- Apr 2022
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?
- group think
- Big History
- imitation > innovation
- Joseph Henrich
- urban vs. rural
- follow the herd
- comparative anthropology
- city vs. town
- human evolution
- spatial relationships
- evolution spirals
- Jan 2022
Until recently there have been almost no attempts to compare the different theories and discuss them together.
- Letelier, J C; Cárdenas, M L; Cornish-Bowden, A (2011). "From L'Homme Machine to metabolic closure: steps towards understanding life". J. Theor. Biol. 286 (1): 100–113. Bibcode:2011JThBi.286..100L. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.06.033. PMID 21763318.
- Igamberdiev, A.U. (2014). "Time rescaling and pattern formation in biological evolution". BioSystems. 123: 19–26. doi:10.1016/j.biosystems.2014.03.002. PMID 24690545.
- Cornish-Bowden, A; Cárdenas, M L (2020). "Contrasting theories of life: historical context, current theories. In search of an ideal theory". BioSystems. 188: 104063. doi:10.1016/j.biosystems.2019.104063. PMID 31715221. S2CID 207946798.
Relationship to the broader idea in Loewenstein as well...
Autopoiesis is just one of several current theories of life, including the chemoton of Tibor Gánti, the hypercycle of Manfred Eigen and Peter Schuster,   the (M,R) systems of Robert Rosen, and the autocatalytic sets of Stuart Kauffman, similar to an earlier proposal by Freeman Dyson. All of these (including autopoiesis) found their original inspiration in Erwin Schrödinger's book What is Life? but at first they appear to have little in common with one another, largely because the authors did not communicate with one another, and none of them made any reference in their principal publications to any of the other theories.