The Complexity of Cultural Evolution
Joe Brewer
21611

Sorry Joe — I am not your biggest fan.

… the only way to make sense of their behavior is to computationally model how the various parts interact with each other dynamically

This makes an unproven assumption that the human mind is capable of identifying the relevant parts. From gluons to galaxies, where do we start?

Global warming arose from the false illusions of human separation from nature …

Yes. But unfortunately abstract thought is an inherently and inescapably divisive tool. How do you get around that when identifying the ‘various parts’ you mention above? The universe can be conceived of as a gazillion parts — infinity to the power of infinity if you like. What computer or model can process that? Logically, it is utterly impossible.

But we cannot even start to think this way if we don’t recognize how human cultures operate as complex systems.

Indeed. And once you get into that thinking properly you are faced with the fact that you are effectively trying to understand a dynamic reality one particle at a time. The only sensible way forward is to abandon the effort.

This is the work of culture design.

OMG. The next wave of social engineering.

I’ll look at the links nonetheless, as this is all philosophically interesting in terms of where we have gone wrong as a species.

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