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Thread: Friends

  1. #1 Friends 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Reference : New Scientist, 24 May 2014, page 35

    This post is a collection of tid bits from the New Scientist article. Feel free to comment on any of them.

    1. Many species of animals have friends. Horses. Apes. Camels. Elephants. Whales and dolphins. And humans. The number of friends each can have and remain connected to depends on the size of the brain. Humans can have around 150 friends, plus or minus individual variation. No other animal comes close.

    2. Maintaining friendships requires effort. Baboons do it by grooming each other. But you cannot maintain 150 friendships that way - you just do not have enough time. Humans have magnified our friend maintaining mechanisms. Laughing together is one way. Dancing and singing another. But language is the grandaddy of all methods.

    3. People with lots of friends live longer and are healthier. People with strong social ties have half the chance of dying in a particular time frame than their opposites. Friends add to happiness.

    4. We make friends best with those similar to ourselves. This even extends to the genetic level. Close friends are usually as genetically similar to ourselves as fourth cousins. Sharing interests is good. The best predictor of potential friendship is liking the same music.

    5. Identical twin studies show that the ability to make friends is 46% genetic. Those with this ability have more grey matter in the amygdala, which is a part of the brain associated with memory and emotional processing.

    6. Cross gender 'platonic' friendships are usually associated with physical attraction, no matter what the guy and gal say. Females are more likely to have a best friend, while males are more likely to hang around in groups.

    7. Internet friends make a contribution to our well being, even if we never meet them physically. Social people tend to have more internet friends as well as more friends outside the web. Positive feed-back across the web contributes to our feelings of well being.

    8. We also have 'frenemies'. People we have social contact with, but do not like. They have the opposite effect, and are harmful to our well being.

    9. Friendships change with age. Small children need only one friend. Teenagers are most influenced by their friends, including bad influence. Middle aged people have fewer opposite sex friends. Males have and need fewer friends as they age. Not true for females.

    10. Robots are now being developed with characteristics that imitate friendship and human interest. The article says they will never replace humans. I am not so sure.


    Last edited by skeptic; May 30th, 2014 at 09:45 PM.
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    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    Is #6 true for both gay and straight people?


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Daecon

    The article did not say. My best guess is yes.
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    not ADM!N grmpysmrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    10. Robots are now being developed with characteristics that imitate friendship and human interest. The article says they will never replace humans. I am not so sure.

    "Twilight Zone" The Lonely (TV Episode 1959) - IMDb
    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
    President Dwight Eisenhower
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Reference : New Scientist, 24 May 2014, page 35

    This post is a collection of tid bits from the New Scientist article. Feel free to comment on any of them.

    1. Many species of animals have friends. Horses. Apes. Camels. Elephants. Whales and dolphins. And humans. The number of friends each can have and remain connected to depends on the size of the brain. Humans can have around 150 friends, plus or minus individual variation. No other animal comes close.

    2. Maintaining friendships requires effort. Baboons do it by grooming each other. But you cannot maintain 150 friendships that way - you just do not have enough time. Humans have magnified our friend maintaining mechanisms. Laughing together is one way. Dancing and singing another. But language is the grandaddy of all methods.
    This wikipedia article on "Dunbar's number" of 150 social relationships,and it's relationship to human neocortex size is interesting. Dunbar's number - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "Dunbar then compared this prediction with observable group sizes for humans. Beginning with the assumption that the current mean size of the human neocortex had developed about 250,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene, Dunbar searched the anthropological and ethnographical literature for census-like group size information for various hunter–gatherer societies, the closest existing approximations to how anthropology reconstructs the Pleistocene societies. Dunbar noted that the groups fell into three categories — small, medium and large, equivalent to bands, cultural lineage groups and tribes — with respective size ranges of 30–50, 100–200 and 500–2500 members each.

    Dunbar's surveys of village and tribe sizes also appeared to approximate this predicted value, including 150 as the estimated size of a Neolithic farming village; 150 as the splitting point of Hutterite settlements; 200 as the upper bound on the number of academics in a discipline's sub-specialization; 150 as the basic unit size of professional armies in Roman antiquity and in modern times since the 16th century; and notions of appropriate company size.
    Dunbar has argued that 150 would be the mean group size only for communities with a very high incentive to remain together. For a group of this size to remain cohesive, Dunbar speculated that as much as 42% of the group's time would have to be devoted to social grooming...

    ....Dunbar, in Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language, proposes furthermore that language may have arisen as a "cheap" means of social grooming, allowing early humans to maintain social cohesion efficiently."
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Interesting quote, Diane. Makes sense to me. Seems to tie in with personal experience.

    I think, though, that humans have the ability to extend beyond Dunbar's number. We have all had the experience, I am sure, of approaching a stranger to ask for directions, and being helped eagerly by a really nice person who bends over backwards to see us right. If a stranger is that keen to help, we must have the ability to go beyond. We are not limited by Dunbar's number.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Reference : New Scientist, 24 May 2014, page 35

    This post is a collection of tid bits from the New Scientist article. Feel free to comment on any of them.

    4. We make friends best with those similar to ourselves. This even extends to the genetic level. Close friends are usually as genetically similar to ourselves as fourth cousins. Sharing interests is good. The best predictor of potential friendship is liking the same music.
    .


    I would've thought that friendships were based more on shared political or religious (or atheistic) world-views, than music preference. Does the article list the top 5 or 10 predictors, in order?
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    10. Robots are now being developed with characteristics that imitate friendship and human interest. The article says they will never replace humans. I am not so sure.

    "Twilight Zone" The Lonely (TV Episode 1959) - IMDb



    I thought of the same thing. I happened to watch that episode about a month ago.

    OT question...........since watching that episode, I've been wondering when the 'cosmic web' theory of the universe was originally developed? Was it before, or after, it was hinted at on the TZ openings, aired in 1959?


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYbKjSCA-fs
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    I don't see any clear relationship between altruism and number of friends...surely someone can have a just a few friends and be hugely altruistic with strangers.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen James5218 View Post



    4. We make friends best with those similar to ourselves. This even extends to the genetic level. Close friends are usually as genetically similar to ourselves as fourth cousins. Sharing interests is good. The best predictor of potential friendship is liking the same music.
    .



    I would've thought that friendships were based more on shared political or religious (or atheistic) world-views, than music preference. Does the article list the top 5 or 10 predictors, in order?[/QUOTE]

    No, but political or religious views are listed as important.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Interesting quote, Diane. Makes sense to me. Seems to tie in with personal experience.

    I think, though, that humans have the ability to extend beyond Dunbar's number. We have all had the experience, I am sure, of approaching a stranger to ask for directions, and being helped eagerly by a really nice person who bends over backwards to see us right. If a stranger is that keen to help, we must have the ability to go beyond. We are not limited by Dunbar's number.
    I don't know if it's discussed in any of the articles but a difference with modern human society, at least in developed nations, is the fluidity of human groups - it maybe 150 people, but in many cases it's probably not always the same 150 people. Maybe when we are nice to strangers we are screening new candidates to keep our numbers up.

    What I find interesting and difficult to explain is how people sometimes are a lot more candid and even confessional with, say, a total stranger on a bus, than someone they know well. I don't know if there is an animal equivalent for that!
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    That was not always the case. A few hundred years ago, strangers were treated with deep suspicion, and in fact, it was not safe to be a stranger. I like to think that humanity has grown.
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    A few hundred years ago, strangers were treated with deep suspicion, and in fact, it was not safe to be a stranger.
    In some cultures. In others in various times and places, the obligations of hospitality meant that you should offer a stranger food and shelter.

    (Of course, there were no guarantees about what might happen the next day or if the stranger violated some rule of propriety that they knew nothing about.)
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Adelady

    Offering a stranger hospitality was done with great reluctance, and rarely. Most strangers were fair game for violence and exploitation. It is only recently when a stranger could expect good treatment.
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Daecon

    The article did not say. My best guess is yes.
    What of cross-gender platonic relationships over the internet?
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen James5218 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Reference : New Scientist, 24 May 2014, page 35

    This post is a collection of tid bits from the New Scientist article. Feel free to comment on any of them.

    4. We make friends best with those similar to ourselves. This even extends to the genetic level. Close friends are usually as genetically similar to ourselves as fourth cousins. Sharing interests is good. The best predictor of potential friendship is liking the same music.
    .


    I would've thought that friendships were based more on shared political or religious (or atheistic) world-views, than music preference. Does the article list the top 5 or 10 predictors, in order?

    Most of my friends are those through music, theatre, the arts, and sports. I have no friends I have ever made based on politics or religion.
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    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    Polar bears and sled dogs demonstrate some unexpected behaviors in this short video.

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    Mom and Daughter.....and friends
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    My friends buy me beer and show me movies.


    Can you link the article from the OP?
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  22. #21  
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    my friend make me laugh and I make them laugh more...and they love me. I don't have many...I can count them on one hand......but they truly love me.
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    I have acquaintances that I do not hang out with much but do talk with them from time to time I also have friends that I see much more often or call them. It is difficult to keep up with old friends for they move away and I can't keep in touch with them as I once did when they lived nearby. I once had many friends when I was younger but nowadays I don't for many of them have died. It just gets harder to make friends the older you get for your not as outgoing as you once were and you might have medical problems that restrict your movements.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Is #6 true for both gay and straight people?
    In my experience, I don't think so.

    Edit: But people are different. A lot of psychology generally applies to people of a population, but it isn't universal.
    Last edited by stander-j; June 11th, 2014 at 09:54 PM.
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    FRIENDS are TREASURES!
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    FRIENDS are TREASURES!
    They should be buried and the map with their location lost?
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    FRIENDS are TREASURES!
    They should be buried and the map with their location lost?
    OK Sir DUCKY! You deserve this!

    *smacking* you up the side of your bill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    FRIENDS are TREASURES!
    They should be buried and the map with their location lost?
    I'm sure there's a sex-related joke there somewhere...
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    FRIENDS are TREASURES!
    They should be buried and the map with their location lost?
    I'm sure there's a sex-related joke there somewhere...
    I missed it and since likes are missing in action.....verbal responses as to liking stuff seems to be necessary.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    FRIENDS are TREASURES!
    Whether your friends are real or virtual there is no escaping the fact that ultimately we are ALL on our own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    FRIENDS are TREASURES!
    Whether your friends are real or virtual there is no escaping the fact that ultimately we are ALL on our own.
    Just as easy to think that the "aloneness" is an illusion. Can anyone really exist in isolation ? Has it ever been observed in any species at any time? Does consciousness not require a living counterpart?

    I don't know ,perhaps you can supply an example ..Have there been films made about people surviving apocalypses? I bet they all had a companion (or a point of contact) of some sort.
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    I haven't read this article myself CABINET // Caveman: An Interview with Michel Siffre
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    'Alone' may also be construed to mean that each of us is unique in our personal experiencing of life and although we may share an event with friends, each perspective is 'alone' in the sense that no two objects (or persons) can occupy the same space at the same time. Due to other features of our personal biology and how our sensory systems input and disseminate data, no two experiences can ever be precisely identical.

    'Friends' is as good as it gets no matter what one cares to define a relationship as, sexual, platonic etc. None of us can live inside the mind and body of another. There are tangible reference points.
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    Ox, I stand by my comment.


    My friends are TREASURES! They have stood by me through thick and thin. They may not be here when I die, but that does not diminish their importance in my life.
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