Why do human societies still use arms, legs and other body parts to measure things?


They may have continued because there are body-based parameters. Provide comfortable and ergonomic benefits More than regular classes. From one report: According to Ruppe Karonen, a cognitive scientist who studies cultural evolution at the University of Helsinki, although standardized parts are considered superior to standard bodily actions in many societies, people in many societies continue to use their bodies in this way after the standard has been established. To explore how widespread such practices have been throughout human history, Karonen and his colleagues pulled psychological data from 186 ancient and modern cultures around the world to search for descriptions of body-based units of measurement in a database called the Human Communication Environment File. This database is the result of an international non-profit organization that has been collecting and managing ethnographic and anthropological literature since the 1950s.

The group used these systems in the respective cultures, especially in the construction of clothing and technology. For example, in the early 1900s, the Karelian people, a native of northern Europe, typically designed skis to be fathoms and six cubits long. In the year In the late 1800s, Yupik people from the Alaskan coast documented building kayaks that were 2.5 fathoms long and had a cockpit, an arm’s length with a closed fist. Next, the team looked at a subsample of 99 cultures that developed independently from each other according to a widely used metric in anthropology. Fathoms, cubits, and cubits were the most common body-based measurements, each appearing in about 40% of the cultures. Different societies may have developed and integrated such parts because they were particularly suited to tackling important everyday tasks, the authors argue, such as measuring clothes, designing tools and weapons, and building boats and structures.

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