Facts about Homo Sapiens that You May Not Already Know

Humans often live in family units and build artificial shelter

Image Credit: Wikipedia
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Perhaps you are considering adding another human being to your household. Or maybe you have no experience at all with human beings, and this will be the first one you encounter. This hub will give you some basic facts about human beings and the necessities without which they cannot live.

Humans are scientifically classified as homo sapiens sapiens. Their nearest relation, homo sapiens idaltu, is extinct. Their closest living relatives are the common chimpanzee and the bonobo. Humans and chimpanzees can get along just fine if raised together from infancy, but if you already have an adult chimpanzee in your household and are just now thinking of acquiring an adult human being, you will have to keep them separate. Since they both occupy the same ecological niche, humans and chimpanzees who have not grown up together are in natural competition and pose a threat to one another.

In the past humans have been in competition with a number of other hominid species, but they have always managed to drive the others to extinction. In the wild, humans are in the process of exterminating their closest relatives, the great apes: the chimpanzee, the bonobo, the gorilla and the orang utan.

Great care must be taken to keep your humans and your other apes in separate habitats, unless brought up together from infancy.

Bushman language and lineage

Beami People: Papua New Guinea (This video won't embed so click through to YouTube)

Human beings are one of the most intelligent animals on earth and interacting with them can be a real joy, but there are many pitfalls for beginners. Try to educate yourself about humans, before you decide that a human is right for you.

Here are some common misconceptions about human beings:

  • Humans come with a ready-made language acquisition device and they will start talking on their own, no matter what you do to them or how they grow up.
  • Humans smell bad, and you need a really elaborate sewage system in order to handle their waste products.
  • Humans needs shoes and clothes and if you don't give them these necessities they will be unable to walk or go out of doors.
  • Humans need to be given elaborately constructed housing, and if you do not provide this for them, they will perish.
  • Humans can write, read, draw and cipher, as well as perform great musical, mathematical and artistic feats.
  • Humans have no internal mechanism to limit procreation, so they have to be sterilized to avoid overpopulating their habitat.
  • Humans have no internal mechanism to limit over-eating, so unless you limit their food intake, they will eat till they burst.
  • Humans are greedy and will hoard things, so the only way to make sure a group of them gets along is to distribute toys equally.
  • Humans get bored easily, so extra enrichment should be provided for, or else they will start to self-mutilate.

None of the above is true. In the next sections we will discuss what is true about humans.

Language does not come built-in

Because so much is made of the ingenious abilities of humans to manipulate language, many mistakenly believe that homo sapiens come with a built-in language module. They do not. Leave a human alone with no companions who speak, and no matter how well the other basic physical needs are met, if the environment does not contain language, language will not emerge. Even if you raise humans in groups of infants, language will still not emerge. Companionship alone is not enough.

When humans are brought up by other humans, the language that does emerge for each new child as speech is acquired turns out to be the language spoken by the people in the child's environment, not the language of the child's genetic ancestors. If you take an infant from his group of origin and raise him among others not genetically related, he will acquire the language that those around him speak. If you raise an infant among non-humans, the language acquired will be the language used by the non-human group, if the human has the physical ability to perceive and produce the signals that the non-human group uses for communication.

If you acquire a human, in order for the human to produce some sort of language, the human must be exposed to language in the environment in which you raise it. Absent this, the human may be perfectly healthy, but will have no access to language.

So if the question is, why isn't my human talking, one answer might be: have you spoken to it? Have you tried to encourage it to talk back? Do you listen to your human?

Language doesn't just happen. Language is learned.

The need for a sewage system is a function of population density

Keeping Humans in An Artificial Environment is Expensive and Requires Special Accommodations

Before you acquire your human, consider the amount of space you have in which to keep it and the amount of expenditure of resources that you are willing to allot to this project. Are humans expensive to keep? Not really, if you keep them in a natural environment, they will feed themselves and take care of all of their needs. But remove them from their natural environment, and they become very expensive.

For instance, you probably already know that humans come from earth, and that they evolved to breathe oxygen and to eat other carbon based life-forms. So, if you are planning to keep them in outer-space in a small enclosure, this will be a very expensive undertaking. Nothing that they need to survive is available in such an environment, and everything will have to be brought in, at great expense to you. Not only that, but you will have to find a way to dispose of their waste product without polluting outer-space.

But if, on the other hand, you breed homo sapiens on their home planet, or on another planet similar enough so that no artificial means are required, they practically raise themselves!

But what about their droppings? You may have heard from others who raise humans that humans are very dirty, that they smell bad, and that they pollute everything they touch. This is not at all true. It depends on how you raise them.

Pollution from humans is a function of population density. When you have very few humans per square mile, then they do not even need a sewage system. They can defecate wherever they like, and their droppings fertilize the ground and help them to grow new food. Everything they produce is biodegradable, and it recycles itself. Keeping humans like this is a very low maintenance job, and it is quite economical.

However, if you allow population density to rise drastically, then they will need a sewage system and many other measures will have to be taken to pay for their keep. Humans do this themselves in many of their cities. A human living in the city is a little like a human in outer-space -- very labor intensive.

So the key to an easy maintenance human habitat is low population density!

Population Dynamics and Strategies to Limit Procreation

But how do I keep the population of my homo sapiens down, you may be asking yourself. Do I have to periodically exterminate some of them? Or should I sterilize them? The answer is no and no. There are natural methods of population control that work much better.

If you spay and neuter your humans, then you will not be able to maintain a healthy population. Under such conditions, humans will be available only from breeders, and this merely promotes the establishment of human mills, cruel places where all humans ever do is live in overcrowded conditions and breed.

So let's review the facts about human procreation. As you may already know, humans are mammals. They come in two sexes, male and female, and the female does most of the reproductive work -- so the bottleneck for production of new humans is in the female reproductive system.

Human females come equipped with natural birth control. When their body fat falls below a certain level, they will not ovulate, and no new young will be produced. This method is sufficient for hunter-gatherer populations, and will keep population density down, as food supply and food consumption maintain a natural equilibrium.

But what if my humans discover agriculture, you may be asking. Do I have to sterilize them then? No, not necessarily. At this point, social organization becomes really important.

While it is true that human newborns are more or less equally divided among males and females, with perhaps a few more females than males for every hundred born, when they form family units, they don't necessarily form monogamous pairs for life.

Human coupling can fall into the following combinations:

  • monogomous pairs for life
  • serial monogamy
  • polygamy
  • polyandry

Let us now consider the reproductive repercussions of each system. Polygamy is the system that is best if you are attempting to grow a sizable population from a small starter group. In a polygamous group, female productivity is optimized, as a single male can fertilize many females a day, while each female takes nine months to bring an infant to term, and about five years to bring the infant to a less dependent state so that the mother can begin to care for another infant. Polyandry is the system that minimizes reproduction. Since the female is the bottleneck for production, having a single female mate with several males who limit themselves to her will produce the fewest number of offspring.

To give an example: If a single male and three females are mated, and each of the females bears four children over a reproductive period of twenty years, then the four individuals will have produced twelve children, which is three children per person, and will cause the population to grow rapdily. In a single generation the population will triple.  But if a single female is mated to three males, and she produces four children over a twenty year reproductive span, then there will be four children produced by four individuals, and this represents zero population growth. Various forms of monogamy produce an intermediate result. For instance, a human male and female mated for life might produce four children in a twenty year reproductive span. This is a reproductive rate of only two new humans per individual, but it will mean that the population will double every generation. If you have a limited habitat, you can see that polyandry is the best solution.

The following video is one in which such a reproductive arrangement is featured.

Some Humans Practice Polyandry to Limit Birthrate

Is polyandry the only solution to the population problem among humans who have discovered agriculture? No, but it is a good natural solution that does not require either contraception or abstinence. Once humans arrive at the industrial level of social organization, many contraceptive means will be available to them. Since females are the ones who bear most of the reproductive burden, they should be entrusted with access to contraception. Self interest will help to limit population growth naturally, if those who are responsible for the support of young are given the power to decide for themselves how many young they can support.

Material Objects and Enrichment

Perhaps you have read one of those manuals on keeping your humans happy. Maybe you saw pictures of humans sitting on chairs and wearing shoes and living in palatial residences and eating on tables with implements made from silver and gold. You may be thinking: do I have to provide my humans with all of that? Will they feel deprived if I don't?

Humans don't actually need any of these things to survive or even to thrive. While they enjoy playing with toys, humans do best when they are left to their own devices and allowed to create their own material culture.

Many of the objects humans use are not actually good for them. Take shoes, for example. Someone may have told you that without shoes the human foot is too tender, and that humans cannot even walk unless their feet are shod.

Nothing could be further from the truth. No animal could evolve on its own with such a dependency on objects manufactured by others. Clearly, the human foot is designed to walk and run. If left barefoot, humans develop a strong outer layer to their soles that is impermeable even to the sharpest rocks. The posture of humans is best when they are barefoot. Their highest achievements in speed and endurance for running are when they wear no shoes.

The only human who cannot walk without shoes is a human who has been wearing shoes all his life. It is the use of shoes that creates a dependency on shoes. The same is true for almost every technological advancement created by man.

Shoes -- A bad habit that reduces the ability to run

Photo Credit; Wikipedia
Photo Credit; Wikipedia

1960 Olympic Gold went to Abebe Bikila, who ran barefoot

Ancient Egyptian Chair -- a luxury article only for royalty

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Chairs -- Not Necessarily a Healthy Habit

Photo Credit: Simple English Wiki
Photo Credit: Simple English Wiki

So what should you do about material objects? The best policy is to do nothing. Let them make their own things and work hard for what they achieve. The striving is what makes them happy.

If you build your human a palace and fill it with toys, he will become bored, destroy his toys and even engage in other self-destructive behavior. But if you allow your human free rein in his own habitat to create whatever he likes from the natural resources at his disposal, you will have a happy, fulfilled human being.

Humans appreciate achievements that they themselves have earned.

But what if some of my humans manage to make bigger and better toys for themselves than some of the others? Should I intervene and redistribute the toys, so that everybody has an equal amount? No!

The less you intervene, the better it will be. If you give a human something he did not earn at the expense of another human, you are corrupting the group, and soon all will become dependent on you to provide them with everything. Leave them alone, and they will take good care of themselves.

Humans and Eating

Are all humans gluttons who will gorge themselves until they burst? Should I put my human on a restricted calorie diet for the sake of its own health? No.

The misconception about nutrition and eating is similar to the reproductive problem. Humans do have built-in mechanisms to limit over-eating, and these mechanisms work under natural conditions. But if you feed your humans an inappropriate diet, especially one low in fat, they will attempt to compensate by over-eating. Beware of commercially prepared human foods, like Purina Human Chow. While such foods boast a "well-balanced diet" and they may contain all the vitamins, minerals and calories your human could desire, many are grossly deficient in fat content and especially lacking in the essential fatty acids without which humans cannot live.

If your humans are harvesting their own food from the habitat, chances are they will be fit and trim.

Other causes of over-eating are as follows: anxiety, boredom and sexual frustration. But again, if you have provided your humans with the right habitat, these problems will never come up!

Art, Science, Math

I have heard some complain that their humans do not achieve the results that are expected of them. Aren't humans supposed to be capable of erecting pyramids, creating beautiful art, solving difficult mathematical problems? Why, they ask, can't my human do any of these things?

The answer is similar to the language problem. While most humans are capable of learning language, it is very difficult to find one who can invent a language all by himself, without ever having experienced language. Many humans can use implements, but it is a rare human who can invent one. Talents and abilities among humans vary immensely. The collective achievements of the human species are due to the innovations of only a few unusual individuals.

To properly appreciate the human you have been given, forget about the achievements of all humanity and concentrate on what your particular human can do.

Conclusion

Humans are among the brightest creatures you will ever meet. They make delightful companions and can gives hours of pleasure and enjoyment. If you understand their strengths and limitations, then the experience of keeping humans can be very positive and enriching.

(c) 2009 Aya Katz

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Comments 197 comments

Ef El Light profile image

Ef El Light 7 years ago from New York State

You might make this the first chapter of a book "Humans for Dummies."

Is it possible to go shoeless in Siberia or Alaska?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

F.L.Light, thanks for your comment! Great idea for a title of a book. I might consider it, although I'm not sure I have enough material for a whole book, even in the dummy series.

Is it possible for a human to go shoeless in Siberia or Alaska? Well, it's highly inadvisable. This is because Alaska and Siberia are not the environment in which man evolved, and like a city or a station in outerspace, it requires quite a bit of doing to keep humans in that environment. When designing a habitat for a starter group of humans, you might consider a climate more similar to the Africa. After they acquire some material culture, your humans can, of course, branch out....


nhkatz profile image

nhkatz 7 years ago from Bloomington, Indiana

Aren't you worried that after you try to impose polyandry on your humans, some of them might rebel as in the opposite of the musical Paint Your Wagon. This is particularly likely to happen if the male/female ratio isn't right.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Nets, thanks for asking such a good question!

It's not a good idea to force a social system on a group of humans against their will. It's better if they somehow get it into their heads that this is what they want to do, because that's what they've "always" done and that's what the village shaman says the gods want.

BTW, Paint Your Wagon is a great musical!


maven101 profile image

maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

My wife says she is a kept woman...should i trade her in for a new model...?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Maven101, this is not that kind of advice column! However, in the spirit of this particular hub, and in the interest of curbing population growth, I would have to say, no, don't trade her in, keep the older model!


lisaml 7 years ago

Like the content but unsure about the idea of "acquiring a human". Also, as a child born with a congentital anomaly I don't think I would have survived in the environment without shoes and other adaptations.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Lisa, thanks for your thoughtful comment. The idea of acquiring a human is a conceit that allows us to look at these issues more objectively. Also, some governments actually think they do own humans, and as such do a terrible disservice to the populations they purport to "manage".

Congenital anomalies occur even in the wild, and not all of them are disabling. In some cases, they are even the wave of the future. So, you never really know if a new trait is useful or not, and the best policy is to let things sort themselves out. It's possible that you are mistaken, and you would do just fine without shoes. And if you did need special accommodation, your parents, rather than the government, would probably make the best decisions on your behalf.


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

LOL It's hilarious and quite educational Aya, thank you! :)

You forgot to analyze polyamory reproduction system though...


barryrutherford profile image

barryrutherford 7 years ago from Queensland Australia

Great reading !


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Misha, thanks!

Yeah, I guess I sort of neglected polyamory arrangements. The short answer is that it's all in the ratio of males to females.

Barryrutherford, thanks for your comment.


ralwus 7 years ago

I think you came from the planet of the apes! hahaha this is quite funny and entertaining. LOL I loved it. The apes have taught you well. thanks, peace, CC


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ralwus, thanks! I think we all come from the planet of the apes. After all, that's what earth is!


ralwus 7 years ago

spot on! sheesh, I'm so stupid human


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ralwus, that's okay! Don't be too hard on yourself. After all, to err is human.;->


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

What a very interesting treatment of this subject! I like it very much! I especially like the bit about how it would be difficult to maintain a human in outer space. One of my jobs is tutoring Chinese students online, and one of the questions that is presented for their consideration is: "Do you think people will ever live in outer space?" It is frightening how many actually say, "Oh, yes! We'd just set up an environment on another planet and make is so that it would be possible for people to live there." never thinking that we aren't doing a very good job of keeping the planet we have in livable condition, so why would we do well at making an uninhabitable planet habitable? The expense and impracticality are staggering.

Of course, I realize this is a tangent to your point. However, we are definitely turning our own nicely set up world that suits our needs perfectly into an expensive and difficult place to live because we have become addicted to so many unnecessary things and to the notion that we need as many people as we can possibly produce.

Again, good job of presenting these thoughts in a unique and thought provoking perspective.

:) Suzanne


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Suzanne, thanks for your comment! Your point is not at all tangential. It's all tied together. Even though I am an SF fan and love to read about space exploration, I think we should keep the planet we have! And, no, we don't need as many people as we can possibly produce. We need to have a place that is spacious and free and full of the basic untapped natural resources that will allow each individual to live a good life.


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

Sooner or later, Aya, that great ball of fire in they sky is going to go out, what are our descendants going to do then? Personally I'd love to see us establish an extraplanetary and eventually an extrasolar civilization. I'd hate to see all of our culture, music and art fade into nothingness on interstellar wind.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, you and Qwark (another hubber who posted on my giant computer hub) should get together and work on interstellar travel. He, too, is worried about the sun burning out. He's even got plans for how to counteract the reversal of the outward expansion of the universe.

Me? I'm still working on saving humanity right here. I'm not opposed to space travel. But don't do it at government expense. Build your own spaceship in your own garage!


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

Someone like Burt Rutan is going to open up space to the regular Joe, not just elites or military like you see today. You really worry too much. You claim humans are rational beings, yet you worry about us surviving. We've lasted for at least 100,000 years, maybe more, we'll continue to do well. After all we're the only species that we know of that can think, and that counts for a lot.

My desire to spread out beyond Earth is selfish. I would love nothing more than to head outward bound and see what the universe holds. I let the expansion of the universe take care of itself. Until recently we didn't even know that it was expanding at an accelerating rate, for all we know there will be some other force we don't understand yet that will bring things to some sort of an equilibrium. Don't you find that all things tend to equilibrium?


lisaml 7 years ago

I agree that the governments of the world routinely do disservice to the population they are charged to protect and service. I agree with objectivity but also realize that one must live a situation to truly understand.

I promise you that in some situations the parents are not in a situation to make reasonable and purdent decisions for the care of their children. Most often this is due to mental health issues. Basically I agree with you.


justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

ledefensetech - If your "desire to spread out beyond Earth is selfish", it is just fine with me if you follow Aya's suggestion and build a spaceship in your own garage, but our money and attention here on earth need to stay focused on our problems and welfare here on earth.


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

I thought this was an extremely clever way of introducing some topics that many don't prefer to think about or or never considered. Raises a lot of good questions that tickle the mind. Although I doubt that I would have wanted my three husbands included in the equations. LOL


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, yes, I do find that all things tend toward equilibrium. It's just that that equilibrium doesn't always preserve the state of affairs that we like best. For instance, one theory had the universe expanding until it reaches a point where it can expand no more, and then everything reverses and contracts and goes all the way back to the starting point, where all time and space meet at a single point. Then the big bang happens all over again. Now this is a version of the story that has equilibrium built right in, but we can't possibly survive such terrific fluctuations!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Lisa, I think that in most matters we are in essential agreement. I do understand that not all parents are equally good at being parents. Sometimes, it is also a matter of experience. A first time mother may not be experienced enough to always make the best decision. However, if we take the child away before she learns, she will not be able to acquire the experience she needs, and she will never grow into the very best mother that she could be. Other, older, wiser women can help by offering advice and assistance, when the new mother is open to them and welcomes it. But to just snatch the child away before she has a chance to learn can cause more harm than good!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Suzanne, keep in mind, though, that just as Ledefensetech should build his spaceship at his own expense, and not at the expense of the government (which is actually paid from taxes taken by force from all of us), the problems on this planet also have to be solved without expropriating funds from people against their will. No good ever came from redistributing the toys that humans have made for themselves.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jerilee, thanks! I felt that if we distance ourselves a little from the the subject matter, we could all consider these issues more objectively. As for your three husbands, if you had known in advance that you were planning to have all three at once, you might have chosen men who would be compatible and complement each others' strengths and weaknesses!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, you wrote: "After all we're the only species that we know of that can think, and that counts for a lot."

I can't let that pass. We are most certainly NOT the only species we know of that can think. Because you may mistrust the evidence that I present on Bow due to my lack of objectivity, I suggest that you read this hub, where I cite proof from other species besides chimpanzees and from other researchers besides me:

http://hubpages.com/education/What-Constitutes-Pro...


Jerilee Wei profile image

Jerilee Wei 7 years ago from United States

You are right about that when it came to husbands. I think when I was young and dumb I clung to the 1950s role models and each time got married for life -- only to find that the other person in the marriage didn't see it that way. All I know is that the last 23 years with the same husband has taught me a lot. Love him dearly but if he were gone tomorrow I'd rather be alone than married as terrible as that might sound to others.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jerilee, that doesn't sound terrible at all. In my family, where most of the women married for life, they never remarried once the original husband died. I've never been married, and I've been able to maintain more stability for my children than many a serially married woman I know.

However, if I did decide to marry, I think maybe marrying three men at once would be a more stable arrangement than trying to find everything I want in a man in a single individual!


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

OK, Aya, we'll split hairs. Let me say that so far as we know, we are the only species that have developed an understanding of mathematics, art, literature, music, etc. Other species related to us may be tool users but they do not show the sheer amount of [i]creativity[/i] the human race does.

The very interesting part is that neither did humanity, in the beginning. Personally I subscribe to the Toba Catastrophe theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theo... , which explains why there are no other hominids closer to human than chimpanzee and why humans are more genetically similar to each other than most species.

I also harbor a belief that catastrophes like Toba, the K-T event and others throughout history provide an evolutionary impetus to differentiate or find new and novel ways to survive. After every massive extinction event, you've seen life rebound finding new ways to adapt that were not common before.

Should this hypothesis have something going for it, it raise interesting possibilities regarding current species. Intelligence, after all, is probably the ultimate adaptation, one has to wonder if any other species are taking advantage of it.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, you weren't talking about making tools in the previous comment -- you said we were the only animal known to "think". We are not. Nor are we the only animal to use language.

Art, literature and music are abstract, and they do not necessarily leave a trace. When a bird sings, is that not music? When an animal weaves a nest in a nice geometric pattern, is that not art? When a chimp tells another chimp a story, is that not literature? No. Not for you. You want to see physical, concrete monuments.

Here are some of the things you are conflating and confusing. You are comparing the collective technological achievements of man with the collective technological achievements of other animals we know. You are attributing to all human beings the mental abilities of the brightest humans. (The average human could not build on his own or even explain how any of the tools he uses actually work. The average chimpanzee is just as good at flipping a switch as the average human, so we both operate light fixtures equally well. Neither the average human nor the average chimp could design and build a power plant or even a generator. On average, the human and the chimp show the same degree of intelligence when it comes to understanding human material culture. They both can use it, and neither can build it.)

But that is the smaller of our problems. The other one is even harder for most people to grasp. Chimps don't manufacture things because, for the most part, they don't want to. They don't believe in the work ethic. They don't want to be slaves. This is possibly a greater sophistication in their thinking than in ours. They don't choose to become dependent on anything that would require most of them to take orders from somebody else -- not even another chimpanzee.

Here's another thing, I have a sneaking suspicion you may not have read the hub I posted, because you came back talking about tools, but the hub was about language. Yes, language is a tool. But beyond being able to use it to ask for things, chimps, bonobos and parrots can use it to express complete, original and spontaneous thoughts. Were you aware of this?


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

I read the other hub and even left a comment. I am a skeptic when it comes to things, so yes, I do require what some might consider inordinate amounts of proof before I consider something possible. As I've said, the possibilities are intriguing, but much work still needs to be done. In that, I disagree with those who think such experiments are a waste of time. Science after all can only give us an approximation of Truth, we never actually get to it. When you see a chimp "talk" to another chimp, there is no way currently to tell what information, if any, is passed along. Figure out a way to prove that and you'll have a very compelling argument.

As for conflating and confusing the best of humanity with the mass of humanity, your argument might have more force if there were a Newton chimp, or Einstein chimp, etc. The best of chimps only seem to be as bright as human children, no more. Which, don't get me wrong, is astounding, but hardly indicative as true sentience. My dog, for example, knows what I mean when I say the word outside. He's associated that sound with going out and doing his business.

As an aside, I don't see how work ethic and slavery have much to do with one another. Work ethic is a human concept which describes our ability and need to change our environment to serve our needs and wants. Slavery is a way to do that, certainly, but it's very inefficient and has it's own problems.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, you have not listened to the best music composed by birds, or heard the best story told by one chimp to another, so I would reserve judgment for now.

Savage-Rumbaugh has been told by one bonobo that blueberries were being served to another bonobo in a different room, because the bonobo in the other room told the bonobo speaking to Savage-Rumbaugh this using normal vocalizations. Would this be sufficient proof for you that they do talk to one another?

As for the work ethic and slavery, the process goes like this: if you are dependent on the manufactured goods and food produced by others to survive, then you must earn money or create goods to barter with. This means you must find a way to make yourself useful to others. But if you keep your environment in its natural form, then you can always just pick food off the tree.

This relates to arguments against free trade by the sorts of people who feel they are serfs working for robber barons. Their arguments are unfounded, if we all have the choice of living under our own vine and fig tree and need not work for another. We can then say that we want no other man to sacrifice his life for us and vice versa. But if the only way to live is to live by trade, then some of us are bound to be short changed...


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

That example you gave about the bonobo is intriguing and I'm not discounting what you say, only that the jury, as it were, is still out. I defer to your experience in this matter, but in a way you might be too close to the subject to be entirely objective. Which is why it's a good idea to have a skeptic aboard. I will admit that I'm a bit of a human chauvinist, but don't misunderstand, I would consider it a great thing to prove sentience in other species. But since our understanding of our own sentience is not fully understood, we will have problems assigning those traits to other species, terrestrial and extraterrestrial.

I'm not unfamiliar with the arguments against trade, but what those people do not consider is that trade makes us better off. Trade allows us to specialize what we are good in and trade the efforts of our labor for the things we want and/or need. Of course people have different ideas on what their labor is really worth and that's where we get into fights over what's "fair". What's funny is that most people walk away happy with the efforts of their trade and each side inevitably thinks they got the best of the deal. So who really gets shortchanged?

You know, that would be a telling way to prove the intelligence of chimps. If they could show specialization in work and trade, that would show pretty unequivocally the presence of human intelligence, let's call it. It would show an ability to plan, save for the future and cooperate at a high level of trust, while remaining individuals.

I do think that the differences between chimps and humans are the secret between unlocking the mystery of human intelligence and consciousness. In fact, before too long, it might be possible to "uplift" species and grant them sentience. Now whether or not that's a good idea is a topic for another time. Interestingly enough, sci-fi writers from Dean Koontz's Chris Snow novels to John Ringo's Council Wars series explores the possible implications of genetic manipulation, so our futurists are scrying the worlds of tomorrow attempting to answer those questions.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefenstech, I do appreciate that you are much more open-minded than the average "human chauvinist". I also realize that my objectivity with regard to Bow is open to question. I welcome having true skeptics on-board.

The argument I gave was not an argument against trade. It was an argument against allowing trade to be mandatory. I believe in freedom of contract. Freedom of contract includes the freedom to just say no. In order for an individual to feel confident that he can say no to all comers, and not be stuck with the "best possible deal", he has to have some other way to make a trading besides dealing with others.


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

Sure, that's important, but many times people are their own worst enemy and get involved with things that they come to regret later. Sorry, but if we make exceptions for one person who was ignorant when they signed, then you start down a slippery slope where you allow exceptions for everyone. Look around you, the evidence of such things is all around us today.

I don't see how you can have trade without dealing with others. You take some of your surplus and use it to get some of the surplus of others. You're confusing people's subjective reactions to trade with objective reality. Anyone at any time is free to say no to any type of trade. What happens is that people come back later with hindsight and say that they were cheated. That is why you have to be careful in the first place when you give your word or sign a contract. And that is all a function of how well you manage risk. You can minimize it, but never eliminate it.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, I think you misunderstood what I said.

Of course, you can't have trade without trading with others. My point was that in order to say "no", one needs a non-trade option. The non-trade option would be to make a living by hunting and gathering or subsistence farming. But if you take away those options, then many people will feel that they have no choice but to trade with somebody.

The biggest danger to the free market is from people who don't see a way out of it. I think it behooves us to always leave that option open.

This means there has to always be plenty of undeveloped land available...

The fate of the San People of Africa, the Plains Indians and the chimpanzees is the same: their habitat has been destroyed. When a hunter-gatherer's habitat is destroyed, he has very little choice as to accepting deals.

Let's not take choice away. Freedom can't exist without it!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, I see the source of the problem now. I had a slip of the keyboard before and substituted the word "trading" for "living".

It should have been:

"Freedom of contract includes the freedom to just say no. In order for an individual to feel confident that he can say no to all comers, and not be stuck with the "best possible deal", he has to have some other way to make a living besides dealing with others."


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

OK, that makes more sense now. I'd say you can make a living without necessarily dealing with others, but the fruits of your labor will have commerce with others, if for no other reason than you will produce more than you need and will need things other than what you produce.

You've mentioned hunter-gatherer societies, but even Indians were tied to the land, at least a little. Plains Indians perhaps being the exception that proves the rule. The extinction of the buffalo was a governmental issue, not mainly a rail issue. General Sheridan called on Congress to allow his troopers to destroy the buffalo in order to destroy the livelihood of the Plains Indians and break their power. The rails supported such measures because they were constantly fixing track ripped up by the roving herds of buffalo.

At any rate, I'm not sure civilization and nomadic lifestyles are compatible. Historically, nomads have invaded civilized areas and set themselves up as rulers of the conquered. If nomadic lifestyles were so great, I think fewer and fewer peoples would have adopted a sedentary lifestyle and taken up farming. Still if someone wishes to live as a nomad and as long as their lifestyle doesn't keep others from living as they wish, I see no problem with it.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, I think you are confusing hunter-gatherers with nomads. Hunter-gatherers are not war-like and they don't make their living invading other people's territory. They have a fixed territory that they consider to be theirs. It's huge, compared to the amount of land a group of that size could farm, but it's theirs, and they keep coming back to the same places. One of the problems such people have is that their property rights to the territory are disputed by others, and they are even considered "too rich" by farmers, who in comparison own much less land per capita. Arguments in favor of taking their land always include the idea that the land is being wasted, because it could feed so many other people if it were farmed.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

personally I think humans look more like lemurs.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Someonewhoknows, thanks for sharing that observation. I never heard that before!


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

I don't know about that. The Huron and Iroquois seemed to go on the warpath from time to time. Plus I think you discount the raids that Indians would stage against white colonies. To the mind of an Indian, that's how they fought disputes. Killing of women and children, white women and children at least, were anathema to European colonists. Until recently civilization has always been beset from time to time by barbarian hordes of nomads battering down the gates of cities and looting them. Technology seems to have moved us a bit past that.

Actually you hit the nail on the head on the care and feeding of humans. Hunter gatherer cultures have low birthrates compared to farmers. Like you said, environmental cues influence fertility and the Indians, even those who did some cultivation were still hunter gatherers to some extent, so they were still susceptible to those cues.

Europeans, by and large were not. The sheer amount of land and advanced farming techniques allowed the population to explode compared to the Indians and that put pressure on the borders of the US to expand. That isn't even considering the liberty based culture of this country encouraging people to emigrate here. It was that population pressure that drove land acquisition, well that and the fact that you can't be truly your own master unless you have a homestead.

Also I'm not sure you understand the implications of demographic data on farming in advanced countries over the last century. With the industrialization of food production, cost has fallen, more food is available yet our population is falling. Why is that do you think? Like I've said before subsistence farming produces a population boom because non-industrial food production is very labor intensive and requires a lot of labor. In that I think Malthus had a bit of a point. His downfall was that he didn't understand the force multiplier of mechanical work replacing human work.

Anyway, my point is that in something other than a subsistence farming situation, land becomes less and less a measure of wealth, so it doesn't matter as much what the land is used for. Have you ever noticed that the modern conservation movement emerged as farming was becoming more and more industrialized? That's because it wasn't necessary to have that much land under cultivation. That trend holds true today. Less and less land is needed to feed more and more people. Economics at work.


kephrira profile image

kephrira 7 years ago from Birmingham

I love it, thanks for an entertaining read.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, in an industrialized economy less land feeds more people. We are both agreed on that. I also did mention that there are many more methods of birth control available in an industrialized economy. So we're not in disagreement on that, either.

The native Americans killed European settlers because they realized the two ways of life were incompatible, and they wanted the Europeans to leave. When land gets taken for agriculture and industry, agriculture and industry end up using up all the land. Then there is no more room for hunter gatherers. Self Interest compelled them to try to fight back -- but that's not how they made their living. They weren't vikings.

There is a conflict of interest between those who prefer independence and those who prefer material culture. In the city, the most common way to make a living is to work for someone else. Yes, you could end up being the boss, but the odds are steep. This is why social stratification occurs. For every boss, or sub-boss, there have to be lots of people who are just taking orders. This makes everybody more dependent on everybody else, to the point that children are brought up thinking that they have to pick what sort of job they will do in order to make a living. It gives people the impression that we are all interdependent, and the only question is how to divide up the pie. That's why socialism appeals to urban populations.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Kephrira, thanks for your comment!


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

The who idea that you go to school to get a good job and retire after twenty years is a relatively new one. And it would seem that you can't do that sort of thing for very long. About a generation or two, then it all falls apart. The main reason is that labor is a market like any other. Schools nowadays just give you a piece of paper, most don't really educate you anymore. If you want to be a boss, you can certainly do so. Problem is you take all the risk. That's why most people are more content with being workers. Less responsibility, more control over the aspects of their job.

Stratification occurs because some skills are more prized than others. Before the printing press, for example, being a scribe was a highly prized job. Now the job is pretty much nonexistent. CEO's of businesses make the most money for a reason. The success of a firm depends on the person at the helm, they take the greatest risk, they get the greatest reward. Please understand that I do not include "rock star" CEO's or big business CEO's in this classification because big business doesn't work according to free market principles.

I don't see a conflict with wanting material comfort and independence. You can be comfortable and independent. In fact, independence is needed in order to sustain and increase your material wealth. Look at socialism for example. That system takes from the producers and gives to the consumers, with little recompense to the producers. Sure for the consumers, the material advantages are evident, but the drawbacks are evident to the producers as well. Then more and more producers become consumers as the economy seizes up and sooner or later everyone becomes a consumer. That's why the lower classes support socialism because they will initially see an increase in their material comfort, but only for a time. Socialism in the long term is unsustainable.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, you need not belabor the reasons why socialism doesn't work. We're on the same page on that. The point I was trying to make was that the desire for socialism is increased as population density increases. Have you read my father's essay explaining this in detail?

http://hubpages.com/politics/Liberty-and-Justice-W...


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

I'm not so sure I believe that. Hong Kong for example, has one of the largest population densities in the world, yet is one of the most capitalistic societies in the world. Singapore, too fits this mold.

I would like to say before continuing that I envy you father and his erudite diction and I can see where you get your skill from. In many ways I feel like a fifth century Roman bemoaning the loss of civilized discourse and scholarship of previous generations.

I think what you and your father continue to trip over is the frontier mentality of the US. It played such a large part in the development of America, that you really cannot talk about Americans without at least a discussion of it. I will agree that a society which thinks that resources are unlimited tend more towards liberty and those that fear resource depletion tend more towards socialism, indeed contemporary socialists beat that particular drum incessantly.

Yet I wonder if you understand the significance of the 1990's. Here we had all the same governmental inflationary policies at work, but we did not have the issues with the economy we have today. This period also coincided with the computer revolution which made workers much more productive than they had been in the past. Productivity is what makes the standard of living of a people increase. That revolution had pretty much run its course by the turn of the century. So what we had then was the same inflationary processes but this time there was no corresponding increase in productivity. Since productivity is stagnant, but inflation is continuing to rise, people can no longer afford the things they were accustomed to in the past.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Aya Katz

We are all interdependent to some extent or another. The owner of a business is dependent on his employees and the employees are dependent on their employers Even self-employed business owners are dependent on their customers for their patronage.

Even if you lived on a homestead ,you are dependent on water rights and land rights.You are even dependent on nature if your a susistance farmer,the sun,rain,wind,snow,etc...

When you get old and infirmed you may be dependent on others for your care,and they may be dependent on your wisdom for their future .Children are all dependent on their parents until they can care for themselves..Is that socialism? . Or Civilization?


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

Someone, at times I can feel like an idiot. That was probably the simplest, most concise statement about civilization I've ever heard. I hope you don't mind if I poach it.


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 7 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

lol ! No I don't mind

I can't get anything ,unless I give something ,right!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Hong Kong belongs to the People's Republic of China now. I don't think its future is so rosy.


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

I disagree. Hong Kong was used by the PRC to liberalize their economy. They knew a good thing when they saw it and little has changed in HK over the years. The economy is still vibrant and doing well despite the downturn in global trade.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefenstech, I'm glad you appreciate my father's writing. It means a lot to me that his writings not disappear.

As for the 1990s and the success of that inflationary economy, I think we might be able to put it down to the sorts of bubbles of productivity that Keynes supporters live for. It's their way of showing the world that business can thrive under government interventions and everyone can be happy and merry and bright. Everyone except those with savings -- or those who care about the devastation of the natural world upon which we all depend.

Someonewhoknows, in the sense of needing sunshine and rain and air to breathe, we are indeed all interdependent. The question is: can we maintain these without resorting to oppressive government interventions?

I'm hoping that we can. Because what good is fresh air to breathe, if you need permission from a Red Commissar before you can take a breath?!


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

I'm not sure you understand the point I'm trying to make. The 1950's was also a time of inflationary increases via the Fed to pay for, among other things, the Korean War. Yet the effects of such a policy was muted due to the increasing productivity of the American worker. Thus the effects of Keynesian economics are masked during times of increased productivity. Which is why few people raise a hue and cry when such methods are used.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, but how can you measure which portions of productivity are due to other factors and which are due to economic stimulus?


Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

I am so glad that I have found this great Hub, Aya. The comments are also - so entertaining.

I agree with you - humans would be much better and less invasive in more natural environment. Less spoiled and more happy. Connection with nature is giving to the everyone - inner wisdom, so many of the problems which humanity has today just could not happen.

Hmmm..I could very easily vote for poliandry: all my ex-ones together would create perfect combination. Besides that, you fave the good point of poliandry on which I never thought- limited birthrate what would be great for whole human society to be achieved...

Bravo!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Tatjana-Muhaela, I'm glad we agree! We would indeed be less spoiled and more happy in a less complicated set-up. In an industrialized economy, the average person gets the impression that food and clothing and almost everything else comes from other people. As a result, people learn to work other people -- instead of working with nature.

Polyandry is probably a much better option than most people realize!


Vizey profile image

Vizey 7 years ago

I don't believe in the theory of Darwin. I believe in the theory of Adam and eve. Well, thanks for sharing your views. I am not against you but views are views.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Vizey, thanks for your comment. I guess from your standpoint what I said could be translated like this: "Don't tell your humans where the tree of knowledge is, because they'll abuse this information and get themselves kicked out of paradise!"


Scott.Life 7 years ago

THis has been the most entertaining HUB I have read in three weeks. It was simply brilliant. What a way to break down the truth of the matter; we are all just animals too. P.S. if your comment runs longer then the average Hub maybe you should look into writing your own post to express your point of view.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Scott.Life, thanks! Glad you enjoyed it! BTW, I don't mind long comments if they give us a chance to explore the issues.


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Aya, very...elightening, shall we say! :-) I enjoyed the education on humans very mucho!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Elena, thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!


loubeeloo 7 years ago

Thank you Aya for this amazing hub, and thank you Ledefensetech for your insightful critiqe. i have been both educated & enlightened by all of your debate.

I was very interested to learn that, as i have often suspected, humans also have natural ways of controlling both their population growth and their body fat... and that those two things may be interrelated. Also thank you for pointing out that if human females continued to provide the right number of years of 'care' for their offspring(that's Breastfeeding ladies!)this too would serve as a natural way to slow down population growth !!!

I found your polyandry theory amusing and fully approve of the maths that achieves zero population growth, unfortunately although i wish this could be achieved i think the males of the species are not yet evolved enough to curtail their procreative drives for the good of the whole population and as you point out due to the lack of natural creative tasks to occupy their time become bored & sexually frustrated & resort to fighting within the group ;P

i just hope if aliens were ever to take over the planet they'd have read your 'human husbandry guide' first... and then re-disperse the land to all (instead of so much of the world being owned by so few)giving us the resources back that we need so that we all have a fair chance at living natural & productive lives.

regards, Loubeeloo.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Loubeeloo, thanks! Humans do indeed have all sorts of built in mechanisms to regulate fat storage and reproductive function. Unfortunately, they are just smart enough to come up with ways to short-circuit these mechanisms, but not quite smart enough to deal with the outcome! I do hope any would-be alien overlords read the manual before they decide to get in on the action of breeding humans... It's not the land the needs to be "re-dispersed", though. It's the humans who should be in the minority among animal forms on the planet, in order to maintain a natural equilibrium in the food chain.


Artemus Gordon profile image

Artemus Gordon 7 years ago

It is amazing the misconceptions we have about ourselves. Thanks for the insite.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Artemus Gordon, thanks for your comment!


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

Aya, the problem with economic stimulus is that the easy credit policies make it less dangerous to make mistakes. Therefore more people make more mistakes when attempting to conduct business. When too many mistakes are made, the correction is called a recession. After so many recessions the entire system fails and we have a depression.

Intervention makes it harder to tell anything about the economy, so you really can't say how much productivity was due to the stimulus and how much was real economic recovery.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, you are responding to something I said so many comments ago, that I think I will copy it here to refresh our memory. I said: "Ledefensetech, but how can you measure which portions of productivity are due to other factors and which are due to economic stimulus?"

Now, let's see if we can get to the meat of your answer: "Aya, the problem with economic stimulus is that the easy credit policies make it less dangerous to make mistakes. Therefore more people make more mistakes when attempting to conduct business. When too many mistakes are made, the correction is called a recession. After so many recessions the entire system fails and we have a depression."

What I would like to take issue with is the whole idea of our being sure what is a mistake. After all, whether we made a mistake depends on what it was we were trying to do.

On the surface, the same activities can be interpreted as being motivated by different value systems. Howard Roark designs houses according to his own aesthetic judgments, rather than to the specifications of his clients. Is that a mistake? Only if you think the goal of economic activity has to be profit. But in a free market, many might operate who have different goals. A person might want to build a monument to himself that will stand long after he is dead. Does it matter that his investors lost their shirt, if he achieved his goal?

How can you say that a depression means people made a mistake? What people? People who have savings didn't make a mistake if deflation adds to the value of their nest egg.


eac62 profile image

eac62 7 years ago

The article would be humorous if the suggestion of humans as pets didn't coincide with the purely ethinc and tribal imagery. That it does smacks of racism. I also think that your discussion romanticizes pre-industrial man. Humans would not be any happier on average if they were in a "natural" habitat. There would probably be approximately the same distribution of happiness, sadness, and dullness in the human experience as there is now. Different hunter-gatherer societies had differening conceptions of ownership where the land was concerned- it is an oversimplification (to the point of being incorrect) to say that each person had their own territory. Even if groups had their own territories, they were often invaded by other groups of hunter-gatherers and fought over, excluding industrial man altogether from the picture. The belief that if we entrust ourselves to nature everything will be okay is a naïve one, unless in doing so you realize you are also forced to accept death. Unforseeable environmental factors can eliminate your self-sufficient way of life in a twinkling, leading to dependance on others, or death. Even chimps, seen by most as peace-loving examples of prehistoric human society, hunt down chimps from other bands and eat them. Why? For prestige, for the protein, and for a more stimulating hunt. If you are even slightly repulsed by the idea of your 40-year-old corpse being torn apart by wild animals and eaten, don't even start proselytizing about natural life at peace with the earth.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Eac62, I'm sorry you saw racism where there was none. I was speaking of all humans -- and we all come from the same place. In fact, one of the clips explained that all of us had ancestors who lived in Africa like the San people and that we are all San by ancestry.

About the keeping of humans as "pets", please be assured that I have experience with being responsible for an intelligent being who is not a human, and that these problems are very close to my heart.

Many governments purport to keep people and to provide for them. The recent move for universal health care is an example of that. But modern health care is more often the cause of disease than its cure, and like the shoe, it is an addictive habit.

I never claimed that humans were not war-like or that they did not fight over territory. If you want to hear what I have to say about different people invading the territory of others, maybe you should read my hub on Lelouch of the Rebellion.

Best wishes!


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

By mistake I'm talking about things like expanding production when it might not necessarily be needed. Look at housing. Low interest rates sparked a frenzy of buying which signaled to builders to build more. Turns out they overbuilt and now banks are stuck with more houses than they can possibly sell. It's so bad that some banks are just bulldozing those homes under.

Other industries can and do make the same sort of mistakes that the housing industry does when you have a currency that is constantly growing. Look at China. In order to meet our demand for cheap products, they built and I would say overbuilt factories to meet that need. Now that we've stopped spending, many of those factories have closed.

It is my belief that had we not gone crazy buying houses and cheap goods from China, we might have invested in things like, oh I don't know, new water, road and electrical systems because the ones we have are starting to wear out. Nobody wanted to invest in those because the "real money" was in housing and China. I think we're going to find that we would have been better off investing in new infrastructure than wasting money on speculative gambles.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, I do understand what you mean by mistake. But I am trying to get you to look at this issue from a slightly different point of view.

People who play the stock market or the commodities market, for instance, make a mistake when they guess wrong which way prices are going to go. They make a smart move when they guess right. But if all there were to the marketplace was this, then it would be a zero sum game! One person making a mistake means another person making a profit.

Now, what happens in a real depression? I mean, a natural free market depression not caused by the government. Some people bet that the growth spurt would go on forever. They made a mistake. Other people, who held onto savings, bet that the growth spurt would end pretty soon. They were right. They win.

What happens when people think of a depression as simply a mistake is that they try to correct it. It doesn't need a correction. It's not a mistake. It's natural and it's good.

It's just part of how the market operates.


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

Natural free market depressions don't happen. For that you need fractional reserve banking.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, I'm confused by two things here:

1) Are you suggesting that in a natural free market, there is no end to growth? Or that all natural fluctuations are bound to be minor? What do you base this on?

2) Can't fractional reserve banking occur naturally in a free economy? If people choose to put their money in a bank that is so structured, should someone step in and keep them from doing this?


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

In a free market the market constantly adjusts. Think ebb and flow of tides. Rather than say grow, you might mean change. All markets, like businesses have a growth stage. A mature market is one that has experienced massive growth, weeded out the inferior players and is pretty well established. Even the you can't rest on your laurels because there might be something coming down the pipeline that will make your service or product obsolete. It really is natural selection. Do flora and fauna really stop changing? The more I think on it, the more a natural interaction of markets is very much like an ecosystem. Think of it that way.

The problem with fractional reserve banking is that the depositor has no say in investing their money. The bankers do that. Now a depositor will get a (low) rate of interest in exchange for this but that isn't really the point. The point is that a bank is supposed to be able to cash out a person's entire account [i]on demand[/i]. Normally that's not an issue. A bank will keep a certain amount on reserve, usually enough to cover demand deposits. The rest are out on loans. Now you get into problems when you have more bad loans than good loans.

When people become aware of this fact, they tend to panic and try to get their money back. After all if they don't get their money, they might lose it all. Panic ensues and banks start to close. Bank runs by their very nature tend to have wide ranging effects over the entire economy because they are an intricate part of the credit system.

Now a fully reserve bank on the other hand, has two places you can put your money. One is your personal account that is yours. Nobody does anything with that money, it is not at risk at all. You are assessed a fee for the storage of your money, the Lakota Bank currently charges 1oz per 20,000oz deposited. The other account is a general fund account the bank uses to generate loans, just like a fractional reserve bank. This account pays a certain amount of interest, the Free Lakota Bank pays an annual rate of return of 7.24 percent as of right now. Try getting that with a regular bank.

So in that case you have the choice of how much money, if any, you want to risk. This would eliminate bank runs, which have been the cause of most depressions, recessions and panics prior to 1913.

I think that in a free market, people would be naturally drawn to a fully reserve bank. The reason we don't see any today is because they are prohibited by law from operating. Bankers like fractional reserve banks because they can loan out more money than would otherwise be the case. I think you know the consequences of making too much credit available. That's why fractional reserve banking and depressions go hand in hand.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, the way you describe the market, you make it sound as if there will never be a time when people who save more than they spend are right to do so. A free market doesn't have growth as its goal. Things can change one way. They can change another. They can stay the same.

In nature, some animals and some plants change a great deal less than others, and still survive in the ancestral form, where newer models come and go. (Qwark keeps going on and on about sharks and alligators.)

Yes, there is equilibrium. But there's no guarantee of exactly how large the fluctuations in the market are going to be. There is no guarantee that a downswing cannot last longer than a single lifespan.

In a free market, you always have the choice of how much risk you take. Those who take a very great risk are the ones who will do really well when the market is on the upswing and very poorly when it is going down. People who minimize risk will do especially well during depressions. In fact, they will welcome depressions, because that's when their lifestyle pays off.

Fractional reserve banking is only bad if the government has something to do with it. But is there anything to suggest it couldn't be used under a free market?

Your attitude has a bias in favor of growth. The free market has no bias.


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

Aya, we had fractional reserve banking during the gold standard days and it was that very banking system which led to the Panics of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Look up the Panic of 1819 for an example.

As for spending and saving, I've always been an advocate of saving. That is the only way to have true economic growth and a healthy economy. Of course you can have "ancestral" forms of companies that still exist today, just as you have ancestral forms of animals that still exist today. Jardine Matheson is an example of a company and sharks examples of an animal.

Still you can take the analogy too far. The problem is that the entire system is so complex it's hard to put into words. I can see it in my minds eye, but the words just aren't there to describe it. Garet Garrett came closest, I think, in [u]Satan's Bushel[/u].

http://mises.org/store/Satans-Bushel-P444.aspx

If you give it a read, let me know what you think.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, Thanks for the link to the page about Satan's Bushel. If the point is that speculators can serve a useful purpose, then fine, I'll grant you that.

I'm not against speculation. I'm not against anything that involves the free right to make contracts. But I don't assume that one state of the economy (depression) is bad, and another state, (growth), is good.

Can you just stop for a minute and ask yourself: if the operation of the free market caused a depression that lasted my entire lifetime, but that reversed itself in time for another surge of growth in a couple of generations, would I still support laissez faire?

The free market, to me, is good because it is right, not because it produces any particular goods.


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

Going along with your assumption I'd have to say you would most likely not be a supporter. The reason I say that is that people act in their own self interest, but each of us have a different system by which assign value. You may be perfectly willing to support a free market even though it would cause a depression to last in your lifetime because it would then mean a better life for your kids and grandkids. Or you may not value them that highly and be resentful that you had to live your life through a depression. Your value system would determine your support.

Having said that, I don't believe a free market would cause a lifelong depression. A controlled economy, on the other hand, yes, I would expect that to be the case. Just ask Misha how long the depression lasted in the USSR.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, I'm confused. You write: "Going along with your assumption I'd have to say you would most likely not be a supporter." A supporter of what? The free market? I am a supporter. By "you" did you mean me, or were you referring to yourself?

You have a bias against depression. I'm saying it could be a good thing. Or it could be a good thing for those who are prepared.

I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing. I believe in laissez faire. That means whatever happens happens.

You seem to be against depressions and panics. You want to avoid fractional reserve banking, because it causes panics. You wrote: "we had fractional reserve banking during the gold standard days and it was that very banking system which led to the Panics of the 19th and early 20th centuries." Is there something wrong with the Panics of the 19th century or early 20th? Weren't those just people reacting naturally to events of their own making? Do you believe someone should have intervened and prevented this from happening? If you do, you are not a believer in the free market.


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

You asked if the operation of a free market would create conditions for a depression that would last a lifetime, would you still support lassiez-faire. The short answer would be it depends.

I'm not biased against depressions as much as I believe they are caused by artificial interventions in the marketplace. I'm pretty sure I'm not describing it too well. Perhaps a history of the Panic of 1819 is in order:

http://mises.org/story/3395

http://mises.org/Books/mysteryofbanking.pdf

In the Mystery of Banking book check out Chapter VII Deposit Banking. Rothbard does a much better job of explaining this than I do. Suffice to say that I believe that if we allowed fully reserve banks to be chartered in the US, you'd soon see fractional reserve banks disappear.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, let's just cut to the essential issue. I don't dispute that fractional reserve banking is a "bad" practice and that depositors should be wary of it. Here's what I'm not clear on in what you say: do you believe that the government should regulate banks?

I don't. I believe it should stay completely out of the economy. I'm not sure there should even be a national currency.


ledefensetech profile image

ledefensetech 7 years ago from Cape Girardeau, MO

Of course government shouldn't regulate banks. In fact, the government has made it illegal to open anything other than a fractional reserve bank. Why do you think they would do such a thing?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Ledefensetech, Okay, so we are agreed on this, too. But am I mistaken in thinking that in the 19th century how a bank was capitalized was a private matter?


lela 7 years ago

I give to my two kids. My parents, being the older generation, some-what miserable and mean, I suppose with your views of having people achieve for themselves answers the older generation. But how do you explain that my spoilt kids with free holidays overseas, given cars, etc... are high achievers who don't even smoke, are into sports, have excelled in school and work, are popular, happy, outspoken, care about animals and the elderly? You see, I studied psychology and non-fiction books of famous and successful people and they were spoilt by their parents financially. Infact, once they have had, they will achieve to keep this and more. Give some-one nothing and they will adapt to their poor conditions, and give a kid boredom and they'll get drugs for free.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 7 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Lela, thanks for your comment. I congratulate you on the success of your children! Different people may react differently to having lots of material possessions. Certainly there are some who will work very hard to maintain the lifestyle in which they were raised. However, ultimately that may not be a sustainable lifestyle.

Make your children wear shoes all through their childhood, and they will have to get a job to buy shoes as adults. (It's a kind of addiction.) Give them cars when they are teenagers, and they may end up working very hard to have nice cars all their life. But what will they do when we run out of gas? Isn't it better to make sure they are also good walkers and that they can manage no matter what the circumstances?


nicomp profile image

nicomp 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

Good stuff. You may be hearing from the show companies!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Nicomp, thanks! What show companies?


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

very nice information. As a teacher I'll inform this hub to my students. I know a lot from this hub.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Prasetio30, thanks! I really appreciate your sharing this hub with your students!


bestcellphones 6 years ago

good to know, keep it up !


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

bestcellphones, thanks!


Crazy888 6 years ago

wow.....this has a lot of cool facts i didn't know about...anyone else?


seventeenagain 6 years ago

i know....i get a little bored in all this factual stuff


ABERCOMBIEFITCH9984 6 years ago

yay.....this doesn't give me enough info.....or to MUCH!\

its called editing! people of the world!!!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, thanks! I'm always happy to see that someone has gotten new information out of this hub.


Crazy888 6 years ago

cool...thanks....i think this is a very good job!


crazy888 6 years ago

cool...thanks this is an awsome website....out of this hub!!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

SeventeenAgain, sorry if this was too dry and factual!

AbercrombieFitch, hey are you and SeventeenAgain and Crazy888 friends? You all seem to be at the same IP address.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, thanks... I think.


Crazy888 6 years ago

we are all at the same computer....doing a project on homo sapians....we are arguing about the webstes info....I THINK ITS GREAT!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, cool! I'm glad this is of help to you on your project.


Crazy888 6 years ago

u still there??


Crazy888 6 years ago

anyway..this projects a pain....but this factual info you put up on this website! where did you learn about this?


seventeenagain 6 years ago

i mean its "OKAY"...nuthin super though


ABERCROMBIEFITCH9984 6 years ago

anyway....for this project....i need more of the basic facts.....you know. I do like though that you have a chat box thing so people can share oppinions about this!


seventeenagain 6 years ago

well i think its nice for you to do all of this resurch!!!!


Crazy888 6 years ago

thanks again.....off to finish the project.....i will see if you are here at the website later...hopefully.....

I know you probualy have something beter to do to!!!!!

c u later and thanks 4 the help!!!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, Seventeenagain, AmbercrombieFitch, sorry I missed your comments earlier. Hope your project turns out great! Feel free to drop by any time!


R.G. San Ramon 6 years ago

A good read. About the shoes, maybe it's not about not letting humans wear shoes versus letting them wear shoes. Just because we use something does not mean we're addicted to it. Like, I've been using hubpages to publish hubs but it does not mean I won't be able to publish anymore should hubpages close down, or that I'm totally dependent on my computer. Dependency is a behavior, and can hopefully be changed; and shoes are not as addictive as drugs. :P

About your position on language being learned. It's probably too early to say that, although that is generally what is accepted in the scientific community. Consider those who cannot speak (nor understand language) because of some brain abnormality. No matter how much he/she tries, he/she won't be able to communicate via speech, because he/she does not have the capacity to learn it. Now what if the rest of the animal kingdom are speech-limited because of their physical make-up? Now think about when language first came about. Generally, linguists say that speech and communication started from sounds, pictures, gestures, etc. This things are, well, shared and probably learned, but firstly, invented and gradually "evolved" (perhaps). And I remember one of my teachers back in high school say that there was an experiment where an infant was raised in a cave with a caregiver who was instructed never to utter a word. It was reported that the child actually spoke - a word, older than what is used at the time of the experiment, which means "mother". I haven't read the actual report, though, but it does raise an interesting question.

Going back to the hub...thanks! I had great time reading it. Hope you publish more hubs like this. :) And btw, have you already dealt with your problem on adsense?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

R.G. San Ramon, thanks for your thoughtful comment!

Addiction to shoes is not always irreversible, but that does not mean that it isn't an addiction. A heroin addict will go dry, too, if the supply of heroin is suddenly cut off, but the process is extremely painful. A person who has been wearing shoes all his life can unlearn this habit, but if shoes became unavailable and this person were called upon to run a marathon or trek for miles in search of food over rough terrain, there would be bloody feet and much pain, all of which could have been avoided by not having ever worn shoes in the first place.

About language, I think you are mistaken concerning the experiment you describe. Read my hub, and then we'll talk more:

http://hubpages.com/education/Language-is-Learned

Other animals are capable of language. See here:

http://hubpages.com/education/What-Constitutes-Pro...

Yes, I have finally resolved my problem with Adsense. Thanks for asking!


crazy888 6 years ago

hey..thanks!!!its okay that you were not here for the comments! hows it going....i have a quuestion about hub......what is it?

thanks again

Crazy888


crazy888 6 years ago

anyway...im a freak about comments! i always want to write more! sorry if you think its annoying about commenting on everything!!!!!! hope to see you soon! [Acually i cant see you i can only talk to you with words!!]

{:}


crazy888 6 years ago

wow...i dont mean to be mean but i was reading some of these comments and some people write soooo much about your hub(still confused what hub is!)Doent it give you a head ache reading all of this!

-im reading this hub(?????) for like the second time in a row. This is really helping my projcts!!

thanks!!

Crazy888


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, thanks for dropping by. Sorry I missed you again. I do not mind long comments if they are to the point. You say you have a question. I'll be happy to help if I can. I can't answer it till you ask, though.


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

sorry....my question I had, is already answered. i recommend to make more hub like this! i now have my own hub account. try to drop by soon.

thanks{}

Crazy888


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, welcome to Hubpages! Looking forward to hearing more from you!


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

Thanks! Some of my other friends who are also doing a project on homo sapins(not seventeenagain or AbercrombieFitch} actualy recomened this hub to me. A very good read. What do you recommend for hub that i should write. Thats what im having trouble on!

thanks again!


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

Also thanks for always commenting back! I like to keep in touch even if it is over the computer!!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, thanks!

I recommend that you write about something that matters to you. It should be something you know about, are interested in and have something new and interesting and unique to share with others.


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

thanks! good advise......i wrote some hub on some recipies....wow....you should be an advise colomest 2!!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, you're welcome. I look forward to seeing what you came up with.


crazy888 6 years ago

Thanks....try to ketc you on this hub later.....c u!


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

oops didnt sign in there!!!!!


Crazy888 6 years ago

anyway i saw your other hub article. I loved it!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, thanks.


Hi-Jinks profile image

Hi-Jinks 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Human beings maybe the most intelligent animals on earth, only and only if they first don't blow the place up.


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

wow Hi-Jinks thats a laugh!


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

realy funny


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Hi-Jinks, you've got a point there.

Crazy888, go easy, will you?


Jawa Lunk 6 years ago

Very informative, I will report this back to my mothership so that our planet can get this information to our leders. This looks like a good planet to start with...


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jawa Lunk, I'm glad that this information is of use to your planetary expedition!


Drew Breezzy profile image

Drew Breezzy 6 years ago from somewhere in my mind

I know a few animals smarter than people.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Drew Breezzy, well, I don't know what you mean by "people" exactly. Humans are animals, too, you know! But, yes, I do know a few members of other species who are quite a bit smarter than some of the humans I know.


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

you told me to go easy...what exactly do you mean?


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

u there?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, hi. How's the bio coming?


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

Well....i am not done on it but i will make sure that i tell you...when its up!

"Time takes time!!!


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

My bio is up.....and very long! check it out...you will find things very interesting about me!


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

u there?/\


enlightenedpsych2 profile image

enlightenedpsych2 6 years ago from n.e. portion of U.S. on Planet earth

It seems, delightfully so, that you are of another race that can look past the human race, whom are just advanced animals from the biological perspective only. Once an 'animal' of the human race now walking as a biped involved with society, conflict, chaos and an ego--it all becomes a mess. To step outside of that mess and create unity without direct separatism like keeping moneys and chimpanzees separate from people, would be ideal. But the negative constructs such as this one, "Humans needs shoes and clothes and if you don't give them these necessities they will be unable to walk or go out of doors"--is that because of shame, indecency or embarassment all problems of the humn0thinking being on this planet ?

Thanks for sharing an excellent hub !

miss erica hidvegi,

the Enlightenment Advisor


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Enlightenedpsych2, thanks! While I cannot claim to belong to a different species, it does help sometimes to distance ourselves from the human condition in order to gain better perspective.


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

hey i have a question.....how many hubs have you wroe....you give factual info on it!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, I have published 95 hubs so far. That information is available on my profile page for all to see!


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

Thanks,.....

whoa how do you repliy to comments for 95 hubs!!!!!!!????


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, I take it one comment at a time!


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

wow..that must be hard!


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

UHHH 1 more question. why does my comments pop up twise. I went to go see if you commented back and i saw this. Can i fix it after 5 minutes!

p.s-i new you were a hub expert so this is why i came to you~!

crazy888


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, sometimes when our internet connection is slow, we click on "post comment" and nothing happens. Then we click again, and the message gets posted twice.

I deleted your duplicate message.


Crazy888 profile image

Crazy888 6 years ago

Thanks! It wasn't a major concern, i just wodered. Your explination makes sence!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Crazy888, no problem!


MileyCyrusFan 6 years ago

wow, i was doing a project on homo sapians and this hub made lots of sence!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

MileyCyrusFan, thanks! Are you related to Crazy888, by any chance?


Norah Casey profile image

Norah Casey 6 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

What a fantastic hub! I laughed out loud at the passage, "what if my humans discover agriculture, you may be asking. Do I have to sterilize them then?"

People have a tendency to think of themselves as something other than a surviving hominid species. It certainly inspires frustrating comparisons between Homo sapiens sapiens and extinct hominids.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Norah Casey, thanks! We are indeed a surviving hominid species, one of many that competed for a similar niche. No doubt we had a hand in driving some of the others extinct. But we should also keep in mind that just because one group of modern humans has adopted agriculture as a preferred life style, this does not mean that all have done so. There are modern day hunter gatherers who are still fighting for their mode of life.


Norah Casey profile image

Norah Casey 6 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Aya Katz: Yes, and we should realize that our preferential standard of living is not necessarily superior to that of other cultures/groups of people. My focus of study are Neanderthals, but H. sapien interactions with one another are quite puzzling to observe :)


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Norah, yes, I am in full agreement. Have you written any hubs about Neanderthals? I would be very interested in reading what you have to say.


Buh 6 years ago

Hypothetico-deductive tripe. Your theories are at best silly and at worst harmful. If you want another futile example of restructuring human society with an incomplete understanding of human nature, ask Karl Marx. He could give you some pointers about how to ruin as many lives as possible with your silly ideas.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Buh, thanks for dropping by. This hub is meant to describe how humans function. It is not an attempt to restructure human society.


jambo87 profile image

jambo87 6 years ago from Outer Space / Inner Space

I think you have written the "Handbook for Extra-Terrestrials" here. I really enjoyed how you chose to structure and word this hub. Very creative and very well implemented.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jambo87, thanks! I think it could make a good handbook for Terrestrials as well as Extra-Terrestrials.;->


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 6 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

Marvelous, Aya Katz, well done! I voted this hub up for useful, funny, and awesome. You've given us great information and all that. But you know what struck me the most?

I was impressed by the tone. It occurred to me that the information and layout has cinematic possibilities. What I mean is this: Suppose they made yet another Planet of the Apes movie (did you ever catch the latest remake with Mark Wahlberg?). If you did see it, remember how it ended, with Wahlberg "escaping" back into the future -- entirely run by apes? He landed at the Ape Lincoln monument and all that...

Suppose they made a sequel to that and may a few scenes could be shot with the information (or something like it) that you presented in your hub as background narration. In other words, the opening scenes would explain to other apes how to maintain their humans....

Never mind, just me thinking out loud. Very well done! Great hub!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 6 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, WingedCentaur! I like the old Planet of the Apes movies, myself. I suppose in due course this article could be made into an instructional video, though.


infogurl 5 years ago

hi. thanks!this helped me with my project


infogurl 5 years ago

very helpful


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Infogurl, you are doubly welcome!


Whatevs 5 years ago

Thanks! really helped!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Whatevs, glad it helped!


KEEPER 5 years ago

What about Humans that decide they want to be like their owners?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Keeper, in what way? Could you elaborate?


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 5 years ago from The Ozarks Author

If you mean, what if your human gets to the point where he wants to run the lives of other humans or to tell them how to live, you might try to show your human by example how little you intervene, and how much better it all works if you leave them all to their own devices.

The trick to "playing God" is to observe how very few instances of "divine intervention" are actually documented or even necessary for the smooth functioning of human affairs.


thesingernurse profile image

thesingernurse 4 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

I enjoyed reading this hub. I laughed and learned a lot. :D


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, TheSingerNurse! Glad you saw the humor in the piece, as well as the serious information.


Jonas James profile image

Jonas James 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

Natural Birth Control

You will find that human populations are naturally controlled by population density. Currently, the human population is beginning to level out as a function of density dependent birth rate. Urbanization leads to a decline in birth rate and an increase in aging population (not a good combination for our species longevity!). See the research of John B Calhoun for more information.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jonas, thanks for the input. While there does seem to be some truth to the idea that birth rates decline in urban environments, the real test is not strictly how many are born, but how many survive to reproduce. In US urban environments, I do not believe we have yet reached ZPG.

Conversely, in rural, non-industrialized locations, while the birth rate is relatively high, infant mortality tends to play a bigger part in balancing that out.


Jonas James profile image

Jonas James 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

“While there does seem to be some truth to the idea that birth rates decline in urban environments, the real test is not strictly how many are born, but how many survive to reproduce. In US urban environments, I do not believe we have yet reached ZPG.”

First we need to understand this from a global perspective. 96% of the world population is urbanized with only 4% living in the rural settings. 10,000 years ago these percentages were reversed. With our slow migration away from the nuclear family model of the manufacturing age we are now in the midst of a bachelor/single parent family model of the services economy. This migration is having a steady, but increasing effect on the global birth rate. The urbanised modern woman isn’t as interested in children as her mother was, and neither is the modern man.

Currently the ratio between old and young is overturning. Within the next decade or two there will be more old people than young fertile people, and with increasing urbanisation the birth rate will only go down. Currently the UN say global ZPG will occur in 2060, next year they will say 2050, and so on…


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jonas, so what you seem to be saying is that women are choosing not to have children in such great numbers that there will soon be more elderly than young, throughout the globe. That is an interesting take on it.

I would not agree that the urbanized modern woman isn't as interested in children as her mother. I think women's drive to have children hasn't changed. In the past, there were fewer opportunities not to have children, so more women had them whether they wanted to or not. Now there are more choices.

The maternal drive has not diminished. What does seem to have happened is that more urban women in the past fifty years were buying into the idea that motherhood can be postponed indefinitely, and that the children they have in the future will be better off. But that bubble has pretty much burst, as today's youth are aware that a college education will not necessarily get them a better job -- or even any job. This means that postponing motherhood for the sake of a career is now being seen by more and more young women as a trap that may lead to having neither children nor a career. The trend is to start families at a younger age, now that there is less to be gained by postponing.


Jonas James profile image

Jonas James 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

“But that bubble has pretty much burst, as today's youth are aware that a college education will not necessarily get them a better job -- or even any job. This means that postponing motherhood for the sake of a career is now being seen by more and more young women as a trap that may lead to having neither children nor a career. The trend is to start families at a younger age, now that there is less to be gained by postponing.”

If you are unable to find a job, will you be making plans to have babies? I doubt it. If there is only just enough food in the habitat to support the lioness, she is not likely to be interested in getting pregnant. She may dream of having cubs, but she won’t do so until her economy improves.

The rate of unemployment within our economy is not going to reduce; businesses are interested in cutting costs when the economy is in decline, and technology reduces the demand for labor permanently. Manufacturing plants will never return to the methods of the 1940’s, and the service sector will never abandon their cell phones.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jonas, what you say is logical: it would make sense not to have more babies in bad economic times, from a purely economic perspective. But if you understand the psychology and biological underpinnings of the human animal, you will not be thinking that this kind of logic applies to decision-making by the female of the species. At present, even in hard times, there is enough for everyone to eat in the developed world. So... women are going to continue to ovulate, will have less money for contraception and more time on their hands. The maternal drive is a very strong thing. Women who postpone motherhood need compelling incentives to do so. Without those incentives, motherhood is the most natural outcome.


Jonas James profile image

Jonas James 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

"But if you understand the psychology and biological underpinnings of the human animal, you will not be thinking that this kind of logic applies to decision-making by the female of the species."

Aya, if a woman cannot find a job, or her partner is also unable to find a reasonable income, the chances that this pair will have babies is extremely low. Given that urbanization is increasing and the global economy has been in a steady decline since 1968, we can understand why the global birth rate is also declining rapidly. I am talking in terms of facts here Aya, not opinions. I urge you to go and check the figures for yourself. Perhaps conducting a survey of young women regarding their plans to have children will open your eyes somewhat; young women are not as interested in having children to the same degree as their mothers or grandmothers were. We are undoubtedly moving into the age of bachelor/single parent families.

Final point, there is plenty of food available right now, but what about after the collapse of the global economy? I doubt there will be much food around then.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jonas, I'll admit that I don't really know what is going to happen food-wise after a full collapse of the global economy. I do know many young women who have just passed through puberty, and I can assure you that in the circle of these acquaintances, postponing motherhood indefinitely is not what is on their minds. Some of them have mothers who brought children into the world as teenagers, and some have mothers who postponed motherhood because of careers. The consensus among these young women is that it's not worth it to postpone, and none of them wants to "look like a grandmother" to their children.

Some of these young ladies plan to follow the example of a friend who gave birth to a son while still in high school. Others, who are more cautious, plan to wait until their early twenties. Some are planning to marry and divorce several times while they are young, so as to have children by several different men, to see how well each child turns out.

In the event of a famine, many will die, and the women during the famine will cease to ovulate, so there will be fewer children conceived. But we are not facing that at the moment. In a recession, when there is less hope for advancement, there is less reason to postpone parenthood -- unless you actually don't want to be a parent. While it's true that some people feel that way, most do not -- and women in particular have a strong drive to risk parenthood even under less than optimal conditions.

In the long run, ZPG has to contend not with those people who give up on reproducing, but with the children of people who reproduce no matter what happens, because their drive is strongest. Evolution favors those biological units that give priority to self-replication -- not the few who are so cautious about the future that they entirely give up on trying.


Jonas James profile image

Jonas James 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

Aya, most women, and indeed men, are poorly equipped to have such a reasoned view of the future. However, despite the choices of those you know, the rest of the world is slowly abandoning parenthood. This is a factor of a long-term structural process (biological-economic). To understand the process I am referring to a study of Calhoun's work is the first step (DDBR).

Anyway, thank you for your responses.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 4 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jonas, do you want to post a link to the study? I am not familiar with it.

I doubt that the world of the future will be peopled by those who have abandoned parenthood. If the human species is to continue, then it's those who have not abandoned parenthood who will keep it going. At what rate they will reproduce, and what percentage of their offspring will survive to reproduce again, is of course a very interesting question to which I do not have the answer.


Jonas James profile image

Jonas James 3 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

Hi Aya, here's some frightening information for you contained in the UN Ageing Population Report. Read the conclusions at the end of the report.

http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/worl...

As for Calhoun and his research, just Google it and you'll find loads of information - John B Calhoun - Density Dependent Birth Rate.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 3 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Jonas. I'll take a look.


Tashaonthetown profile image

Tashaonthetown 2 years ago from South Africa

Very interesting hub!


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 2 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, Tasha0nthetown.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Great hub. Glad I read this as I'm thinking of getting a pet human as soon as I have set up an appropriate area for it. This is helpful.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 2 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Jodah, it is good that you are reading up on the subject before making the commitment!


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 2 years ago from Southern California, USA

This hub covers a lot ground, and would be good reading for people who want to learn more about how societies evolve. From an anthropological standpoint, I think it would make a create article for a teacher who is teaching an introductory course on the subject.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 2 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, SweetiePie. I am hoping to have this material more widely disseminated in the coming year.


WiccanSage profile image

WiccanSage 2 years ago

So amusing, and very clever. I agree it could definitely be used for educational purposes. Great job.


Aya Katz profile image

Aya Katz 2 years ago from The Ozarks Author

Thanks, WiccanSage.

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