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42 posts tagged with humans.
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Dear Marc Andreessen

"Hi, Marc... You seem to think everyone's worried about robots. But what everyone's worried about is you, Marc. Not just you, but people like you. Robots aren't at the levers of financial and political influence today, but folks like you sure are. People are scared of so much wealth and control being in so few hands... Unless we collectively choose to pay for a safety net, technology alone isn't going to make it happen." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 18, 2014 - 50 comments

Make Them Visible

The New York City Rescue Mission set up a social experiment with a hidden camera to see if people would notice their loved ones posing as homeless people as they walked past. [more inside]
posted by gman on Apr 24, 2014 - 27 comments

My anchovy of Lannister

Though humans often liken themselves to top predators such as lions, a new study (paywalled) used FAO data to calculate the human trophic level (HTL), i.e. the position of Homo sapiens in the food chain, and found that humans are actually on a par with anchovies and pigs with an average trophic level of 2.21 (vs 1 for plants to 5.5 for bears and orcas). Values vary by country, from 2.04 in the 97% plant-eating Burundi to 2.57 in the 50% fish-loving Iceland. As meat consumption is growing in countries like India and China, mankind is globally becoming more carnivorous and has been improving its trophic level by 3% since 1961. [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Dec 5, 2013 - 31 comments

I am not talking about love on a roof in Brooklyn

A couple made the mistake of breaking up on a NYC rooftop next to comedian Kyle Ayers, who promptly live-tweeted their breakup with the hashtag #roofbreakup, which went viral, prompting not only retweets, commentary, and memeification, but also a video re-enactment. However, some are considering the wider implications of this kind of phenomenon, pondering the ethics of the panopticon, live reportage on ordinary people, and even the nature of relationships itself in the context of the pair. [more inside]
posted by corb on Nov 20, 2013 - 237 comments

Where would be the fun in watching a driverless Formula 1 race?

Brad DeLong, recently installed at Equitablog, lays out a future (wonkish) where the returns to capital keep increasing relative to labor: "What do we people do to add value? Eight things... [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 9, 2013 - 29 comments

Sit, stay, yawn

We already know that yawning is highly contagious and, in humans and other primates, may be rooted in empathy. Human-dog yawning contagion is well known too, as previously shown in Metafilter, but its causes are contradictory, as yawning in dogs is also associated with psychological tension or mild stress. A new study confirms that dogs yawn more frequently when watching their owner than when watching a stranger, demonstrating that the contagiousness of yawning in dogs correlates with the level of emotional proximity, possibly indicating rudimentary forms of empathy in dogs.
posted by elgilito on Aug 9, 2013 - 20 comments

"once aroused, it seeks out its object, as hatred does, in its entire"

The Delights Of Disgust
I confess I am disgusted by a great many things about people (and about myself, but let's put that aside). I do not believe it is particularly urgent for me to overcome my disgust, even if I recognize that this emotion must remain entirely separate from my thinking about which laws would be most just. I am disgusted by other people's dandruff, facial moles, food stuck in their beards, yet I do not accept that in feeling this way I am judging those people to be subhuman. I take it rather that humanity, while endearing, is also capable of appearing disgusting.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 16, 2013 - 23 comments

"it's quite clear that there's tons of cultural transmission that's just strictly by observational learning."

How Culture Drove Human Evolution
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 4, 2013 - 44 comments

The end of the world is nigh. We need to publish papers on it.

At Cambridge University, the Project for Existential Risk is considering threats to humankind caused by developing technologies. It will be developing a prospectus for the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, to be launched by the Astronomer Royal, a co-founder of Skype and the Bertrand Russell professor of philosophy. More detail from the university, while the news excites some journalists. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 25, 2012 - 25 comments

monsters are people too!

12-year-old uses Dungeons & Dragons to help scientist dad with his research: Cognitive scientist Alan Kingstone wanted to test whether people look at each others' eyes or simply to the center of faces. Some had suggested an answer would be impossible to discern because humans' eyes are in the center of their faces. But Alan’s son, Julian, a fan of D&D, told his father about D&D monster characters that have eyes in unusual places, such as on their hands or tail. “[Julian suggested] if you just showed them these images, you could find out whether they are looking for the eyes or not. I thought, actually, that’s a very good idea,” Kingstone said (summarized from Cosmos). The paper describing the results - "Monsters are people too" - was published in the British Royal Society journal Biology Letters this month, with 14-year-old Julian named as the lead author.
posted by flex on Nov 1, 2012 - 42 comments

The Art That Time Forgot

Why does some cave art feature animals with multiple limbs and heads? French and Finnish researchers claim that prehistoric man was deliberately creating animated art, with the animals appearing to move in flickering torch or fire light.
posted by Wordshore on Sep 25, 2012 - 29 comments

Paranoid Paradox?

Being Paranoid About Office Politics: Is it a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? "A third experiment measured study participants' comfort level with a co-worker who is worried about unfair treatment as compared to other types of employees. Rather than be saddled with a worrywart, participants were 3.5 times more likely to choose individuals who demanded feedback on work quality...."
posted by kettleoffish on Aug 10, 2012 - 11 comments

Spiders, a post about them

The fear of spiders is hardwired into most of humanity, despite the creatures often being beneficial to people. For some reason, it's the odd and scary stories about spiders that stick in our heads.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 10, 2012 - 99 comments

Outta the way HAL, humans have work to do

Why Space Exploration Is a Job for Humans.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 4, 2012 - 83 comments

Human Library

Check Out Some New People: The Human Library is an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding.The main characteristics of the project are to be found in its simplicity and positive approach. Started in Copenhagen, Denmark 12 years ago, it has since Spread, and new libraries continue to pop-up All Over the Place.
posted by Blake on Jan 26, 2012 - 6 comments

"Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, maybe we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment." Sir David Attenborough

Population to Reach 7 Billion This Week. As experts wait for the human population to reach 7 billion this week, some estimates claim even larger growth by the end of the century. One forthcoming United Nations report estimates that the number of humans on the planet may reach 15 billion -- more than double current levels, according to The Observer.
posted by Fizz on Oct 25, 2011 - 140 comments

Out of Africa

Australian Aboriginals were the first explorers, DNA research shows [more inside]
posted by mumimor on Sep 22, 2011 - 33 comments

How many people traveled on the space shuttle?

How many people flew on the Space Shuttle?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 21, 2011 - 35 comments

What humans are doing in space these days

Hey, remember the ISS, that space station the Space Shuttle helped build before the shuttle was retired? Turns out humans might have to vacate that nifty space station for a bit. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 30, 2011 - 93 comments

we alone have the power to conjure up at will erotic, orgasm-inducing scenes in our theater-like heads

One reason why humans are special and unique: We masturbate. A lot
posted by andoatnp on Jun 28, 2010 - 97 comments

Hammerstone from Kenya, Handaxe from India

View, rotate, and interact with fascinating 3D scans of some of humanity's oldest artifacts. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Mar 15, 2010 - 8 comments

Y Front Page Post

Indeed, at 6 million years of separation, the difference in [Y-chromosome] gene content in chimpanzee and human is more comparable to the difference in autosomal gene content in chicken and human, at 310 million years of separation.
It is commonly said that the Human and Chimpanzee genomes share 99% or more identical DNA. In a surprising development about to be published in Nature, the Y-chromosomes of these two species were found to share only 70% of their DNA, raising important questions about the mode and tempo by which speciation from a common ancestor occurred. This finding may point the finger at the evolution of different patterns of sperm-competition and mating practices within these two species.
posted by Rumple on Jan 16, 2010 - 21 comments

(glowing) prairie voles illuminate the human condition

Monogamouse
Prairie voles have many vasopressin receptors in the reward centres of their brains. It seems as though these are wired up in a way that causes the animal to take pleasure from monogamy. (previously 1|2)
posted by kliuless on Jan 9, 2010 - 20 comments

he of the weird al hair and santa claus beard

R.Sapolsky on the uniqueness of humans in relation to the rest of the animal world (via)
posted by kliuless on Dec 20, 2009 - 28 comments

transcendental numbers rumble in the technium

Extropy
How did life arise? What is information? In his recent dispatches from The Technium, Kevin Kelly would say extropy (cf. negentropy & Prigogine). [previously 1|2]
posted by kliuless on Sep 20, 2009 - 70 comments

'The Human Animal,' by Desmond Morris

The Human Animal - a brilliant BBC mini-series documentary by zoologist Desmond Morris that takes an extended look at the curious creatures known as Homo sapiens. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on Google videos. Beautiful and fascinating.
posted by grillcover on Sep 19, 2009 - 38 comments

Who Are The People (and the Muppets) In Your Neighborhood?

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street, let's take a few moments to honor those Sesame Street humans overshadowed by their Muppet counterparts. Check out Bob (Bob McGrath) singing Danny Boy in Japanese on a 1966 broadcast of To Tell The Truth or singing a Japanese ballad. Watch Gordon (Roscoe Orman) as the big pimpin' title character in this original trailer for the film Willie Dynamite. See Maria (Sonia Manzano) as a lady trucker on B.J. & the Bear or getting menaced by Jeff Goldblum in the movie Death Wish. And Mr. Hooper (Will Lee) plays Pac-Man in an Atari commercial. Meanwhile, the Muppet stars of Sesame Street have gone some interesting evolutions as well in their career. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Mar 29, 2009 - 40 comments

sometimes it sounds like Kitty Genovese

Why should you risk your own life to save another human being? Maybe altruism in innate, like a bird's pretty song, or is it something that must be learned?
posted by four panels on Dec 5, 2008 - 62 comments

Mammals at the Natural History Museum

Mammals | Natural History Museum. From fascinating bats to enormous whales, mammals are the most diverse group of animals on our planet. Equipped with wings, fins, horns and spines – they have evolved to fill many niches and roles. Discover more about this complex group, which of course, includes us. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Nov 6, 2008 - 15 comments

My vasopressin made me do it

Monogamy gene in humans It was previously found in voles, as discussed here, now they found a correlation in humans.
posted by dov3 on Sep 2, 2008 - 31 comments

When Humans Punch Aliens

When Humans Punch Aliens: The Video Remix. A tribute to our diplomatic encounters with alien life forms.
posted by farishta on Jun 7, 2008 - 33 comments

Not Hobbits, Just Shorties?

A South African paleoanthropologist on vacation on the island of Palau in Micronesia has discovered thousands of bone fragments of very small people estimated at between 900 and 2900 years old. He and his colleagues have just published a paper on their findings, which would appear to damage the claim that the bones discovered on Flores Island, Indonesia in 2004 and attributed to homo floresiensis (or "Hobbits") were not a unique and extinct branch of the human family, but rather pygmy-like peoples. However it also knocks a hole in the claim that the Flores bones were merely all unusually small humans suffering from microcephaly due to iodine deficiency. Naturally, the scientists who originally discovered the Hobbits on Flores aren't too thrilled about either of these theories. (Previous discussions here and here)
posted by Asparagirl on Mar 11, 2008 - 30 comments

Evolution For Dummies.

Understanding Human Prehistory. Mike Munford (who???) summarises the results of his "limited study of human prehistory for the benefit of others who may have found most of the available books on it as baffling as [he] did."
posted by Effigy2000 on Mar 2, 2007 - 21 comments

Collecting Mania

Beer Caps. With 12,568 scans available to peruse, Uncle Corkie is the winner in my books. Franco Ferretti may have the largest collection of bottle caps but it's not online. Collecting, a postmodern pastime?
posted by tellurian on May 20, 2006 - 11 comments

Earth's got a case of the Humans

Humans! A lovely little bit of educational animation.
posted by crumbly on May 19, 2006 - 41 comments

Monkeys

The meaning of life.
posted by bobbyelliott on Apr 23, 2006 - 103 comments

I have a feeling we're not in Christchurch anymore, Frodo...

Hobbits found near New Zealand! A new species of human, only 4 feet tall and dating to only 18,000 years ago, has been discovered in Indonesia. It's important enough that Nature has a special issue. Even better? The tiny people hunted tiny elephants. (Journal article here, for those of you with access.)
posted by louigi on Oct 27, 2004 - 19 comments

Rules? What rules? I can do whatever I want...

Early humans lost hair to beat parasites? (New Scientist) - Human nakedness, a species anomaly among mammals, draws comparisons to the blind, naked mole rat. Meanwhile, seven thousand humans (Italians) recently gathered naked, for unclear purposes.
posted by troutfishing on Jun 9, 2003 - 17 comments

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement

The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement "Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense." More inside...
posted by Irontom on May 30, 2002 - 21 comments

'If you want to know what Utopia is like, just look around - this is it,'

'If you want to know what Utopia is like, just look around - this is it,' the article asks is human evolution over? Two interesting "facts?" "points?" 1) the blending of our genes which will soon produce a uniformly brown-skinned population. Apart from that, there will be little change in the species. 2) Just consider Aids, and then look at chimpanzees,' says Jones. 'You find they all carry a version of HIV but are unaffected by it. Something very similar could soon happen to humans. In a thousand years... Link via www.cursor.org.
posted by bittennails on Feb 4, 2002 - 39 comments

Monkeys head/brain transplanted to another monkeys body.

Monkeys head/brain transplanted to another monkeys body. Yeah, some poeple think it's unethical, but I think it's cool. At least in fantasy. Imagine the horror stories if they tried it on humans......
posted by SexyParapalegic on Apr 6, 2001 - 17 comments

Human Evolution

Human Evolution Will the next significant steps be biological, technical or both?
posted by PaperCut on Jun 6, 2000 - 12 comments

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