Topic: Anthropology

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πŸ”— Man of the Hole

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Brazil πŸ”— Indigenous peoples of the Americas

The Man of the Hole (also known as "Indian of the Hole", Portuguese: Γ­ndio do buraco) is a man indigenous to Brazil who lives alone in the Amazon rainforest. He is believed to be the last surviving member of his tribe. It is unknown what language he speaks or what his tribe was called. The term "Man of the Hole" is a nickname used by officials and the media; his real name is unknown.

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πŸ”— Diderot Effect

πŸ”— Environment πŸ”— Marketing & Advertising πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Environment/Sustainability

The Diderot effect is a social phenomenon related to consumer goods. It is based on two ideas. The first idea is that goods purchased by consumers will align with their sense of identity, and, as a result, will complement one another. The second idea states that the introduction of a new possession that deviates from the consumer's current complementary goods can result in a process of spiraling consumption. The term was coined by anthropologist and scholar of consumption patterns Grant McCracken in 1988, and is named after the French philosopher Denis Diderot (1713–1784), who first described the effect in an essay.

The term has become common in discussions of sustainable consumption and green consumerism, in regard to the process whereby a purchase or gift creates dissatisfaction with existing possessions and environment, provoking a potentially spiraling pattern of consumption with negative environmental, psychological, and social impacts.

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πŸ”— Nacirema

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Skepticism πŸ”— Anthropology

Nacirema ("American" spelled backwards) is a term used in anthropology and sociology in relation to aspects of the behavior and society of citizens of the United States of America. The neologism attempts to create a deliberate sense of self-distancing in order that American anthropologists might look at their own culture more objectively.

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πŸ”— Dunbar's Number

πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Sociology

Dunbar's number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationshipsβ€”relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person. This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size. By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships. Dunbar explained it informally as "the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar".

Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. It has been proposed to lie between 100 and 250, with a commonly used value of 150. Dunbar's number states the number of people one knows and keeps social contact with, and it does not include the number of people known personally with a ceased social relationship, nor people just generally known with a lack of persistent social relationship, a number which might be much higher and likely depends on long-term memory size.

Dunbar theorised that "this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this in turn limits group size [...] the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained". On the periphery, the number also includes past colleagues, such as high school friends, with whom a person would want to reacquaint himself or herself if they met again.

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πŸ”— Societal Collapse

πŸ”— Technology πŸ”— History πŸ”— Economics πŸ”— Politics πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Sociology πŸ”— Futures studies πŸ”— Culture πŸ”— Demographics

Societal collapse (also known as civilizational collapse) is the fall of a complex human society characterized by the loss of cultural identity and of socioeconomic complexity, the downfall of government, and the rise of violence. Possible causes of a societal collapse include natural catastrophe, war, pestilence, famine, and depopulation. A collapsed society may revert to a more primitive state, be absorbed into a stronger society, or completely disappear.

Virtually all civilizations have suffered this fate regardless of size or complexity. But some revived and transformed, such as China and Egypt, while others never recovered, such as the Mayan Empire and the civilization on Easter Island. Societal collapse is generally a quick process, but rarely abrupt. Yet some have not collapsed but have only gradually faded away, as in the case of the British Empire since 1918.

Anthropologists, (quantitative) historians, and sociologists have proposed a variety of explanations for the collapse of civilizations involving causative factors such as environmental change, depletion of resources, unsustainable complexity, decay of social cohesion, rising inequality, secular decline of cognitive abilities, loss of creativity, and misfortune. However, complete extinction of a culture is rare; in most cases, the new societies that arise from the ashes of the old one are evidently its offspring, despite a dramatic reduction in sophistication. Moreover, the influence of a collapsed society, say that of the Roman Empire, may linger on long after its death.

Societal collapse is studied by specialists of history, anthropology, sociology, and political science. More recently, they are joined by experts in cliodynamics and study of complex systems.

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πŸ”— Heslington Brain

πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Archaeology πŸ”— Yorkshire

The Heslington Brain is a 2,600-year-old human brain found inside a skull buried in a pit in Heslington, Yorkshire, in England, by York Archaeological Trust in 2008. It is the oldest preserved brain ever found in Eurasia, and is believed to be the best-preserved ancient brain in the world. The skull was discovered during an archaeological dig commissioned by the University of York on the site of its new campus on the outskirts of the city of York. The area was found to have been the site of well-developed permanent habitation between 2,000–3,000 years before the present day.

A number of possibly ritualistic objects were found to have been deposited in several pits, including the skull, which had belonged to a man probably in his 30s. He had been hanged before being decapitated with a knife and his skull appears to have been buried immediately. The rest of the body was missing. Although it is not known why he was killed, it is possible that it may have been a human sacrifice or ritual murder.

The brain was found while the skull was being cleaned. It had survived despite the rest of the tissue on the skull having disappeared long ago. After being extracted at York Hospital, the brain was subjected to a range of medical and forensic examinations by York Archaeological Trust which found that it was remarkably intact, though it had shrunk to only about 20% of its original size. It showed few signs of decay, though most of its original material had been replaced by an as yet unidentified organic compound, due to chemical changes during burial.

According to the archaeologists and scientists who have examined it, the brain has a "resilient, tofu-like texture". It is not clear why the Heslington brain survived, although the presence of a wet, anoxic environment underground seems to have been an essential factor, and research is still ongoing to shed light on how the local soil conditions may have contributed to its preservation.

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πŸ”— Endurance Running Hypothesis

πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Athletics πŸ”— Running πŸ”— Evolutionary biology

The endurance running hypothesis is the hypothesis that the evolution of certain human characteristics can be explained as adaptations to long-distance running. The hypothesis suggests that endurance running played an important role for early hominins in obtaining food. Researchers have proposed that endurance running began as an adaptation for scavenging and later for persistence hunting.

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πŸ”— Rai Stones

πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Numismatics πŸ”— Trade πŸ”— Micronesia πŸ”— Micronesia/Federated States of Micronesia

The Micronesian island of Yap is known for its stone money, known as Rai (Yapese: raay), or Fei: large doughnut-shaped, carved disks of (usually) calcite, up to 4Β m (13Β ft) in diameter (most are much smaller). The smallest can be as little as 3.5 centimetres (1.4Β in) in diameter. There are around 6,000 of the large, circular stone disks carved out of limestone formed from aragonite and calcite crystals. Rai stones were quarried on several of the Micronesian islands, mainly Palau, but briefly on Guam as well, and transported to Yap for use as money. They have been used in trade by the Yapese as a form of currency.

The monetary system of Yap relies on an oral history of ownership. In the case of stones that are too large to move, buying an item with one simply involves agreeing that the ownership has changed. As long as the transaction is recorded in the oral history, it will now be owned by the person to whom it is passed and no physical movement of the stone is required.

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πŸ”— AbΕ« Rayhān BΔ«rΕ«nΔ« -- Medieval Islamic Scientist, quite a read...

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Religion πŸ”— Iran πŸ”— Philosophy πŸ”— Biography/science and academia πŸ”— Astronomy πŸ”— History of Science πŸ”— Astrology πŸ”— Middle Ages πŸ”— Islam πŸ”— Middle Ages/History πŸ”— Central Asia πŸ”— Philosophy/Philosophers πŸ”— Anthropology πŸ”— Watches πŸ”— Philosophy/Medieval philosophy πŸ”— India

Abu Rayhan al-Biruni (973 – after 1050) was a Persian scholar and polymath. He was from Khwarazm – a region which encompasses modern-day western Uzbekistan, and northern Turkmenistan.

Al-Biruni was well versed in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and natural sciences, and also distinguished himself as a historian, chronologist and linguist. He studied almost all fields of science and was compensated for his research and strenuous work. Royalty and powerful members of society sought out Al-Biruni to conduct research and study to uncover certain findings. He lived during the Islamic Golden Age. In addition to this type of influence, Al-Biruni was also influenced by other nations, such as the Greeks, who he took inspiration from when he turned to studies of philosophy. He was conversant in Khwarezmian, Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit, and also knew Greek, Hebrew and Syriac. He spent much of his life in Ghazni, then capital of the Ghaznavid dynasty, in modern-day central-eastern Afghanistan. In 1017 he travelled to the Indian subcontinent and authored a study of Indian culture Tārīkh al-Hind (History of India) after exploring the Hindu faith practiced in India. He was given the title "founder of Indology". He was an impartial writer on customs and creeds of various nations, and was given the title al-Ustadh ("The Master") for his remarkable description of early 11th-century India.