- Mar 2023
the problems inherent in assuming any simple individual/social learning distinction are already well understood by some researchers working on cultural evolution.
moss sponging by chmpanzees - is a phenomena observed by researchers - in which the distinction between<br /> - individual and - collective learning - is fuzzy - Sponging is a technique of wild chimpanzees - in which they use chewed up plant material - as a sponge to soak up water - One individual wild chimpanzee - named by the researchers as KW - picked up a discarded sponge used by another wild chimpanzee - which happened to have moss in it - and so developed a sponge for water specifically from moss - KW did not learn it socially from another chimpanzee - yet if it weren't for - the behavior of other chimpanzees in the group - cultural artefacts they left behind - niche construction that resulted to changes in the environment - the individual learning of KW would never have produced moss sponging
The problem with this way of defining things is that we ignore the fact that, even when acting in a manner that appears to involve no direct interaction with other creatures, organisms nonetheless develop and learn in environments that have been affected by the prior actions of their conspecifics (and not just their conspecifics). This is precisely the sort of phenomenon stressed by the proponents of the niche-construction approach to evolution, and it is also stressed by developmental systems theorists [40,41]. Organisms grow in environments that have been constructed by the actions of previous generations: in that way, what an organism learns can be profoundly affected and enhanced by the collective activities of individuals it may never meet. In other words, we should not assume that there is any good distinction between individual learning and what we might call ‘social transmission’. The latter can be achieved via the former.
- This primate example demonstrates an ambiguity between individual and social learning.
- The problem with this way of defining things exclusively as either
- individual or
- is that we ignore the fact that,
- even when acting in a manner
- that appears to involve no direct interaction with other creatures,
- organisms nonetheless develop and learn in environments
- that have been affected by the prior actions of their conspecifics (and not just their conspecifics).
- This is precisely the sort of phenomenon
- stressed by the proponents of the niche-construction approach to evolution,
- and it is also stressed by developmental systems theorists [40,41].
- Organisms grow in environments that have been constructed
- by the actions of previous generations:
- in that way, what an organism learns
- can be profoundly affected and enhanced
- by the collective activities of individuals it may never meet.
- by the actions of previous generations:
- In other words, we should not assume
- that there is any good distinction
- individual learning and
- what we might call ‘social transmission’.
- The latter can be achieved via the former.
- Feb 2023
around that same time i got a call from my daughter you know leave it to your kids and she said you know mom it's 00:03:48 just that all the problems we're dealing with in the world right now are insidious and um you know it came up last night siva was talking about the insidiousness 00:04:01 of the facebook problem and and this was an unlocker for me of what what does it mean for something to be insidious so i looked it up and i started to 00:04:14 explore and it turns out that insidious is defined and i think this is from the you know the oxford on the internet not the original but um that there's proceeding in a gradual 00:04:27 subtle way but with very harmful effects in other words there's something that's that's gathering combining in an unseen way that's leading to danger
- this is an example of how granular social learning, the evolution of consciousness and entangled and individual and collective learning takes place in a mundane way
- another person relays an idea to us
- it resonates with us by connecting to some point
- in our salience landscape
- in this case, caused Nora to look up the word "insidious" that appeared in the words of her daughter
- and caused her to think of the meaning as something that starts out small and apparently harmless,
- but gathering and combining in an unseen way to become dangerous