366 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. I really highly recommend Robert Hazen's _Story of Earth_ [1] if you're into this sort of stuff. Highly knowledgeable and entertaining geologist argues that the geosphere and the biosphere should really be viewed as one co-evolving system, over deep time. There are thousands of species of minerals that can only exist because of the action of life, and those minerals in turn enable new forms of life, which enable new species of mineral, and so on in a complex and ever evolving system within which we exist for only a fraction of an instant.[1] https://www.amazon.com/Story-Earth-Billion-Stardust-Living/d...

      .

      • = human being's = altricial nature - is an = evolutionary adaptation
      • resulting in exceptional = complex social learning
      • tradeoff of helplessness at birth
      • is complex social learning
      • that enables cumulative cultural evolution
    1. Humans are especially good at filling new ecological niches “because we have the capacity to learn how to survive in new environments,” Goldstein said. “Once your parents learn an adaptive skill, you’ll learn from them. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”
      • = cumulative cultural evolution
      • humans excel at surviving in = novel ecological niches
      • because we share information with each other
      • = cumulative cultural evolution - prevents us
      • from = reinventing the wheel
      • = feral children
  2. Jan 2023
    1. while I was listening to all of you and to our wonderful scientists 00:57:28 I thought of something that the distinguished physicist Freeman Dyson wrote shortly before he died he said he believed that 00:57:40 the speed of cultural Evolution the speed of cultural evolution is now faster than the speed of biological evolution so 00:57:53 what does that mean to me it's something very simple it means that we now hold our destiny in our hands and that's what you're all talking about

      !- quotable : Freeman Dyson - the speed of cultural evolution is now faster than the speed of biological evolution - references on the speed of cultural evolution: https://jonudell.info/h/facet/?user=stopresetgo&max=50&any=Cultural+evolution - Freeman Dyson essay on biological and cultural evolution: https://hyp.is/go?url=https%3A%2F%2Fviahtml.hypothes.is%2Fconversation%2Ffreeman_dyson-biological-and-cultural-evolution&group=world

    1. Our double task is now to preserve and foster both biological evolution as Nature designed it and cultural evolution as we invented it, trying to achieve the benefits of both, and exercising a wise restraint to limit the damage when they come into conflict. With biological evolution, we should continue playing the risky game that nature taught us to play. With cultural evolution, we should use our unique gifts of language and art and science to understand each other, and finally achieve a human society that is manageable if not always peaceful, with wildlife that is endlessly creative if not always permanent.

      !- Dual task: wrt biological and cultural evolution

    2. In the near future, we will be in possession of genetic engineering technology which allows us to move genes precisely and massively from one species to another. Careless or commercially driven use of this technology could make the concept of species meaningless, mixing up populations and mating systems so that much of the individuality of species would be lost. Cultural evolution gave us the power to do this. To preserve our wildlife as nature evolved it, the machinery of biological evolution must be protected from the homogenizing effects of cultural evolution.

      !- Progress trap : genetic engineering - careless use of genetic engineering will interfere with biological evolution

    3. The discoveries of Svante Pääbo show that as early as fifty thousand years ago the transition from biological to cultural evolution was already far advanced. Biological evolution, as demonstrated by Kimura and Goodenough, accelerated the birth of new species by favoring the genetic isolation of small populations. Cultural evolution had the opposite effect, erasing differences between related species and bringing them together. Cultural evolution happens when cousins learn each other's languages and share stories around the cave-fire. As a consequence of cultural evolution, biological differences become less important and cousins learn to live together in peace. Sharing of memes brings species together and sharing of genes is the unintended consequence.

      !- The story of human evolution : is the story of hybrid biological and cultural evolution - Svante Paabo shows that 50,000 years ago biological evolution was already deeply affected by human cultural evolution - biological evolution favoured genetic isolation of small populations, like cave dwellers during the ice age - when cultural evolution took over between Neanderthal, Denisovan and Early ancestors of modern humans and memes drove inter species socialisation, crossbreeding LED to mixing and sharing of genes as an unintended consequences

    4. the cultural evolution of creative new societies requires more elbow-room than a single planet can provide. Creative new societies need room to take risks and make mistakes, far enough away to be effectively isolated from their neighbors. Life must spread far afield to continue the processes of genetic drift and diversification of species that drove evolution in the past. The restless wandering that pulled our species out of Africa to explore the Earth will continue to pull us beyond the Earth, as far as our technology can reach.

      !- expansion into outer space : natural consequence of evolution itself to continue genetic drift

      !- comment : Dyson Extrapolates that expansion into outer space is a logical next step for evolution

    5. In each case, a small population produced a star-burst of pioneers who permanently changed our way of thinking. Genius erupted in groups as well as in individuals. It seems likely that these bursts of creative change were driven by a combination of cultural with biological evolution. Cultural evolution was constantly spreading ideas and skills from one community to another, stirring up conservative societies with imported novelties. At the same time, biological evolution acting on small genetically isolated populations was causing genetic drift, so that the average intellectual endowment of isolated communities was rising and falling by random chance. Over the last few thousand years, genetic drift caused occasional star-bursts to occur, when small populations rose to outstandingly high levels of average ability. The combination of imported new ideas with peaks of genetic drift would enable local communities to change the world.

      !- explaining human history : combination of cultural and biological evolution

    6. The contribution of genetic drift to cultural evolution remains a speculative hypothesis.

      !- connection : genetic drift and cultural evolution - still no compelling evidence

    7. As a result of cultural evolution, a single species now dominates the ecology of our planet, and cultural evolution will dominate the future of life so long as any species with a living culture survives. When we look ahead to imagine possible futures for our descendants, cultural evolution must be our dominant concern. But biological evolution has not stopped and will not stop. As cultural evolution races ahead like a hare, biological evolution will continue its slow tortoise crawl to shape our destiny.

      !- quotable : Cultural Evolution

    8. Wells's biggest work is Outline of History, published in 1920, a picture of cultural evolution as the main theme of history since the emergence of our species.

      !- H.G. Wells : Outline of history - cultural evolution as the main theme

    9. Cultural evolution had its beginnings as soon as animals with brains evolved, using their brains to store information and using patterns of behavior to share information with their offspring. Social species of insects and mammals were molded by cultural as well as biological evolution. But cultural evolution only became dominant when a single species invented spoken language. Spoken language is incomparably nimbler than the language of the genes.

      !- Herbert Wells : Cultural Evolution

    10. Wells saw that we happen to live soon after a massive shift in the history of the planet, caused by the emergence of our own species. The shift was completed about ten thousand years ago, when we invented agriculture and started to domesticate animals. Before the shift, evolution was mostly biological. After the shift, evolution was mostly cultural. Biological evolution is usually slow, when big populations endure for thousands or millions of generations before changes become noticeable. Cultural evolution can be a thousand times faster, with major changes occurring in two or three generations. It has taken about two hundred thousand years for our species to evolve biologically from its or

      !- modern humans : unique species adept at cultural evolution

    11. Motoo Kimura, author of the book, The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution, published in 1983, more than a hundred years after Darwin's masterpiece.

      !- Title : The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution, published in 1983 !- Author : Motoo Kimura

    12. After the discovery of the structure of DNA molecules by Crick and Watson in 1953, Kimura knew that genes are molecules, carrying genetic information in a simple code. His theory applied only to evolution driven by the statistical inheritance of molecules. He called it the Neutral Theory because it introduced Genetic Drift as a driving force of evolution independent of natural selection.

      !- reason behind name of theory : independent of natural selection

    13. Sewall Wright, then 98 years old but still in full possession of his wits. He gave me a first-hand account of how he read Mendel's paper and decided to devote his life to understanding the consequences of Mendel's ideas. Wright understood that the inheritance of genes would cause a fundamental randomness in all evolutionary processes. The phenomenon of randomness in evolution was called Genetic Drift. Kimura came to Wisconsin to learn about Genetic Drift, and then returned to Japan. He built Genetic Drift into a mathematical theory which he called the Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution.

      !- Sewall Wright : genetic drift

    14. In the near future, we will be in possession of genetic engineering technology which allows us to move genes precisely and massively from one species to another. Careless or commercially driven use of this technology could make the concept of species meaningless, mixing up populations and mating systems so that much of the individuality of species would be lost. Cultural evolution gave us the power to do this. To preserve our wildlife as nature evolved it, the machinery of biological evolution must be protected from the homogenizing effects of cultural evolution.

      !- genetic engineering : risk - cultural evolution via genetic engineering could make the concept of species meaningless - it is a significant b potential progress traps

    15. Biological and Cultural Evolution Six Characters in Search of an Author

      !- Title : Biological and Cultural Evolution Six Characters in Search of an Author !- Author : Freeman Dyson !- Date : 2019

    1. “A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”

      !- quotable : Einstein on holism

    2. A re-evaluation of ‘Holism and Evolution’ by Jan Christian Smuts after 90 years.

      !- Title : A re-evaluation of ‘Holism and Evolution’ by Jan Christian Smuts after 90 years. !- Author : Claudius van Wyk

    1. Like many people, I’d always been baffled by the occasional, undeniably ‘Lamarckian’ passages in On the Origin of Species, bearing in mind Darwin is generally credited with having discredited such thinking.

      Despite Darwin being thought of as having discredited Lamarckian inheritance, there are Lamarckian passages in portions of his work.

    1. Dennett’s own answer is not particularly convincing: he suggests we develop consciousness so we can lie, which gives us an evolutionary advantage.
    2. But in the new full-blown capitalist version of evolution, where the drive for accumulation had no limits, life was no longer an end in itself, but a mere instrument for the propagation of DNA sequences—and so the very existence of play was something of a scandal.

      Could refuting the idea of accumulation without limits (and thus capitalism for capitalism's sake) help give humans more focus on what is useful/valuable?

    3. Kropotkin’s actual argument is far more interesting. Much of it, for instance, is concerned with how animal cooperation often has nothing to do with survival or reproduction, but is a form of pleasure in itself. “To take flight in flocks merely for pleasure is quite common among all sorts of birds,” he writes. Kropotkin multiplies examples of social play: pairs of vultures wheeling about for their own entertainment, hares so keen to box with other species that they occasionally (and unwisely) approach foxes, flocks of birds performing military-style maneuvers, bands of squirrels coming together for wrestling and similar games

      Perhaps play helps to provide social lubrication, communication, and bonding between animals which may help in creating cooperation which improves survival or reproduction?

    4. We all know the eventual answer, which the discovery of genes made possible. Animals were simply trying to maximize the propagation of their own genetic codes. Curiously, this view—which eventually came to be referred to as neo-Darwinian—was developed largely by figures who considered themselves radicals of one sort or another.

      Neo-Darwinism: a modern version of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, incorporating the findings of genetics.

    5. Spencer, in turn, was struck by how much the forces driving natural selection in On the Origin of Species jibed with his own laissez-faire economic theories. Competition over resources, rational calculation of advantage, and the gradual extinction of the weak were taken to be the prime directives of the universe.
    1. We believe that we have demonstrated the use of abstract marks to convey meaning about the behaviour of the animals with which they are associated, on European Upper Palaeolithic material culture spanning the period from ~37,000 to ~13,000 bp. In our reading, the animals integral to our analytical modules do not depict a specific individual animal, but all animals of that species, at least as experienced by the images’ creators. This synthesis of image, mathematical syntax (the ordinal/linear sequences) and signs functioning as words formed an efficient means of recording and communicating information that has at its heart the core intellectual achievement of abstraction.
    2. Our analytical groups are: aurochs, birds, bison, caprids, cervids, fish, horses, mammoths, rhinos. Because of exceptionally low numbers we exclude snakes and wolverines. We also omitted sequences associated with apparent human depictions, or images in which such were part, in order to treat these separately at a later date.

      Given the regular seasonality of most animal rutting and parturition, how is it that the human animal evolved to have a more year-round mating season?

    1. Symbiocene

      !- symbiocene :key attribute - understanding the dangers of cultural evolution to the degree that we can mitigate the dangers emergent from progress traps

  3. Dec 2022
    1. at some point in human history, culture began to wrest evolutionary control from our DNA. And now, they say, cultural change is allowing us to evolve in ways biological change alone could not.

      !- in other words : cultural evolution is transcending traditional genetic evolution

    2. he concept of cultural evolution began with the father of evolution himself, Waring said. Charles Darwin understood that behaviors could evolve and be passed to offspring just as physical traits are

      !- Charles Darwin : cultural evolution - Darwin understood that behavior could evolve and be passed on to offsprings

    3. cultural evolution can lead to genetic evolution. "The classic example is lactose tolerance," Waring told Live Science. "Drinking cow's milk began as a cultural trait that then drove the [genetic] evolution of a group of humans." In that case, cultural change preceded genetic change, not the other way around. 

      !- example of : cultural evolution leading to genetic evolution - lactose intolerance

    4. But nowadays, humans mostly don't need to adapt to such threats genetically. Instead, we adapt by developing vaccines and other medical interventions, which are not the results of one person's work but rather of many people building on the accumulated "mutations" of cultural knowledge. By developing vaccines, human culture improves its collective "immune system,"

      !- in other words : cumulative cultural evolution

    1. The longer it prevails, the more likely we will suffer catastrophic failure as a species here on earth. While this would be a tragedy of huge proportion for humans, we will take thousands, perhaps millions, of other species down with us.

      !- equivalent to : cumulative cultural evolution (CCE) - the cultural activity of our species will determine not only or species fate, but that of all other species in the biosphere through the complex webs of entangled life or collective human behaviour will impact

    1. So to the people listening or watching this, what kind of closing thoughts do you have to summarize what we just talked about and to leave them to think about or apply to their own lives? 01:17:49 Simon Michaux: So I would say to them that they're in better shape than anyone before, even as scary as it is and the unknown we're walking into. And there is no one plan. So like diversity of species in a jungle environment is a strength for the long-term survival of that jungle, diversity of ideas have the same strengths. 01:18:13 So we need them all for our long-term survival. We can't face one consensus, it's just like a broad brush direction. So we've got to put these ideas out there and discuss amongst ourselves. And understand that this is very, very challenging, and none of us actually know what we need to do. 01:18:37 Even though our skills are not necessarily what we need. We're almost like a blank canvas in terms of skills. But in terms of our self knowledge and our ability to think, our opinions mean something. We believe in human rights. We have education. Men and women are educated now. So we are in better shape now than we've ever been. 01:19:04 Instead of banging on about the problems and our past failings, we should probably try to face the future with open hearts, and actually think positive with the understanding that this is going to be rough.

      !- Futures Thinking : summary - our generation has the most wisdom to deal with the problem, even though it is an unprecedented problem - We need diversity of opinions and perspectives. Like in evolution, that diversity will emerge an optimal solution - To consciously culturally evolve, we need to put all ideas on the table and discuss openly - An open, interpersonal, people-centered knowledge ecosystem such as Indyweb is suitable for such a process

    2. what our work is showing is very soon it can't. And so it's going to go through a death throws and any organism it will fight to survive. And so yes, there will be pushback and resistance. And so what I'm proposing is a plan, whether that plan gets carried out or whether it's 00:37:22 allowed to be carried out, that's a different matter.

      !- Social Superorganism : Biological Survival metaphor - the current social superorganism is fighting to survive as it's life is threatened by the transformation - the metamorphosis will transform it to group 4, if successful

  4. Nov 2022
    1. https://medium.com/@ben_fry/tracing-the-origin-65011dc20877

      Could be interesting to apply this sort of process to a variety of texts over time. A draft of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein comes to mind.


      How to view this through the lens of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions? particularly as this was the evolution of an idea by the same author over time...

    2. The only diagram or image in The Origin of Species, a tree depicting divergence (source)

      Darwin's On the Origin of Species only contains one diagram, a branching tree diagram which shows divergence of species.

    1. evolution of my processes.

      A note taking practice is almost always an evolving process with a variety of different pressures and variables in how it takes form.

      List out these variables and pressures.

  5. Oct 2022
    1. https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/yg2g8l/a_thought_experiment_what_if_luhmann_had_been_a/


      reply (unsent)<br /> I appreciate where you're coming from, and it's an excellent thought experiment. However, knowing that there was a clear older prior zettelkasten tradition for several hundred years prior to Luhmann which also included a number of mathematician practitioners including not only Leibnitz but also Newton, who incidentally invented his version of calculus in his waste book (also a part of that tradition). (See also: https://www.newtonproject.ox.ac.uk/texts/notebooks?sort=date&order=desc).

    1. There was no awareness that any kind of coherent history of the periods before the development of writing was possible at all. In the words of the Danish scholar Rasmus Nyerup (1759–1829): Everything which has come down to us from heathen-dom is wrapped in a thick fog; it belongs to a space of time which we cannot measure. We know that it is older than Christendom, but whether by a couple of years or a couple of centuries, or even by more than a millennium, we can do no more than guess.

      This is particularly interesting in light of the research of Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell who within about 50 years dramatically changed the viewpoint of history.


      Orality has something to say about this now too...

    1. Out of our cleverness has emerged something almost more importantthan the cleverness itself. Out of it has come learning about how to share ideasand pass down skills and knowledge. Out of it has come education.

      Gary Thomas posits that it's our cleverness which birthed education. Isn't it more likely our extreme ability to mimic others which is more likely from a cognitive and evolutionary perspective?

      Were early peoples really "teaching" each other how to make primitive hand axes? Or did we first start out by closely mimicking our neighbors?

    1. this course considers at the very end the question of the essence of thereligion: Through all this change, does anything remain constant?

      Religion co-evolves with the people, places, and times in which it exists. Much like human genes, it works at the level of the individual, the local group, the larger groups and communities (of both the religion itself as well as the polities around it), and when applicable at the scale of all people on the planet.

      The Selfish Religion: How far might we take this religion/gene analogy with respect to Richard Dawkins' thesis (1976). Does religion act more like a gene that is part of the particular person or is it more like a virus which inserts itself? The latter may be closer as one can pick and choose a religion rather than it being a core part of their genetic identity.

      (highlight: anchor only)

    1. nd the way in which these cate-gories changed, some being dropped out and others beingadded, was an index of my own intellectual progress andbreadth. Eventually, the file came to be arranged accord-ing to several larger projects, having many subprojects,which changed from year to year.

      In his section on "Arrangement of File", C. Wright Mills describes some of the evolution of his "file". Knowing that the form and function of one's notes may change over time (Luhmann's certainly changed over time too, a fact which is underlined by his having created a separate ZK II) one should take some comfort and solace that theirs certainly will as well.

      The system designer might also consider the variety of shapes and forms to potentially create a better long term design of their (or others') system(s) for their ultimate needs and use cases. How can one avoid constant change, constant rearrangement, which takes work? How can one minimize the amount of work that goes into creating their system?

      The individual knowledge worker or researcher should have some idea about the various user interfaces and potential arrangements that are available to them before choosing a tool or system for maintaining their work. What are the affordances they might be looking for? What will minimize their overall work, particularly on a lifetime project?

  6. Sep 2022
    1. ow many sounds do you need to have a language well 00:30:33 think about a computer what can you say on a computer anything right I mean you can type anything that's why people get addicted to Facebook and everything but how many letters does a computer have it 00:30:44 has two zero and one you have a binary digit language and those I would like to call the sounds of the computer zero and one that's how it interprets everything or that's how it presents information 00:30:58 that is interpreted by the program that was created by a person with language you don't really need more than two sounds

      !- for : language evolution - how many symbols do you need for a language? - no more than 2, like a computer with "0" and "1"

    2. let's just 00:29:52 talk a little bit about their vocal apparatus what kinds of sounds could they have made very often when linguists are talking about the evolution of speech they talk about sounds were they capable of making sounds Homo erectus 00:30:05 would have been roughly a talking gorilla they had the vocal apparatus that is much more similar to a gorilla they couldn't have made all the sounds we made the sounds they made would have sound more muffled does that mean they 00:30:19 couldn't have language no it doesn't mean that at all there are a lot of people today that have speech impediments that can't make the same range of sounds we make but they certainly have language

      !- for : language evolution homo erectus vocal cords

    3. the greatest technology ever invented was language

      Language is the greatest technology ever invented

    1. Unable to process all this material, we let our cognitive biases decide what we should pay attention to.

      In a society consumed with information overload, it is easier for our brains to allow our well evolved cognitive biases to decide not only what to pay attention to, but what to believe.

    1. if cultural evolution is sufficiently rapid, it may act to pre-empt and slow genetic evolution. That is, in solving adaptive challenges before genetic evolution takes place, cultural inheritance may reduce the opportunity for natural selection on genes and weaken the adaptive value of information stored in genetic inheritance in the long term. This process is the opposite of genetic assimilation, in which a plastic trait becomes genetically encoded. We call this mode of GCC cultural pre-emption.

      !- Question : Genetic Evolution

      Does this mean that our predominantly cultural evolution threatens to freeze our genetic evolution? This is possible, since genetic evolution takes place on time scales that are orders of magnitudes larger than cultural evolution Unless theoretically proposed, it may have escaped detection for a long time

    2. Far beyond simply altering human evolution, this evidence suggests that human cultural inheritance is of global evolutionary significance.

      !- impact : human cultural evolution - is of global evolutionary significance

    3. human long-term GCC is characterized by an evolutionary transition in inheritance (from genes to culture) which entails a transition in individuality (from genetic individual to cultural group).

      !- for : Cultural Evolution - the findings of this paper point to culture is displacing genetic adaptive potential as the main driver of evolution. This is a very profound finding!

    1. Describing himself as a “messenger from the past”, Berger says that this discovery destroyed the preconceptions of a progressive, linear development of humans from apelike ancestors to what we are now. H. naledi is now dated at between 236,000 and 335,000 years old and was, therefore, a contemporary of Homo sapiens at that stage, which proves that a small-brained hominid was living side by side with its large-brained cousin, who is supposed to represent the apotheosis of sentient beings.

      !- for : Deep Humanity - intriguing result with important implications on cultural evolution

    1. https://twitter.com/inkasrain/status/1566410516721016833

      Does anyone know what exactly this is? A friend gave it to me years ago when they visited Jerusalem. I don't read Hebrew. Is it something harmless or should it be shamshed(jew magic)? (attached photo of a mezuzah)

      The idea of "magic" here within a modern religious context is interesting in that it shows the divergence of religion and magic as concepts with respect to cultural practices.

      The phrasing also has a sense of othering the unknown culture with a sense of fear in the idea that the object should be smashed. There's also a lack of basic science knowledge and tinge of superstition implied by the fact that they think that smashing will somehow dissipate the unknown magic.

      So many different cultural indicators of various things going on here...

    1. Munroe, though, assumes the opposite: liberty, in this case the freedom of speech, is an artifact of law, only stretching as far as government action, and no further. Pat Kerr, who wrote a critique of this comic on Medium in 2016, argued that this was the exact wrong way to think about free speech: Coherent definitions of free speech are actually rather hard to come by, but I would personally suggest that it’s something along the lines of “the ability to voluntarily express (and receive) opinions without suffering excessive penalties for doing so”. This is a liberal principle of tolerance towards others. It’s not an absolute, it isn’t comprehensive, it isn’t rigorously defined, and it isn’t a law. What it is is a culture.

      Ben Thompson by highlighting an argument made by Pat Kerr, that free speech (although lacking a widely accepted definition) is about the tolerance we show others in expressing their opinions, equates it to culture.

  7. Aug 2022
    1. Although there is more than one way to implement a Zettelkasten system, the essential elements are always the same: brief summaries on cards, organized into categories.

      https://medium.com/flourish-inc/wait-what-the-did-i-just-read-4b00ff02d1b7

      She's basically describing a form of the original zettelkasten (a slip or index card-based commonplace book), but where did she get this from? If it was the blogosphere, which is highly likely these days, then she's either misread or heavily simplified the practice (Luhmann's practice) back down to it's original form.

      She seems to take for granted how to link physical cards.

    1. The use ofhyphens in compound words is becoming less frequent exceptwhen essential for clarity of meaning. The customary prac-tice is to write such words as coordinate with the dieresisrather than the hyphen.
  8. Jul 2022
    1. interacting with other ideas and remaining part of ourtrain of thought.

      Within our own notes, connections allow the ideas we developing to survive by

      There are several levels of "evolutionary" development of one's notes. One can compare and contrast two different notes to help determine the truth or falsity of each, but groups of linked notes may also evolve and survive against other groups by competing both for attention as well as their potential truth or falsity.

    1. By rejecting the idea that the stone provides useful evidence of a creator, Paley avoids the oversimplified argument that the existence of anything proves God’s existence. But the watch provides something different: evidence of purpose.

      This piece argues that seeing Natural Theology simply as an attempt to prove the existence of a creator by claiming the living world is irreducibly complex is to misunderstand the main thrust of Paley's argument. Paley was primarily concerned with what the living world can tell us us about the nature (no pun intended) of such a creator. Organisms' complex adaptations, claimed Paley, show that the universe has purpose.

      The piece argues that both advocates of evolution and advocates of 'intelligent design' have misunderstood the main thrust of Paley's argument. He was primarily concerned with disproving other theological viewpoints, rather than atheistic ones.

    1. species that live near each other are more likely to share a family tree
    2. New DNA technology is shaking up the family trees of many plants and animals.

      One of Darwin's most compelling arguments in favour of evolution by means of natural selection was just how many different, apparently unrelated phenomena it explained. One of these was 'Classification' (what we now call taxonomy).

      Darwin argued that, when the taxonomists of his day arranged species into hierarchical groups, those tree-like groupings were best explained by genealogical descent.

      Now that biological evolution is accepted as a fact, genealogical descent has become the criterion taxonomists use to place species into hierarchical groups. Ironically, Darwin's explanation of taxonomy means it can no longer be used to justify his theory because modern taxonomy is, in effect, defined by his theory.

      The strongest tool we have for identifying genealogical descent in species is modern DNA analysis. This has helped identify many mistakes in former, non-DNA-based taxonomic classifications. But DNA analysis can't be used in all cases… For example, we do not have access to DNA samples of the vast majority of extinct species.

  9. bafybeicuq2jxzrw7omddwzohl5szkqv6ayjiubjy3uopjh5c3cghxq6yoe.ipfs.dweb.link bafybeicuq2jxzrw7omddwzohl5szkqv6ayjiubjy3uopjh5c3cghxq6yoe.ipfs.dweb.link
    1. The very shift from bounded objects to boundary-forming processes became a new playground and my whole perspective gained anextra dimension of freedom.

      !- in other words : bounded objects, boundary-forming processes * The leap from the unknown to the newly known is a birthing process from the known to a synthesis and new convergence of disparate phenomena into a unitary whole motivated by a compulsion that brings it into existence * Forming a boundary is synthesizing many qualities and bundling into one new one that has some compelling utility * Once formed, the new boundary, the new concept is much like how biological evolution works, from an aggregation of simpler forms that combine and unite to form a new higher level form

    2. The very notion of thinking aboutlife (or evolution for that matter) as having a definite purpose or goal is already asymptom of a deeply rooted bias in favour of the constant and against change. Thereare voices that will immediately attack this view, blaming it for insinuating that lifehas no purpose at all. But a dialectic of such kind is empty of any credence if notentirely absurd. The view I propose here does not indeed accept that life is sub-jugated to a single purpose or principle but instead affirms life as having not onepurpose but infinitely multiple ones, not one goal but multiple goals and, moreover,the vast majority of these purposes and goals cannot be known a priori because theyare subject to continuous formative processes of becoming. This is why life as suchis open-ended.

      !- question : does evolution have a purpose? * Language is a constraint - it forces us to form questions that may not necessarily make sense, such as "how many angels exist on the head of a pin?" * To say that it has one, or even more than one purpose may itself be a meaningless assertion, as much as insinuating that it has no purpose. If one asks "Is the sound of a bell red or yellow? It is neither the case that it is red, yellow or any color. So arguing about the right and wrong of a quality that is nonsensical is itself nonsensical. * The self-annihilating questioning of Nagarjuna's tetralemma are relevant to shed insight into these deep questions.

    1. In one of his videos he talks about "approaching the mind of god" or something similar, in a way I can't entirely tell whether he is paraphrasing an early-modern note-taker or saying that's what he thinks he is doing himself. I don't really care whether he's religious or not, unless it compromises the system he's building.

      These always read as hyperbole to me, but it's difficult to explain the surprise and serendipity of re-finding things in one's notes on a regular basis. It's akin to the sort of cognitive dissonance that religious people have when encountering the levels of complexity formed by living systems through evolution. Not having better words for describing the experience, they may resort to descriptions of magic or religion to frame their experiences.

    1. fly·wheel/ˈflīˌ(h)wēl/ Learn to pronounce nounnoun: flywheel; plural noun: flywheels; noun: fly-wheel; plural noun: fly-wheelsa heavy revolving wheel in a machine that is used to increase the machine's momentum and thereby provide greater stability or a reserve of available power during interruptions in the delivery of power to the machine.

      A potential word to describe some of my theory for evolution, DNA, and complexity

      Used often in business to describe increasing momentum

    1. The lesson of fallen societies is that civilization is a vulnerable organism, especially when it seems almighty. We are the world’s top predator, and predators crash suddenly when they outgrow their prey. If the resulting chaos unleashes nuclear war, it could bring mass extinction in a heartbeat, with Homo sapiens among the noted dead.

      The maladaptive cultural evolution of our species has led us to the height of human technological and economic prowess as well as the height of ecological disaster. This can be interpreted as the result of linear vs nonlinear thinking, simplistic modeling vs complex modeling and reductionistic approach vs a systems approach. An attitude of separation engenders a controlling attitude of nature based on hubris, instead of humbling ourselves at the vast ignorance each of us and also collectively we have about nature. Design based on a consistent attitude of willful ignorance is sure to fail. Then Ascent of Humanity will lead to a trajectory of its own downfall as long as that ascent depends on the cannibalization of its own life support system based on ignorance of our deep entanglement with nature. http://ascentofhumanity.com/text/

  10. Jun 2022
    1. so that your human,fallible, endlessly creative first brain can do what it does best.Imagine. Invent. Innovate. Create.

      Is this really what our brain does best?

      What about on evolutionary timescales? Is this what brains were meant to do?

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. FloodGate’s attendance soared as members of other congregations defected to the small roadside church. By Easter 2021, FloodGate was hosting 1,500 people every weekend.

      What drives the attendance at churches like this? Socializing, friends, family? Is it entertainment, politics, solely the religious part, or a conflagration of all of these? A charismatic minister?

    1. As long as all the states on the planetwere equally weak, a certain balance prevailed. But from the momentthat several European states developed a significantly greater fiscal,administrative, and military capacity, a new dynamic emerged.

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. evolution works on a much longer time scale right than than 00:35:09 any given life and so we need to we rely pretty heavily on helpful social norms right these cultural norms that actually teach us the right way to engage with each other and that can transcend any 00:35:22 one generation um and you know we worked really hard um in the west you know not just i mean this has happened everywhere but it you know we're where we're from um to acquire norms from from that we would 00:35:35 have called you know liberal democracy right that tolerance and respect and and these things and individual rights and you know it you see those things start to erode now and you start to see some of that base 00:35:48 nature taking back over the tribalism and the seeing the other as the enemy um the outgrouping of people and it we know from history it doesn't end well there right like the erosion of these norms 00:36:02 not only will continue to exacerbate collective illusions they i i think they're the biggest threat to free society that we face in a very long time yeah yeah you made a very convincing case for that

      Biological evolution works on relatively long time scales. Cultural evolution works on very short time scales. If we do not seriously listen to the lessons of history that teach valuable social norms, then we don't learn from history and history repeats.

    1. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-complicated-legacy-of-e-o-wilson/

      I can see why there's so much backlash on this piece.

      It could and should easily have been written without any reference at all to E. O. Wilson and been broadly interesting and true. However given the editorial headline "The Complicated Legacy of E. O. Wilson", the recency of his death, and the photo at the top, it becomes clickbait for something wholly other.

      There is only passing reference to Wilson and any of his work and no citations whatsoever about who he was or why his work was supposedly controversial. Instead the author leans in on the the idea of the biology being the problem instead of the application of biology to early anthropology which dramatically mis-read the biology and misapplied it for the past century and a half to bolster racist ideas and policies.

      The author indicates that we should be better with "citational practices when using or reporting on problematic work", but wholly forgets to apply it to her own writing in this very piece.

      I'm aware that the magazine editors are most likely the ones that chose the headline and the accompanying photo, but there's a failure here in both editorial and writing for this piece to have appeared in Scientific American in a way as to make it more of a hit piece on Wilson just days after his death. Worse, the backlash of the broadly unsupported criticism of Wilson totally washed out the attention that should have been placed on the meat of the actual argument in the final paragraphs.

      Editorial failed massively on all fronts here.


      This article seems to be a clear example of the following:

      Any time one uses the word "problematic" to describe cultural issues, it can't stand alone without some significant context building and clear arguments about exactly what was problematic and precisely why. Otherwise the exercise is a lot of handwaving and puffery that does neither side of an argument or its intended audiences any good.

  11. May 2022
    1. The use of physical location, even in an imagined environment, as a memory aid likely arose as a result of the fact that so much of the essential information stored in memory can be linked to foraging-type behaviours.

      I've thought this before, and sees like I've possibly read, though not captured it. Is there any solid proof of this fact?

      Rat studies of mazes show this sort of spacial memory, but are there similar learned studies in lower animals? C. elegans, drosophila, slime molds, etc.?

    1. A spike in fears about new immigrants and newly emancipated black people reproducing at higher rates than the white population also prompted more opposition to legal abortion.

      Were fears about immigrants and Black people in the late 1800's milieu of evolutionary theory and beginning of eugenics thought influential in the growing debate about abortion?

  12. Apr 2022
    1. solo thinking isrooted in our lifelong experience of social interaction; linguists and cognitivescientists theorize that the constant patter we carry on in our heads is a kind ofinternalized conversation. Our brains evolved to think with people: to teachthem, to argue with them, to exchange stories with them. Human thought isexquisitely sensitive to context, and one of the most powerful contexts of all isthe presence of other people. As a consequence, when we think socially, wethink differently—and often better—than when we think non-socially.

      People have evolved as social animals and this extends to thinking and interacting. We think better when we think socially (in groups) as opposed to thinking alone.

      This in part may be why solo reading and annotating improves one's thinking because it is a form of social annotation between the lone annotator and the author. Actual social annotation amongst groups may add additonal power to this method.

      I personally annotate alone, though I typically do so in a publicly discoverable fashion within Hypothes.is. While the audience of my annotations may be exceedingly low, there is at least a perceived public for my output. Thus my thinking, though done alone, is accelerated and improved by the potential social context in which it's done. (Hello, dear reader! 🥰) I can artificially take advantage of the social learning effects even if the social circle may mathematically approach the limit of an audience of one (me).

    2. Humans’ tendency to“overimitate”—to reproduce even the gratuitous elements of another’s behavior—may operate on a copy now, understand later basis. After all, there might begood reasons for such steps that the novice does not yet grasp, especially sinceso many human tools and practices are “cognitively opaque”: not self-explanatory on their face. Even if there doesn’t turn out to be a functionalrationale for the actions taken, imitating the customs of one’s culture is a smartmove for a highly social species like our own.

      Research has shown that humans are "high-fidelity" imitators to the point of overimitation. It's possible that as an evolved and highly social species that imitation signals acceptance and participation by members of the society such that even "cognitively opaque" practices will be blindly followed.

      link to: https://hypothes.is/a/lROFtsDkEey_yHtNNJ_NfQ

    3. Humans’ tendency to“overimitate”—to reproduce even the gratuitous elements of another’s behavior—may operate on a copy now, understand later basis. After all, there might begood reasons for such steps that the novice does not yet grasp, especially sinceso many human tools and practices are “cognitively opaque”: not self-explanatory on their face. Even if there doesn’t turn out to be a functionalrationale for the actions taken, imitating the customs of one’s culture is a smartmove for a highly social species like our own.

      Is this responsible for some of the "group think" seen in the Republican party and the political right? Imitation of bad or counter-intuitive actions outweights scientifically proven better actions? Examples: anti-vaxxers and coronavirus no-masker behaviors? (Some of this may also be about or even entangled with George Lakoff's (?) tribal identity theories relating to "people like me".

      Explore this area more deeply.

      Another contributing factor for this effect may be the small-town effect as most Republican party members are in the countryside (as opposed to the larger cities which tend to be more Democratic). City dwellers are more likely to be more insular in their interpersonal relations whereas country dwellers may have more social ties to other people and groups and therefor make them more tribal in their social interrelationships. Can I find data to back up this claim?

      How does link to the thesis put forward by Joseph Henrich in The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous? Does Henrich have data about city dwellers to back up my claim above?

      What does this tension have to do with the increasing (and potentially evolutionary) propensity of humans to live in ever-increasingly larger and more dense cities versus maintaining their smaller historic numbers prior to the pre-agricultural timeperiod?

      What are the biological effects on human evolution as a result of these cultural pressures? Certainly our cultural evolution is effecting our biological evolution?

      What about the effects of communication media on our cultural and biological evolution? Memes, orality versus literacy, film, radio, television, etc.? Can we tease out these effects within the socio-politico-cultural sphere on the greater span of humanity? Can we find breaks, signs, or symptoms at the border of mass agriculture?


      total aside, though related to evolution: link hypercycles to evolution spirals?

    4. While it was once regarded as a low-level, “primitive” instinct, researchers arecoming to recognize that imitation—at least as practiced by humans, includingvery young ones—is a complex and sophisticated capacity. Although non-humananimals do imitate, their mimicry differs in important ways from ours. Forexample, young humans’ copying is unique in that children are quite selectiveabout whom they choose to imitate. Even preschoolers prefer to imitate peoplewho have shown themselves to be knowledgeable and competent. Researchshows that while toddlers will choose to copy their mothers rather than a personthey’ve just met, as children grow older they become increasingly willing tocopy a stranger if the stranger appears to have special expertise. By the time achild reaches age seven, Mom no longer knows best.

      Studies have shown that humans are highly selective about whom they choose to imitate. Children up to age seven show a propensity to imitate their parents over strangers and after that they primarily imitate people who have shown themselves to be knowledgeable and competent within an area of expertise.


      This has applications to teaching with respect to math shaming. A teacher who says that math is personally hard for them is likely to be signaling to students that what they're teaching is not based on experience and expertise and thus demotivating the student from following and imitating their example.

  13. Mar 2022
    1. MY LECTURE NOTES

      Elizabeth Filips has digital versions of medical school notes online. She's drawn them (in software) by hand with color and occasional doodles in them (there's an image of Einstein's head with an E=mc^2 under it on one page) which makes them more memorable for having made them in the first place, but with the color and the pictures, they act as a memory palace.

      I've found no evidence (yet) that she's using direct mnemonics or that she's been specifically trained in the method of loci or other techniques. This doesn't, however, mean that she's not tangentially using them without knowing about them explicitly.

      One would suspect that this sort of evolutionary movement towards such techniques would have been how they evolved in the first place.

    1. The historic books of the Bible were written by a “Yahweh only party” and are thus keenly critical of the worship of other gods in Judah. Still, it is clear from their description that polytheism was the norm in the First Temple period. It was only during King Josiah’s reform that the "Yahweh only party" really took control and began pushing other gods out of Judean minds.

      Polytheism was the cultural norm during the First Temple period. It wasn't until the reforms of King Josiah described in 2 Kings in the second half of the 7th century BCE that other Semitic gods were actively removed from the Temple and parts of culture in favor of Yahweh.

    2. In this ancient text, we can see that El and Yahweh were still perceived as being two separate deities, with Yahweh subordinate to El. But as time went by, El and Yahweh became conflated: the two deities began to be seen as one and the same.In Exodus 6:3 God tells Moses: "I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty (El Elyon), but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them." Thus the ancients only knew God as El, but as time went by they discovered that El was just another name of Yahweh.

      In Deuteronomy 32 the gods El and Yahweh are separate deities which, over time, became conflated into one god as indicated in Exodus 6:3.

    3. It seems that what this story and other biblical stories like it are telling is that the belief in Yahweh supplanted the worship of Ba’al. In fact it seems that in some ways, Yahweh subsumed Ba’al, taking on his attributes and powers.In some of the Bible’s more poetic texts, Yahweh is presented as a storm god in very much the same language that Ba’al is described:“At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them” (Psalms 18:12-14).

      Biblical passages like Psalms 18:12-24 may be indicative of Yahweh subsuming the powers and attributes of other regional gods like Ba'al.

      This makes one wonder if Yahweh evolved from other cultures into the one true god of the Hebrews?

    1. The constellations’ positions in the night sky on significant dates, such as solstices and equinoxes, are mirrored in the alignments of the main structures at the compound, he found. Steles were “carefully placed within the temenos to mark the rising, zenith, or setting of the stars over the horizon,” he writes.

      Phoenicians use of steles and local environment in conjunction with their astronomy fits the pattern of other uses of Indigenous orality and memory.

      Link this example to other examples delineated by Lynne Kelly and others I've found in the ancient Near East.

      How does this example potentially fit into the broader framework provided by Lynne Kelly? Are there differences?

      Her thesis fits into a few particular cultural time periods, but what sorts of evidence should we expect to see culturally, socially, and economically when the initial conditions she set forth evolve beyond their original context? What should we expect to see in these cases and how to they relate to examples I've been finding in the ancient Near East?

    1. linguists theorize that gesture was humankind’searliest language, flourishing long before the first word was spoken

      Evolutionarily speaking many animals communicate via gesture (body movements, tail wagging, etc.), so it isn't a far stretch to declare that linguists would consider gesture to be a precursor to language.

    Tags

    Annotators

  14. Feb 2022
    1. “Manipulations such as variation, spacing, introducing contextualinterference, and using tests, rather than presentations, as learningevents, all share the property that they appear during the learningprocess to impede learning, but they then often enhance learning asmeasured by post-training tests of retention and transfer. Conversely,manipulations such as keeping conditions constant and predictable andmassing trials on a given task often appear to enhance the rate oflearning during instruction or training, but then typically fail to supportlong-term retention and transfer” (Bjork, 2011, 8).

      This is a surprising effect for teaching and learning, and if true, how can it be best leveraged. Worth reading up on and testing this effect.

      Indeed humans do seem built for categorizing and creating taxonomies and hierarchies, and perhaps allowing this talent to do some of the work may be the best way to learn not only in the short term, but over longer term evolutionary periods?

    1. Table 8-2. Various manifestations/eras of the Web and their defining characteristics

      Internet bis Web 3.0 (semantic web)

    1. Trevor Bedford. (2022, January 28). Omicron viruses can be divided into two major groups, referred to as PANGO lineages BA.1 and BA.2 or @nextstrain clades 21K and 21L. The vast majority of globally sequenced Omicron have been 21K (~630k) compared a small minority of 21L (~18k), but 21L is gaining ground. 1/15 [Tweet]. @trvrb. https://twitter.com/trvrb/status/1487105396879679488

  15. Jan 2022
    1. Tom Wenseleers. (2022, January 30). Seems that the second Omicron subvariant BA.2 may soon be about to cause cases to start rising again in South Africa... Or at least to stop the decline in new infections. Shows how fast immunity wanes & evolution can catch up. Https://t.co/3y4xqPgZ0L [Tweet]. @TWenseleers. https://twitter.com/TWenseleers/status/1487919837670219781

    1. The sociological hy-pothesis that evolution implies not simply an increase in complexity but an increase in reducible complexity--or, to put it in other terms, that evolution is production of complexity through reduction of complexity--is thus verified.81

      81 Niklas Luhmann, ‘Reduktion von Komplexität’, in Historisches Wörterbuch der Philoso-phie, eds. Joachim Ritter and Karlfried Gründer, vol. 8 (Basel/Stuttgart, 1992), 377–78, at 377. On the claim that evolution leads to an increase in reducible complexity, there is an extensive literature. See J.W.S. Pringle, ‘On the Parallel Between Learning and Evolu-tion’, Behaviour 3 (1951), 174–215; Francis Heylighen et al., eds., The Evolution of Complexity (Boston/London, 1999), with large bibliography.

      Delve into the statement that "evolution leads to an increase in reducible complexity".

    Tags

    Annotators

    1. Simone de Beauvoir said that when she became an atheist, it felt like the world had fallen silent.

      source?

      Is there a link to religion and the connection and potential conversation provided by it that provides an evolutionary advantage? Is there a psychological change in attention or self-consciousness?

    1. Speaking of such lessons, Wilson and John Gowdy write, “the invisible hand metaphor can be justified … for humans in addition to nonhuman species, [only] when certain conditions are met.”

      Which conditions? How broad are they?

    2. There’s no real argument about the fact that “the evolution of cooperation is central to all living things.” That’s the first line of a Nature Ecology & Evolution paper by the biologists Nicholas Davies, Kevin Foster and Arvid Ågren, and it expresses an utterly uncontroversial view among biologists. The paper examines a “central puzzle”: “Why does evolution favor investment in cooperation rather than self-serving rebellion that would undermine a particular genome, organism or society?”

      This view of cooperation within evolutionary frameworks goes back to Richard Dawkins in the 1970s. Was their prior art/work on it prior to The Selfish Gene?

    3. Leslie Orgel’s second law (“evolution is cleverer than you”)

      Leslie Orgel's second law is that "evolution is cleverer than you".

  16. Dec 2021
    1. The role of accidents in the theory of science is not disputed, If you employ evolutionary models, accidents assume a most important role. Without them, nothing happens, no progress is made. Without variation in the given material of ideas, there are no possibilities of examining and selecting novelties. The real problem thus becomes therefore one of producing accidents with sufficiently enhanced probabilities for selection.
    1. For Europeanaudiences, the indigenous critique would come as a shock to thesystem, revealing possibilities for human emancipation that, oncedisclosed, could hardly be ignored.

      Indigenous peoples of the Americas critiqued European institutions for their structures and lack of freedom. In turn, while some Europeans listened, they created an evolutionary political spectrum of increasing human complexity to combat this indigenous critique.

    2. That, Pinker tells us, is the kind of dismal fate ordained for usby evolution. We have only escaped it by virtue of our willingness toplace ourselves under the common protection of nation states,courts of law and police forces; and also by embracing virtues ofreasoned debate and self-contro

      It's interesting to note that the founders of the United States famously including Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr regularly participated in duel culture which often ended in death despite its use as a means of defending one's honor and relieving tensions between people.

    3. Let’s consider a fairly random example of one of these generalistaccounts, Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order: FromPrehuman Times to the French Revolution (2011). Here isFukuyama on what he feels can be taken as received wisdom aboutearly human societies: ‘In its early stages human politicalorganization is similar to the band-level society observed in higherprimates like chimpanzees,’ which Fukuyama suggests can beregarded as ‘a default form of social organization’.

      The answer to my earlier question: They are taking Fukuyama and others to task here.

      One should note that even among our primate cousins, there are a variety of social structures and social norms beyond only the chimpanzees. Folks forget about the differing structures of animals like bonobos which show much different structures.

    1. you look at Rousseau he's writing two years later you know this is what everybody's discussing and the sort of social circles he's in so what does he do he synthesizes there's these two positions there's the evolutionist position and there's this sort of 00:53:31 indigenous critique possession and he does both so he comes up with the the first fusion well yes there was this primordial state where we were truly free and equal and that's cool but of 00:53:44 course then social evolution sets in and we lose it but you know someday we might get there again so basically by synthesizing these two opposed positions he essentially invents leftist discourse

      Graeber and Wengrow argue that Rousseau invents leftist discourse by juxtaposing the evolutionist idea of societies and the indigenous critique in Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men (Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inégalité parmi les hommes) in 1754.

    2. there's an exception ah yes indeed there is an exception to that which is largely 00:08:28 when you're talking to someone else so in conversation and in dialogue you're actually can maintain consciousness for very long periods of time well which is why you need to imagine you're talking 00:08:41 to someone else to really be able to think out a problem

      Humans in general have a seven second window of self-consciousness. (What is the reference for this? Double check it.) The exception is when one is in conversation with someone else, and then people have much longer spans of self-consciousness.

      I'm left to wonder if this is a useful fact for writing in the margins in books or into one's notebook, commonplace book, or zettelkasten? By having a conversation with yourself, or more specifically with the imaginary author you're annotating or if you prefer to frame it as a conversation with your zettelkasten, one expands their self-consciousness for much longer periods of time? What benefit does this have for the individual? What benefit for humanity in aggregate?

      Is it this fact or just coincidence that much early philosophy was done as dialectic?

      From an orality perspective, this makes it much more useful to talk to one's surroundings or objects like rocks. Did mnemonic techniques help give rise to our ability to be more self-conscious as a species? Is it like a muscle that we've been slowly and evolutionarily exercising for 250,000 years?

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>David Wengrow</span> in Video: Graeber and Wengrow on the Myth of the Stupid Savage (<time class='dt-published'>12/19/2021 20:51:44</time>)</cite></small>

    1. In a nutshell, then, there was never a time when humans uniformly lived in small, simple egalitarian hunter-gatherer societies, and a time when they started to switch to agriculture- thus inevitably switching to a  sedentary, hierarchical, and more complex life style. This is not because the correct trajectory is a different one, but because there was never a linear trajectory to begin with.

      Is there a reason or cognitive bias we've got that would tend to make us think that there's a teleological outcome in these cases?

      Why should it seem like there would be a foregone conclusion to all of human life or history? Why couldn't/shouldn't it just keep evolving from its current context to the next

    2. In other words, the palette of social organization was rich and diverse from the beginning: early humans, like us, were constantly in the business of shaping and reshaping their social arrangements, with evidence of conscious embracing and rejection of all sorts of social forms.

      In an ever-evolving manner, humans are constantly working at shaping and reshaping ourselves.

      How does our drive to have and establish identity cause us to evolve as a species? Is identity the root gene that is driving change within society? Is there an identeme (a tacit portmanteau of identity + gene) that works at both the local level as well as at the group level? How might this fit into the selfish gene theory?

    1. Likewise, the filing cabinet cannot feed itself without user collaboration; indeed, without a user, the filing cabinet cannot even start its combinatory po-tential. Nevertheless, the card index is used as a true ‘communicative partner’ because it has proper autonomy. In a sense, the card index is fully dependent on and fully independent of the user. The inner structure is methodically ar-ranged so that the users, whoever they may be, can in principle use it; entries are linked so that once the combinatory potential begun, combinations repro-duce themselves and increase the available complexity in unexpected ways.34

      There is an interesting analogy here worth pursuing:

      This idea and its structure have lots of similarities to those of growth and evolution in Werner R. Loewenstein's The Touchstone of Life: Molecular Information, Cell Communication, and the Foundations of Life. What if we reframe RNA or mitochondria in the role of the filing cabinet? What emergent properties occur in these processes? What do these processes have in common?

      I need at least some shorthand idea or word for talking about the circular evolving processes of life in Loewenstein's book. Maybe evolution spirals?

      Think inputs and outputs.

    1. I think smaller projects that are faster to build are better for research in this space. Building many smaller projects rather than large ambitious ones have helped me because I avoid getting too attached to one particular idea or product, and with smaller-scoped prototypes I can try many more iterations against the same question or problem. It also lowers the barrier to entry to try more risky ideas – “I’ll try this for a weekend” is much easier than “I’ll have to shift my schedule the next couple weeks to fit this in; is it worth that?” A culture of shorter, more atomic projects will also encourage everyone to break down large ideas into smaller ones that are individually testable, which I think is a good practice regardless of whether those ideas are for a product or an experiment. On the other hand, cycles that are too short obviously run the risk of keeping us from trying more ambitious or complex ideas.

      Atomizing projects and research ideas is very similar to the idea of the atomic note.

      If useful things can be turned into re-usable building blocks, then it can be easier to build and design larger and more complex systems out of them.

  17. Nov 2021