Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Science Forum

Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    09 Apr '08 07:06
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/130623

    The study says individualism and innovation come about in societies that happen to have a low incidence of pathogens but places like the tropics that have many pathogenic threats makes societies that value conformity, rejection of strangers( they might bring in unknown diseases) and group values more important than individual lives. What do you think? Possible real connection there?
  2. 09 Apr '08 08:21
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/130623

    The study says individualism and innovation come about in societies that happen to have a low incidence of pathogens but places like the tropics that have many pathogenic threats makes societies that value conformity, rejection of strangers( they might bring in unknown diseases) and group values more important than individual lives. What do you think? Possible real connection there?
    Well when it comes to innovation where did societies start?
    Egypt, China, Central America, Arabia etc etc. All in the tropics aren't they?
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    09 Apr '08 09:38
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Well when it comes to innovation where did societies start?
    Egypt, China, Central America, Arabia etc etc. All in the tropics aren't they?
    And your point is those places excelled in innovation? What you had in ancient Egypt was thousands of years of same ole same ole. For instance, in ancient Persia, there appears to have been invented an electric battery, which means they had knowledge of electro-chemistry, but it seemed they only thing they may have used it for was to electroplate gold onto statues which were sold as religious icons. So it looks like it was a secret held tight by the priests and my guess is the knowledge came down to one priest who died before passing the knowledge on. So look at the differance when it was re-invented in the 18th century, we put men on the moon and now are thinking about mars. Big differance I think. So it fits that individualism was squashed in those days and the thinking goes it was a survival trait, keeping out REALLY bad pathogens. Strangers not welcome means their diseases won't effect the whole city.
  4. 09 Apr '08 12:27
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    And your point is those places excelled in innovation? What you had in ancient Egypt was thousands of years of same ole same ole. For instance, in ancient Persia, there appears to have been invented an electric battery, which means they had knowledge of electro-chemistry, but it seemed they only thing they may have used it for was to electroplate gold onto ...[text shortened]... t REALLY bad pathogens. Strangers not welcome means their diseases won't effect the whole city.
    The fact is that the rise of society had a lot to do with innovations. Many societies rose and thrived in the tropics.

    Disease has and continues to have a major negative impact on many tropical societies. However, the major diseases currently at large in the tropics (malaria, cholera) (HIV is new so I am ignoring it) are not prevented by keeping out strangers. Also the tribes in Zambia have intermingled and moved about significantly in the recorded past and not kept to themselves as you imply.

    Diseases such as the black death, and others swept through northern latitudes too and affected the whole of Europe. In fact some diseases were worse in the colder areas - tb, the flu etc.

    When Europeans arrived in North America they introduced diseases there which had a major impact on the native populations.
  5. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    09 Apr '08 13:56
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    The fact is that the rise of society had a lot to do with innovations. Many societies rose and thrived in the tropics.

    Disease has and continues to have a major negative impact on many tropical societies. However, the major diseases currently at large in the tropics (malaria, cholera) (HIV is new so I am ignoring it) are not prevented by keeping out st ...[text shortened]... North America they introduced diseases there which had a major impact on the native populations.
    That would be an example of the amerinds trying to fight off euro's, it would pay to keep disease ridden euros out in terms of preventing disease. Look at San Salvadore island, where Columbus landed. It didn't take but about 100 years to totally wipe out the native population with eurodiseases.
  6. 09 Apr '08 14:27
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    That would be an example of the amerinds trying to fight off euro's, it would pay to keep disease ridden euros out in terms of preventing disease. Look at San Salvadore island, where Columbus landed. It didn't take but about 100 years to totally wipe out the native population with eurodiseases.
    Well what I am saying is that it seems to have happened just as much in northern latitudes as anywhere else. And if those natives of San Salvadore were so phobic of foreigners then how did they get wiped out? They were tropical weren't they?
  7. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    09 Apr '08 21:03
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Well what I am saying is that it seems to have happened just as much in northern latitudes as anywhere else. And if those natives of San Salvadore were so phobic of foreigners then how did they get wiped out? They were tropical weren't they?
    Actually, the San Salvadorians were just the opposite, they were friendly and the crew lived among them for a few months. They got european diseases and were wiped out as a result. It pretty much shows what happens to tropical natives who are not suspicious of strangers. I forget the disease that did them in, but 50,000 people lost their lives and through no bad intent on Columbus, just no defenses built up against eurotrash...
  8. 10 Apr '08 13:35
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Actually, the San Salvadorians were just the opposite, they were friendly and the crew lived among them for a few months. They got european diseases and were wiped out as a result. It pretty much shows what happens to tropical natives who are not suspicious of strangers. I forget the disease that did them in, but 50,000 people lost their lives and through no bad intent on Columbus, just no defenses built up against eurotrash...
    End they gave Columbus's bunch an STD to take back to Europe(I've forgotten which one.)
    So, the San Salvadorians were an exception to the theory of the thread? Can you find anyone who actually fits the theory? Were the San Salvadorians noted for their individualism and innovations? Why not?

    I question the premise that "societies that value conformity" and "societies that reject strangers" are equivalent. In Zambia, individualism is frowned upon in rural communities for reasons of jealousy. However there is no rejection of strangers.
    Every Zambian knows that if he wants to move to a rural area and start a small scale farm he must go to an area where he is not known - preferably to an area that is of a different tribe from his own. There is much more acceptance of success when the excuse that he is an outsider can be given.
  9. 01 May '08 12:48
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/130623

    The study says individualism and innovation come about in societies that happen to have a low incidence of pathogens but places like the tropics that have many pathogenic threats makes societies that value conformity, rejection of strangers( they might bring in unknown diseases) and group values more important than individual lives. What do you think? Possible real connection there?
    i can give some creedence to the individualism idea here but think the suggested link to innovation is pretty weak
  10. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Do ya think?
    02 May '08 01:50
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    That would be an example of the amerinds trying to fight off euro's, it would pay to keep disease ridden euros out in terms of preventing disease. Look at San Salvadore island, where Columbus landed. It didn't take but about 100 years to totally wipe out the native population with eurodiseases.
    Amerinds as a whole weren't particularly xenophobic until the Europeans started kicking them around and taking their stuff. They seemed pretty friendly actually in many cases according to what I've read.
  11. 02 May '08 02:50
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Amerinds as a whole weren't particularly xenophobic until the Europeans started kicking them around and taking their stuff. They seemed pretty friendly actually in many cases according to what I've read.
    That's what I have read too. Although they had a number of wars between the various tribes.