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 Achieving Sapience Without Socialization

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tklarenb
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PostSubject: Achieving Sapience Without Socialization   Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:44 pm

I was on stumbleupon.com earlier when I stumbled (see what I did there? ) across this article:
http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/9pmdyn/io9.com/5858783/the-growing-evidence-for-octopus-intelligence/
Basically, it mostly describes how intelligent octopuses are and how their intelligence is similar to human intelligence. However, towards the end, there's one point it has that I think has great significance to Thrive. Octopuses are highly intelligent, yet they have no social dynamic whatsoever except mating. I don't remember where, but it was listed somewhere that being social is one thing needed to become intelligent and become sapient. While this is true in most cases, octopuses had a very different reason to become intelligent. Octopus ancestors were shelled. However, the octopuses we see today have lost their shells, leaving them with no protection against predators. So, instead of evolving a physical defense, they became extremely smart. All with no socialization with their own kind.

I'm not saying we should include solitary sapience, since we have no real world examples of actual sapience in solitary species. However, it something that needs to be looked into since theoretically it is possible.

One thing I have to say on this topic: I think solitary sapience would be limited to the same extent aquatic sapience, except for different reasons. While aquatic races are stuck in the stone age because of the impossibility of metallurgy, solitary races are stuck because of their main feature--little interaction between individuals of their own species. While aquatic races could still have language and a complex social aspect, solitary races would have no chance to develop this beyond simple language already seen in animals, meaning they would be the least advanced of all sapient races. Basically, the only thing distinguishing them as sapient is the fact that they possess human level intelligence.
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~sciocont
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PostSubject: Re: Achieving Sapience Without Socialization   Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:17 pm

We've actually discussed this at length before-- I don't remember the thread, but we basically concluded that since there is no social dynamic, there can be no society, no matter how intelligent they become. They could create technologies, but would never really share them, so they would remain very simple, since it would have to be made by one individual working alone.

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PostSubject: Re: Achieving Sapience Without Socialization   Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:34 pm

~sciocont wrote:
We've actually discussed this at length before-- I don't remember the thread, but we basically concluded that since there is no social dynamic, there can be no society, no matter how intelligent they become. They could create technologies, but would never really share them, so they would remain very simple, since it would have to be made by one individual working alone.
QFT

Sentience requires society. Theoretically you might be able to avoid it, but we don't know how. When we figure out how, tell us. Till then, we will ignore the possiblity.
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