Science in a Complex World: In touch with our inner hero – The Santa Fe New Mexican
In addition, we modeled mathematically what happens to groups over many generations. Our results lined up remarkably well with the data we gathered. Groups exhibiting two co-existing traits seemed to prevail and persist throughout history: cooperation within groups and a willingness to collaborate in conflict against outsiders. We call it parochial altruism, because generosity sometimes stops at the boundary of the group (just like some forms of modern nationalism).
By contrast, warlike, selfish groups don’t fare well. (They start wars and lose them because, being selfish and uncooperative, nobody is willing to fight.) Altruistic, peaceful groups don’t last long either.
So forget Dawkins’ gangsters and their ruthless competition; cooperation is a winning ticket if you are a group of prehistoric humans fighting for survival, either against nature or against other groups.
Captivated by critters: Humans are wired to respond to animals
“Our study shows that neurons in the human amygdala respond preferentially to pictures of animals, meaning that we saw the most amount of activity in cells when the patients looked at cats or snakes versus buildings or people,” says Florian Mormann, lead author on the paper and a former postdoctoral scholar in the Division of Biology at Caltech. “This preference extends to cute as well as ugly or dangerous animals and appears to be independent of the emotional contents of the pictures. Remarkably, we find this response behavior only in the right and not in the left amygdala.”
Mormann says this striking hemispheric asymmetry helps strengthen previous findings supporting the idea that, early on in vertebrate evolution, the right hemisphere became specialized in dealing with unexpected and biologically relevant stimuli, or with changes in the environment. “In terms of brain evolution, the amygdala is a very old structure, and throughout our biological history, animals — which could represent either predators or prey — were a highly relevant class of stimuli,” he says.
Social Power and the Coming Corporate Revolution – Forbes
This social might is now moving toward your company. We have entered the age of empowered individuals, who use potent new technologies and harness social media to organize themselves. A few have joined cause with WikiLeaks and its terrifying stepchildren, upending the once secure corridors of the U.S. State Department and Pentagon. But most are ordinary people with new tools to force you to listen to what they care about and to demand respect. Both your customers and your employees have started marching in this burgeoning social media multitude, and you’d better get out of their way—or learn to embrace them.
The institutions of modern developed societies, whether governments or companies, are not prepared for this new social power. People are changing faster than companies.
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