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Is it evolution that's making us rude, or bandwidth?

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Keith and Company

Is it evolution that's making us rude, or bandwidth?

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Some anthropologist or psychologist said that we evolved in tribes or packs, and we're conditioned to only see a few hundred people as 'real.' The rest are not real to us, we tend not to sympathize or emote with them.With the vastness of the media empire, and the depth of characters created, i fear that a lot of those 200 or so 'real' slots are taken up by sports heroes, TV characters, video game figures and online friends. The mundanes of daily life can't compete. A kid will care more what Lara Croft or Tom Coughlin says on the screen than what his English Teacher is telling him.So the neighbors assume the emotional slots that, in a previous generation, were assigned to the kids in a distant city, like Detroit or Boise. You knew they were there, but it wasn't like it was an important part of your life.I doubt that anything taught at a high school level about man, god and mud leads to increased violence in the hallways. But when half of the kid's recognized 'tribe' is virtual life, his relationships with blood and meat life are going to suffer. Keith's Place
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Is it evolution that's making us rude, or bandwidth?

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Interesting thought Keith. Quote:...I fear that a lot of those 200 or so 'real' slots are taken up by sports heroes, TV characters, video game figures and online friends.Haven't humans always had their idols? Even before television and the Internet people had athletes, musicians, Gladiators, politicians and religious figures to idolize. But were these figures, back then, taking up precious "slots?" I'm not so sure this theory is legit, but it definitely is fun to ponder.Do people today consider Michael Jordan as "real?" While we know he's a real person, it isn't like he is occupying a special place in our heads or minds - or at least not with me. I guess there are some fans that go too far. Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 10/18/05 10:38 am
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Chris OConnor

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Re: Is it evolution that's making us rude, or bandwidth?

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I just reread your post and want to revise my comments. I was not thinking about online friends. Now that I think of it I do think that many people fill these special slots with online relationships.From first hand experience I know thousands of people are in chat rooms every single day. This is their primary means of socializing. When some drama unfolds in the chat room their real lives are in turmoil.The same goes with online games such as Everquest. These alternate worlds are so immersive that hundreds of thousands of people can be found logged in at any given time. The relationships that develop in these games are very real to the players. Marriages happen in-game and real marriages end as a result of the immersion many people experience. There have even been suicides as a result of people not being able to seperate their real lives from the games.So the more a person builds their online life the less time to develop and nurture existing relationships. Yes, there is a danger and a real cost to our social structure.Fortunately, it is a rather small segment of the total popluation that engages in this alternate universe. I think.
Keith and Company

Re: Is it evolution that's making us rude, or bandwidth?

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Maybe 'real' isn't the right word. After all, even if you don't know the name of the guy trying to put an axe in your skull, or his favorite color, you consider him physically evident in the reality you share.But the emotional investment into his rights, concerns, status as an individual deserving attention? Not necessarily. There are those we care about, that we sympathize with, that we consider an extension of our selves. A large problem with civil rights is facing those that have no problem withholding the rights they cherish from those they see as not deserving it. The Blacks, the pagans, the atheists, they're not like us, and the benefits of liberty can be safely withheld from them for justification ______. The underlying problem, though, is simply us versus them. There's only so much room in our mind for 'us.' Finding comon cause with all of humanity is an intellectual exercise discrete from the tribe-building reflex we developed as we evolved.I go to a SciFi convention and hear the discussion of the fans. CHaracters that didn't even have spoken lines have names, backstories, histories, fanfiction, all presented and discussed and argued about between the fans. And while these fanboys would never even consider hurting another soul (unless they had a working lightsabre, of course), they know less about Iraq then they do about Palpatine's Empire.Quote:Haven't humans always had their idols?But I think the fans know more about Britney Spears' life than even the priests knew about Aphrodite's.A writer (name escapes) described interacting with native Africans on a safari. Their knowledge about what he was doing, or about to do, was amazing. They'd show up where he was, just because they knew he'd be there, that time of morning. His observation was that they had no football or soccer stars occupying their attention, or 90210 characters, or arguments about whether a power dam in the local fishing river was a benefit or an eyesore. They thought more about the people they knew and ended up almost psychic in comparison to the Westerners. Keith's Place
AntyNet0914

Re: Is it evolution that's making us rude, or bandwidth?

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You know, I read this the other day, and decided not to post until I had thought about it a little more.So now I have, and I am posting.I'm curious as to where the figure of "200 or so real slots" came from. Because if this theory holds any water, wow, am I way behind. For someone who spends at least 10-12 hours a day online, I consider no one I "chat" with to be real. Not as in "they don't exist", but as in they have no "real" influence in my life. Now, please don't read this as I think all of you on this board are not important, because, well, you are! In my head, there are probably less then 50 people that I consider real. And I tell you what, not a single one of them have ever appeared on TV, or made millions on the basketball court or singing on stage. In fact, those people are even less real then all of you. Does this make me a social failure? I don't think so. Does this make me anti-social? Maybe, but I think I am anti-social for a whole gob of other reasons. There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable... I simply am not there.
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