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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Why do humans wave at each other? It's a non-verbal greeting, of course, but what are it's origins? Ancient man traveling alone or in packs had to watch out for strangers and rival tribes that might be a threat, and at the same time humans understood they can survive best as a team. We can guess that once a human or tribe decided not to hide, but to risk a greeting, hand waving was a means to catch the attention of the other human(s) in a non-threatening gesture. The open hand wave especially lets the other know you are holding no weapon and aren't a threat.

In our primal days if two warriors or hunters should come upon each other, the first reaction seeing the other is armed would be a (fight or flight) fear response. Raising the unarmed hand with a wave would at least be a distant signal that you mean the other no harm, and choose not to fight/compete. Over time humans would grow less and less fearful of strangers and competing tribes, to the point where waving had almost nothing to do with signaling no threat was intended, and everything to do with just being friendly.

What about alpha male bikers who imagine themselves 'bad ass'? Does the primal urge for competition and rivalry arise in them when they spot a fellow 'bad ass'? Is the biker wave for them a throwback to the warrior ancestors who side-stepped a conflict with a respectful wave? Is not waving to a motorcyclist they consider no threat a way of conveying superior strength, and possible contempt? As in, You are no threat and not worthy of a wave!

Readers may laugh at my theory, but I have to ask what else is going on in the mind of an outlaw gang of bikers, none of which would ever wave at non-gang member bikers. Waving indicates a 'brotherhood' or respect, and not waving is saying, 'You are not my equal, you are beneath me, and certainly not my brother'. My point here is that I believe that especially in alpha male bikers who's consider themselves bad ass, waving to anyone not at least an equal might be a sign of weakness, or a breakdown of superiority, not unlike a officer saluting a private first.

I do know from personal experience that potential rivalry from a fellow biker can be can be thwarted with biker wave or a head nod at a stop sign. It's a fast way to shut down a competition, and again I think it may be a throwback to a primal custom most of us are not even aware is going on.


:unsure:Thoughts?
 
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LOL
Never seen any other motorcyclist wave at me before. I've only seen the "2 down" gesture and I normally return it (or initiate it) as time and safety allow.
I admit I never thought of it in hater terms: who I should not wave at because I hate them as rivals? My mind does not work that way. I consider other motorcyclists fellow riders. But I live in a friendly state so my exposure is limited to friendly Texans (and some transients).
YMMV
 

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ya HOP gotta agree with you. the wave went from a peaceful open hand to a 'I see you" gesture. and you're dead on about the 1%.
LOU_VTX around this neck of the woods everybody more likely than not will wave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
LOL
Never seen any other motorcyclist wave at me before. I've only seen the "2 down" gesture and I normally return it (or initiate it) as time and safety allow.
I admit I never thought of it in hater terms: who I should not wave at because I hate them as rivals? My mind does not work that way. I consider other motorcyclists fellow riders. But I live in a friendly state so my exposure is limited to friendly Texans (and some transients).
YMMV
Based on your reply, you've taken the word wave too literally even though I used the phrase, 'biker wave' expecting most would know what one is. If it help, reread my OP and replace the word wave with 2 down gesture.

I do agree with you that my mind doesn't work in terms of who is my rival, but some riders might relate to feeling/experience of other bikers seeing them as such. If you ride in a gathering of strangers you'll see some showing off, and this is a demonstration of 'I'm better than you rivalry' at play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ya HOP gotta agree with you. the wave went from a peaceful open hand to a 'I see you" gesture. and you're dead on about the 1%.
LOU_VTX around this neck of the woods everybody more likely than not will wave.
I'm glad you got my point about the primal origins of greetings, and how it ties to the 'biker wave'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would think the biker wave is done because strangers riding motorcycles passing face to face acknowledge each other because bikers represent a brotherhood of guys who live to ride.
I'd too would like it to be that simple, but that wouldn't explain why some not only don't wave, but also don't return one.
 

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I'd too would like it to be that simple, but that wouldn't explain why some not only don't wave, but also don't return one.
A wave is just a simple friendly gesture to a stranger. There are some in this world that keep to themselves, ignore people they don't know altogether. In this world there some people friendly and some just don't socialize. First sign when I encounter a man or woman not friendly, I stop taking to them dry and leave them alone. It's just understanding the different kinds of people in this world.
 

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I'd too would like it to be that simple, but that wouldn't explain why some not only don't wave, but also don't return one.
There can be several reasons apart from a feeling of superiority why this happens.
Depression, indifference, lack of concentration, anger and even anxiety.
I remember when riding my first km on my bike I wanted to keep both hands on the handlebar.
Raising my left little finger was my way of greeting at that time but few must have noted that :LOL:
 

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Based on your reply, you've taken the word wave too literally even though I used the phrase, 'biker wave' expecting most would know what one is. If it help, reread my OP and replace the word wave with 2 down gesture.

I do agree with you that my mind doesn't work in terms of who is my rival, but some riders might relate to feeling/experience of other bikers seeing them as such. If you ride in a gathering of strangers you'll see some showing off, and this is a demonstration of 'I'm better than you rivalry' at play.
Sorry, I did take it literally, sir. You said "wave", I read "wave". I am an engineer. I live in ghe world of specifics.

As far as the not-returning wave issue goes, there are multiple schools of thought on that one. Most motorcyclists think that it's just stuck-up-ness of some. Hence the age-old joke that Harley riders don't wave. As a man once said "there is truth in jest". So I would not dismiss that.
And as I mentioned earlier, I give the "2 down" gesture when safety and time allow. Which is not 100% of the time. I am trying to imply here that I might seem like a stuck up rider who won't return a wave but instead, I am busy shifting or dealing with drivers around me.

In general, down here in Texas, I'd say I get the moto gesture from vast majority of riders.
I will need to start paying more attention to who does not return the gesture to build up some statistical data of any significance. That is, once I can get off the fkin' crutches and walk again. Starting to get really pissed at incompetent doctors. But I digress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry, I did take it literally, sir. You said "wave", I read "wave". I am an engineer. I live in ghe world of specifics.
Sorry, I specifically wrote "biker wave" but go on believing I wasn't specific enough for the engineering mind.

Sheesh!
:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There can be several reasons apart from a feeling of superiority why this happens.
Depression, indifference, lack of concentration, anger and even anxiety.
I totally agree. It's assumptive to expect strangers to return a wave, and probably wrong to further assume they are a snob or whatever simply based on them not returning a gesture. There have been times when I was in a turn or similarly committed to keeping my hands on the grips, and have missed waving back. If I were on a Harley when this happened, the non-Harley rider might jump to a conclusion that I'm a snob, just like they read about on the forums. This is how a preconcieved bias works, unfortunately.
 

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Sorry, I specifically wrote "biker wave" but go on believing I wasn't specific enough for the engineering mind.

Sheesh!
:rolleyes:
Yeah, you don't want to know what it feels like in an engineer's brain. It can be hell sometimes.
Heck, I'd be lying. It can be hell a lot.
That's the hand (brain) I've been dealt.
Sometimes I wish I was born a dumbass. Dumb people are so much simpler and happier!
Even the Simpsons made a jab at it ...

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yeah, you don't want to know what it feels like in an engineer's brain. It can be hell sometimes.
Heck, I'd be lying. It can be hell a lot.
That's the hand (brain) I've been dealt.
Sometimes I wish I was born a dumbass. Dumb people are so much simpler and happier!
Even the Simpsons made a jab at it ...

View attachment 195244
Well smart guy, there is the The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Go ahead and look it up.....I'll wait.

:love:
 

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Sorry to disappoint, did not have to look anything up.
IMHO, it does not apply in the situation I mentioned.It is more meant for estimation of task duration based on one's expertise level. Which, btw, is also heavily abused and misunderstood.
I deal with a lot of project management at work so I see lots of great examples weekly.
What was your desired application of the DK effect?
 

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I would think the biker wave is done because strangers riding motorcycles passing face to face acknowledge each other because bikers represent a brotherhood of guys who live to ride.
that's about right. sometimes I get so damn happy i'm riding, I wave to everybody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry to disappoint, did not have to look anything up.
IMHO, it does not apply in the situation I mentioned.It is more meant for estimation of task duration based on one's expertise level. Which, btw, is also heavily abused and misunderstood.
I deal with a lot of project management at work so I see lots of great examples weekly.
What was your desired application of the DK effect?
You are the application of the DK effect.
 
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