Saturday, June 5, 2010

cavemen, again

There is an article on PsychCentral rehashing something that has been written about extensively already. Social rejection causes physical pain.

Well, duh. I have been struggling to write a poem on this for years. The poem's working title has been Standing Outside the Cave, Screaming. As I understand the research, and it makes total sense, we are hard-wired to behave in social groups because in our evolutionary development, survival depended on being able to work in the group. If an individual acted outside of accepted group norms and was thus rejected from the cave, (always, I bring it back to cavemen), that individual would die. Evolution made it so that when an individual is feeling rejected they would have a physical reaction as well to warn the caveman "Hey Buddy, this hurts and if you keep acting in a way that keeps you hurting, you're going to be expelled from the cave and die." Join the group. Behave.

Hm, thinking as I write this, I actually wrote a poem recently about living in my own cave and not being part of the group, addressing another cave-dweller. The poem was started off as romantic but went in a different direction. I must explore this whole cave thing more deeply since I reacted so strongly when I read the article, as I do when science gives us something allegedly new to chew on. I'm fascinated by human interaction, social groups and how biology informs our social development. I have a lot to say on the subject but don't know if poetry is the best place to say it. Flinging mud at the walls. Standing outside the cave, screaming. I need to find something new to read since I've read so much of the same crap on social and evolutionary psychology. Challenge me already.

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