Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stressed Out Baboons

I know I'm overdue for a post, and I have several topics in mind, but tonight I'm just going to chill out and keep watching this PBS special about stress. It features a hippy researcher from Stanford named Robert Sapolsky who studies the effects of stress in baboons, and he's a pretty funny dude. A good show.


baxie said...

is that the one where they decide stress is the #1 determiner of health, pummeling everything else into submission?

I liked that one, mainly because it made my low impact bohemian lifestyle look positively prescient.

Good Enough Woman said...

Yes, except it was the beta males--those who weren't controlling the troops and who, in fact, got constantly harassed by the alpha males--that developed stress-related disease because of the stressful nature of their lower rank. That is until, in one of the troops, all of the alpha males died because they gobbled up (and didn't share) some human garbage that included meat tainted with tuberculosis. Ever since the death of those aggressive alphas (about 20 years ago), everyone in the troop has been peaceful and copasetic, spending way more time relaxing, grooming, and being socially compassionate. Even new members of the troop get trained into the Type B lifestyle. As a result, they all live longer.

So, yes, you're right on target as long as you don't suffer regular psychological stress from the aggro types of the world.

baxie said...

Science has proven Milton right.

It IS better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.