Remember the last time you visited a zoo? Did you go into the Monkey House? If so, your dominant recollection will likely be of noise: the sheer, indescribable din of screeches, whistles, bellows, hollers, shouts, gibbers, yowls and thumps.
In the Primate House, as in the wild, the simians use their unique communication modes for a purpose: to maintain contact with their primary tribal group, and to continually reassure themselves of their status in the group. This is also the purpose of the so-called 'social media': to keep scattered members of human tribes connected with other members of their tribes and to constantly reassure themselves of their stature in those groups. This is the ultimate social mandate. Tweet, twitter, facebook, and such developments as have yet to emerge all function within and exploit this basic anthropoid instinct. It's a plaintive cry out of the chaos of the age: "Hey! Over here! Yeah, it's me and I'm with you guys!!!"
Remember, humans are a prey species. Not big, tough, well-armed, fast, or poisonous, we're all some other critter's lunch. Communication covers our flanks.
Discipline collar...(The New Yorker, natch)
3 days ago