I'd like to think that at the 43 minute 25 second mark you were mentioning us Hubski users when you said that you had a whole bunch of friends on the Internet that you collaborate with.
Definitely! I feel like the Internet has enabled great friendships and collaboration opportunities - but at the same time - it has also made us realize that our transportation system is 20th century... not 21st century.
I was wondering if you could expand a little bit more regarding how speech developed according to Robin Dunbar? You mentioned that it is a byproduct of group expansion. Keeping the group together was a accomplished by grooming, but as the group got too large grooming didn't cut it. I'm not sure I understand how speech would have been the next most logical way to accomplish this.
Sure, I could have explained that better during the presentation. Basically if it transitioned from grooming to language in 3 or 4 main movements what we should suspect is that the first movement would be something like gelada baboon communication today, where the group is so large that they most "vocal groom". Vocal grooming would be grooming in a large group but also making a large soothing noises and large group rhythmic noises that allow more than one individual to be "groomed" at once. As this continued in the 2nd and 3rd movements (as group size and brain size increased), there would be a heavier reliance on essentially "social gossip". So languages first function is for coordinating our social lives. "Oh, Steve did this while you were gone." "Susan said this when you left." etc.
Lots of evidence that the amount of time we on average speak to other people during the day is the same amount of time that primates spend grooming each other during the day - also, lots of evidence that the great majority of our conversations are essentially gossip related - they are about our kin and group, etc.
Not sure if I explained this in great enough depth.
You also mentioned that chimps have somewhat the capability of having medicine. Can you elaborate? I had never heard such a thing.
Yes, there is a whole field that studies animal self-medication. Very interesting stuff. There are some mind blowing studies of chimpanzees that systematically eat the same plants when they have stomach worms. They eat plants that remove the worms from their stomach. Of course, I do not think they know that they are medicating themselves. What is probably happening is a percept-based reaction that is naturally selected for. Essentially they make the cause and effect connection that when they are sick and they eat this plant, they feel better. I doubt if it is deeper than this. Natural selection would do the rest.
Lastly, should the day ever come when you can have an app in your brain and on that app you can support a scientists research by donating annually, I would be glad to be among the first to finance your work.
Great! What I imagine is that the public directs culture more directly in the future. And that the relationship between scientists and the public is much closer so that everyone is aware of what is being done in the labs and fields around the world. I think this would foster a much better science culture globally. I think the crowd-sourcing culture at full maturity could facilitate this quite well. But the necessary following mechanisms are not yet in place, the crowd-source culture is not strong enough yet, and we don't have the extra energy (or proper resource allocation) we would need for everyone to be able to have the expendable income necessary to make this a massive billion-dollar force.