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The evolution of encountering, and embracing, strangers

The evolution of encountering, and embracing, strangers

Humans have been around for a couple hundred thousand years, by most calculations. When you consider modern, Westernized humans in that context, we come off as pretty strange in our social interactions. The ways we relate to one another reflect a very different social mind-set from our ancestors. We jettison connections that were essential in the past. For nearly all of human history, people lived in small hunter-gatherer bands, with some flow of individuals between neighboring bands that regularly encountered one another. In other words, your life was spent among people you knew. But as has been explored by sociologists and psychologists, once humans developed proto-cities with...

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