- 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?
- imitation > innovation
- spatial relationships
- city vs. town
- urban vs. rural
- follow the herd
- comparative anthropology
- group think
- Big History
- human evolution
- Joseph Henrich
- evolution spirals
- Mar 2022
Finding relevant information and understanding it well enough to integrate it into existing knowledge requires intense commitment and concentration.
- Feb 2022
Local file Local file
“Manipulations such as variation, spacing, introducing contextualinterference, and using tests, rather than presentations, as learningevents, all share the property that they appear during the learningprocess to impede learning, but they then often enhance learning asmeasured by post-training tests of retention and transfer. Conversely,manipulations such as keeping conditions constant and predictable andmassing trials on a given task often appear to enhance the rate oflearning during instruction or training, but then typically fail to supportlong-term retention and transfer” (Bjork, 2011, 8).
This is a surprising effect for teaching and learning, and if true, how can it be best leveraged. Worth reading up on and testing this effect.
Indeed humans do seem built for categorizing and creating taxonomies and hierarchies, and perhaps allowing this talent to do some of the work may be the best way to learn not only in the short term, but over longer term evolutionary periods?
- Feb 2021
Seitz, B. M., Aktipis, A., Buss, D. M., Alcock, J., Bloom, P., Gelfand, M., Harris, S., Lieberman, D., Horowitz, B. N., Pinker, S., Wilson, D. S., & Haselton, M. G. (2020). The pandemic exposes human nature: 10 evolutionary insights. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(45), 27767–27776. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2009787117
- human nature
- cultural evolution
- evolutionary medicine
- Sep 2018
Instead of taking these characteristics and saying that they are the basis for “human dignity,” why don’t we simply accept our destiny as creatures who modify themselves?
He mentioned several times that human nature can be the basis for values and morality, but here he says that human nature is subject to change. In that case It sounds like he believes that the standards of morality and value which are based on human nature should also change and that doesn't sound like very firm ground to stand on.
- Dec 2016