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What if Competition Isn't As "Natural" As We Think?

Collaborative Interdependence

Hundreds of studies on plants and animal behavior in recent years reveal that living things, including humans, are in reality multispecies events of collaboration and interdependence.

This is seen in the way fungus helps nurture and connect trees, or the way algae and coral form a partnership to create colorful coral reefs.

Life is more complex and collaborative than previously thought.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

What if Competition Isn't As "Natural" As We Think?

What if Competition Isn't As "Natural" As We Think?

https://slate.com/technology/2020/01/darwin-competition-collaboration-evolutionary-biology-climate-change.html

slate.com

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Key Ideas

Survival of The Fittest

The famous Charles Darwin theory, 'survival of the fittest' has turned into a cultural cliché. The theory proposes that living beings naturally fight and compete with each other to survive.

This competition is assumed to be natural and all-pervading, finding its way in capitalism and other collective behaviors of human beings.

Collaborative Interdependence

Hundreds of studies on plants and animal behavior in recent years reveal that living things, including humans, are in reality multispecies events of collaboration and interdependence.

This is seen in the way fungus helps nurture and connect trees, or the way algae and coral form a partnership to create colorful coral reefs.

Life is more complex and collaborative than previously thought.

The Climate Crisis

The recent findings which prove that competition is not natural, at least not more than collaboration, pave the way to think about our relationship with the planet, and the millions of species inhabiting it.

Environmentalists are tackling the climate crisis assume that people are by nature bound to harm ecology, and will consume and plunder the natural resources. This leaves them with a narrow set of solutions to control the crisis.

Beyond Selfish Interests

Competitive self-interest, when revealed to be just behavior and not human nature, clears the way for better and richer solutions to tackle the looming problems of the future.

A mindset shift is needed to move away from competition and realize the symbioses that make life possible for millions of species.

Example: Short-sighted self-interest that results in continued fossil-fuel extraction is just greed and doesn't do any good for our species, or to life.

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Survival before Behaviour

Our survival instinct came before any reasoning or behavioral aspects.

The human body is firstly a tool of survival, with rationalizing and the 'mind' perspectives arriving much later.

Neuroscience is a new science

We normally assume that certain sections of the brain carry out a specific set of tasks. This is fair to believe but is not entirely accurate.

The science to scan brain activity is currently in its infancy. Brain scans track blood flow; that does not mean specific functions are limited to that region.

Humans and the environment

Humans believe they are separate from the environment, which is a wrong presumption.

Environmental and climate change and its imminent effects on humans are proof that we are not separate or insulated from our surroundings.

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Western vs. Mediterranean diet

Western vs. Mediterranean diet

Western diet, typically high in animal fat and protein and low in fibre, increases the risk of cancer. The Mediterranean diet is high in fibre and low in red meat and has be...

Probiotics

There has been a lot of hype around the health benefits of prebiotics and probiotics in recent years, but while they're increasingly used in treatments including inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, several reviews suggest there needs to be further research on which strains and dosages are effective. Recent studies have found some people are even immune to probiotics.

Gut microbiota

Gut microbiota has a major role to play in the health and function of the GI tract, with evidence that conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often coincide with altered microbiota. But it also plays a much wider role in our health, and this is largely determined in the first few years of life.

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Slow-wave sleep (deep sleep) – SWS

About 80% of our sleeping is of the SWS variety, identified by slow brain waves, relaxed muscles and deep breathing.

Deep sleep is important for the consolidation of memories. New experience...

Rapid eye movement (dreaming) - REM

Dreaming accounts for 20% of our sleeping time.

The length of dreams can vary from a few seconds to almost an hour. During REM sleep, the brain is highly active. The muscles are paralyzed, and the heart rate increases. Breathing can become erratic. 

Sleep quantity

Although eight hours is the common mention, optimum sleep can vary from person to person and from age to age.

One review that worked through 320 research articles concluded 7 - 9 hours of sleep are enough for adults. According to experts, too little or too much sleep can both have a negative impact on your health.

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