Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

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classical_Liberal
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:37 am

@campitor
Fascinating! Essentially, a need for psychological hormesis. If the environment doesn't provide it, do we need to create it ourselves through self-destruction?

vexed87
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by vexed87 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:31 am

I do wonder why we so often get surprised that separating human's from nature is any different from the neurosis you see in wild animals when you take them out of their natural habitat. Why do we expect anything to behave healthily in circumstances in which natural selection has not forged them.

The key take home from Tribe for me is that I need to get out my self imposed cage and experience life as much as nature 'intended', as an ape-like social being who is supposed to participate in much smaller scale society than most of us belong to at present.

It is a challenge for an introvert like me to put in to practice, but it's who we are. Admittedly, it's easier said than done when everyone else is happy to live in this crazy modern world and attempt to drag me back in with them if I ever express any desire to resist.

In any case, I enjoyed the book, it now sits alongside my copies of Sapiens and The Righteous Mind.
Last edited by vexed87 on Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:06 am, edited 3 times in total.

theanimal
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by theanimal » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:51 am

Junger was on today's EconTalk talking about tribe.

http://www.econtalk.org/sebastian-junger-on-tribe/

Campitor
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by Campitor » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:19 am

I believe humans are hardwired to output physical and cognitive energy towards exploration, creativity, and mastery. Our existence and advancement is a result of expressing this genetic programming. We can't control this anymore than we can control the cellular symbiosis that gives rise to consciousness. This is our current design otherwise we would have been indolent and perished from existence.

When we are deprived opportunities to exercise our fundamental programming, that energy builds into frustration. That frustration produces negative behavior which causes conflict. This conflict gives rise to competition which pushes on the same physio/psychological levers employed by exploration, creativity, and mastery. Who are my enemies? How can I defeat them? How can I control them? This frustration is what pushes us to explore, create, and master our environment so that our species can survive. We can't control this behavior but we can create positive outlets for our genetic disposition.

Our genetic programming will be expressed negatively if we destroy opportunities for positive mastery for those of average or below average ability, unknowingly stifle creativity in the ignorant pursuit of metrics and/or profits, and abolish challenges in the pursuit of optimizing outcomes instead of opportunities.

daylen
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by daylen » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:34 am

+1 Campitor

For more information, look into evolutionary game theory. Great stuff!
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evoluti ... ame_theory

prognastat
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by prognastat » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:19 pm

I think a part of the the problem in modern society is one of the things that has made us thrive too. Specialisation. The more specialised we become the more efficient we become, but we also lose sight of the bigger picture and this can lead to feeling a lack of accomplishment.

For example if you're a cobbler/shoemaker you might feel accomplished completing a single shoe. If you are working in a factory making shoes and your part is gluing the soles to the upper you might be able to get far more work done in the same time that the cobbler finishes one shoe, but I suspect you'll actually feel less accomplished despite doing more work.

This in turn might also lead to us not identifying with our job as much, there was a time where your job was so much of an identification that people still have professions as last names. Now we aren't getting identity from a tribe nor from a purpose.

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jennypenny
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by jennypenny » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:13 am

I lifted the following quote from the Something For Nothing thread, since I think my comment is more on topic in this thread.
Ego wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 9:26 am
While our contrived challenges are nothing compared to your real world challenges, I agree that difficulties bond people in ways that good times do not. Veterans claim that camaraderie is the thing they miss most when they leave the military.

It comes down to those stages of maturity... dependent > independent > interdependent. I'd imagine that there are some few rare people who are able to move from independent individuals to interdependence without catalyzing events. We've come to realize that contrived challenges bond us together in preparation for those inevitable times when the real world catapults a bomb into our world. In the end, that bond is the most valuable thing we have.
I don't think my family's real world challenges are that difficult or that they trump other challenges, contrived or otherwise. I think the difference is that they were clearly defined, and early on in our family's formative years. In Tribe somewhere, Junger talks about a military group that is anxious until they find out what their mission is -- then they calmly go about their tasks. Something about that stuck with me. I think it's not only the difference between known and unknown 'enemies' and how that helps define the group but also deriving purpose from the 'fight' and feeling a well-defined sense of place within the social group.

I think it's ok to flow between independent and interdependent. Small groups and families do it all the time. Family members may live fairly independent lives but then come together to support one another during difficulties like an illness or death. The problem is translating that behavior to larger groups. (is that even possible?)

Freedom_2018
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by Freedom_2018 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:07 am

If I remember correctly it was the contrast between the reactions of a new inexperienced captain who was reasonable calm before the information of the attack came through but then got into a frenzy while on the other hand the combat experienced veterans were fidgety before the attack and calm and focused after the attack started.

I guess real world challenges can also fracture a family and make it less cohesive as a tribe. Some families will reject the 'weaker' or defective member as though their presence is bringing the whole tribe down. For a public example, see the movie "The Beach" with Leonardo di Caprio.

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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:31 pm

***

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Ego
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by Ego » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:48 pm

What doesn't kill us brings us together.

https://quillette.com/2019/04/07/what-d ... -together/

The Danish existentialist Søren Kierkegaard once suggested that the appeal of the human experience resided not in comfort and complacency but in struggle and self-discovery. And indeed, human history is defined by a cycle of calamity and collective growth. Though crops may fail, settlements may flood, and diseases may spread, humans reconsolidate and rebuild.

Science and technology have softened the sting of manmade and natural disasters. But such advancements have reduced the impact of key social stressors. They have curtailed flashpoint events which bring us together
.

daylen
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:41 pm

Ego wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:48 pm
What doesn't kill us brings us together.
Can this meme be used to justify the genocide of selective sub-populations? :shock:

Humans cannot make decisions without a steep spatial discount curve (limited options are required and closer things usually get prioritized first). An individual is composed of many selfish genes that are probably shared by their kin (but not outside it), so altruism typically only happens within a kin. This also relates to artificial intelligence research and cognitive bias. All the major problems with learning algorithms and faulty human reasoning seem to be intricately linked to reducing search space.

I do not really have a point to sharing this, but I just felt like sharing some thoughts I had recently. This isn't what disagreement looks like BTW.

daylen
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:52 pm

All humans may share similar genotypes relative to other organisms, but the higher-order expression is widely variable.. or at least we have evolved to fully leverage this variation because this is the relevant search space for feasible adaptations.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:55 pm

Kin does not equal genetics. Kin equals culture, or even simply a common enemy. Common enemies can be other humans, but they don't have to be other humans. When many of the nonhuman threats are removed or become less direct in nature, we tend to focus on the "not like us" human enemies.

daylen
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Re: Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging, by Sebastian Junger

Post by daylen » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:33 pm

Kin is not equal to genetics or culture. Kin is an approximation of genetically similar individuals based on ancestral proximity.

This does not need to be about "threats" or "enemies". It can simply be about indifference. An agent can choose to play a game competitively (eliminate opposing side) or cooperatively (work with other side), or they can choose to not play the game. The absence of altruism does not imply the existence of sides; it is simply a consequence of computational infeasibility when dealing with a large number of players (factorial functions grow faster than exponential functions!).

The sides do not need to exist, but we often assume they do for a local boost in computational efficiency. In some sense, expression of boundaries with memes is a unit of cultural evolution.

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