Tag Archives: Social Science

NEANDERTHAL 350000-400000

Neanderthal_crop A

Comparison of the DNA of Neanderthals and Homo sapiens suggests that they diverged from a common ancestor between 350,000 and 400,000 years ago. This ancestor is not certain, but was probably Homo heidelbergensis (sometimes called Homo rhodesiensis). Heidelbergensis originated between 800,000 and 1,300,000 years ago, and continued until about 200,000. It ranged over east and South Africa, Europe and west Asia. Between 350,000 and 400,000 years ago the African branch is thought to have started evolving towards modern humans and the European branch towards Neanderthals. Scientists do not agree when Neanderthals can first be recognised in the fossil record, with dates ranging 200,000 and 300,000 years BP.

THE HUMAN JOURNEY

http://www.humanjourney.us/intro.html

Pondering the past, wondering about who we are as human beings, and attempting to decipher the code of human heritage are all components of the research found at human journey. We live in a time unprecedented in human history when, and where we are able to use science as a tool to refine our understanding of the past, unlocking the code of human evolution.

Werner Herzog, and his recent film, Cave of Forgotten Dreams points to an earlier time in human history, a time when humans had a capacity for art, long before most of us think of human beings as the artists we have become in the twenty first century. www.wernerherzog.com

Thank you to all who put these ideas into the ethers, and for all of the great educators who continue to propel our understanding of things.

best, dk

PSYCHOGRAPHICS

Criteria for segmenting consumers by lifestyle, attitudes, beliefs, values, personality, buying motives, and/or extent of product usage. Psychographic analyses are used like geographic (place of residence, or work) and demographic (age, income, occupation) criteria to describe and identify customers and prospective customers and to aid in developing promotion strategies designed to appeal to specific psychographic segments of the market for a product. For example, the market for soap may consist of various psychographic segments described by their primary purchase motives (beauty, health, grooming), usage styles (daily, weekly, salon-only), or lifestyle (frequent travelers, parents).

The psychographic characteristics of the market affect advertising copy, packaging (travel size, child-proof, decorator pump), and channels of distribution (supermarkets, pharmacies, specialty stores, internet).

Psychographic data can be gathered firsthand through personal interviews, focus group interviews or questionnaires, or purchased from research companies in the form of list overlays for direct marketers or market profiles for general marketers.

OBSERVATION: Establishing limits, and quantifying social strata are tools utilized by advertisers working to expand markets. Through the careful collection of personal data, this information can be extrapolated into expected cause and effect, or decision making strategies of consumers as potential customers for products and services.

In the grand scale, marketers, such as Edward Bernays applied psychographics combined with advanced psychological theories regarding control of social masses to expand marketing potentials. In contemplating these ideas, we can clearly see the complexity of modern society in terms of individual purpose, decision making, and the desire for businesses to collect data regarding these behaviors. Consumers, for the most part, are probably unaware of the means employed in extracting personal psychological profiles (extrapolated as larger scale demographics) utilized in creating advertising, marketing, public relations, and other social-political strategies.

Discourse on Voluntary Servitude

I see no good in having several lords;
Let one alone be master, let one alone be king.

These words Homer puts in the mouth of Ulysses, as he addresses the people. If he had said nothing further than “I see no good in having several lords,” it would have been well spoken. For the sake of logic he should have maintained that the rule of several could not be good since the power of one man alone, as soon as he acquires the title of master, becomes abusive and unreasonable. Instead he declared what seems preposterous: “Let one alone be master, let one alone be king.” We must not be critical of Ulysses, who at the moment was perhaps obliged to speak these words in order to quell a mutiny in the army, for this reason, in my opinion, choosing language to meet the emergency rather than the truth. Yet, in the light of reason, it is a great misfortune to be at the beck and call of one master, for it is impossible to be sure that he is going to be kind, since it is always in his power to be cruel whenever he pleases. As for having several masters, according to the number one has, it amounts to being that many times unfortunate. Although I do not wish at this time to discuss this much debated question, namely whether other types of government are preferable to monarchy, still I should like to know, before casting doubt on the place that monarchy should occupy among commonwealths, whether or not it belongs to such a group, since it is hard to believe that there is anything of common wealth in a country where everything belongs to one master. This question, however, can remain for another time and would really require a separate treatment involving by its very nature all sorts of political discussion.

For the present I should like merely to understand how it happens that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant who has no other power than the power they give him; who is able to harm them only to the extent to which they have the willingness to bear with him; who could do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to put up with him rather than contradict him. Surely a striking situation! Yet it is so common that one must grieve the more and wonder the less at the spectacle of a million men serving in wretchedness, their necks under the yoke, not constrained by a greater multitude than they, but simply, it would seem, delighted and charmed by the name of one man alone whose power they need not fear, for he is evidently the one person whose qualities they cannot admire because of his inhumanity and brutality toward them. A weakness characteristic of human kind is that we often have to obey force; we have to make concessions; we ourselves cannot always be the stronger. Therefore, when a nation is constrained by the fortune of war to serve a single clique, as happened when the city of Athens served the thirty Tyrants, one should not be amazed that the nation obeys, but simply be grieved by the situation; or rather, instead of being amazed or saddened, consider patiently the evil and look forward hopefully toward a happier future.

OBSERVATION: Discourse on Voluntary Servitude, Etienne de la Boetie 1546-48 This introductory excerpt to the discourse introduces the premise: human behavior within the social context of servant, and the served. In the mid 1500’s La Boetie examined the need to understand how social hierarchy and organization fell into place, elaborating these ideas in the full discourse. The relevance of this essay remains intact, questioning how authority is distributed throughout human social hierarchy.

THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION: 1959

C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination, Oxford, 1959.

p 3 “Nowadays men often feel that their private lives are a series of traps. They sense that within their everyday worlds, they cannot overcome their troubles, and in this feeling, they are often quite correct: What ordinary men are directly aware of and what they try to do are bounded by the private orbits in which they live; their visions and their powers are limited to the close-up scenes of job, family, neighborhood; in other milieux, they move vicariously and remain spectators. And the more aware they become, however vaguely, of ambitions and of threats which transcend their immediate locales, the more trapped they seem to feel.

p 161 …..The life of an individual cannot be adquately understood without references to the institutions within which his biography is enacted. For this biography records the acquiring, dropping, modifying, and in a very intimate way, the moving from one role to another. One is a child in a certain kind of family, one is a playmate in a certain kind of child’s group, a student, a workman, a foreman, a general, a mother. Much of human life consists of playing such roles within specific institutions. To understand the biography of an individual, we must understand the significance and meaning of the roles he has played and does play, to understand these roles we must understand the institutions of which they are a part.”

OBSERVATION: Social scientists discover the meaning of human life evidenced by human activity and interaction. Mills points out that it is imperative to know the institutions in which humans live in order to understand the individual. The data and interactions necessary to gain a full understanding of one individual in society requires an accumulation of vast amounts of information (in order to genuinely understand the nature of that person). While the accumulation of data is required, it is important to recognize the organic nature of the data, with its constant ebb and flow. Equally, it is necessary to see the individual as a component of other larger groups, and again, organically linked. An interesting examination of social consciousness is currently being studied at: The Global Consciousness Project, subtitle: Meaningful Correlations in Random Data.