Human Meat Just Another Meal for Early Europeans? The argument about cannibalism always goes back and forth. It seems entirely plausible that at some point in our lineage’s history the consumption of conspecifics may not have been shocking, as the human cognitive toolkit had not evolved to the level of sophistication which makes cannibalism cross-culturally abhorrent. Now, you may object that cannibalism has been known among H. sapiens sapiens, but regular cannibalism generally is sanctified in some ritual fashion. The Aztecs for example seem to have consumed the human sacrifices to their gods. Cannibalism without ritual, as often occurred during pre-modern sieges of cities, emerges only in contexts of extreme deprivation.
The REAL ‘Stuff White People Like’. White people are the “hook,” but there’s a lot in this post from OKCupid on the personals profiles of various ethnic groups, as well as religions. To the left is an analysis of profile sophistication in terms of prose by racial group. Asian and Indian males in particular should work on their prose on OKCupid, since they’re strongly disfavored as partners according to OKCupid’s past analysis. Though Latinos and black males aren’t doing much hotter in response rate, so that can’t be the total explanation. Rather, seems like the prose quality is a better reflection of mean years of education by ethnic group in the United States.
Being Attractive Brings Advantages: The Case of Parrot Species in Captivity. “We repeatedly confirmed significant, positive association between the perceived beauty and the size of worldwide zoo population. Moreover, the range size and body size appeared to be significant predictors of zoo population size.” Now you understand cats!
Primed for Reading. Richard Boyd reviews Stanislas Dehaene’s Reading in the Brain: The Science and Evolution of a Human Invention. I enjoyed Dehaene’s The Number Sense: How the Mind Creates Mathematics, so no doubt this will soon be in “in the stack.”
I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly. To assert one is wrong is heroic. People who are wrong always go up in my estimation, because everyone is often wrong, but the human reflex is to deny error. That being said, it seems like the author of the article is reviewing a pro-pig manifesto. The plenitude of pigs in China, a region often at the Malthusian limit, is a good clue as to the animal’s efficiency at converting offal into meat.