Feeds

Computer sim explains why hippies became extinct

Egalitarian societies of the past were doomed to oblivion

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Old-time egalitarian societies were just too stable to survive in a dog-eat-dog world, according to Stanford University researchers, a situation which led to them being overrun by the stratified societies which dominate humanity today.

The study used a computer simulation to compare demographic stability and rates of migration for societies that shared everything equally and those that had a class structure with those on top controlling most of the resources.

The researchers found that, when resources were consistently scarce, egalitarian societies didn't have the motivation to change their ways because they shared out the pain, but in unequal communities, the have-nots tended to go in search of a better life when things got bad.

If resources fluctuated, the class societies were the ones that were stable because the ruling class always had plenty, so they expanded, while the sharing and caring communities found it hard to adapt and once again stayed as they were.

"The fact that unequal societies today vastly outnumber egalitarian societies may not be due to the replacement of the ethic of equality by a more selfish ethic, as originally thought by many researchers," said cultural evolution specialist Deborah Rogers, head author of the study.

"Instead, it appears that the stratified societies simply spread and took over, crowding out the egalitarian populations," she added.

The study, co-authored by Stanford evolutionary biologist Marcus Feldman, was published online this week in the journal PLoS One. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.