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Ch. 7 - The social whirl 
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Post Ch. 7 - The social whirl
Ch. 7 - The social whirl



Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:51 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - The social whirl
Interesting passage in Chapter 7. It's talking about the size of social groups that we have evolved to deal with.

Quote:
The Hutterites, a fundamentalist Christian group, who came from Europe to settle in Dakota and southern Canada during the middle of the nineteenth century, continue, even now, to live a strictly communal life in which the farmland is owned commu- nally and the farm work shared equally. However, they invariably split communities once their size exceeds about 150 individuals because, they say, it is not possible to manage a community that is larger than this by peer pressure alone: you need a police force. Since police forces are anathema to the very concept of their way of life, they prefer to avoid the problem by ensuring that commu- nity size is always below the critical limit.



Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:32 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - The social whirl
I mentioned this in the 'Pure Language' section of 'A visit from the Goon Squad' - do you think that words like 'friendship' and 'aquaintences' have to be redefined in this internet age? I often arrange to meet 'friends' I have met on the internet when they come over to Gambia, and am often shocked at the last minute to realise I have no idea what they look like, or whether they are male or female,


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Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:59 am
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - The social whirl
sorry for any spelling mistakes, My 60 cent?? unbreakable glasses broke and I can hardly see a thing cos they keep slipping off my face,


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Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:00 am
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - The social whirl
The authors suggest that the number of friends and acquaintances that humans are able to maintain, from earliest hunter-gatherer societies to post industrial times numbers to be 100 to 150. They go on to describe the breakdown:

“It is as if each of us sits in the centre of a series of expanding circle of acquaintance, with each circle corresponding to a very characteristic number of individuals. These natural groupings seem to cluster at about 5 ( the support clique from whom we would seek emotional support in moments of crisis); 12-15 (the sympathy group, with whom we have particularly close relationships); 35 (equivalent in size, interestingly enough, to the typical size of hunter-gatherer overnight camps); 150 (equivalent to hunter-gatherer clans); ……”
(People outside this group would be known as part of a class or group rather than as individuals.)

I wonder if these numbers hold up in this age of electronic social networking where people claim hundreds of ‘friends’ with a growing number of people forming very intimate relationships over the internet with people they have never seen and who they may never see!

The authors claim:
“It is clear that the ultimate limit is created by cognitive factors, which influence our ability to maintain coherent and intimate relationships with many individuals”.

I wonder if social networking over the internet increases our capacity to form larger close friendships in a manner similar to the way the microscope and telescope increases our natural visual capacity.



Thu May 10, 2012 7:38 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - The social whirl
LevV wrote:
I wonder if these numbers hold up in this age of electronic social networking where people claim hundreds of ‘friends’ with a growing number of people forming very intimate relationships over the internet with people they have never seen and who they may never see!
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Except they're really not intimate relationships, are they?



Thu May 10, 2012 7:48 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - The social whirl
Well I would disagree with you on that. I have formed very close friendships with people, initially over the internet, and when we do visit each other it feels like we've known each other for years (and often we have!) I keep in more intimate and regular contact with them through texts and face book than I do with my own family.


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Fri May 11, 2012 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - The social whirl
heledd wrote:
Well I would disagree with you on that. I have formed very close friendships with people, initially over the internet, and when we do visit each other it feels like we've known each other for years (and often we have!) I keep in more intimate and regular contact with them through texts and face book than I do with my own family.


That's cool, I just think that's fairly unusual. And I think even fewer people have a much greater number of intimate friends than before social networking (they do have a greater number of Facebook friends).



Fri May 11, 2012 8:37 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 7 - The social whirl
On my post above, I expressed a curiosity about the possible effects of the electronic media on the model created by the authors to describe the number of friends and acquaintances most people have. The authors said nothing about the electronic media in their book, but I did find on YouTube a 15 min talk by the main author, Robin Dunbar. In this talk (March 2012) he claims that the number of friends we have do not increase with the use of internet tools like Facebook. I’m not completely convinced yet, but he does make some good points.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07IpED729k8



Tue May 15, 2012 6:50 pm
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