Feb. 15th, 2016

lizcommotion: four different colored panels of the MRI image of a brain (brain)
RadioLab about Baboons and (non)violence
(note: I can't find a transcript, so audio-only AFAIK)

John Horgan examines how Americans seem to have a completely different attitude toward war than we did thirty years ago. He takes us on a stroll through Hoboken, asking strangers one of the great unanswerable questions: "Will humans ever stop fighting wars?" Strangely, everyone seems to know the answer. Robert Sapolsky brings us farther afield - to eastern Africa, where a population of baboons defies his expectations of violent behavior. Robert is surprised to feel hopeful for a gentler future, but then primatologist Richard Wrangham asserts that their aggressive nature is innate, unchanging, and hanging over them like a guillotine.

There's some evolutionary bio vs evolutionary psych annoying bits in there, and I did kind of fall asleep towards the end (on purpose, when I'm in pain I can't sleep bc pain is all I can think about so I put on podcasts).

However. In the middle there's a part about a baboon group that becomes less violent after a disease wipes out a bunch of its alpha-males (or as my partner put it, after their version of 4chan died). Ahem. Anyway even when new alpha males have been introduced, they have yet to revert to previous behavior patterns.

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