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  1. Last 7 days
    1. According to Shulman, "Cargo-cult is a belief that mock airplanes made of manure and straw-bale may summon the real airplanes who bring canned beef. Reverse cargo-cult is used by the political elites in countries lagging behind who proclaim that, in the developed world, airplanes are also made of manure and straw-bale, and there is also a shortage of canned beef."[29]

      "Екатерина Шульман: Практический Нострадамус, или 12 умственных привычек, которые мешают нам предвидеть будущее". vedomosti/ (in Russian). Retrieved 24 June 2021.


      A Note on the Cargo Cult of Zettelkasten

      Modern cargo cults can be seen in many technology and productivity spaces where people are pulled in by exaggerated (or sometimes even real claims) of productivity or the general "magic" of a technology or method.

      An example is Niklas Luhmann's use of his zettelkasten which has created a cargo cult of zettelkasten aspirants and users who read one or more of the short one page blog posts about his unreasonable productivity and try to mimic it without understanding the system, how it works, or how to make it work for them. They often spend several months collecting notes, and following the motions, but don't realize the promised gains and may eventually give up, sometimes in shame (or as so-called "rubbish men") while watching others still touting its use.

      To prevent one's indoctrination into the zettelkasten cult, I'll make a few recommendations:

      Distance yourself from the one or two page blog posts or the breathless YouTube delineations. Ask yourself very pointedly: what you hope to get out of such a process? What's your goal? Does that goal align with others' prior uses and their outcomes?

      Be careful of the productivity gurus who are selling expensive courses and whose focus may not necessarily be on your particular goals. Some are selling very pointed courses, which is good, while others are selling products which may be so broad that they'll be sure to have some success stories, but their hodge-podge mixture of methods won't suit your particular purpose, or worse, you'll have to experiment with pieces of their courses to discover what may suit your modes of working and hope they'll suffice in the long run. Some are selling other productivity solutions for task management like getting things done (GTD) or bullet journals, which can be a whole other cargo cults in and of themselves. Don't conflate these![^1] The only thing worse than being in a cargo cult is being in multiple at the same time.

      If you go the digital route, be extremely wary of shiny object syndrome. Everyone has a favorite tool and will advocate that it's the one you should be using. (Often their method of use will dictate how much they love it potentially over and above the affordances of the tool itself.) All of these tools can be endlessly configured, tweaked, or extended with plugins or third party services. Everyone wants to show you their workflow and set up, lots of which is based on large amounts of work and experimentation. Ignore 99.999% of this. Most tools are converging to a similar feature set, so pick a reasonable one that seems like it'll be around in 5 years (and which has export, just in case). Try out the very basic features for several months before you change anything. Don't add endless plugins and widgets. You're ultimately using a digital tool to recreate the functionality of index cards, a pencil, and a box. How complicated should this really be? Do you need to spend hundreds of hours tweaking your system to save yourself a few minutes a year? Be aware that far too many people touting the system and marketers talking about the tools are missing several thousands of years of uses of some of these basic literacy-based technologies. Don't join their island cult, but instead figure out how the visiting culture has been doing this for ages.[^2] Recall Will Hunting's admonition against cargo cults in education: “You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”[^3]

      Most people ultimately realize that the output of their own thinking is only as good as the inputs they're consuming. Leverage this from the moment you begin and ignore the short bite-sized advice for longer form or older advice from those with experience. You're much more likely to get more long term value out of reading Umberto Eco or Mortimer J. Adler & Charles van Doren[^4] than you are an equivalent amount of time reading blog posts, watching YouTube videos, or trolling social media like Reddit and Twitter.

      Realize that reaching your goal is going to take honest-to-goodness actual work, though there is potential for fun. No matter how shiny or optimized your system, you've still got to do the daily work of reading, watching, listening and using it to create anything. Focus on this daily work and don't get sidetracked by the minutiae of trying to shave off just a few more seconds.[^5] In short, don't get caught up in the "productivity porn" of it all. Even the high priest at whose altar they worship once wrote on a slip he filed:

      "A ghost in the note card index? Spectators visit [my office to see my notes] and they get to see everything and nothing all at once. Ultimately, like having watched a porn movie, their disappointment is correspondingly high." —Niklas Luhmann. <small>“Geist im Kasten?” ZKII 9/8,3. Niklas Luhmann-Archiv. Accessed December 10, 2021. https://niklas-luhmann-archiv.de/bestand/zettelkasten/zettel/ZK_2_NB_9-8-3_V. (Personal translation from German with context added.)</small>


      [^1] Aldrich, Chris. “Zettelkasten Overreach.” BoffoSocko (blog), February 5, 2022. https://boffosocko.com/2022/02/05/zettelkasten-overreach/.

      [^2]: Blair, Ann M. Too Much to Know: Managing Scholarly Information before the Modern Age. Yale University Press, 2010. https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300165395/too-much-know.

      [^3]: Good Will Hunting. Miramax, Lawrence Bender Productions, 1998.

      [^4]: Adler, Mortimer J., and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. Revised and Updated edition. 1940. Reprint, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1972.

      [^5]: Munroe, Randall. “Is It Worth the Time?” Web comic. xkcd, April 29, 2013. https://xkcd.com/1205/.


      Recommended resources

      Choose only one of the following and remember you may not need to read the entire work:

      Ahrens, Sönke. How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers. Create Space, 2017.

      Allosso, Dan, and S. F. Allosso. How to Make Notes and Write. Minnesota State Pressbooks, 2022. https://minnstate.pressbooks.pub/write/.

      Bernstein, Mark. Tinderbox: The Tinderbox Way. 3rd ed. Watertown, MA: Eastgate Systems, Inc., 2017. http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/TinderboxWay/index.html.

      Dow, Earle Wilbur. Principles of a Note-System for Historical Studies. New York: Century Company, 1924.

      Eco, Umberto. How to Write a Thesis. Translated by Caterina Mongiat Farina and Geoff Farina. 1977. Reprint, Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, 2015. https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/how-write-thesis.

      Gessner, Konrad. Pandectarum Sive Partitionum Universalium. 1st Edition. Zurich: Christoph Froschauer, 1548.

      Goutor, Jacques. The Card-File System of Note-Taking. Approaching Ontario’s Past 3. Toronto: Ontario Historical Society, 1980. http://archive.org/details/cardfilesystemof0000gout.

      Sertillanges, Antonin Gilbert, and Mary Ryan. The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods. First English Edition, Fifth printing. 1921. Reprint, Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1960. http://archive.org/details/a.d.sertillangestheintellectuallife.

      Webb, Sidney, and Beatrice Webb. Methods of Social Study. London; New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1932. http://archive.org/details/b31357891.

      Weinberg, Gerald M. Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method. New York, N.Y: Dorset House, 2005.

      • = 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. 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

    3. 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

    4. 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

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

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

    6. 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

    7. 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

    8. 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

    9. 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

    10. 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

    11. 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. The hypothesis of linguistic relativity, also known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis /səˌpɪər ˈwɔːrf/, the Whorf hypothesis, or Whorfianism, is a principle suggesting that the structure of a language influences its speakers' worldview or cognition, and thus people's perceptions are relative to their spoken language.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_relativity


      link to Toki Pona as a conlang


      Link to https://hypothes.is/a/6Znx6MiMEeu3ljcVBsKNOw We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us.

    1. “She is likely our earliest Black female ethnographic filmmaker,” says Strain, who also teaches documentary history at Wesleyan University.

      Link to Robert J. Flaherty

      Where does she sit with respect to Robert J. Flaherty and Nanook of the North (1922)? Would she have been aware of his work through Boaz? How is her perspective potentially highly more authentic for such a project given her context?

    1. Learning a New Language Can Help Us Escape Climate Catastrophe

      !- Title : Learning a New Language Can Help Us Escape Climate Catastrophe !- Author : Nylan Burton !- comment : summary - while I agree with the analysis, the futures-related question I ask is this: what does a desirable hybridized linguistic landscape look like that integrates English, evolved into a post-colonialist lingua franca and reconstituted indigenous languages with their rich bio-cultural heritage?

    1. If it interests you, GPC lists phrases like dysgu ar gof. This page then gives the example, "Yn yr hen ddyddiau byddai pobl yn dysgu cerddi ar gof" - like saying "to learn by heart" in English.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/learnwelsh/comments/10acr9j/sut_i_ddweud_i_memorized_yn_gymraeg/

      Fascinating that the Welsh language doesn't seem to have a direct translatable word/verb for "to memorize". The closest are dysgu (to learn, to teach) and cofio (to remember).

      Related phrase: yn dysgu cerddi ar gof (to learn poems by heart), though this last is likely a more direct translation of an English concept back into Welsh.

      Is this lack of a seemingly basic word for such a practice a hidden indicator of the anthropology of their way of knowing?

      If to learn something means that one fully memorizes it from the start, then one needn't sub-specify, right?

    1. These may occur on rock walls, but were commonly engraved onto robust bones since at least the beginning of the European Upper Palaeolithic and African Late Stone Age, where it is obvious they served as artificial memory systems (AMS) or external memory systems (EMS) to coin the terms used in Palaeolithic archaeology and cognitive science respectively, exosomatic devices in which number sense is clearly evident (for definitions see d’Errico Reference d'Errico1989; Reference d'Errico1995a,Reference d'Erricob; d'Errico & Cacho Reference d'Errico and Cacho1994; d'Errico et al. Reference d'Errico, Doyon and Colage2017; Hayden Reference Hayden2021).

      Abstract marks have appeared on rock walls and engraved into robust bones as artificial memory systems (AMS) and external memory systems (EMS).

    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. 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

    2. 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

    3. 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. I’m reminded of an old poem by Bertolt Brecht, which my Viennese grandmother, the daughter of a lifelong socialist and union man, taught me. It’s called “Questions From a Worker Who Reads”:

      Bertolt Brecht has a poem "Questions From a Worker Who Reads" which points out how necessary societies are to their great accomplishments which can't ever be solely attributed to kings and leaders as if there is only a "Great Man theory of history".

    1. You know, I haven’t been to the movies in over three years, and at this point I’m not sure what would bring me back.

      reply to https://werd.io/2022/you-know-i-havent-been-to-the

      @benwerd Having kids makes the value proposition even worse... (and I'm saying this as a movie addict whose run a theater before).

    1. Because I am as interested in the attitudes and assumptions which are implicit in the evidence as in those which were explicitly articulated at the time, I have got into the habit of reading against the grain. Whether it is a play or a sermon or a legal treatise, I read it not so much for what the author meant to say as for what the text incidentally or unintentionally reveals.

      Historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and surely other researchers must often "read against the grain" which historian Keith Thomas defines as reading a text, not so much for what the author was explicitly trying to directly communicate to the reader, but for the small tidbits that the author through the text "incidentally or unintentionally reveals."

    1. I'm finding that IndieBlocks may be the way to go since most of the indieweb plugins that are out there are lacking block editor compatibility and most of them state you need classic editor enabled which isn't helpful if you are trying to move forward with the way in which WordPress is going with the block editor. Maybe some of these devs haven't "learn javascript deeply" like Matt Mullenweg suggested and are still stuck in PHP land like many of the people like me are, sadly.

      Anecdotal evidence of long time WordPress fans who are being left behind in the move to Gutenberg and more JavaScript.

    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. I don't know how this will look like. What I do think is it will come to cultural identity. What is the cultural identity? And that's what we will all gravitate to, and we'll gravitate.

      !- future global fragmentation : by culture - Michaux believes people will fragment in the future along cultural boundaries as we move through tumultuous transition. This makes sense as ingroups will naturally form - this should be further explored to explore implications: - will we get political polarization? At what level? National, regional, city / community scale? - what implications will this have on cooperation and sharing? will it create policy gridlock? Will it become even more urgent to educate everyone on a Deep Humanity type of open praxis that finds common human denominators (CHD)?

    3. 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. In 1964, after earning four O-levels, including one in art and maths, Eno had developed an interest in art and music and had no interest in a "conventional job".[12]

      When did the definition of a so-called "conventional job" emerge? Presumably after the start of the industrial revolution when people began moving from traditional crafts, home work, farm work, and other general subsistence work.

      What defines a non-conventional job? Does it subsume caring work? What does David Graeber have to say about this in Bullshit Jobs?

    1. And so I’m blogging this to reflect on and record this dynamic, so I never forget this idea of trying the snack break ahead of a “peer feedback” session.

      Providing a snack break before a peer feedback classroom session can dramatically improve the interactions during it.

      This is not dissimilar to conferences providing socializing and snacking time/spaces both at the start of the event and throughout the day.

  5. view.connect.americanpublicmedia.org view.connect.americanpublicmedia.org
    1. The word “kafala” in Arabic has traditionally been used to describe a social and moral “responsibility to another.”  Researchers Ray Jureidini and Said Fares Hassan write, “kafala contracts were used to protect the weak and vulnerable by instituting the patronage of a prominent local who provided whatever protection was required.” Think of raising an orphaned child, for example. In business, kafala originally referred to contracts where a guarantor assumes liability for another person (e.g. a cosigner for a loan).    Kafala nowadays is often used to describe the legal relationship between businesses and migrant workers. Employers, typically citizens, act as sponsors for workers and assume legal responsibility for their movement and actions in exchange for their right to work in a geographic area. 

      The use of kafala shows a shift from a meaning of social responsibility into a meaning co-opted by capitalism and social contract.

  6. Oct 2022
  7. Sep 2022
    1. In the United States, we have col-lectively decided that we are not going to protect all families to the same degree,and this is reflected in our social policies and resulting poverty rates for thesefamilies.

      Presumably this is part of the reason for the problem mentioned above: https://hypothes.is/a/2uAmuEENEe2KentYKORSww

    1. The overall effect of cultural pre-emption is to reduce the fraction of adaptive information stored in genes and inherited genetically and to increase that fraction in culture.

      !- for : futures studies !- key finding : CCE

    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. Evidence [28] and theory [29] support the assertion that cultural evolution is more rapid than genetic evolution [27,28,30,31], even when measured on comparable scales [30,31]. One simple reason for this difference is that the ‘generation time’, G, of cultural transmission can be orders of magnitude shorter than that of genetic transmission [30]. In humans, the average time between the birth of parents and the birth of their offspring, genetic G, ranges from roughly 2 to 3 decades, while cultural G, the average time between learning a piece of information and transmitting it, ranges from seconds to decades. Thus, it is reasonable to presume that cultural inheritance may provide greater adaptive capacity than genetic inheritance.

      !- definition : Generation time - generation time of genetic transmission in range of 2 to 3 decades while for cultural transmission can vary from seconds to decades.

    4. 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

  8. Aug 2022
  9. Jul 2022
    1. Even though human existence in such a bare state may seem inconceivable, it is therenevertheless: every time a baby is born, a new, not yet programmed, prepersonal human is lookinginto somebody’s eyes ([27 ]: p. 133). This undeniable prepersonal presence we already call human leadsus to logically infer that humans do happen to exist prior to their personware [ 20 ,25 ,28 ]. It is thereforeour fundamental point of departure that humans are marvellous, intelligent, living cognitive agents inthemselves that can be said to exist prior to and independently of any particularly determined socialpersona. The point of acknowledging a prior prepersonal platform is not made towards arguing that ahuman can exist without any personware.

      !- for : altricial, feral children, mOTHER as the significant OTHER * The bare state of zero culture, zero social context is what each and every neonate starts with in life * The mOTHER is the most significant OTHER that begins the process of socializing and enculturating the neonate into a social system * Altrciality forces human parent into role of strong socialization * Without culture, the neonate born into the world outside the womb can become a feral child * https://www.zmescience.com/other/feature-post/feral-children/ * The state of human ferality can tell us an enormous amount of the perspective of virtually every modern, encultured person - we have a bias towards a cultural perspective because almost noone has seen from a feral perspective * Language is the gateway into the symbolosphere, where enculturated, modern humans spend a significant portion of their lives immersed in this ubiquitous, constructed, symbolic reality

    1. von neumann was furious at him furious that he would waste precious machine time 00:04:20 doing the assembly that was clerical work that was supposed to be for people right and so we saw the same story happened just a little bit later when john backus and friends came up with us idea they called fortran this is so call high-level language where you could write out your formulas as if your writing mathmatical notation you could write out loops and this was shown to the assembly programmers and once again they just 00:04:46 they weren't interested they don't see any value in that they just didn't get it so um I want you to keep this in mind as I talk about the four big ideas that I'm going to talk about today that it's easy to think that technology technology is always getting better because Moore's law because computers are getting always more capable but ideas that require people to unlearn what they've learned and think in new ways there's often 00:05:10 enormous amount of resistance people over here they think they know what they're doing they think they know a programming is this programming that's not programming and so there's going to be a lot of resistance to adopting new ideas

      Cumulative cultural learning seems to be stuck in its own recursive loop- the developers of the old paradigm become the old "guard", resistant to any change that will disrupt their change. Paradigm shifts are resisted tooth and nail.

    1. what is our purpose so so so over on the right there i just want to reemphasize we are anticipatory we are cognitive we are problem solvers 01:25:44 we are a we and then i have below that i am a we you know like i i am i can i am i'm intimately connected with this i'm i'm everyone in that sense you know 01:25:57 yep yeah the whitman um you know i contain multitudes and also gilbert at all i have a paper called um we were never individuals kind of on that wavelength that you were talking about with the sort of distributed systems all the way down 01:26:09 approach and also dennis noble no privilege level of biological causality similar uh basically realization that multi-scale perspective complexity science basically entails 01:26:22 either the choice of a priori level like saying it is multi-scale and humans are the best scale or gaia is the scale or quantum is the right scale that's a claim as well as it being a claim 01:26:35 actually there's no privileged level of causality so that's the sort of table as it's said right right right right right and you know what it's not that really 01:26:46 this this entire project you could say in like a sentence you could say this whole project is to help us be who we are more be more uh honestly who we are more real 01:27:01 to who we are right it's not the it's not to to have people behave in some unusual way or some altruistic way or anything like that it is it is to have 01:27:12 it is to be more more ourselves more fully ourselves more completely ourselves and then all of these pages all these things we're talking about is who that self is who who are we really and it's about the 01:27:25 adjacent possible for who we are who we are is not an essence that is uh there's uh seven seals and it's being unlocked it's actually something that's being drawn out through 01:27:36 inactive realization in the niche through niche modification through stigma through becoming and and then the adjacent possible is where the imagination and the planning comes into play and if people are hesitant to talk about 01:27:49 the adjacent possible for who we could be just think about chess it's the adjacent possible with the strategy on the board and we're talking about the adjacent strategy possible for who we could be in terms of our strategy 01:28:02 for you know all these recursive layers our strategy for how we think of ourselves and all these other things you're talking about absolutely absolutely and then and then ultimately serving the 01:28:13 serving the kind of fitness purpose of you know if we take action a is that going to reduce our uncertainty about those things that we that really matter you know that are that are the the 01:28:27 the key variables

      Consciousness is the psychological aspect existent at one level of a multi-level human pyscho-biological-cultural INTERbeCOMing gestalt.

    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. For most of history, humanity’s challenge was how to acquire scarceinformation. There was hardly any good information to be foundanywhere. It was locked up in difficult-to-reproduce manuscripts orstuck in the heads of scholars. Access to information was limited, butthat wasn’t a problem for most people. Their lives and livelihoodsdidn’t require much information. Their main contribution was theirphysical labor, not their ideas.

      This is an overly painful Western cultural viewpoint and totally erases orality and oral cultures from the discussion. We can and should do better.

    1. From the classroom, to the street, to the Internet, Eric’s voice carried, and carried within it the possibility of a kind of education–amplified with digital technologies– that enables other human beings to become conscious, to become responsible, to learn.

      Sadly, we seem to have othered orality and cultural practices which don't fit into the Western literate cultural box. This prevents us from moving forward as a society and a diverse culture.

      In the 90's rap was culturally appropriated by some because of its perception as "cool" within the culture. Can this coolness be leveraged as a reintroduction of oral methods in our culture without the baggage of the appropriation? Can it be added to enhance the evolving third archive? As a legitimate teaching tool?

    1. how should issues of historical and cultural specificity informboth the analytics and politics of any feminist project.

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    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.

  11. May 2022
    1. By exam-ining how movement toward equality has actually been produced, wecan learn precious lessons for our future and better understand thestruggles and mobilizations that have made this movement possible,as well as the institutional structures and legal, social, fiscal, educa-tional, and electoral systems that have allowed equality to become alasting reality.

      Understanding the history of inequality and how changes in institutional structures in legal, social, fiscal educational, and electoral systems have encouraged change toward equality, we might continue to change and modify these to ensure even greater equality.

    1. I would share concerns about ‘Disneyfication’ and trivialisation about much of our public life - one has only to turn on the TV any evening to see that - but this revival and the many others like it that are happening in Wales, as well as their ‘wassailing’ counterparts in England which are now spreading from their southwest redoubt to parts that never had them before, are a welcome antidote to such trivialisation. No two ‘traditions’ will be completely alike, but then they never were, completely, even the first time round.

      https://forum.saysomethingin.com/t/could-we-have-a-thread-on-welsh-customs/4068/68

      Example of the word 'Disneyfication' used in a setting relating to the revival of cultural traditions. It's happening in the same area the original culture stemmed from so it's not exactly cultural appropriation, though that is often what Disneyfication does.

      Another example appears a few posts further up the page.

  12. Apr 2022
    1. XERXES. Alas, the triple banks of oars and those who died thereby! CHORUS. Pass! I will lead you, bring you home, with many a broken sigh!

      Xerxes sees the impact of his hubris, religion and fate are used as aids to feel better about mortal actions.

  13. Mar 2022
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkjf0hCKOCE

      The sky is a textbook. The sky is a lawbook. The sky is a science book. —Duane Hamacher, (1:24)

      Hamacher uses the Western description "method of loci" rather than an Indigenous word or translated word.


      The words "myth", "legend", "magic", "ritual", and "religion" in both colloquial English and even anthropology are highly loaded terms.

      Words like "narrative" and "story" are better used instead for describing portions of the Indigenous cultures which we have long ignored and written off for their seeming simplicity.

    1. Nay, thy friends are whelmed beneath the tide!

      Highlights Athenian might

    2. Ah woe to us, ah joy to them who stood against our pride!

      Fate as a tool to describe hubris' consequences

    3. Right resolute they are! I saw disaster unforeseen. CHORUS. Ah, speakest thou of wreck, of flight, of carnage that hath been?

      Highlights the impact of Xerxes' hubris.

    4. Alas, ye heavenly powers! Ye wrought a sorrow past belief, A woe, of woes the chief!

      Demonstrating huge losses of empire to great Athenians

    5. Defaced and dashed from sight the altars fell, And each god’s image, from its pedestal Thrust and flung down, in dim confusion lies! Therefore, for outrage vile, a doom as dark They suffer, and yet more shall undergo—

      The Persians deserve it for violating Athenian principles.

    6. O Earth, and Hermes, and the king Of Hades, our Darius bring!

      Greek gods used by Persians?

      Also, gods seem to represent ideas rather than play a central role in the story. In EoG, the supernatural is directly addressed, such as when Gilgamesh crosses the lake of death to save Enkidu.

    7. Once let the gloom of night have gathered in, The Greeks will tarry not, but swiftly spring Each to his galley-bench, in furtive flight, Softly contriving safety for their life. Thy son believed the word and missed the craft Of that Greek foeman, and the spite of Heaven, And straight to all his captains gave this charge— As soon as sunlight warms the ground no more, And gloom enwraps the sanctuary of sky, Range we our fleet in triple serried lines To bar the passage from the seething strait, This way and that: let other ships surround The isle of Ajax, with this warning word— That if the Greeks their jeopardy should scape By wary craft, and win their ships a road. Each Persian captain shall his failure pay By forfeit of his head. So spake the king,

      The Athenians tricked Xerxes; similar to Ishtar in EoG trying to fool Gilgamesh into sleeping with her, but here it seems to have been meant more to display Athenian cleverness instead of a power grab. Here, Aeschylus describes the Athenians as really winning through intellectual superiority instead of general good.

    8. There Magian Arabus and Artames Of Bactra perished—taking up, alike, In yonder stony land their long sojourn. Amistris too, and he whose strenuous spear Was foremost in the fight, Amphistreus fell, And gallant Ariomardus, by whose death Broods sorrow upon Sardis: Mysia mourns For Seisames

      Greek names for Persian people; although this may have been done make the story more relatable to an Athenian audience, the Persian royals also reference Greek gods rather than Persian ones.

      Like Aeschylus, EoG may have also made the names of characters like Humbaba more culturally digestive to its readers, but the belief system never really seems to have been intentionally changed by the storytellers.

    9. Thou, Athens, art our murderess

      Depicts Athens as 'murdering' the Persian empire.

    10. To no man do they bow as slaves, nor own a master’s hand.

      Superiority of individuals and democracy versus absolute rule.

      Doesn't necessarily cast Persians in a negative light, but suggests that an army with strongminded individuals will outperform one without.

    11. Yet one more word—say, in what realm do the Athenians dwell?

      "Are Athenians just better than us?"

      Questioning general superiority of this group

    12. And one, the Ionian, proud in this array, Paced in high quietude, and lent her mouth, Obedient, to the guidance of the rein.

      Attitude of Athenians might be one of quiet superiority in knowing that their intellectual superiority outwitted Persians in defeat (EoG-doesn't necessarily highlight superiority as much as thriving and survival of a kingdom).

    13. As in the night now passed.—Attend my tale!— A dream I had: two women nobly clad Came to my sight, one robed in Persian dress, The other vested in the Dorian garb, And both right stately and more tall by far Than women of to-day, and beautiful

      Used to glorify Athenians in their appearance and the way they act and dress.

    14. How fareth he, Darius’ child,

      Absolute rulers backed Persian soldiers, but no single great Athenian ruler is really depicted in defeating them (highlighted by individual descriptions of how Aeschylus saw soldiers and superiority of the Greek gods

    15. From Babylon enriched with gold— Captains of ships and archers skilled To speed the shaft, and those who wield The scimitar;—the eastern band Who, by the great king’s high command, Swept to subdue the western land!

      Shows an already existing land trying to expand its power, in contrast with smaller kingdoms of ancient Persia defending land as a means of protagonism (eg: Humbaba). The story highlights human greed and hubris, rather than simply good and evil

    1. As Professor Rangi Mātāmua, a Māoriastronomy scholar, explains:Look at what our ancestors did to navigate here—you don’t do that onmyths and legends, you do that on science. I think there is empiricalscience embedded within traditional Māori knowledge ... but what they didto make it meaningful and have purpose is they encompassed it withincultural narratives and spirituality and belief systems, so it wasn’t just seenas this clinical part of society that was devoid of any other connection toour world, it was included into everything. To me, that cultural elementgives our science a completely new and deep and rich layer of meaning
    2. Far fromcity lights, we joked about the Starlight Motel as we lay in our swagsnext to a small fire and watched the nightly show of the great river ofstars moving slowly over us. We watched the twinkling stars,shooting stars, and pointed out the Southern Cross and other greatconstellations.

      The fact that a city dweller must go out to the countryside to see the stars in the skies makes cities and their light pollution a direct form of cultural erasure for indigenous peoples who use the stars for cultural purposes like stories, storytelling, memory and other oral means.

  14. Feb 2022
    1. 11 different ethnic groups,
    2. law prohibits any discrimination and guarantee all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.56
    3. promotion of multilingualism and the maintenance of indigenous practices
    4. the maintenance of such gender and role conceptions in Namibian society at large

      patriarchal stereotypes of men and women throughout Namibia, but they vary from each individual culture in specifics

  15. Jan 2022
  16. canvas.ucsc.edu canvas.ucsc.edu
    1. The Culture Industry: Mass Deception in Dialectic of Enlightenment

      The culture industry is any industry that is producing cultural products: news, beauty, music, fashion industry has one goal: generate profit. They will produce things that are produced like a factory. They are intended to produce consumerism. In the way that sex sells, rebellion also sells. The industries that are making our culture are feeding us our news so are corporaterized. Adorno and Horkheimer would not be suprised about YouTube. That cultural adversary may be dialectical.

      Academia. You know more about less and less.

      Backdrop context: Shaky ground of liberal democracy in the beginnings of WW2,rise of social movements, rise of nationalism and facism.

      Englightment: Reason & Individual liberty Bacon: a larger system that synthesized knowledge and power as one; a flipping of nature over man and man over nature; but A/H thought that this played out in a human global scale.

      If Enlightenment was supposed to create logic and reason why did we experience WW2, for A/H if we're to take Bacon seriously we have to consider DOMINATION in newer notions of freedom.

      Regression: Enlightenment as Myth. Englightenment becomes totalitarian it ABSTRACTS. Ex. Hitler youth, a difference among others yet they become homogenous sameness among each other.

      The result of the sacrifice continues that is far more reaching that MArx's alienation. --> UNFETTERED ACCEPTANCE

      Adorno/H say that positivism: 1) a system of philiospgy were every assertion can be proved 2) as ideoogy where eveyrthing is true by default and questioning it goes against objective foundations.

      Kant saw a short-sighted view of self-reason

      IDEOLOGY of defintiion #2 the process of Englightenment is brought into analysis of the Culture Industry.

      Context: AMerica is becoming global powerhouse, Soviet underwent their own Industrial Revolution, change was everywhere and revolutionary change with one large outlier thus the immediat question. Despite a global population of workers revolitng around the globe then why didnt the United States or Western Countries embrace similar post-capitalist systems seen across teh globe? And how is Soviet existing as a post-capitalist system alongside the capitalist system?

      Art is being systematized, newer technology is being synthesized into one and the same narrative. The same repackaged story; subject and authority. This mimics the governance of a few over many.

      A/H utilize Kant's idea of schemtaism (being how the midn communicates with objects and other structures aorund us, how to reason and cogantate; synthesize and bring Froyd into the mix, how we suppress ourselves and our desires to how we fit into society. We cognitively pick up how the world is presented to us. Viewership creates the bounds within which we can do art. A psychological realism that is difficult to break for a person who works a 9-5pm; to break it in a capitalist system is used to labor and build wealth. Art becomes the same even when it tries to stand out. There is a unifornm aethetic if you wnat to be different, the sameness and constant

      Art is now abstracted a fulfilmmnet of mere numbers rather than aesthetic work and utility. Regarding art in newer creation, A/H bring up autombiles as an example, a film must have a romatic sequence that the industry now demands. This is part of Mechanical reproduction. Art will become tailored to your class relation as well. But it's not only class and poleconomy but it's not just corporate art is entirely based oof profit but rather there is a cyclcial ideology that reinforces this ideology. see

      The focus isn't on marvel movies (for their thrist for profit) or to tell consumers to not consume this art but its the industry itself that reproduces the

      "Thirst" is not conscious it is a result of the structure that is capitalism the culture industry modling of our desires in the first place.

      It's not good enough to tell individuals to not consume said tailored art. Example anti-semitism is a result of essentialist notions of race. Largest incubators of anti-semitism stem from the bourigeoise themselves but a ruling class of people attempting to hide a ruling class domination. Here the bouregoise know the struggles of individuals and pins this to Jewish individuals.

      Thus its not really just pushing Jewish people out of certain borders this marks the downfall of bouregoise property.

      Look up: > Cultural education became....

      The whole world is made to pass through the filter of the culture industry...

      Culture is a paradoxical commodity. It is so completely subject to the law of exchange that it is no longer exchanged; it is so blindly equated with use that it can no longer be used. For this reason it merges with the adver­tisement. The more meaningless the latter appears under monopoly, the more omnipotent culture becomes. (pg 131).

      Unending sameness also governs the relationship to the past. What is new in the phase of mass culture compared to that of late liberalism is the exclusion of the new.

    1. Even finding terms totranslate concepts like ‘lord’, ‘commandment’ or ‘obedience’ intoindigenous languages was extremely difficult; explaining theunderlying theological concepts, well-nigh impossible.

      Example of the difficulty of translating words when the underlying concepts don't exist in a culture.

    1. You will lend him your car or your coat -- but your books are as much a part of you as your head or your heart.

      Mortimer J. Adler misses out entirely on the potential value of social annotation by suggesting that one shouldn't share or lend their annotated volumes.

      Fortunately this sort of advice wasn't previously dispensed in the middle ages or during the Renaissance, particularly by scholars. (See also The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus by Owen Gingerich in which he outlines the spread of knowledge by sharing books and particularly the annotations within them.)

    1. For that matter, he admits, “It’s struck me that, actually, polemic very rarely changes people’s minds about anything.” He says so as a former columnist? “A recovering former columnist, yes.” He laughs. “It’s not just that polemic doesn’t change people’s minds. It says nothing about the texture of lived experience. People are complex and nuanced, they don’t live polemically.”

      Something to keep in mind about everyday life.

    1. Nigg said it might help me grasp what’s happening if we compare our rising attention problems to our rising obesity rates. Fifty years ago there was very little obesity, but today it is endemic in the western world. This is not because we suddenly became greedy or self-indulgent. He said: “Obesity is not a medical epidemic – it’s a social epidemic. We have bad food, for example, and so people are getting fat.” The way we live changed dramatically – our food supply changed, and we built cities that are hard to walk or cycle around, and those changes in our environment led to changes in our bodies. We gained mass, en masse. Something similar, he said, might be happening with the changes in our attention.

      Obesity is a social epidemic and not a medical one. It's been caused by dramatic shifts in our surroundings in the past century. Food is cheaper and more abundant. It's also been heavily processed and designed to be fattier, saltier, and higher in carbohydrates. There is less encouragement to physically move our own bodies whether by walking, bicycling, running, etc. Our cities have become more driver focused. Our lives have become much more sedentary.

    2. I went to Portland, Oregon, to interview Prof Joel Nigg, who is one of the leading experts in the world on children’s attention problems, and he told me we need to ask if we are now developing “an attentional pathogenic culture” – an environment in which sustained and deep focus is harder for all of us.

      : attentional pathogenic culture ; an environment in which sustained and deep focus is harder for all of us

  17. Dec 2021
    1. Historians are aware of all this. Yet the overwhelming majority stillconclude that even when European authors explicitly say they areborrowing ideas, concepts and arguments from indigenous thinkers,one should not take them seriously. It’s all just supposed to be somekind of misunderstanding, fabrication, or at best a naive projection ofpre-existing European ideas. American intellectuals, when theyappear in European accounts, are assumed to be mererepresentatives of some Western archetype of the ‘noble savage’ orsock-puppets, used as plausible alibis to an author who mightotherwise get into trouble for presenting subversive ideas (deism, forexample, or rational materialism, or unconventional views onmarriage).11

      Just as Western historians erase indigenous ideas as misunderstandings or fabrications or outright appropriation of those ideas as pre-existing ideas in European culture, is it possible that we do the same thing with orality and memory? Are medievalists seeing mnemotechniques of the time and not properly interpreting them by not seeing them in their original contexts and practices?

      The idea of talking rocks, as an example, is dismissed as lunacy, crazy, or some new-age hokum, but in reality it's at the far end of the spectrum. It's so unknowable for Western audiences that it's wholly dismissed rather than embraced, extended, and erased.

      What does the spectrum of potentially appropriated ideas look like? What causes their adoption or not, particularly in cases of otherwise cultural heterodoxy?

    1. Discussion is led by an instructor, but the instructor’s job is not to give the students a more informed understanding of the texts, or to train them in methods of interpretation, which is what would happen in a typical literature- or philosophy-department course. The instructor’s job is to help the students relate the texts to their own lives.

      The format of many "great books" courses is to help students relate the texts to their own lives, not to have a better understanding of the books or to hone methods of interpreting them.

      This isn't too dissimilar to the way that many Protestants are taught to apply the Bible to their daily lives.

      Are students mis-applying the great books because they don't understand their original ideas and context the way many religious people do with the Bible?

    1. In oral societies, personal memories fade and even-tually disappear, and yet knowledge somehow remains, as does language. Con-sequently, social memory arises outside, but not independently of, individual psychic systems; it may be regarded as the recursive outcome of communica-tions that are operatively reproduced inside social systems.14

      This idea of transmission of knowledge within oral societies is worth exploring. What is the media of transmission? How does it work in comparison with literate societies? What is the overlap in the two Venn Diagrams?

  18. Nov 2021
    1. Seeking to address the reductive opposition both between written and oral texts and between script and print in the Early Modern period, Fernando Bouza, one of Spain's most influential cultural historians, makes an elegant case for the equality and complementary natures of the various modes of communication.

      This may prove an interesting perspective given my own desire to explore some of the same sorts of dynamics in Celtic texts at the border of orality and literacy in the early centuries of the common era.

    1. from the river and lay down again in the rushes and kissed the grain-givingsoil.

      Odysseus staggered from the river and lay down again in the rushes and kissed the grain-giving soil.

      This reference to "grain-giving soil" reminds me of this quote:

      History celebrates the battlefields whereon we meet our death, but scorns to speak of the ploughed fields whereby we thrive; it knows the names of king's bastards, but cannot tell us the origin of wheat. That is the way of human folly.<br/>—Les Merveilles de l'Instinct Chez les Insectes: Morceaux Choisis (The Wonders of Instinct in Insects: Selected Pieces) by Jean-Henri FabreJean-Henri Fabre (Librairie Ch. Delagrave (1913), page 242)

      ref: quote

      Culturally we often see people kneeling down and kissing the ground after long travels, but we miss the prior references and images and the underlying gratitude for why these things have become commonplace.

      "Grain-giving" = "life giving" here specifically. Compare this to modern audiences see the kissing of the ground more as a psychological "homecoming" action and the link to the grain is missing.

      It's possible that the phrase grain-giving was included for orality's sake to make the meter, but I would suggest that given the value of grain within the culture the poet would have figured out how to include this in any case.

      By my count "grain-giving" as a modifier variously to farmland, soil, earth, land, ground, and corn land appears eight times in the text. All these final words have similar meanings. I wonder if Lattimore used poetic license to change the translation of these final words or if they were all slightly different in the Greek, but kept the meter?

      This is an example of a phrase which may have been given an underlying common phrasing in daily life to highlight gratitude for the life giving qualities, but also served the bard's needs for maintaining meter. Perhaps comparing with other contemporaneous texts for this will reveal an answer?

    1. Professional musicians, concert pianists get to know this instrument deeply, intimately. And through it, they're able to create with sound in a way that just dazzles us, and challenges us, and deepens us. But if you were to look into the mind of a concert pianist, and you used all the modern ways of imaging it, an interesting thing that you would see 00:11:27 is how much of their brain is actually dedicated to this instrument. The ability to coordinate ten fingers. The ability to work the pedal. The feeling of the sound. The understanding of music theory. All these things are represented as different patterns and structures in the brain. And now that you have that thought in your mind, recognize that this beautiful pattern and structure of thought in the brain 00:11:52 was not possible even just a couple hundred years ago. Because the piano was not invented until the year 1700. This beautiful pattern of thought in the brain didn't exist 5,000 years ago. And in this way, the skill of the piano, the relationship to the piano, the beauty that comes from it was not a thinkable thought until very, very recently in human history. 00:12:17 And the invention of the piano itself was not an independent thought. It required a depth of mechanical engineering. It required the history of stringed instruments. It required so many patterns and structures of thought that led to the possibility of its invention and then the possibility of the mastery of its play. And it leads me to a concept I'd like to share with you guys, which I call "The Palette of Being." 00:12:44 Because all of us are born into this life having available to us the experiences of humanity that has come so far. We typically are only able to paint with the patterns of thoughts and the ways of being that existed before. So if the piano and the way of playing it is a way of being, this is a way of being that didn't exist for people 5,000 years ago. 00:13:10 It was a color in the Palette of Being that you couldn't paint with. Nowadays if you are born, you can actually learn the skill; you can learn to be a computer scientist, another color that was not available just a couple hundred years ago. And our lives are really beautiful for the following reason. We're born into this life. We have the ability to go make this unique painting with the colors of being that are around us at the point of our birth. 00:13:36 But in the process of life, we also have the unique opportunity to create a new color. And that might come from the invention of a new thing. A self-driving car. A piano. A computer. It might come from the way that you express yourself as a human being. It might come from a piece of artwork that you create. Each one of these ways of being, these things that we put out into the world 00:14:01 through the creative process of mixing together all the other things that existed at the point that we were born, allow us to expand the Palette of Being for all of society after us. And this leads me to a very simple way to go frame everything that we've talked about today. Because I think a lot of us understand that we exist in this kind of the marvelous universe, 00:14:30 but we think about this universe as we're this tiny, unimportant thing, there's this massive physical universe, and inside of it, there's the biosphere, and inside of that, that's society, and inside of us, we're just one person out of seven billion people, and how can we matter? And we think about this as like a container relationship, where all the goodness comes from the outside to the inside, and there's nothing really special about us. 00:14:56 But the Palette of Being says the opposite. It says that the way that we are in our lives, the way that we affect our friends and our family, begin to change the way that they are able to paint in the future, begins to change the way that communities then affect society, the way that society could then affect its relationship to the biosphere, and the way that the biosphere could then affect the physical planet 00:15:21 and the universe itself. And if it's a possible thing for cyanobacteria to completely transform the physical environment of our planet, it is absolutely a possible thing for us to do the same thing. And it leads to a really important question for the way that we're going to do that, the manner in which we're going to do that. Because we've been given this amazing gift of consciousness.

      The Palette of Being is a very useful idea that is related to Cumulative Cultural Evolution (CCE) and autopoiesis. From CCE, humans are able to pass on new ideas from one generation to the next, made possible by the tool of inscribed language.

      Peter Nonacs group at UCLA as well as Stuart West at Oxford research Major Evolutionary Transitions (MET) West elucidates that modern hominids integrate the remnants of four major stages of MET that have occurred over deep time. Amanda Robins, a researcher in Nonacs group posits the idea that our species of modern hominids are undergoing a Major Systems Transition (MST), due specifically to our development of inscribed language.

      CCE emerges new technologies that shape our human environments in time frames far faster than biological evolutionary timeframes. New human experiences are created which have never been exposed to human brains before, which feedback to affect our biological evolution as well in the process of gene-culture coevolution (GCC), also known as Dual Inheritance theory. In this way, CCE and GCC are entangled. "Gene–culture coevolution is the application of niche-construction reasoning to the human species, recognizing that both genes and culture are subject to similar dynamics, and human society is a cultural construction that provides the environment for fitness-enhancing genetic changes in individuals. The resulting social system is a complex dynamic nonlinear system. " (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048999/)

      This metaphor of experiences constituting different colors on a Palette of Being is a powerful one that can contextualize human experiences from a deep time framework. One could argue that language usage automatically forces us into an anthropomorphic lens, for sophisticated language usage at the level of humans appears to be unique amongst our species. Within that constraint, the Palette of Being still provides us with a less myopic, less immediate and arguably less anthropomorphic view of human experience. It is philosophically problematic, however, in the sense that we can speculate about nonhuman modalities of being but never truly experience them. Philosopher Thomas Nagel wrote his classic paper "What it's like to be a bat" to illustrate this problem of experiencing the other. (https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/iatl/study/ugmodules/humananimalstudies/lectures/32/nagel_bat.pdf)

      We can also leverage the Palette of Being in education. Deep Humanity (DH) BEing Journeys are a new kind of experiential, participatory contemplative practice and teaching tool designed to deepen our appreciation of what it is to be human. The polycrisis of the Anthropocene, especially the self-induced climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic have precipitated the erosion of stable social norms and reference frames, inducing another crisis, a meaning crisis. In this context, a re-education of embodied philosophy is seen as urgent to make sense of a radically shifting human reality.

      Different human experiences presented as different colors of the Palette of Being situate our crisis in a larger context. One important Deep Humanity BEing journey that can help contextualize and make sense of our experiences is language. Once upon a time, language did not exist. As it gradually emerged, this color came to be added to our Palette of Being, and shaped the normative experiences of humanity in profound ways. It is the case that such profound shifts, lost over deep time come to be taken for granted by modern conspecifics. When such particular colors of the Palette of Being are not situated in deep time, and crisis ensues, that loss of contextualizing and situatedness can be quite disruptive, de-centering, confusing and alienating.

      Being aware of the colors in the Palette can help us shed light on the amazing aspects that culture has invisibly transmitted to us, helping us not take them for granted, and re-establish a sense of awe about our lives as human beings.

  19. Oct 2021
    1. White finds reason for optimism: the end of protest inaugurates a new era of social change.

      Beginning, Middle, End

      Micah White wrote of the end: The End of Protest.

      Micah White is the award-winning activist who co-created Occupy Wall Street, a global social movement, while an editor of Adbusters magazine.

      Occupy Wall Street was a constructive failure but not a total failure. Occupy demonstrated the efficacy of using social memes to quickly spread a movement, shifted the political debate on the fair distribution of wealth, trained a new generation of activists who went on to be the base for movements ranging from campus fossil fuel divestment to Black Lives Matter protests. Occupy launched many local projects that will have lasting small-scale impact. Occupy buoyed many institutional activist organizations that were able to materially profit from the renewed interest in protest. All of these are signs that our movement was culturally influential. It may be comforting to believe that Occupy splintered into a thousand shards of light. However, an honest assessment reveals that Occupy Wall Street failed to live up to its revolutionary potential: we did not bring an end to the influence of money on democracy, overthrow the corporatocracy of the 1 percent or solve income inequality. If our movement did achieve successes, they were not the ones we’d intended. When victory eluded Occupy, a world of activist certainties fell apart.

      I call Occupy Wall Street a constructive failure because the movement revealed underlying flaws in dominant, and still prevalent, theories of how to achieve social change through collective action. Occupy set out to “get money out of politics,” and we succeeded in catalyzing a global social movement that tested all of our hypotheses. The failure of our efforts reveals a truth that will hasten the next successful revolution: the assumptions underlying contemporary protest are false. Change won’t happen through the old models of activism. Western democracies will not be swayed by public spectacles and mast frenzy. Protests have become an accepted, and therefore ignored, by-product of politics-as-usual. Western governments are not susceptible to international pressure to heed the protests of their citizens. Occupy’s failure was constructive because it demonstrated the limitations of contemporary ideas of Protest. I capitalize p to emphasize that the limitation was not in a particular tactic but ratter in our concept of Protest, or our theory of social change, which determined the overall script. Occupy revealed that activists need to revolutionize their approach to revolution.

      Failure can be liberating. Defeat detaches us from a theory of revolution that is no longer effective, reopening the possibility of true change. “For a revolutionary,” writes Régis Debray, professor of philosophy and associate of Che Guevara, “failure is a springboard. As a course of theory it is richer than victory: it accumulates experience and knowledge.”

      (Pages 26-27)

    1. social evolution

      A Theory of Change

      How did we get here?

      Yesterday (October 26, 2021), I picked up David Graeber’s book, The Dawn of Everything: a New History of Humanity, written with David Wengrow, at Coles in Abbotsford.

      It is interesting to note that David Graeber was interested in the origins, the beginnings.

      Renowned for his biting and incisive writing about bureaucracy, politics and capitalism, Graeber was a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement and professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics (LSE) at the time of his death.

      https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/03/david-graeber-anthropologist-and-author-of-bullshit-jobs-dies-aged-59

    1. The spiritual vision of the Bauhaus was a faith in people’s ability to transform society for good by breaking down divisions and working together toward a common purpose.

      Originally published on Medium on August 29, 2019.

    1. Cultural Evolution

      Sallie McFague, in The Meaning of Life in the World Religions, writes an article entitled, “The World as God’s Body.”

      Evolution is not only or solely biological; it is also historical and cultural. Once evolutionary history reaches the human, self-conscious stage, natural selection is not the only operative principle, for natural selection can be countered with the principle of solidarity.

      (Page 297)

    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjZAdPX6ek0

      Osculatory targets or plaques were created on pages to give priests

      Most modern people don't touch or kiss their books this way and we're often taught not to touch or write in our texts. Digital screen culture is giving us a new tactile touching with our digital texts that we haven't had since the time of the manuscript.

  20. Sep 2021
    1. The state of slavery, among these wild barbarous people, as we esteem them, is much milder than in our colonies

      Given the word barbarous here, I wonder if, on the whole, cultures viewed from outside of one's own culture are more often seen for the worst of their traits rather than the best or even just the average traits?

      With limited experience and exposure, what qualifies one correspondent to stereotype an entire culture? Is the lack of alternate and likely better information reason enough for the viewing culture to completely condemn the external culture? (Assuredly not...)

    2. The Virginians needed labor, to grow corn for subsistence, to grow tobaccofor export. They had just figured out how to grow tobacco, and in 1617 theysent off the first cargo to England. Finding that, like all pleasurable drugstainted with moral disapproval, it brought a high price, the planters, despitetheir high religious talk, were not going to ask questions about something soprofitable.

      Told from this perspective and with the knowledge of the importance of the theory of First Effective Settlement, is it any wonder that America has grown up to be so heavily influenced by moral and mental depravity, over-influenced by capitalism and religion, ready to enslave others, and push vice and drugs? The founding Virginians are truly America in miniature.

      Cross reference: Theory of First Effective Settlement

      “Whenever an empty territory undergoes settlement, or an earlier population is dislodged by invaders, the specific characteristics of the first group able to effect a viable, self-perpetuating society are of crucial significance for the later social and cultural geography of the area, no matter how tiny the initial band of settlers may have been.” “Thus, in terms of lasting impact, the activities of a few hundred, or even a few score, initial colonizers can mean much more for the cultural geography of a place than the contributions of tens of thousands of new immigrants a few generations later.” — Wilbur Zelinsky, The Cultural Geography of the United States, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1973, pp. 13–14.

    1. Summary:

      "What has time done to us?"

    2. . Three points may be proposed about task-orientation. First, there is a sense in which it is more humanly comprehensible than timed labour. The peasant or labourer appears to attend upon what is an observed necessity. Second, a community in which task-orientation is common appears to show least demarcation between "work" and "life". Social intercourse and labour are intermingled - the working-day lengthens or contracts according to the task - and there is no great sense of conflict between labour and "passing the time of day". Third, to men accustomed to labour timed by the clock, this attitude to labour appears to be wasteful and lacking in urgency.1
    1. She looked at me, noticing my bare feet. (I still felt strange wearing shoes indoors, and always removed them before entering my room.) "Are you new to Boston?

      In America it’s normal to wear shoes in house, but not really in the east side of the world

    2. She handed one to me without milk,

      It‘s not typical to drink tea with milk in the USA

    3. In a week I had adjusted, more or less.

      Shows that even though he is new to this Country and was confused at the beginnging, he gets used to his new home

    4. Bengalis

      In England, the narrator stays in his own cultural context as much as possible. There is almost no British influence or interest in English culture shown by him.

    5. I read every article and advertisement, so that I would grow familiar with things,

      reflects the work that emigration or a new country or an unknown culture requires

    6. . "God bless America!" one of them hollered. Across the aisle, I saw a woman praying. I spent my first night a

      new national customs, integration

  21. Aug 2021
    1. Some manicules terminated abruptly at the wrist, while others emerged from sleeves of varying sophistication to reveal, in turn, something of the fashions of their time. Petrarch’s flowing sleeves, for instance, gave way to delicate, lace-trimmed cuffs in later centuries, and continuing the trend, modern-day manicules often show the sober cuff of a suit-wearing businessman. Cuffs and sleeves also provided convenient containers for notes on the pointed-to material, binding a note to its target text.

      Another reference to the clothing of the time attached to manicules. What might these tell us about fashion over time? What other older fashions existed within these?

    1. Great writers become great by closely studying and copying other great writers. This is how cultural knowledge works. We learn the foundational skills from each other first, and then get all weird and experimental later on once the normal rules become boring.
    1. What do we mean by ‘anti-capitalist commons’?How can we create, out of the commons that our struggles bring into existence, a new mode of production not built on the exploitation of labour?How do we prevent commons from being co-opted and becoming platforms on which a sinking capitalist class can reconstruct its fortunes?

      El artículo escrito por George Caffentzis, profesor de filosofía y escritor sobre el pensamiento social y político, y Silvia Federici, activista feminista, maestra y escritora; manifiesta como la información en la era digital elabora una base de datos sobre la propiedad intelectual, influyendo en los factores económicos, sociales y culturales de los internautas. Con esto, los modos de producción informática se vuelven masivos y generan dependencias lucrativas por adquirir una experiencia de aprendizaje mientras se genera un intercambio comunitario, el cual incrementa los intereses capitalistas y la desigualdad comercial de la reproducción de contenidos.

  22. Jul 2021
    1. I would rather see the scientists and the healers and the artists depicted in a heroic light.

      Why are so many villains in comic books depicted as scientists? Has this harmed the American psyche? Encouraged an anti-science temperament?

      Observation sparked, in part, to episode of Young Sheldon, Season 1 about Sheldon's eating issues.

    1. What professionals actually do to earn the large incomes that pay for their nice things is a mystery. All those hours spent sitting at a computer screen—do they contribute something to society, to the family of an electrician or a home health aide (whose contributions are obvious)?

      A solid question.

      Perhaps less mysterious when gauged against the extreme financialization of our economy since the 1970's.

      Are these people primarily propping up our classist structures to the lack of all else?

      What could be done to re-regulate things back into some semblance of balance?

      How much of the financialization is strip mining the lower classes or even middle classes of their earnings and retirements in progressively more vicious economic downturns that get bailed out by the populace?

      Would allowing companies that are "too large to fail" help right the system and push more wealth back down to the lower classes?