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Everything posted by Peterkin

  1. Of course the US didn't land on the moon. That technology is as yet beyond human capability. Just that one little capsule landed in 1969, and then four more in the following years. Only 12 guys altogether. Hardly any accomplishment at all.
  2. No, it doesn't and you have done your erroneous pointing-out. I didn't say 'following the African rains'. They followed the animals, (which periodically stop to rest, drink, graze and regroup), that follow the grass (which takes 1-3 weeks from the onset of rain to regrow and keeps on growing after the rain has stopped) which follows the rains, which keep falling more or less regularly for 2 to 7 months, during and after which season, the animals keep grazing. They do not keep pace with the rain-clouds; they just keep up with the grass and the hunters keep tracking the herds. Besides which, Paleolithic people were tough; 20 km/day, which is a dawdle for modern hikers, would have been child's play for them.
  3. I thought we were talking about the spread of humans out of Africa to the rest of the world. However, in Africa, too, hunters follow the animals that follow the grass, which follows the rains, which are seasonal.
  4. That home range can be quite large, if you follow prey to winter and summer grazing and the ripening season of fruit, also to avoid extreme weather. But they didn't necessarily have a choice: there could be a flood or drought, locust invasion, rockfall - all kinds of things happen to make a territory inhospitable.
  5. Yes. All of those things, plus seasonal migration, plus shifting population due to climate and natural conditions, or because they were pushed out by a more powerful group, or they had overhunted a territory and had to move on. https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/global-human-journey
  6. Also early childhood stimulation and the availability of challenging toys and games. Having benign, unintrusive adult attention fosters confidence, and experience with test-taking helps in taking any new test. Children living in poverty generally lack of those things. Plus, it might be interesting to know where the test was devised and by whom: cultural bias and differences in communication may be factors.
  7. There is that. Unless the very intelligent person has some intense focus, like physics or chess, to concentrate their mind, they may tend to look at the world without comforting illusions, and despair. In the case of my young acquaintance, there was another factor: a highly developed emotional sensitivity; I suspect he was a natural empath who had not been taught any coping technique. My partner and I would probably score about the same on a conventional IQ test, though our range of perception, as well as our approach to problem-solving are very different.
  8. Back in that same time, I knew one young man who had a measured IQ of 180+. He worked nights in a greasy spoon across the street from the railway station. Nights, because the customers then were mainly regulars who worked at the terminal. He couldn't stand too much contact with strangers. He didn't go out much in daylight for the same reason. He was incapable of ignoring any person, thing or idea that came within his ken. He had, by age 19, already been admitted to a psychiatric hospital three times and tried to commit suicide twice. It was just too exhausting to deal with everything in his head.
  9. Why? I took the test a long time ago, back when I was young and dumb enough to believe it meant something. I was invited to join a local club, but they were mostly couples with children, all earnestly obsessed with developing their little genii's genius. I didn't join, but kept in touch with two people who were actually fun, and who also didn't join.
  10. Probably not, at least not with money - it's too portable and changeable in value. A benign marketplace would require all participants to be honest and well-intentioned. But rules can be set up so that anyone dealing dishonestly or harmfully would be expelled. Like a barter group, or better, a resource-based economy.
  11. Oh, not the merry-go-round again! It seems like you're going around in circles.
  12. You get all kinds of regressive kookery. Like Flat Earth Theory. In the case of denying the big bang, it's simply to assert the creation of "the world" according to their own mythology. Of course, that biblical "world" was a vanishingly small fraction of the universe of which we are aware now, and the creator-gods of the time didn't require the quantities of space, time and energy we now to know to be involved. So, in order to make their story "true", they have to pretend very hard not to know a great many things they do know and choose to deny. Hence the sarcasm and outre comparisons: it's a smoke-screen for self-deception. There is a little more to the denial of evolution: that's not just an aspersion on their deity; it's personal. They desperately want to be the special, favoured creatures of someone with super-powers.
  13. When you have long legs and lots of clearance, your belly doesn't need as much protection as when you crawl on or close to the ground.
  14. What do you mean by that? We have to wake up every morning, eat at reasonably regular intervals and go to sleep at night? Then yes. The weather grows colder as winter approaches, warmer in spring, hot in summer and then cools down again. Then, yes. Groups of people desire the same things as other groups of people and fight over those things? Then, yes. However, no two meals, summers or wars are identical. Though many believe in consecutive lives and eternity, I see no evidence of it. I believe each human, each life is unique and finite. And, while I don't speak apidaean, bees probably are, too. I heard it was more like a continuous expansion that still hasn't stopped, with a good deal of local variation in stars, planets, asteroids, gas clouds and the spaces between. And not the least bit repetitive. Or merry. I'd be happy with completing one circle, so we could go back to sticks and stones and rethink the situation before somebody builds a great big stone tomb. But that's just me. War has certainly been one of humanity's favourite pastimes - preparing for war, making war, cleaning up after a war. But in between, and during wars, people do lots of singing and working and playing games, too. To survive. It is the primary motivation of all organisms. That's unlikely to change. So? What do you propose to do about it?
  15. Economy. For animals that need to move, sometimes very fast, the weight of bones is a serious consideration. The brain gets most of the bony protection, because even a slight injury to the brain can be fatal. Then the heart and lungs - particularly from behind, where predators are most likely to attack. The gut and stomach get a fatty pad, and a layer of muscle. There a certain amount of flexibility in the abdomen; malleable soft tissue is better able to withstand blows and pressure than the delicate lungs.
  16. One has to wonder how they got the hump-backed bulls, mammoths and wild horses into the cave to pose for them? And prehistoric plains-people, forest dwellers and nomads - how did their minds work?
  17. Good. I did say "might be" and "I don't know". Try it sometime; it only hurts until you get some practice.
  18. I don't know about that; there is no evidence. (See? When there is no evidence either way, one does not draw a definite conclusion.)You might just be in denial and protesting too much. What I do see evidence of is the syndrome where people object to things that are in no way objectionable or of any detriment to themselves, the way you have been objecting to aphantasia. That is the condition to which I was referring. I haven't named it yet, but it's obviously a subspecies of hypercriticalism.
  19. And why does this annoy you? Being annoyed by things that have zero effect on your daily activities or experience is not a recognized condition, either, but it's a uncommon enough phenomenon that I recognize it. You have it.
  20. I don't know if different kinds of perceptions should or can be classified as 'conditions' - though, of course, they are various conditions in which a mind happens to find to function - but they need to be recognized as real and valid variants. Synaesthesia has been recognized for some time, and eve if it were not, I would still experience colour associated with numbers, letters, sounds and even emotions.
  21. Why does this upset you? People apparently experience something unusual that puts them at a disadvantage compared to people who don't experience it. When it's been sufficiently investigated and documented, it will be recognized as a condition - or not. That won't change the experience of the people who have it, but it won't go in the manual. If you are not one of those people, don't bother them, and they won't bother you.
  22. It doesn't necessarily protect anybody. Rights, freedoms and protections either have to be written into the constitution and the legal code, or enacted one at a time as the polity requires a law or a custom to be changed. If there is a minority that is despised by the majority, they will never be protected, unless the majority attitude changes through some agency, and that changed attitude is reflected in the democratic process. However, it seems to me that people who feel physically safe and economically secure grow more tolerant and generous in their attitude. The marginalized minority will find advocates in the comfortable majority. Even when African slavery was the norm, some middle-class white people opposed it on moral grounds. If the concepts or equality and justice are central to the social philosophy, injustice will always be opposed... as long as the majority feels they can afford to be tolerant and fair. (The trick to preserving injustice is to sow distrust and fear in the populace: They want to take your jobs. They want to rape your daughters. They'll persecute your religion. They'll have too many babies and outnumber you. They'll adulterate your culture, erode your traditions. They're dirty and spread disease. They're lazy and unproductive and a drain on your resources.) In choosing the persons who will draft and pass legislation, you are not asking the representative to tell you what to do, you are asking him to serve your best interest - whether that's in the prohibition of certain activities of which you disapprove, or striking down old laws you consider outmoded, or reallocating public funds or providing government services. Direct democracy is not really practicable in large, diverse populations. Even with the technical possibility of the whole population voting by electronic plebiscite on every issue, it's unwieldy, time-consuming, error-prone and vulnerable to tampering. Or marijuana? Yes, in each round, there are winners and losers. If more people dislike than like having to do without onions, or indoor smoking, for four years, the ruling will be overturned when the pro-onion party takes office. This is so in every large organization, in the name of efficiency, economy, the king, national security, company policy, God or whatever. It is an unavoidable flaw in organizing on large scale. Someone has to direct each operation; others have to carry out orders; everybody has to live with the results - until something changes. Human interactions are never going to be neat and perfect, in any political system. That just means money is the most common means of corruption. Has been for some time, and not only in democracies. Better systems exist, if not perfect ones, and ours could certainly be improved.
  23. Democracy of the inclusive parliamentary kind, not the Greek model, requires that every eligible citizen have equal opportunity to participate in the selection of its governing bodies. The citizen can vote for a person to represent his or her interests, or a policy platform proposed by a party, or some combination of both; furthermore, every eligible citizen has the right to stand for election to office. No other kind of equality is entailed or implied. Which, of course, means that clean democratic process produce governments that move gradually toward equality and equity for all the citizens, simply because the majority, not the privileged elite, decide for the policy that favours their interest. If an elite wants to retain its privilege, it must corrupt the democratic process.
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