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Lecture 4

PSY435H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Social Capital, Pneumatics, Natural Disaster

Course Code
Dan Dolderman

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Env Psych – LEC 4
- Last class: really bad things are happening
o Global warming, global change patterns
- You have to have the intuition that the environment changes and it was have very big impacts
- One of the themes in env psych is the interdependence of people will impact the environment
o Helps us understand the gravity of the problem
o Allows us to derive solutions
- Before this discussion, we have to explore that the environment causes/has impact on the person
o Through different scales
o Through individual level (classic psychology micro environment affects our individual psychology)
- Start with macro level of analysis
o Idea that environmental processes at really big levels scales affect the person at really big levels of scales
If you think about individual scales, you think of person > tribe > clan/community > cities > states > culture
o If you get to the very top level of scale (e.g. culture) at the macro level of stage, then you have a really fascinating
story that involves humanity
You get a really big splash
o Guns of Steel
Same guy that wrote about the Eastern Islanders
Mid-late 1990s, very serious recognition in politic science
Started book for personal reasons, did work with Hinduist people
He was troubled by the inescapable recognition
You look at the world today and culture that are divided into geographical regions
It is clear that there are winners and losers
o There are the powerful and disempowered
This is so obvious
If you look at the state of the world, why is the USA so powerful? Why is English the primary language?
Why did some cultures become colonizers/colonized?
Prof and Holland
o Few centuries ago, Holland was the power
Why?! What’s the deal?
Two starting things that can explain this
The recognition the asking of why questions
o There is an easy answer, it’s not one that you like but it’s simple
Some people are better than others
This is the racist answer
The sheer magnitude of the inequality of power between cultures
o You get that today (which countries are on top and how much economy power they
have vs the ones at the bottom)
o The world stage is highly tilted
- When countries run into each other, they don’t deal with each other through force and victory
o E.g. Peru 1962, this was the day that the Spanish European Empire ran into the Inkin empire
What happens is amazing
Context of story
You got 2 leaders, one from each empire
o One leading 168 Spanish soldiers and is in the top of his power
Inkin empire is away from this empire, no background
In ideas of scale, Inkin empire trying to conquer the city (the Kandar market)
Next day, planned an ambush the emperor
Hid guys behind, plan to meet them in the central square
2000 Inkins sweep into the square, fire guns and charge
They have the advantage of surprise, the battle doesn’t last very long
The Spanish are slaughter the Inkins in their way
By the end of the day
Killed 7000 Inkins, wounded many more
You can come out for the explanation for this
Inkins had confusion and no planning for their strategy of attack
If they could fill a room with gold, they would execute the leader they did

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- Thus, there is a clash of cultures in the macro-level between 2 different empires
- E.g. USA Iraq War
o USA come into Iraq in a massive battle and turned out no impact in the end
o Regardless of how powerful USA is, the class of empires doesn’t exist anymore
- These clashes are not equal when it comes to war
o Why is this?
Maybe there are proximal factors:
Unequal power
Technological superiority
o That makes sense now but why? Why does only one culture have technological superiority? Why was the Spanish
have metal swords and Inkins have just stone hammers?
There must be other factors that need to be taken into consideration
- Let’s go all the way back to the starting point to human civilization 13,000 years ago
o Neolithic-Revolution
You have formatically human tribes
Where agriculture and settlements are just developing
Once you start farming and making food supply, you start getting better in mature, economic systems, the
coding of economic factors, you get the hierarchy rise in society (because of specialization and regulation
of people)
Different areas of the world 13,000 years ago everyone was a hunter and gatherer
We were basically the same
Now, it’s different. Something happened between 13,000 years ago and now
Thesis: it’s WHEN people go through the neo-revolution
Some culture don’t go through this revolution at the same rate
This uniforms cultural development in terms of agriculture and technology
- Technology and germs are really important
o The victory between one culture over another is determined through germs (sickness/disease)
Result in massive population loss
Unequal power
Technology Military/Organization *GERMS
Specializations Hierarchies
Neolithic Revolution
farming people more micros
- Why?!?!?!?!?!??!?!
- Question: What are the factors that cause cultures to make the Neolithic shift?
o The Availability of High Quality Food Source
Food sources that are nutritious, high protein
Most food sources in the world are grass species
There’s 56 key grass species in the world that are ideal for agriculture
The Mediterranean area has 34, Australia has 0, Africa has 1 and South America has 2
Pretty massive difference
Allows experimentation
Shows that Mediterranean have a higher chance of starting agriculture faster because they have
so many species in their geographic area
o Animals that are Domestic
You need animals that can breed in captivity, good sources of meat and work (plow)
The vast majority of animals are not good candidates for farming
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