Can evolutionary biology explain the human impulse to create?

#11
(Dec 16, 2017 01:58 AM)confused2 Wrote: No particular secret that I work in a model shop. We sell all the stuff you need to make planes, boats and suchlike. Not surprisingly most of our customers are old/retired (over 60). Slight surprise that virtually all are male. I can answer for why males over 60 build models (I am and I do) but not why females don't. Any suggestions?

Why do you enjoy it? Do they come with instructions? Does focusing on something allow you to drown out the noise?
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#12
Men prefer things...women prefer people. I'd hazard that men spend less time on social media, crafting with friends, etc..

If evolution does play a role, men are tool/weapon makers, while women are social homemakers.
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#13
(Dec 8, 2017 12:39 AM)C C Wrote: We don’t know why our aesthetics are tuned this way, but Edward O. Wilson suggests that the “optimum complexity principle” reflects a kind of compromise between the brain’s greed and its limitations. We crave sensory input, but we can process only so much of it at any given moment. Hence, a novel image that can be grasped whole, with a single glance, feels oddly satisfying, a prize for sore eyes.  The same reasoning may explain why the number seven is often considered lucky. A grouping of seven objects looks big enough to be worth our while but manageable enough to be quantified at first sight.

It sounds plausible. I'd guess that there are lots of 'principles' like that in our perceptual and cognitive apparatus that make some stimuli seem more pleasurable than others.

Quote:The optimum complexity principle is just one of many examples that Wilson rallies in The Origins of Creativity, his latest plea for the grand unification of the sciences and the humanities.

I don't see those two ever merging completely. The sciences are all about objectivity (as much as currently fashionable feminist philosophy of science hates that idea). The humanities are far more subjective. It's all about which one, objectivity or subjectivity, ends up as more fundamental.

Wilson seems to be trying to explain and perhaps justify the subjectivity of the humanities objectively, using the conceptual vocabulary of science, which will make many humanists grit their teeth. To them it's just as out-of-place and ill-founded as trying to make sense of science in terms of subjectivity, 'post-modern'-style.  

Quote:The two camps are often viewed as enemy combatants, or at least paisley and plaid—best kept apart—but Wilson is deeply impatient with academic partitioning. Artists, he argues, should have a grasp of basic neuroscience and how the brain evolved.

That might not be true if artists can make effective use of that neurophysiology without understanding it. Understanding it probably seems kind of reductive to them, a path that threatens to drain all the beauty out of beauty. The artists live it from inside, so to speak, while the scientists try to understand it conceptually, from outside.

It's like Frank Jackson's 'Mary black and white'. There's a vast difference between seeing something (color in this case) and understanding all the conceptual aspects of color vision. The artists see things and create things that can be seen. The scientists try to explain it. But explaining isn't seeing.

Quote:Scientists must appreciate the humanities for infusing human life with meaning.

The humanities are much more effective than the sciences in addressing the affective dimension of life. Some people (certainly not all) consider the affective dimension of life to be more meaningful than the conceptual and logical dimensions. Our feelings and desires seem to be more directly involved than logic and reason in shaping our purposes, actions and goals. (And those in turn are deeply implicated in everything else we do, including science.)

Quote:Only by joining cognitive forces, Wilson argues, can we hope to tackle the evergreen mysteries of existence and dodge the traps of our own making. Why are we so smart and so stupid, so violent and so generous, so besotted with nature yet seemingly intent on destroying it?

I'm inclined to agree. But it is a scientist's vision, not necessarily an artist's.
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#14
(Dec 16, 2017 01:58 AM)confused2 Wrote: No particular secret that I work in a model shop. We sell all the stuff you need to make planes, boats and suchlike. Not surprisingly most of our customers are old/retired (over 60). Slight surprise that virtually all are male. I can answer for why males over 60 build models (I am and I do) but not why females don't. Any suggestions?

Well, C2 didn’t answer my question but Syne said that it was because men prefer things...women prefer people. I don’t think that’s the reason. I’ve never put together a model car, plane, train, etc., for myself, nor would I. I’ve done it for children. I would do it if I was designing or improving something, or if it was something that I could use for another purpose, such as a drone, or an appliance of some sort, but other than that, I see it as a total waste of time. Someone else designed a kit and you simply put it together. If I build or craft something, there’s a piece of me in it.

"It is apparent that many men enjoy working with models because they feel young when they do so. Some feel young again or some have never grown up. Model building gives some a feeling of belonging and control. This was noted by men who felt that so much of their lives and activities are controlled by others. Working with models, like other constructive activities, makes them feel that they are in charge of the situation. They make the major decisions and see the project through from beginning to end. It is a relief from other recreation, which is so often as spectator, passive, and makes you feel on the outside."

Why do you build models?
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#15
Quoting from previous post:-
"Working with models, like other constructive activities, makes them feel that they are in charge of the situation. They make the major decisions and see the project through from beginning to end. It is a relief from other recreation, which is so often as spectator, passive, and makes you feel on the outside."

Not bad. To understand a design it helps to run your hands over it - just stare at it. Why were the Spitfire and the Mustang so different yet managed to perform the same task? (It's a wing thing mostly). If they are different and the performance is similar then the chances are they are both wrong. There's a something else that is better. How would you know that without looking at them? Having one in your hand? SR-71 Blackbird - you hardly need a model - it's about engines. Feed the engines and stop everything else from melting and ... there's a kind of brutal elegance in that - design taken to it's extreme.

As a child how do you know what you want to do when you grow up? It could have been engines - super-duper supersonic engines. Not my bag but I can see the attraction. Ships - build a ship. Be the captain of a half-billion pound floating thing. Cars - I can't be bothered to go there myself. If you'd read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance you'd know about Quality. I don't do Quality myself, Elegance yes- kind'a expediently changed to 'fit for purpose' and further downgraded to 'not falling apart immediately' then 'I'll just dispose of this one quietly before anyone sees it'.

We (modelmakers) are Lords and Masters of our own (rather small) domain. I don't think you get that from knitting a woolly hat.

I often point out out to customers that anything finished in less than 10 years is bound to be hurried and unsatisfactory.

My current project is a radio controlled square rig ship. I've been through two Constitutions and am now on a Cutty Sark - each one is better than the last - time wasted so far - 200 hours, 300 , 400 or maybe more hours. I could'a knitted a whole heap of hats in that time but I wouldn't have had three ships to, er, quietly dispose of before anyone sees them.
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#16
See, that's a good comparison of the last two posts.

Men appreciate things in and of themselves, for many reasons that have little to do with people. Women tend to appreciate things for their usefulness to people.
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#17
(Dec 19, 2017 01:23 AM)confused2 Wrote: If you'd read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance you'd know about Quality.

Yes, I've read it. You recommended it years ago.  

confused2 Wrote:I don't do Quality myself, Elegance yes- kind'a expediently changed to 'fit for purpose' and further downgraded to 'not falling apart immediately' then 'I'll just dispose of this one quietly before anyone sees it'.

Same thing happens on large-scale projects, too.

Apparently, Trump just tweeted that "the train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!"

But according to most of the reports the track had undergone millions of dollars of federally funded improvements and weeks of inspection and testing.

Hmm..maybe you should put the model train sets on sale, eh?

confused2 Wrote:We (modelmakers) are Lords and Masters of our own (rather small) domain. I don't think you get that from knitting a woolly hat.

I wouldn't know.  I've never knitted anything.
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#18
(Dec 16, 2017 01:58 AM)confused2 Wrote: No particular secret that I work in a model shop. We sell all the stuff you need to make planes, boats and suchlike. Not surprisingly most of our customers are old/retired (over 60). Slight surprise that virtually all are male. I can answer for why males over 60 build models (I am and I do) but not why females don't. Any suggestions?

Darwinian process.

those who invent along unknown cause & effect survive.
those who do not, do not.


the male of the species has been the hunter & primary heavy lifter for hundreds of thousands of years, thus being able to invent new ways to achieve high risk tasks outside of normal cause & effect thinking delivers a much higher return of survivability.

why do females not do modeles ?
they do,, however they use dolls, sewing, knitting & baking.
ironically somewhat more practical than males.
this too is probably darwinian considering women have been historically slave class for hundreds of thousands of years.
their ability to make the group happy enables better breeding rights and survivability.(killing the male children of the non dominant female was probably quite common for many hundreds of thousands of years)

have you not encountered women who endlesly knit babys items even though they have no babies to give them to ?
they then go out and find someone to give it to.
this is a cost for them not a profit.
there is only 2 possible profitable items from this behaviour
1 social community building of support when they run out of food or shelter or social hyrachy.
2. an emotional psychological need to feel valued and or needed.

evolutionary biology to a tee.


it is only in the last 50 years(roughly) of thousands of years of human history that we have been able to start to accurately document such human behaviours

much the same with religion.
using th eblack plague or the crusades as examples where death and killing was an every day event.
people would think nothing of hacking to death men women and children in th ename of god or country.

being able to psychologically cope with that is going to deliver a certain darwinian process.
this could explain "The god Region" of the brain.
a mechanism that dominates the subjective reality hypocampus to enable survival(instead of jumping off a cliff or simply hacking everyone else to death until there is no one left etc etc...)

(Dec 18, 2017 10:21 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Dec 16, 2017 01:58 AM)confused2 Wrote: No particular secret that I work in a model shop. We sell all the stuff you need to make planes, boats and suchlike. Not surprisingly most of our customers are old/retired (over 60). Slight surprise that virtually all are male. I can answer for why males over 60 build models (I am and I do) but not why females don't. Any suggestions?

Well, C2 didn’t answer my question but Syne said that it was because men prefer things...women prefer people.  I don’t think that’s the reason. I’ve never put together a model car, plane, train, etc., for myself, nor would I.  I’ve done it for children.  I would do it if I was designing or improving something, or if it was something that I could use for another purpose, such as a drone, or an appliance of some sort, but other than that, I see it as a total waste of time. Someone else designed a kit and you simply put it together. If I build or craft something, there’s a piece of me in it.

"It is apparent that many men enjoy working with models because they feel young when they do so. Some feel young again or some have never grown up. Model building gives some a feeling of belonging and control. This was noted by men who felt that so much of their lives and activities are controlled by others. Working with models, like other constructive activities, makes them feel that they are in charge of the situation. They make the major decisions and see the project through from beginning to end. It is a relief from other recreation, which is so often as spectator, passive, and makes you feel on the outside."

Why do you build models?

insular lone male hunter (tribal mind relying on others relinquishes control & breeding rights)
evolutionary need to produce an outcome (must produce something at all costs to maintain control of breeding and feeding rights and ability to access a cavethat is kept free of vermin & pestilence etc)
psychological need to avoid becoming just another pawn in a social dynamic(loosing control of the dominant male tribe leader)

adhd
add

side effects of male human evolution ?

single minded process to close down variant neural pathways ? meditation ? time-out ? escapism ? role-playing control paradigms ? practicing being the tribe leader ?

Humans are still learning about their own evolution, not withstanding their current ongoing evolution...
there is a part of the patternto try and reflect on things in the past ... however...
when the self declares it can no longer change to meet the changing world...
what then ?
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#19
(Dec 19, 2017 01:34 AM)Syne Wrote: See, that's a good comparison of the last two posts.

Men appreciate things in and of themselves, for many reasons that have little to do with people. Women tend to appreciate things for their usefulness to people.

Maybe you should read the book, too, because you always tend to presume a separation of subject from object.

It reminds me of It's a Man's Man's Man's World.

But did you know that Betty Newsome said that she came up with that song and James Brown did sort of danced around her claim.  She said that she thought about after reading Genesis.  After god supposedly created everything, it was all worthless without a woman.

You’re right, though, when I create something, I always try to put myself in another person’s shoes.  I’ve designed and built a couple of homes and I always ask myself, how will they feel when walking through the front door?  Will they feel welcomed, safe, and comfortable?

I just took a short trip with some friends in their new Tesla.  The onlookers seemed impressed, but the passengers, not so much.  The ride was rough, uncomfortable, and the car came with impressive but unnecessary accessories.  

Yeah, we need more women engineers.

Maybe the article was right.  Perhaps men like models because they don’t want to face the possibility of failure and controlled creativity is made possible with a kit.  Maybe that’s why men like 'objects' because they’re accessories that they can control.

My father should have told me that I was just an add-on.  Undecided

(Dec 19, 2017 02:51 PM)RainbowUnicorn Wrote: Humans are still learning about their own evolution, not withstanding their current ongoing evolution...
there is a part of the pattern to try and reflect on things in the past ... however...
when the self declares it can no longer change to meet the changing world...
what then ?

Yep, you got that right, little Missy.  Nothing is black and white and nothing is set in stone.  

Good day to you, RU!
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#20
(Dec 19, 2017 03:24 PM)Secular Sanity Wrote:
(Dec 19, 2017 01:34 AM)Syne Wrote: See, that's a good comparison of the last two posts.

Men appreciate things in and of themselves, for many reasons that have little to do with people. Women tend to appreciate things for their usefulness to people.

Maybe you should read the book, too, because you always tend to presume a separation of subject from object.

It reminds me of It's a Man's Man's Man's World.

But did you know that Betty Newsome said that she came up with that song and James Brown did sort of danced around her claim.  She said that she thought about after reading Genesis.  After god supposedly created everything, it was all worthless without a woman.

You’re right, though, when I create something, I always try to put myself in another person’s shoes.  I’ve designed and built a couple of homes and I always ask myself, how will they feel when walking through the front door?  Will they feel welcomed, safe, and comfortable?

I just took a short trip with some friends in their new Tesla.  The onlookers seemed impressed, but the passengers, not so much.  The ride was rough, uncomfortable, and the car came with impressive but unnecessary accessories.  

Yeah, we need more women engineers.

Maybe the article was right.  Perhaps men like models because they don’t want to face the possibility of failure and controlled creativity is made possible with a kit.  Maybe that’s why men like 'objects' because they’re accessories that they can control.

My father should have told me that I was just an add-on.  Undecided

(Dec 19, 2017 02:51 PM)RainbowUnicorn Wrote: Humans are still learning about their own evolution, not withstanding their current ongoing evolution...
there is a part of the pattern to try and reflect on things in the past ... however...
when the self declares it can no longer change to meet the changing world...
what then ?

Yep, you got that right, little Missy.  Nothing is black and white and nothing is set in stone.  

Good day to you, RU!


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