[ExI] uncommon lols

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Fri Jul 2 18:48:23 UTC 2021

> On Jul 2, 2021, at 11:02 AM, Ben via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> On 01/07/2021 21:13, Dan TheBookMan wrote:
>> Think of this: laughter is almost certainly an evolved behavior. And
>> it seems fairly basic -- as humans do it at an early age and I don't
>> know of a human culture without laughter. Humans share many other
>> basic behaviors with other animals, especially with primates and other
>> social animals. (Some of these could be shared primitive traits,
>> others convergent evolution, still others simply things that
>> regardless of evolution any social species would do.) So, I'd start
>> from the position not of human exceptionalism here, but of what is the
>> likely evolutionary path of the behavior.
> Which makes, to my mind, something else which I've posted about here before, even more mysterious: Music. You can say the same things about music as about laughter, in humans. But it seems much harder to conclude that other animals have a musical sense than it does to conclude that they have some form of laughter.
> -- 
> Ben Zaiboc

I recall a discussion of rhythm, but I would also focus on melody. It seems that perceiving melodies is not widespread. The issue is perceiving melodies in different pitch ranges — as opposed to hearing a melody shifted, say, a half note as a completely different thing. In other words, many animals perceive the absolute pitch and the attention is there rather than the relative pitch between notes. (Think of this like playing a melody in the usual key on a piano and then shifting it to another key. You still, I trust, here the melody, though you might (or might not*) notice it’s now shifted. My guess is many animal species simply hear it as a different probably unrelated entity. An analogy might be with color. If I were to show there ‘colors’ on the spectrum separated by a certain frequency, then shift the spectrum of the three, I doubt most people would see the before and after shift as related. They wouldn’t perceive a color melody.)

Anyhow, see:




* Think of playing any beginner’s melody to someone (who doesn’t have perfect pitch) one day starting at middle C they playing it an hour later starting at C# above middle C. Would they recognize them as the same melody? Very likely. Would they recognize the shift? Not so likely.
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