© 2018 by Jack Newbury

A "Hand-Out"


As a society we are losing touch with each other. Daily rituals and simple habits are becoming extinct. A simple handshake would disappear. In a dystopian world, do we need daily rituals as part of our society? 


In the 22nd Century, through modern technology, our scenario shows that all rituals exist in the brain. There are no rituals performed anymore in the real world. Our results suggest that other peoples' body signals reflecting approach or avoidance intentions play a critical role on evaluative judgements in a business-like setting. The spontaneous impression that people form about a social interaction partner influences their trustworthiness and competence evaluations and, ultimately, their interest to pursue future business interactions with that partner.

One of the most important historical antecedents comes from Babylon almost 4,000 years ago, more precisely in 1800 BC. During the New Year's holiday, the Babylonian monarch was to perform a respectful act of submission before Marduk - the maximum Babylonian God. This act was to go towards the statue of said deity and, as a sign of respect, to shake his hand, which originally meant the transfer or conference of power from god to human.

The ritual is something specifically human, not developed in animal societies.

Adherence to rituals contributes to social cohesion.

The ritual fulfils a sociological function, reinforcing social structures.

The ritual performs, at the same time, psycho-biological functions, adapting the mental structures of the individuals that intervene.

Designed by Jack Newbury & students from MAMF / MAID at CSM

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