Analytics,  causation and human evolution

books, Brain size, Evolution, Human Brain, Thinking

About a month back I was giving a training to our team on Analytics  and what could be the uses for customers.  During that training I spent a lot of time on how Analytics can be used to do correlation and also causation. These are 2 concepts which a lot of people mix up. So I  spent a lot of time on that, clarifying doubts.

Today I was reading the book “Framers: Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil” by Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, Francis de Vericourt.

I am right now in the first half of the book. There’s a specific chapter on causation.

If you have been following my blog, you would notice that I have been interested in understanding why humans succeeded in advancing so much while the whole animal kingdom and other living beings are where they were millions of years back. Zebras thousands of years back still had the same stripes and ate grass as they do now. But humans moved from stones to weapons to flying and all kinds of other advancements.

I already believed that because the real estate for the development of the human brain was much larger than other animals , it gave our brain more capabilities to evolve physically. The second reason in my opinion was the motor mechanism where we have the concept of grip which helped us to hold things and also walk on 2 limbs rather than four.

One of the things that the authors are suggesting is the fact that humans had two key skills which the other animals did not. One was the ability to see causation and the other were social skills. With causation they were able to think about how the same causes could be caused to have the same effects while with social skills they could ask for help and collaborate.

While some animals do live in colonies, they don’t seem to seek help for achieving tasks. On the other hand even if you were to put 2-3 kids who don’t know each other into a room, you will soon find that they are playing with each other trying to help each other.

As I read further I will see if they have more information on this subject. But for me , now if I have to give another training on Analytics and its uses, I will have some more content to talk about on how causation has helped humans evolve.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Human Evolution

Brain size, Evolution, Human Brain

If you want to see the evolution of humans, one of the best places to observe that is in Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh is a state in Central India. It is a less publicised state with a lot of unique places to visit. One of relatives was in Madhya Pradesh Tourism and he asked me to invest time to visit places since he knew my interest in seeing nature and historical places.

So I visited Madhya Pradesh 3 times and he used to make my itinerary such that I got a good view of both nature and history. The best time I found to visit the state was from October to March, but if you intend to visit the state its best to visit the website of Madhya Pradesh Tourism.

Now in Madhya Pradesh, near the capital Bhopal, there is a set of caves call the Bhim Betka caves. The uniqueness of these caves is that you can see carvings/paintings made by humans who lived 100000 years ago …yes that’s not a typo, some of these caves were inhabited then. And then there are caves which were also inhabited 10000 years ago. Its a large area, I think its a UNESCO site one of the few where you can see the actual evolution of human beings who lived in India.

If you see the carvings/paintings of the different time maps you can actually make out how the humans evolved in this part of the world. In the carvings which are about 10000 years old, you can see in the carvings that they are using tools. Which means they had learnt by then how to use tools. You also get to see horses and other animals meaning, they had domesticated these animals by then.

The other thing to note is that even a hundred thousand years ago, the humans who lived in those caves had a thought process of trying to depict something on rock even if it was just line figures.

In hundred thousand years, humans have changed so much. The evolution of the species is so amazing.

Which brings me to why have zebras or tigers or sharks or lizards not evolved so much. They still hunt for food and their daily routine is still based on instinct flight or fight responses. This is something which I tried to see even in the Smithsonian museums and other museums around the world.

Two things which I have been able to figure out and my search is still on, is that the motor functions in the fingers of the hand and the space that our brain has to expand in our head has been the two main causes of the rapid evolution of the human race. The space for the brain in animals is virtually non-existent.

Now as per Steven Kotler, the space that exists for our brain to expand has given us humans the ability to keep learning and keep growing further. Now the pertinent question that I keep having is, why did the apes and monkeys not have the space when supposedly we have evolved from the same common platform. I will keep you posted as I learn more because knowing where we came from can help us to know how to go forward.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Scarcity drives Evolution

Human Brain, Innovation, Leverage

A lot of us have heard about the phrase Necessity is the Mother of Invention. The human brain works to finds creative ways to meet the necessities. That’s why the more brain power that exists in a country, the more creative the ideas that can be brought out to meet the necessities of the people. The US was among the first countries which built its immigration policies after the World Wars to ensure that they were able to attract the best brain power from other countries to create more innovation. That is one of the reasons that its still way ahead in creating more innovations.

Today I was reading a book by Steven Kotler – The Art of Impossible: A Peak Performance Primer. I have read multiple books that Steven has jointly written with Dr. Peter Diamandis like Abundance and Bold and I like his writing because he does a lot of research on the topics that he writes about. Some may find this kind of detailing boring.

Right in the first few pages of the book I read this statement. And its been going round in my brain. As per him its the scarcity of resources that has made human beings always innovate and evolve. He’s gone ahead talk about the biology of this and you can read the book to learn more.

However the reason that this statement has been moving around my head is that when we learnt the various theories of evolution they were primarily related to nature causing mutations, survival of the fittest etc.

What’s intriguing to me is why are scarcity of resources a reason for the evolution of human beings, while it’s not meant major evolution in the other pieces of nature as much. Lions and elephants I don’t think have changed too much in the last 5000 years or more.

In my blogs I keep writing about how human ingenuity will always find a solution to problems and surviving, what is giving the humans this capability. Is it just our brain power which has helped us survive much more larger animals in the jungles. Is it the fact the 5 figures in each of our hands can be moved and folded causing this. While no other animal stores resources for the future how did the human being get onto this journey of storing resources.

These are some very interesting queries about when the human race broke away from the animal kingdom. In the animal kingdom even now no animal accumulates resources. I will be on the hunt to find out a little more about this and will keep you all posted.

But this statement also has everyday uses in our lives. When a project has limited resources and a deadline is nearing the teams find ways to optimise. In marketing when we have a shortage of resources like most startups and small companies do, we find low cost methods to help. We identify leverage points.

As a matter of fact my last 2-3 posts on Riding the elephant were all about this.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Evolution – the gradual development

Evolution, Financial Independence

Yesterday I was listening to the I Love Marketing podcast episode#387 ( . If you are in any way connected to marketing, this is by far one of the best podcasts. Joe Polish and Dean Jackson give a ton of information absolutely free. Incidentally Dean Jackson also runs another podcast called More Cheese Less Whiskers and Joe has another one with Dan Sullivan called the 10X talk. All three highly recommended.

During the Q&A in this podcast while giving an answer, Joe spoke about how people first master a big pain and then when they are able to master one, they evolve and master another one and so on. So what starts as a specific issue to be mastered by an individual then becomes sharable with an audience. Then as the person becomes successful with one set of pain points he starts working on the other areas and improves there and then shares that. As per them most of the genuine personal development people actually have evolved this way.

Come to think of it, if you have been reading my blog, it has all been about the challenges I faced initially with my finances. As the years passed and I became more and more enthralled with the idea of compounding, I started sharing my life lessons on this blog. I have been a big proponent of starting small and letting the magic of compounding play its role. How even being able to carve out small amounts could help you get out of the financial mess towards financial freedom. I have shared the 100s of books I have read on the subject and even given out key ideas for everyone to work with

As I evolved from that level I started focusing on my abilities to read more and retain more, improve my health and other things.

Coincidentally I wrote in my blog a couple of weeks back, before I had heard this podcast, that my blog is going to now be talking about multiple things instead of just financial freedom/independence.

So I think I am on the right track in my own evolution and in sharing my journey with you folks.

Let me know your views.

Till next time….