Wednesday, September 17, 2003

>> monkeys

Apparently Capuchin monkeys reject unequal reward. (I don't like the use of the word "pay" in the original context, as it implies an abstract monetarism, when this seems to be more of a case of straightforward "reward".)

Lots of interesting questions coming off this one. At what point of "intelligence" do species become aware of other's relative standing and reward? Does this mean that humans are not just naturally led to a system of equality, but to consider themselves in terms of others as a natural instinct? What would happen if the two test subjects were placed in the same environment, rather than being separated physically?

If one follows through the results and conclusion obtained by the research, and applies it to humans, then it kind of makes sense that we are inherently "jealous", or that we at least recognise our own relative social undermining. But does this lead to a capitalist society, by way of then naturally wanting more than anybody else, or does such a culture simply exploit this inherentness, albeit deliberately perhaps? Is there human nature underlying the desire and consumerism that we see today? And is it futile (on a large scale rather than as an individual) to attempt to "educate" or otherwise persuade people that the opposite may be true. (For instance, in my own personal view, we generally have enough resources apiece to live a full life, and that happiness comes not through posession of relative social standing, but "inner contentment", but should this be expected of others?)

In short, there must be More Research done into everything.

p.s. I think i fixed the page to not use dodgy CSS ;) Let me know if not.

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