Greetings from Grünau im Alten

I'm in the Waldpension Göschlseben The picture is of the very couch I'm sitting on. You can click the link and go to the Fotogalerie to see more pictures.


Well, like every bit of Austria I've been to so far it is unbelievably pretty here. The weather has been perfect until today, now it is too hot to hike which is a little too bad. The workshop was pretty good -- there were two other guest speakers -- who were really invited guest speakers who came from further away! I just came because I wanted to keep up with Ludwig Huber's group (I've hardly been able to attend any of their talks this term) and find out what was happening in the Grünau KLF, so my only invitation was from being on the mailing list for Ludwig's group.

The other speakers were Amanda Seed and Valérie Dufour -- (who now has a web page so I've updated this!) I had met Valérie a couple times before, the more recent of which I remember, in Bernard Therrie's group in Strasbourg where she was working with the capuchins. One big difference about cognitive biology / psychology from AI is that most of the researchers are women --- though sadly so far not many of the people in top positions are women. Some of us sat around one night and named all the successful female scientists with children we could think of and there weren't many. But anyway, there were many interesting talks and it was good to see the wolf center and also the KLF -- actually, especially the KLF! It was great to see the ravens and geese. They have creeks running right through their enclosures, as did many of the animals in the wildlife park the wolves are part of. Kurt Kortschal, the director of the institute, said they expected to have two packs of 20 wolves each in three years --- that's hard to believe given how much trouble the four "wolf whelps" they have now are!

The cubs were very cute --- they are still tripping over their paws. It's nice to see their new natural space, but also they came into the talks a couple times so they could get habituated to the space and to more people. But they got kicked out fairly shortly the first time they came in when a couple of them decided to start howling!

Honestly, if you include the train ride, I've spent as much time working on the grant application as at the meeting here --- which means a lot of time! It was supposed to be due 1 July but I phoned up the programme officer to talk about a couple things and found out there was another call for the same money with an open ending date. Because it is the same money though we will have to put in the proposal very soon since otherwise all the money will be gone due to the deadlined call!

I've realised on looking more at the data that most of the countries that had both more anti-social punishment and lower levels of cooperation had one thing going in their favour as well. Those countries had stable if somewhat conservative levels of cooperation even when there was no way to punish people who "defected" and didn't collaborate. The countries that used altruistic punishment effectively and achieved very high levels of collaboration when they didn't have stable cooperation before they were given punishment as a tool. They tended to start out at high levels of collaboration, but then it reduced as people felt they were being taken advantage of. So this is really interesting...

Anyway, I should get back to work on that. I was going to go hiking, but it was too hot, and now it is almost dinner time. I will go back to Vienna tomorrow morning and should be back at the KLI during lunch. The train ride is five hours, and my battery lasts five hours, so I'll no doubt get a lot done tomorrow too. I had a ton of ideas about modelling at the conference --- mostly about cultural evolution and speciation. So maybe I will be able to finish the grant and then do some programming to celebrate.



Sorry about the picture. I took it with my laptop again while waiting to get picked up for the second day of the conference Saturday morning. Hopefully I'll have a new camera you can't lose cables for after 11 July.
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