Robert Sapolsky

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

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1,266 printed pages


    Anna Tolstrup Jensenshared an impression7 months ago
    👍Worth reading

    Vitalyshared an impressionlast year
    👍Worth reading
    💡Learnt A Lot

    lyazatiqshared an impressionlast year
    👍Worth reading
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    Adil Nurmaganbetovhas quoted8 days ago
    Here’s a great example of neo–group selectionism: As a poultry farmer, you want your groups of chickens to lay as many eggs as possible. Take the most prolific egg layer in each group, forming them into a group of superstar chickens who, presumably, will be hugely productive. Instead, egg production is miniscule.45
    Why was each superstar the egg queen in her original group? Because she would aggressively peck subordinates enough to stress them into reduced fertility. Put all these mean ones together, and a group of subordinated chickens will outproduce them.
    Adil Nurmaganbetovhas quoted8 days ago
    There’s also mother-fetus conflict. You’re a fetus with an evolutionary agenda. What do you want? Maximal nutrition from Mom, and who cares if that impacts her future reproductive potential? Meanwhile, Mom wants to balance current and future reproductive prospects. Remarkably, fetus and Mom have a metabolic struggle involving insulin, the pancreatic hormone secreted when blood glucose levels rise, which triggers glucose entry into target cells. The fetus releases a hormone that makes Mom’s cells unresponsive to insulin (i.e., “insulin resistant”), as well as an enzyme that degrades Mom’s insulin. Thus Mom absorbs less glucose from her bloodstream, leaving more for the fetus.*
    Adil Nurmaganbetovhas quoted8 days ago
    So a handful of Tit for Tat–ers can outcompete a mix of other strategies, including highly exploitative, uncooperative ones, losing the battles but winning the war.

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