Tuesday, December 11, 2012

433: The Art Not to be an Egoist 8

I ended my previous lecture with saying:"At this point we could formulate the hypothesis that human nature is in essence characterized by the urge to cooperate, which implies the emergence of good and evil."

This sounds rather positive. It would be good, if we could find some more evidence for this observation. In that respect Darwin himself gave us a good hint.

"Anyone who understands the baboon, would contribute more to  metaphysics than John Locke." once the young Darwin predicted in his notebook of 1838.

Studying and observing the behavior of primates is in fact a way of observing the behavior of our ancestors. A man, who became famous with that, is the now 64 years old Frans de Waal.

(born 29 October 1948), a Dutch primatologist and ethologist, professor of Primate Behavior in the Emory University psychology department in Atlanta, Georgia, and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center,

author of numerous books including "Chimpanzee Politics" and "Our Inner Ape". His research centers on primate social behavior, including conflict resolution, cooperation, inequity aversion, and food-sharing.

The apes that he observed possessed an amazing intelligence. They were able to agree with each other in very sophisticated ways. 

They had a sense of social rules. They were able to see themselves as  a "self" apart from others. And they had a memory that allowed them to relate events of the past and present to each other.

Together with his colleague dr. Sarah Brosnan de Waal started a series of behavioral experiments with Capuchin monkeys. They are intelligent, peaceful and have a very complex social life.

Creatures that can detect intentions, cherish expectations. Depending on what  I do, another responds hostile or friendly to me. 

Commonly, these reactions do not hit me like a lightning bolt, for I have beforehand expected them. When I say "please", I rather expect that to me a wish is granted, as when I bark a command. 

But where do expectations come from? Do only humans have expectations or monkeys too? And can one make visible an attitude of expectation of monkeys in an experiment.?

Brosnan and de Waal wanted to find out whether Capuchin monkeys expect, that they are treated in a fair way. Do these monkeys have a real sense of FAIRNESS like humans have?

Here I can let Frans de Waal take over. You really have to see this.

Let me know when you are done….takes about three minutes.

The Discussion

[13:20:58] Lizzy Pleides: I love it
[13:21:02] Qwark Allen: ahahha so funny
[13:21:03] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): hahahaha very funny
[13:21:13] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol this is funny
[13:21:17] herman Bergson: great isnt it....^_^
[13:21:19] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): amazing
[13:21:25] Qwark Allen: awesome
[13:21:25] Debbie Dee (framdor): delightful...
[13:21:27] Debbie Dee (framdor):  ✧✩**✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩**
[13:21:28] herman Bergson: Yes amazing....
[13:21:32] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Envy!
[13:22:15] Vadaman: Great!
[13:22:53] herman Bergson: Everybody back?
[13:22:54] Debbie Dee (framdor): sense of fairness
[13:22:59] Debbie Dee (framdor): im back
[13:23:00] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:23:04] Mick Nerido: yes
[13:23:11] Vadaman: Back
[13:23:18] herman Bergson: They did an interesting variation of the test....
[13:23:21] Chu Ann (hermine): haha
[13:23:38] herman Bergson: they put a box of grapes in full vision of both apes....
[13:23:56] herman Bergson: but both apes got only pieces of cucumber as reward....
[13:24:26] herman Bergson: It showed that the cucumber was perfectly ok with them...both got the same reward...
[13:24:31] Qwark Allen: probably a human will throw the rock to the scientist
[13:24:45] herman Bergson: The seeing of the grapes didn't influence their behavior at all
[13:25:00] Debbie Dee (framdor): QED
[13:25:08] herman Bergson: Well the monkey threw the cucumber piece ^_^
[13:25:11] herman Bergson: good start
[13:25:25] Qwark Allen: ehhehe yes , my point
[13:25:29] herman Bergson: So he was almost human Qwark...^_^
[13:25:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is QED Debbie?
[13:25:53] Debbie Dee (framdor): proven mathematically
[13:25:55] herman Bergson: Quod erat demonstrandum
[13:26:03] herman Bergson: Latin
[13:26:06] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you
[13:26:19] herman Bergson: This is a part of a TED lecture by Frans de Waal which takes more than 16 minutes. You better watch that in your own time.
[13:26:34] herman Bergson: But watch it.....!
[13:26:48] herman Bergson: Homework!
[13:26:52] herman Bergson: Next lecture we'll continue on this issue.
Thank you ^_^
[13:27:15] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): ^^
[13:27:23] Debbie Dee (framdor): thanks herman.
[13:27:32] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Interesting to contrast the concept of envy with 'sense of fairness'
[13:27:36] herman Bergson: My pleasure Debbbie
[13:27:36] Chu Ann (hermine): thank you herman.
[13:27:48] Vadaman: Yes, thanks Herman.
[13:27:59] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you
[13:28:08] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Thinking biblically again... the story of the unequal pay rates
[13:28:21] herman Bergson: This all seems to give us some hope about mankind......in the long run...:-)
[13:28:29] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): very nice , herman
[13:29:01] herman Bergson: That is an interesting story Merlin indeed
[13:29:11] Qwark Allen: good stuff hermann
[13:29:18] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Oh ty. Glad somebody was listening ;)
[13:29:32] herman Bergson: But there is a big difference....
[13:29:46] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): yes?
[13:30:03] herman Bergson: in that biblical story men were all paid the same while they all had unequal labor tasks
[13:30:25] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): yes thats the one... one guy arrived late
[13:30:28] herman Bergson: The monkeys have the same task but are paid unequal....
[13:30:37] herman Bergson: yes....
[13:30:55] herman Bergson: but got paid as if he had arrived with the others...
[13:31:09] Merlin (merlin.saxondale) nods
[13:31:12] Vadaman: Made me think about the southern european uprising.
[13:31:17] herman Bergson: interesting.....
[13:31:31] herman Bergson: In what way Vada?
[13:32:32] herman Bergson: Still thinking about Merlins remark...
[13:32:48] Vadaman: The riots. The unemploiment. The anger.
[13:33:03] herman Bergson: What would happen when both monkeys were paid a grape while only one had to return a stone?
[13:33:36] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): good question
[13:33:42] Vadaman: Good question indeed.
[13:33:47] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Well the stone is only a token in this case
[13:33:58] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Maybe needs a more substantial task
[13:34:02] herman Bergson: It is work Merlin....
[13:34:18] herman Bergson: One has to work for his grape while the other gets it for free
[13:34:52] herman Bergson: Question is....
[13:35:05] herman Bergson: does the ape mind returning stones
[13:35:10] herman Bergson: that is...
[13:35:23] herman Bergson: relates it to a higher reward...like humans would do?
[13:35:43] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): it is not easy to answer, because of that simplification
[13:35:57] Debbie Dee (framdor): So, your hypothesis is that creatures that can "detect intentions and cherish expectations" develop moral and ethical values....
[13:36:03] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I could not predict...it needs another experiment
[13:36:05] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): the human comparison will be more complicated
[13:36:11] herman Bergson: You only can answer it by doing the tests with the apes
[13:36:33] Qwark Allen: i saw a bit of the link you pasted
[13:36:33] Chu Ann (hermine): right
[13:36:37] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie....that is what I am thinking about....
[13:36:38] Chu Ann (hermine): that's also my opinion
[13:36:43] Qwark Allen: it will answer that question
[13:36:58] Chu Ann (hermine): k will test it with my cats tomorrow^^
[13:37:05] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): lol
[13:37:06] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): ^
[13:37:07] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:37:07] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:37:10] herman Bergson: When the apes only are focused on the reward whatever they do, they wont protest
[13:37:18] Chu Ann (hermine): it will be a disaster i know^^
[13:37:37] herman Bergson: You need two cats for that Chu ^_^
[13:37:47] Qwark Allen: there is a test with selfish and pro social behavior
[13:37:57] Chu Ann (hermine): ok. one will be locked
[13:37:57] Qwark Allen: fun to see how it goes
[13:38:13] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark....
[13:38:42] Qwark Allen: when the monkey doesn`t receive the reward protests with the other monkey, then the other gets more selfish
[13:38:43] Chu Ann (hermine): it is not easy to see in a mind of a pe
[13:38:45] herman Bergson: in the 16 minutes video you will see more funny things....
[13:39:09] herman Bergson: No Chu, but I will get to that in the next lecture
[13:39:28] Chu Ann (hermine): ok, but thursday i have no time;-((
[13:39:35] Chu Ann (hermine): i guess i have to read the blog then
[13:39:45] herman Bergson: The text will be published in the blog always
[13:39:53] Chu Ann (hermine): good
[13:39:58] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): good to know
[13:40:25] herman Bergson: all 438 or more lectures of all projects you can find there ^_^
[13:40:35] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): uiii much to read
[13:40:42] Debbie Dee (framdor): Hermans library ;)
[13:40:51] herman Bergson: People from all over the world come at least to the page...
[13:40:58] Chu Ann (hermine): ^^
[13:41:01] herman Bergson: Whether they read it or not I don't know ^_^
[13:41:08] herman Bergson: I hope they do:-)
[13:41:23] Qwark Allen: i think so, so many interesting ideas there
[13:41:32] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yes I have a web site with stats and you can never tell what is in the mind of the viewer
[13:41:36] Debbie Dee (framdor): I've used it
[13:41:45] herman Bergson: There on the wall..the map of the world..
[13:42:04] herman Bergson: Well....
[13:42:21] herman Bergson: Thank you all again....you are a nice class ^_^
[13:42:30] herman Bergson: See you on Thursday....
[13:42:37] herman Bergson: Class dismissed ^_^
[13:42:41] Qwark Allen: thank you hermann
[13:42:48] Qwark Allen: very good as usual .-)))
[13:42:50] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you Herman
[13:42:52] Chu Ann (hermine): have a lovely rest of the week all
[13:42:54] herman Bergson: My pleasure Qwark
[13:42:57] Qwark Allen: going to see the all video now
[13:43:07] Debbie Dee (framdor): thanks herman ;) - im going to watch the homework
[13:43:07] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): have a nice week too, herman
[13:43:11] Qwark Allen: you are always so enlightening
[13:43:12] herman Bergson: Yes plz do....it is worth it
[13:43:21] Vadaman: Thanks Herman.
[13:43:31] Lizzy Pleides: have a nice evening all!
[13:43:42] Chu Ann (hermine): so bye all and see u next week^^
[13:43:44] herman Bergson: Bye Lizzy ^_^
[13:43:49] Alegra (hkalegre.koba): by lizzy
[13:43:49] Oceane (oceane.madrigal): thanks Herman :)

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