Yeah, it seems to me that there will always be some sort of lag between adaptions and environmental changes. We haven't lived in an environment in which cars are a bigger danger to us than snakes for long enough for us to adapt to it. I don't know if we ever will, because I feel like society and safety regulations and norms make it so that people who aren't as genetically disposed to fear being run over won't be much more likely to be run over than people who would have that mutation, so it wouldn't really be selected for.

I've always kind of felt skeptical about people's uses of parental investment theory to explain differences in male and female preferences in partners for this reason. Like, males are more likely to value attractiveness in a mate, whereas females are more likely to value prestige and wealth (the direction of the relationship is somewhat stable across culture with exceptions here and there, but the amount by which men and women differ in these respects varies wildly across culture). Evolutionary psychologists would say, "yeah, because back on the savannah, because men can produce a shittonne of gametes and women only have a few and get pregnant for nine months, men and women have different mating strategies." But, since there is always going to be that lag, shouldn't women still be attracted to men with upper-body strength, rather than men with money or something? Shouldn't men still be attracted to women who look fertile, rather than women that fit the beauty norms of whatever culture they are from?

At the end of the day, though, the differences between genders in partner preference aren't as big as they are made out to be, because the most valued traits amongst both genders is stuff like "loyalty" and "kindness" and all that. The valued traits that the genders differ on don't come in until after all the stuff they agree on.

I've never really been a biological determinist, but I do feel like there's this weird trend on the left to deny that there is any sort of human nature and to say that humans are just blank slates determined by society. I can understand what that sentiment is in reaction to, as the history of biology and psychology is filled with bad science using alleged innate differences to justify inequality and domination. And you still see that today. Most studies into behavioural or neurological differences between men and women show now differences, but the few that do show differences make headlines, and researchers are pretty quick to claim they've found a difference on flimsy data.

But at the same time, the idea that humans are totally free of biology, unlike every other species, which everybody seems to agree have behavioural predispositions, smacks of anthropocentrism to me. Like humans are "special" and different from every single living thing. You have people like Michel Foucault claiming there's no such thing as human nature, and I'm like "you what?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by reprise85 View Post
Let me modify what I'm saying. It is possible that women still prefer men with big muscles and other kinds of physical fitness. However, since it is put into our heads from a young age that we need to find a man with money (or whatever), I think it's possible that our instinctual attraction is modified after the initial pull. We are initially attracted to such things as physical fitness and waist-to-hip ratio (fertility), but if by the time we are an adult we've thought about sex every day for the last 5 years and intellectually decided that something is more attractive than physical fitness/waist-to-hip, I think that sort of self reinforcement could really change our knee-jerk reactions to people we find attractive. It's one of the few things people think about so often as to have this possibility. And if even before puberty culture has instilled in you the like of a different shape of woman, for example, it seems even more likely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco King View Post
Wow, that's cool. I always wondered if I could raise a child to have completely unconventional fears and non-fears by exposing them to frightening imagery (like goblins and evil clowns and whatnot) from a young age, and spooking them with teddy bears or something.

I guess it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint that some fears are just innate, as an adaptive strategy to avoid common dangers (predators, poisonous organisms, heights). Things like goblins and evil clowns, maybe those are different because those never existed in the wild. Or maybe some of the folk imagery we've created is scary because it borrows elements from dangers that were in the wild (maybe goblins are scary because they remind us of predators or diseased humans or something).

Complex behavioural adaptations like this boggle my mind. Like, your DNA can't think, "better create a mutation to make this person scared of snakes so that they are less likely to be killed by one." It would just so happen to be that a random mutation occurred that made one scared of snakes, and it was selected for. But even that is so hard to wrap my mind around. It probably didn't come all at once, because the chance of a mutation suddenly occurring that made one frightened by the cognitive schema that matches snakes very well is very low. Instead, it was probably gradual. First, a mutation occurred that only vaguely approximated "being scared by snakes, because our DNA doesn't "understand" and target our cognitive understandings of things. It just became more refined over time with subsequent mutations, until organisms existed that had their fear targeted at stimuli snake-like enough to give them the edge over organisms whose fears were less-precisely advantageous. I don't think I'm explaining what I'm trying to say very well. It's just too much for my brain to really intuitively grasp.
Quote:
Originally Posted by reprise85 View Post
Yeah it's kinda hard to grasp, for sure. I think the idea of epigenetic inheritance kinda makes adaptations at the physical level a little easier to swallow. If fearing snakes and spiders, which used to kill a decent minority of the population (10% perhaps) helped, it wouldn't necessarily have to be a mutation *first*. That's really the main takeaway - a person's experience, if it's adaptive enough and they've not finished having children, can change a gene's expression within one generation. Honestly I don't know if I buy this theory but there is a compelling case to be made. So, basically I'm saying we have the capacity for many fears, and your brain isn't afraid of "snakes" but afraid of "slithering things". At one point, probably way before the homo genus, someone had a near-death experience with a snake, and that turned on that genetic code that was previously turned off. So then, either at birth or at the same time as that person's child reached the age of the parent's incident, they'd have that fear. No genetic mutations required. So I guess the idea is that all of these things are already programmed as possibilities in genes, and then it is good ol' nurture that turns them on, and then nurture actually changes nature.

There is data, for example, that fetuses with impaired nutrition during the prenatal period have a higher incidence of obesity in adulthood. But so do *their* children - even when environmental attributions are controlled for. And so do their children, etc.

It's a really complex topic. Here's something I wrote to prep myself for the test tomorrow. Pretty sure this is going to be an essay question

2) Does evolutionary psychology imply a form of genetic determinism? Why or why not?

Evolutionary psychology does not imply genetic determinism - in fact, evolutionary psychology rejects that there is a clear separation between “nature” and “nurture” and the common notion that nature shapes nurture and never the other way around. It implies that genetics have an essential role in our behavior and thought processes, and that there is a basic human nature represented in our genes and in the structures of our brains architecturally, but that hard wired genetic code per se doesn’t control specific behaviors. For example, in Gottlieb’s duck experiment, it was shown that a behavior that was thought to be completely instinctual – a baby duck imprinting on and following its mother – actually needs input before birth to work correctly. In this case, ducks needed to hear the squawk of their own species (mother, siblings, or even themselves) prior to birth in order for the common behavior of following the mother to be induced.
We are additionally continually faced with novel situations that have an effect on our gene expression (aka epigenetics). Epigenetic theory explains that there are variations in phenotype trait expression that depends on our environment turning parts of our DNA on and off without actually changing DNA sequence. Our genetic programming at any one time is optimized for the past “environment(s) of evolutionary adaptedness,” as brains only evolve new and changed psychological mechanism (epigenetically or through direct mutations) once they have been exposed to environmental challenges that require domain-specific adaptations. This creates an endless feedback loop of development that has been increasing in speed exponentially as our species continues to advance technologically.
Further, evolutionary psychology posits that, even though humans have certain characteristic behaviors, culture strongly dictates how each human expresses those behaviors. Typical human traits will only develop in typical environments, and those traits can and are modified substantially as needed for survival.
Quote:
Originally Posted by reprise85 View Post
As far as fears of things that are now not nearly as deadly - there's the mismatch theory. Food is a really good way to explain this.

So, back in the day, 100,000 years ago, humans lived tough lives. They took calories wherever they could find them. And fatty and sugary foods were the best source of calories. Especially with fat - sometimes hunters had killed a bear and everyone had two days of all you can eat bear. But maybe you didn't get meat again for a month.

Now it's 100,000 years later and we drink sugar water and over-eat because our genes still think we're living in 100,000 BC and we might not have any food tomorrow.

So yeah, realistically we should be scared of guns and cars but instead we fear spiders and snakes and enclosed spaces.

It's like a fresh take on the nurture vs nature argument. It's made me question my beliefs a bit. I've generally been of the opinion that biology directs the vast majority of our behaviors but that people just don't want to believe that. Now I'm not so sure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco King View Post
Yeah, it seems to me that there will always be some sort of lag between adaptions and environmental changes. We haven't lived in an environment in which cars are a bigger danger to us than snakes for long enough for us to adapt to it. I don't know if we ever will, because I feel like society and safety regulations and norms make it so that people who aren't as genetically disposed to fear being run over won't be much more likely to be run over than people who would have that mutation, so it wouldn't really be selected for.

I've always kind of felt skeptical about people's uses of parental investment theory to explain differences in male and female preferences in partners for this reason. Like, males are more likely to value attractiveness in a mate, whereas females are more likely to value prestige and wealth (the direction of the relationship is somewhat stable across culture with exceptions here and there, but the amount by which men and women differ in these respects varies wildly across culture). Evolutionary psychologists would say, "yeah, because back on the savannah, because men can produce a shittonne of gametes and women only have a few and get pregnant for nine months, men and women have different mating strategies." But, since there is always going to be that lag, shouldn't women still be attracted to men with upper-body strength, rather than men with money or something? Shouldn't men still be attracted to women who look fertile, rather than women that fit the beauty norms of whatever culture they are from?

At the end of the day, though, the differences between genders in partner preference aren't as big as they are made out to be, because the most valued traits amongst both genders is stuff like "loyalty" and "kindness" and all that. The valued traits that the genders differ on don't come in until after all the stuff they agree on.

I've never really been a biological determinist, but I do feel like there's this weird trend on the left to deny that there is any sort of human nature and to say that humans are just blank slates determined by society. I can understand what that sentiment is in reaction to, as the history of biology and psychology is filled with bad science using alleged innate differences to justify inequality and domination. And you still see that today. Most studies into behavioural or neurological differences between men and women show now differences, but the few that do show differences make headlines, and researchers are pretty quick to claim they've found a difference on flimsy data.

But at the same time, the idea that humans are totally free of biology, unlike every other species, which everybody seems to agree have behavioural predispositions, smacks of anthropocentrism to me. Like humans are "special" and different from every single living thing. You have people like Michel Foucault claiming there's no such thing as human nature, and I'm like "you what?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by reprise85 View Post
Let me modify what I'm saying. It is possible that women still prefer men with big muscles and other kinds of physical fitness. However, since it is put into our heads from a young age that we need to find a man with money (or whatever), I think it's possible that our instinctual attraction is modified after the initial pull. We are initially attracted to such things as physical fitness and waist-to-hip ratio (fertility), but if by the time we are an adult we've thought about sex every day for the last 5 years and intellectually decided that something is more attractive than physical fitness/waist-to-hip, I think that sort of self reinforcement could really change our knee-jerk reactions to people we find attractive. It's one of the few things people think about so often as to have this possibility. And if even before puberty culture has instilled in you the like of a different shape of woman, for example, it seems even more likely.

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:22 PM   #113
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Lol boarding gold itt

Y'all are on fire

Here comes my netphoria of old
To carry me on

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:44 PM   #114
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if this were netphoria of old I would now find your parents' home phone number and tell them you are dead

 
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:54 PM   #115
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hey fuzzy check out these photos from pre-revolutionary Iranian fashion magazines. these women are so oppressed by Islam it's ridiculous.

Iranian fashion from the 70s

or this Afghanistan before the Taliban


so crazy I mean if prejudices and stereotypes hadn't already concretely molded my idea of one billion individuals as a single unit, I might be tempted to consider that all this oppression and violence has no direct link to Islam at all and is in fact the result of a bunch of patriarchal assholes freeing themselves by enslaving their people kind of like what happens everywhere else in the world when people are desperate for political and economical and social change as a result of having your nation and culture raped by imperialism

Last edited by redbreegull : 02-13-2016 at 12:03 AM.

 
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:01 AM   #116
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why is it that i absolutely love every photo taken in the 70s ever

 
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:09 AM   #117
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photos from the 70s always seem to have warm color filters on them or something. I'm sure it has something to do with the photographic technology available then, but they do seem automatically appealing to the eye. These days everyone's shitty phones throw warm and grainy filters on images to mimic this effect

 
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:16 AM   #118
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yeah of course. same applies to sound - analogue recording techniques and gear sound much warmer and less clear than digital, but it's almost universally preferred.

what makes analogue processing of stuff so much more appealing?
it's fascinating to me

 
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Old 02-13-2016, 12:19 AM   #119
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it is my personal theory that perhaps we, as humans, don't like things to be too perfect and clear, as we like our sensational pleasures to have some sort of flawed quality to them, so as to reflect the flaws and imprefections in ourselves

 
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:01 AM   #120
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that sounds right. would you rather hear someone sing with the natural and imperfect rise and fall of a human voice complete with cracks and imperfect pitch or... would you rather listen to someone's voice run through heavy autotune to achieve technical perfection

 
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