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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  167 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: January 9, 2019

We have a mole at work. When we came back in there was a... "camera" over the door. Several people freaked out. I observed that I had put in about seventeen security cameras in the past 18 months and none of them looked like that. I was told I don't know everything. I observed that the camera was mounted to an I-beam and that in order to connect it to anything the technician would have had to drill through half-inch steel. I was told that there was in fact a cable coming through the other side (!). I observed that it's really fucking hard to talk a security camera into letting its red light blink continuously and was told that I clearly don't know everything about security cameras.

About this time one of my coworkers left the room because he was having a hard time not laughing. I looked up "fake security camera" on Amazon and the thing in the corner was, in fact, the top hit. I sent it to him via text and he sent back "LOL." I asked "how long do you think we can keep this going?" and he said "All season" and I said "sold." He then suggested that we needed to progressively add more cameras - after all, the fake ones were $12 for a pack of four.

I sent him a pic of the four of them when they arrived with "you know we're going to hell, right?" but he was busy working the red carpet at the Globes. Then our leaker tweeted anew and I decided that the time was right to put up another fake camera.

I did not know that the first fake camera was also ours. Also a box of four. A box of four that's sitting out in the open where many of us can see them but the most paranoid, ancient and kermudgeonly among us never venture.

So there are eight fake security cameras in that room right now, two of which have been deployed, one of which has been noticed (I mean, they're the size of coffee cups with large prominent blinking lights and still the Paranoids haven't found the other one). We're debating how many we can get up before the other half of the department figures out they're fake. The problem is they've spun up a conspiracy where they see wires where there are none. They've started talking about bringing in balloons to block the cameras. If we get to, say, four will they completely, abjectly lose their minds and go screaming to the head of the show?

There are currently three schools of thought:

1) The cameras all disappear suddenly one day

2) The rest of them appear in a single day rush when people start to catch on

3) The cameras gain googly eyes when people start to catch on

The truly hilarious thing is that we're about to hit the point where the booth has people in it 24:7. Therefore if more cameras appear, it means that one of us is in league with THEM.

blackbootz  ·  160 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Completely tangential, but why on earth do humans have a pull cheeky shit gene? What's the evolutionary benefit to pulling wool over our unsuspecting neighbors? Why does the image of our friends/coworkers acting goofily consistently inspire such hilarity?

kleinbl00  ·  160 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Because play is wargaming for stressful engagements while also a useful safety valve within hierarchy.

Monkeys pull cheeky shit. Wolves pull cheeky shit. Ravens pull cheeky shit - they dive and peck at wolves to see if they can get away with it, and to get wolves used to having them around, and to get wolves' attention so that when they're out in the woods and they start calling raucously it gets the wolves' attention because it means there's something to eat that's too big for the raven to take down itself.

You're asking "why do animals play?" and this is a complicated subject but the answer is basically "it's socially useful." If you can play at a rivalry you don't have to exercise it. Two tribes of warriors can peacefully coexist if they occasionally play polo to earn bragging rights instead of slaughtering each other until only one team stands. A group of men in a department can prank the rest of the men in the department as a safety valve so that they can all be friends while one group can still lose.

blackbootz  ·  160 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I heard once that laughing is an evolved behavior that basically communicates "everything is ok between you and me" so you ease into the relationship and the bond strengthens. But I have to really stretch to reach "and monkeys also massively rib to the point of embarrassment and at great potential cost to themselves." I certainly get why it's fun. But why it's so pervasive is just surprising.

kleinbl00  ·  160 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The evolutionary advantage of Homo Sapiens over Homo Erectus or Homo Habilus or Homo Neanderthalensis is our ability to use language - sinuses exist for better communication. the sapiens palate is better evolved for communication. Our forebrains are evolved for better communication. The tribal hierarchy practiced by sapiens allows for more sophisticated herd behavior which gave us an efficiency advantage over everyone else.

If I haven't recommended this book to you before, I am now correcting that deficiency. Fundamentally, humans don't have the jaws to eat raw and without the ability to cook food we perish... but by evolving the ability to cook food, we were basically able to develop the animal kingdom's first external digestive system. Doing so allowed us to run fast, run lean, and run brutal in ways other animals can not but putting such a vital biological function out in the field instead of inside the ribcage required a communal-insect-level commitment to societal structure.

It's only been recently that biologists have started listening to anthropologists: anything that strengthens social bonds is of evolutionary advantage. Full stop.

bfv  ·  160 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's only been recently that biologists have started listening to anthropologists: anything that strengthens social bonds is of evolutionary advantage. Full stop.

Peter Kropotkin would like a word.

OftenBen  ·  160 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It's only been recently that biologists have started listening to anthropologists: anything that strengthens social bonds is of evolutionary advantage. Full stop.

This breaks the hearts of the old anthropologists.

My thesis adviser, on the one occasion that I heard her complain about anything, bemoaned the fact that she was entering into her 70's right as the field has begun to be taken seriously.