We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
(Photo is flocking blackbirds. I do not know where BD found that image.)
A while ago, we posted some throw-away comment about human tribalism and the relative comfort most people fell, most of the time, with their own peeps. Ah, here is was:
Skin and ethnic diversity damages "social capital," harms society. Yes, OK, but it's not the skin or the ethnic: it is the different cultures that cause the issues with trust, familiarity, and comfort. Everybody is more comfortable around their own peeps, because they know what to expect and know where they're coming from. We consider that to be wholesome, natural, and intelligent tribalism.
Birds of a feather flock because they can interpret and understand what is going on - mainly the non-verbal messages. I participated in a medical conference in Japan about ten years ago, and I found it uncomfortable. The translators were excellent (I think) but I could not gauge the Japanese docs' reactions. Were they bored? Amused? Interested? Did they get my little jokes? Most of them spoke some or a lot of English, but the verbal is just one piece of communication and signaling - and verbal communication is the most dishonest.
Knowing how and what to trust in others may be the most important interpersonal issue. Of course, one cannot automatically trust one's own peeps, but one can at least take their measure. That's what made me think about IFF.
IFF is the technological version of Stranger Anxiety. Clearly some stranger anxiety and wariness is necessary in life, unless one wants to go through life like Candide.
I remember once being told by somebody who "interviewed" kids for Kindergarten for a fancy private school that the kids who jumped right into the class (they brought them into a pre-K classroom) were the lower IQ, overly-social kids. The bright kids held back, watched, got the lay of the land beore they made a move. (There is probably a bell curve distribution of such traits, as in most things.)
Survival is difficult, but social interactions are maybe even more difficult. Early humans, we know, were not only violently territorial but also cannibals.
Here's some hard evidence for the idea that the human brain grew powerful in order to deal with other human brains. It reminds me of how computerized trading programs which use automated arbitrage tactics to compete with the programs from other companies, seek constantly improving advantages in speed and subtlety. Brain vs. brain and, indeed, a form of virtual cannibalism.
Boids have always interested me since the birds must turn long before any recognizable form of communication can take place. Even in Alaska when the ducks and geese begin to rise and take off on their journey( there are hundreds of thousands of them), they seem to take off with ease and manage to miss each other somehow.
Happiness is bliss. When I taught teenagers, I taught all the levels from 'Basic' to AP. I can stand on my experience that the lowel the level, the friendlier the kids were. Let me add that this was in the beginning of classes. As the year went on, it leveled out somewhat, but by far, the lower kids were hilarious, spontaneous, and friendly. They were, however, a little intimidated by the 'smart' kids, but as there was little interaction between the groups, it didn't matter. The 'average' kids tended to be very people savvy - as if they needed that trait to make it. I loved them all, but I can recall doing a mental metamorphosis as each different class came in. Oh, the average (uh, rednecks.. ) were the funniest.
A flock of birds like that, usually starlings, is called a 'concatenation'.