285 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. The use of physical location, even in an imagined environment, as a memory aid likely arose as a result of the fact that so much of the essential information stored in memory can be linked to foraging-type behaviours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Explore this area more deeply.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

  3. Mar 2022
    1. MY LECTURE NOTES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Internet bis Web 3.0 (semantic web)

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

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

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

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

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

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

      source?

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

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

      Which conditions? How broad are they?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      There is an interesting analogy here worth pursuing:

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

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

      Think inputs and outputs.

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

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

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

  7. Nov 2021
    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.

    1. After 30 Years of Breeding Condors, a Secret Comes Out ‘Virgin birth’ might be more common in animals than we thought. by Sarah Zhang https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/10/california-condors-are-capable-virgin-birth/620517/

    2. Poultry scientists have also succeeded in selecting for parthenogenesis, increasing the incidence in Beltsville small white turkeys more than threefold, to 41.5 percent in five generations. Environmental factors—like high temperatures or a viral infection—also seem to trigger poultry parthenogenesis.

      Parthenogenesis can be selected for in breeding.

      What might this look like in other animal models. What do the long term effects of such high percentages potentially look like?

      Could this be a tool for guarding against rising temperatures in the looming climate crisis?

    3. Different poultry breeds have significantly different rates of parthenogenesis, ranging from 0.16 percent in Barred Plymouth Rock chickens, to 3 percent in commercial turkeys, to 16.9 percent in Beltsville small white turkeys.

      Different breeds of poultry display different rates of parthenogenesis.

      Cross reference: https://rep.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/rep/155/6/REP-17-0728.xml

    1. Nicholas Christakis, the Yale professor of medicine and sociology who was at the center of a campus and social-media storm in 2015, is also an expert on the functioning of human social groups. He reminded me that ostracism “was considered an enormous sanction in ancient times—to be cast out of your group was deadly.” It is unsurprising, he said, that people in these situations would consider suicide.
  8. Oct 2021
    1. Although parthenogenesis has now been found in many vertebrates, mammals seem incapable of it because some of our genes are selectively turned on, depending on whether they’re inherited from the mother or father, so we need both.
    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. Plessner finds in the dynamics of double aspectivity the constitution of a kind of self. Living entities develop which means they both lead away into something new and yet persist as what they are. It is in their constant becoming Other that they become themselves and constitute and sustain a "form-idea." Plessner's early concept of development, is capacious enough (unlike some more recent formulations that presume multi-cellularity) to characterize even single celled life-forms.

      From Plessner's perspective, even a cell has a constitution of a self.

    1. https://slate.com/culture/2011/08/cathy-n-davidson-s-now-you-see-it-do-the-young-really-rule-in-the-internet-era.html

      A very prescient article by Annie Murphy Paul from 2011. It doesn't review Davidson's book, so much as to take to task some of the underlying optimistic views of the magic of technology. If only we were able to better adapt and evolve to create the sort of changes in humanity to take advantage of the potential benefits that were assumed. Instead, much of the tech sector adapted instead to hijack our slowly evolving attention to benefit themselves.

      I wish we as a culture had had more of this sober sort of outlook about technology at the time.

      I'm now even more intrigued by Paul's new book: The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain, which is already in my reading queue.

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>Annie Murphy Paul </span> in "@ChrisAldrich @amandalicastro @CathyNDavidson Chris, you may be interested in this review of "Now You See It" that I wrote . . . https://t.co/TnnbQ3NHWf" / Twitter (<time class='dt-published'>10/17/2021 10:25:52</time>)</cite></small>

    1. I don’t think the methods were worked out as much as evolved with the human brain. I suspect those who started using mnemonics survived and bred better than those who didn’t.

      I've had this same suspicion for a while. Might be interesting to try to collect some evidence to support it.

    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)

  9. Sep 2021
    1. Update API usage of the view helpers by changing javascript_packs_with_chunks_tag and stylesheet_packs_with_chunks_tag to javascript_pack_tag and stylesheet_pack_tag. Ensure that your layouts and views will only have at most one call to javascript_pack_tag or stylesheet_pack_tag. You can now pass multiple bundles to these view helper methods.

      Good move. Rather than having 2 different methods, and requiring people to "go out of their way" to "opt in" to using chunks by using the longer-named javascript_packs_with_chunks_tag, they changed it to just use chunks by default, out of the box.

      Now they don't need 2 similar but separate methods that do nearly the same, which makes things simpler and easier to understand (no longer have to stop and ask oneself, which one should I use? what's the difference?).

      You can't get it "wrong" now because there's only one option.

      And by switching that method to use the shorter name, it makes it clearer that that is the usual/common/recommended way to go.

    1. Valorize motion, not sitting still.

      I wonder how much of our genetic programming is based on centuries of evolution with humans moving around their landscapes and attaching their memories to them?

      Within Lynne Kelly's thesis about stone circles, henges, etc. most of the locations have roads and entryways into them which require movement much less the idea of dancing and singing attached to memory performance as well.

    1. Creating a community network ontology is therefore about much more than just knowledge representation. It also requires us to think about how this conceptual knowledge model affects real-world knowledge creation and application processes, in our case concerning participatory community network mapping. Its participatory nature means that we need to think hard about how to explicitly involve the community in the construction, evolution, and use of the ontology.
  10. Aug 2021
    1. I really hope they keep breaking it. Being the lead on a library for several years, most of the forced refactors were pretty straight forward and in almost every case made our code either more sound or easier to be consumed. Now I work on a runtime that embeds TypeScript and 3.5.1 has broken some code, thought it took me all of about 15 minutes to make the changes to adopt it, and in every case, it broke because we were being a bit loose with the types. While it didn't find any bugs, it made the code more "safe".

      I really hope they keep breaking it.

    1. Kai Kupferschmidt on Twitter: “One of the most important things I was looking for in reporting on #SARSCoV2 evolution was a way of making sense of all the virus variants, putting them in some framework. And one of the most useful things I found for that is this antigenic map. It’s worth explaining a bit: Https://t.co/miO8Kh9w9e” / Twitter. (n.d.). Retrieved August 22, 2021, from https://twitter.com/kakape/status/1428650961652916230?s=20

  11. Jul 2021
  12. May 2021
    1. Faria, N. R., Mellan, T. A., Whittaker, C., Claro, I. M., Candido, D. da S., Mishra, S., Crispim, M. A. E., Sales, F. C. S., Hawryluk, I., McCrone, J. T., Hulswit, R. J. G., Franco, L. A. M., Ramundo, M. S., Jesus, J. G. de, Andrade, P. S., Coletti, T. M., Ferreira, G. M., Silva, C. A. M., Manuli, E. R., … Sabino, E. C. (2021). Genomics and epidemiology of the P.1 SARS-CoV-2 lineage in Manaus, Brazil. Science. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abh2644

  13. Apr 2021
    1. Binstock: You once referred to computing as pop culture. Kay: It is. Complete pop culture. I’m not against pop culture. Developed music, for instance, needs a pop culture. There’s a tendency to over-develop. Brahms and Dvorak needed gypsy music badly by the end of the nineteenth century. The big problem with our culture is that it’s being dominated, because the electronic media we have is so much better suited for transmitting pop-culture content than it is for high-culture content. I consider jazz to be a developed part of high culture. Anything that’s been worked on and developed and you [can] go to the next couple levels. Binstock: One thing about jazz aficionados is that they take deep pleasure in knowing the history of jazz. Kay: Yes! Classical music is like that, too. But pop culture holds a disdain for history. Pop culture is all about identity and feeling like you’re participating. It has nothing to do with cooperation, the past or the future—it’s living in the present. I think the same is true of most people who write code for money. They have no idea where [their culture came from]—and the Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs.

      This is a great definition of pop culture and a good contrast to high-culture.

      Here's the link to the entire interview: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/bbm%3A978-3-319-90008-7%2F1.pdf

    1. Trevor Bedford. (2021, January 14). After ~10 months of relative quiescence we’ve started to see some striking evolution of SARS-CoV-2 with a repeated evolutionary pattern in the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern emerging from the UK, South Africa and Brazil. 1/19 [Tweet]. @trvrb. https://twitter.com/trvrb/status/1349774271095062528

    1. In many computing contexts, "TTY" has become the name for any text terminal, such as an external console device, a user dialing into the system on a modem on a serial port device, a printing or graphical computer terminal on a computer's serial port or the RS-232 port on a USB-to-RS-232 converter attached to a computer's USB port, or even a terminal emulator application in the window system using a pseudoterminal device.

      It's still confusing, but this at least helps/tries to clarify.

  14. Mar 2021
    1. Originally he had used the terms usage scenarios and usage case – the latter a direct translation of his Swedish term användningsfall – but found that neither of these terms sounded natural in English, and eventually he settled on use case.
    1. Studies of great ape behavior show that they are good at cooperating in situations where there is no potential of deception, but behave egotistically in situations where there are motives for deception, suggesting that their "lack of cooperativeness" is not a lack of a cognitive ability at all, but rather a necessary adaptation to a society full of deception.[citation needed] This suggests that human cooperativeness began when proto-humans began to successfully avoid competition, which is also supported by the fact that the oldest evidence of care for the long-term sick and disabled are from shortly after the first emigration of hominins out of Africa about 1.8 million years ago

      successfully avoiding competition was key to humans doing super well vs the egotistical, competitive, & deceiving ways of apes

      being able to cooperate and get around deception/defection was key to humans doing so well

      .. and you can see how we evolved white sclera so others can better follow our gaze, hence work with us

      wow! (ape sclera is dark)

    1. What's more, watching the debates happening in real-time has really driven home that this approach doesn't just scale, it scales well. For a personal site, incremental improvement measured against real-world testing feels okay. For an industry-level protocol or specification, it feels like it should just collapse. Yet with the IndieWeb, not only is their work surprisingly resilient, it's far more adaptable as a result.

      think also "move slow and fix things"...

    1. This creates what is essentially an evolution process for the program, causing it to depart from the original engineered design. As a consequence of this and a changing environment, assumptions made by the original designers may be invalidated, introducing bugs.
    1. There's an interesting suggestion associated with this, that periodic fasting causes autophagy, which Taleb claims is an evolutionary process by which the weaker proteins are broken down first. If this is true, then always having a full stomach is another way of subsidizing the unfit and weakening the organism.

      This will depend on a very specific and narrow definition of fitness--perhaps one from a very individualistic and libertarian perspective.

      There is fitness at the level of the gene, the organ, the individual, and the group, and even possibly larger groupings above that.

      What if, by starving out and leaving "uneducated" people like Srinivasa Ramanujan, for example, who surely was marginalized for his time, society is left without them? While on an individual level Ramanujan may have been less fit on some levels as G.H. Hardy and may have otherwise dwindled and disappeared, Hardy adopted him and made both mathematicians better while also making dramatic strides for mankind.

      From a statistical mechanics perspective, within some reasonable limits, we should be focusing on improving ourselves as well as the larger group(s) because the end results for humanity and life in general may be dramatically improved. (Though what we mean by improved here may be called into question from a definitional perspective.)

      Compare this with [Malcolm Gladwell]]'s argument in My Little Hundred Million.

      On a nationalistic level within human politics, Republicans should be less reticent to help out marginalized Americans because it may be from this pool of potential that we may find life saving improvements or even protection from other polities (ie, in our competition or threats from countries like China, Iran, North Korea). Consider how different things may have been had the U.S. not taken in Jewish or other foreign nationals like Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, etc. in the early to mid-1900s.? Now consider, which life changing geniuses we may be preventing reaching their potential by our current immigration policies? our current educational policies?

    2. This, of course, makes it possible to report observations without specifying causes. One of the observations Taleb makes is that "Humans tend to do better with acute than with chronic stressors, particularly when the former are followed by ample time for recovery." (70) Is this true? In what domains? Probably in weight training. I'm not so sure in response to Black Swans.

      acute famine is better than chronic famine as an example.

      What are some examples of Black Swans in this instance? If there are any solid examples of Black Swans, they're most likely to cause death and not be survivable.

    1. I think that over time the distinction is lost. My math teacher, 35 years ago stated "formulas are used in chemistry, in math we have equations". To this day, the word 'formula' in math seems wrong, but I'd accept it's used commonly.
  15. Feb 2021
    1. which have recently become umbrella terms referring to any piece of quickly-consumed comedic or relatable content
    1. The Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press (AP) both revised their formerly capitalized stylization of the word to lowercase "internet" in 2016.[3] The New York Times, which followed suit in adopting the lowercase style, said that such a change is common practice when "newly coined or unfamiliar terms" become part of the lexicon.
    2. The spelling "internet" has become often used, as the word almost always refers to the global network; the generic sense of the word has become rare in non-technical writings.

      rare to see "internet" used to mean an internetwork in the general sense

    1. Teilhard consistentlyargued that,“the main movement in the universe has been, and is, a groping towards consciousness.”262Evolution, in hisview, exhibits a tendency towards increasing complexity and “cerebralisation.”263To date, this process has resulted in the emergence of humans, highly complex creatures thathave in turn given rise to a new “‘thinking layer,’” or noosphere—the complex web of collective thought and technologies that have dramatically extended humanity’s reach within the biosphere.264

      The tendency to ascribe a telos to evolution is an interesting trend here. It's essentially anthropomorphizing Darwin's ideas in ways that don't really track the reality. Natural selection is after what is adaptive in a particular context, it does not actually have to trend towards greater complexity and greater minds.