Reality Blind - Vol. 1

easily predicted by genes and individual fitness alone.

Equality and Fairness

Summary: Are humans naturally egalitarian? The answer is (as with many things)…‘it depends’. We know from the sexual selection chapter, ancestral humans — like any biological organisms — seek status to move up the mating ladder. Status, in our ancestral past, was measured variously by humor, hunting prowess, story-telling ability, intelligence, kindness etc. It was not -and could not be - measured by ‘stuff’ because anything we had of value would be consumed in a short time —and couldn’t be easily carried around the savannah, even if we had it. Yes, for 97% of our history as a species, humans have been intensely and aggressively egalitarian — in terms of consumption . Sharing everything was not only mandatory but policed using social reciprocity. In modern hunter gatherer societies, anthropologists note that even small children are chastised for taking food out of turn 80 . Hunters might have described their prize animal kills as ‘scrawny’ and self -deprecation would be common — boasting provoked strong negative response to the point of ridicule and ostracization. In the transient camps of our ancestors, the poorest looking hut was often where the tribal leader slept 81 .


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