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Category: behavior

Human large-scale cooperation as a product of competition between cultural groups

Human large-scale cooperation as a product of competition between cultural groups

Article in Nature Communications, February 2020. Since this topic repeatedly comes up in our discussions. The abstract: “A fundamental puzzle of human evolution is how we evolved to cooperate with genetically unrelated strangers in transient interactions. Group-level selection on culturally differentiated populations is one proposed explanation. We evaluate a central untested prediction of Cultural Group Selection theory, by assessing whether readiness to cooperate between individuals from different groups corresponds to the degree of cultural similarity between those groups. We documented…

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Grandmothers were critical for human evolution

Grandmothers were critical for human evolution

From the Into to this article from 2012: “According to a study published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the answer is grandmothers. ‘Grandmothering was the initial step toward making us who we are,’ says senior author Kristen Hawkes, an anthropologist at the University of Utah. In 1997 Hawkes proposed the ‘grandmother hypothesis,’ a theory that explains menopause by citing the under-appreciated evolutionary value of grandmothering. Hawkes says that grandmothering helped us to develop ‘a whole…

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The Social Dilemma

The Social Dilemma

The title of a new documentary showing how the big social media companies use psychology for surveillance to manipulate users to unconsciously accept programming and buy products. It’s an important topic but fails in that the makers did not use any of the persuasive techniques the social media companies use to get their own points across. It’s just dry, boring fact after fact that lost my interest a third of the way through. At one point they did try a…

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Arendt on behaviorism, cognition, work, automation, and passivity

Arendt on behaviorism, cognition, work, automation, and passivity

“Arendt anticipated the destructive potential of behaviorism decades ago when she lamented the devolution of our conception of ‘thought’ to something that is accomplished by a ‘brain’ and is therefore transferable to ‘electronic instruments’: The last stage of the laboring society, the society of jobholders, demands of its members a sheer automatic functioning, as though individual life had actually been submerged in the over-all life process of the species and the only active decision still required of the individual were…

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Freedom, choice, and future

Freedom, choice, and future

“Our freedom flourishes only as we steadily will ourselves to close the gap between making promises and keeping them. Implicit in this action is an assertion that through my will I can influence the future. It does not imply total authority over the future, of course, only over my piece of it. In this way, the assertion of freedom of will also asserts the right to the future tense as a condition of a fully human life.” — The Age…

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Civilization requires virtue signaling

Civilization requires virtue signaling

This is a frequent topic of interest to us. So here‘s an article by Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychology professor at UNM. A few excerpts follow: “We all virtue signal. […] Let’s not pretend otherwise.” “There’s virtue signaling, and then there’s virtue signaling. […] On the one hand, there’s what economists call ‘cheap talk’: signals that are cheap, quick and easy to fake, and that aren’t accurate cues of underlying traits or values. […] On the other hand, there’s virtue…

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2020-06-06 Check-in topics

2020-06-06 Check-in topics

Here are some of the topic references Scott, Paul, Edward, and Mark discussed during today’s check-in. If these provoke any thoughts, please feel free to reply by comment below this article or by reply to all from the associated email message from Cogniphile. Socio-economic and political: Alternate social and economic system – https://centerforpartnership.org/the-partnership-system/ Dark Horse podcast (Weinstein) ep. 19 on co-presidency idea How could a shift to voting on issues rather than representatives work? What are the potential challenges? How…

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Hanzi Freinacht on Nordic Ideology

Hanzi Freinacht on Nordic Ideology

We’ve briefly discussed metamodernism before. Hanzi has written two books on the subject. In this interview he discusses his latest book Nordic Ideology. There’s also a transcript available if you prefer reading. The blurb: “Hanzi Freinacht, political philosopher, historian, sociologist, & author talks with Jim about effective value memes, cultural code, what it means to have high depth, dynamics of cognitive complexity, the changeability of culture & systems, social engineering, compulsion vs seduction, prioritizing subjective states, cultural attractor points &…

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