Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Genius biologist believes animals are egalitarian

I criticized Sapolosky for not believing in free will, but the same interview has this:
We write a lot in Pacific Standard about economic and social inequality, but until I read Behave, it never occurred to me to compare humans with other animals in this respect. You argue that humans have far more inequality than any other species. Any idea why that is?

Because of our psychological sophistication. A low-ranking non-human primate may they get beat up when somebody is in a bad mood, or get the crummiest place to sit when it's raining. Or they'll find something good to eat, and someone (of a higher rank) will take it away from them. But that's basically it. They don't have societal constructs that lead them to think it's their own damn fault.

Humans can be driving down the freeway, and the driver in front of you can signal your lack of socioeconomic success (via their more expensive automobile).
So humans have more social inequality than animals because some humans drive fancier cars than others?

He is not referring to ppl being better off because the car works better. He is talking about someone feeling bad about a low-status car, and says that animals do not have that feeling.

This is crazy. Humans distribute their food so that no one starves. No animals do that. In many species, the low status animals do not eat or reproduce.

I don't know how Sapolsky got to be considered such a genius.

No comments: