Help me find a thread about compassion fatigue and evolution. July 13, 2014 1:51 PM   Subscribe

I *swear* I found a discussion thread here a few years back about feeling overwhelmed by all the problems and natural disasters of the world and not being able to do more to help. Someone posted that there was research (or at least a theory) that our brains haven't evolved beyond "knowing" a set number of people - our local families and community members (essentially, people we'd met in person a few hundred years ago) vs. now being connected to people all over the world via the Internet (and extended news coverage of tragedies, etc.). Does this ring a bell for anyone?
posted by Twicketface to MetaFilter-Related at 1:51 PM (9 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

yes! i know exactly the conversation you're talking about...except no idea of the context.
posted by nadawi at 2:09 PM on July 13, 2014

I don't know the thread you're talking about but there is a concept called Dunbar's number which claims that the most number of people we can know about is 150, or something like that.

Maybe searching for that term will help.
posted by dfriedman at 2:12 PM on July 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Could it have been the the Monkeysphere
posted by blnkfrnk at 2:33 PM on July 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

That's the one, blnkfrnk - thank you!
posted by Twicketface at 3:01 PM on July 13, 2014

Similar: Cybernetic deer theory
posted by CrystalDave at 3:05 PM on July 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


(I just like saying "monkeysphere.")
posted by blnkfrnk at 3:10 PM on July 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've said it before... but crap, when i read old threads like that i just get sad at how nearly every comment is made by someone who doesn't post at all anymore.
posted by emptythought at 3:23 PM on July 13, 2014

Does anyone else have a problem with 50 cent receiving credit for the Stalin quote at the top of the article?

This earnest bit of consternation from the monkeysphere thread made me chuckle.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:09 PM on July 13, 2014

Here is a reprint of the Monkeysphere article linked in the 2005 Metafilter post that blnkfrnk suggested. The Metafilter post was to the Pointless Waste of Time site, which later merged with
posted by Snerd at 5:33 PM on July 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

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