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Category: cultural evolution

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

How the Black Death Radically Changed the Course of History

link.medium.com/YRFzoB3Xr5 This article is relevant to our recent discussions and Zak Stein’s (see Edward’s recent post) suggestion that great destabilizing events open gaps in which new structures can supplant older, disintegrating systems–with the inherent risks and opportunities.

A war broke out in heaven

A war broke out in heaven

See Zak Stein’s reflections on how the pandemic signals the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. This could be an opportunity to transform our dominant cultural worldview if we but accept the responsibility and get busy enacting it. Just a brief excerpt follows. Click on the link and be rewarded with the rest of this inspiring scripture. “One world is now gone and a new one has yet to emerge; we are now at the…

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The Political Mind

The Political Mind

By George Lakoff.  A copy can be found at academia.edu here. An excerpt: “One can see in scripts the link between frames and narratives.Narratives are frames that tell a story. They have semantic roles,properties of the role, relations among roles, and scenarios. Whatmakes it a narrative-a story-and not just a mere frame? A narrativehas a point to it, a moral. It is about how you should liveyour life-or how you shouldn’t. It has emotional content: eventsthat make you sad or…

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Living in the future’s past

Living in the future’s past

I watched a good documentary last night titled, Living in the Future’s Past, a project organized, produced, and narrated by Jeff Bridges. It’s available through your Albuquerque Public Library account’s access to Hoopla Digital, Amazon Prime video, and other services. It lays out the modern dilemma of having a pre-neolithic brain in a Neolithic era and posits several questions that align closely with the theme of our current discussion . The film has commentary from diverse scientific experts, including Daniel…

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Humans are still evolving

Humans are still evolving

From this article. See it for details. “Evolution is an ongoing process, although many don’t realize people are still evolving. It’s true that Homo sapiens look very different than Australopithecus afarensis, an early hominin that lived around 2.9 million years ago. But it is also true that we are very different compared to members of our same species, Homo sapiens, who lived 10,000 years ago — and we will very likely be different from the humans of the future. “What…

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Winter 2020 discussion prompts

Winter 2020 discussion prompts

What is humanity’s situation with respect to surviving long-term with a good quality of life? (Frame the core opportunities and obstacles.) What attributes of our evolved, experientially programmed brains contribute to this situation? (What are the potential leverage points for positive change within our body-brain-mind system?) What courses of research and action (including currently available systems, tools, and practices and current and possible lines of R&D) have the potential to improve our (and the planetary life system’s) near- and long-term…

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Storytelling as adaptive collective sensemaking

Storytelling as adaptive collective sensemaking

Bietti et al. (2018), Topics in Cognitive Science. The abstract: “Storytelling represents a key element in the creation and propagation of culture. Three main accounts of the adaptive function of storytelling include (a) manipulating the behavior of the audience to enhance the fitness of the narrator, (b) transmitting survival‐relevant information while avoiding the costs involved in the first‐hand acquisition of that information, and (c) maintaining social bonds or group‐level cooperation. We assess the substantial evidence collected in experimental and ethnographic…

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Cracking the code of rapid social transformation

Cracking the code of rapid social transformation

If interested sign up for this free one-hour presentation on Wednesday, January 15. The blurb: Terry Patten and other activist leaders facing the grim implications of climate chaos are seeing surprising glimpses of evolutionary emergence in culture around the world. Are we capable of making a huge, visible difference? How could each of us live differently to actually make it happen? Which cutting-edge communities and collectives are emerging to catalyze rapid social transformation? Questions Terry will address include: What is our…

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How cooperatives are driving the new economy

How cooperatives are driving the new economy

See this Evonomics article on the topic based on Tomasello’s research in this article. You can also see his latest research in his 2019 book Becoming Human: A Theory of Ontogeny. You can find a free copy here. It supports that cooperatives are much more in line with our evolutionary heritage than the corporate structure, thus highlighting the different focuses in evolutionary theory itself. “New peer-reviewed research by Michael Tomasello, an American psychologist and co-director of the Max Planck Institute…

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The age of entanglement

The age of entanglement

It is superseding the Age of Enlightenment as the dominant paradigm. It also applies to our models, many of which still retain the apparent logical necessities of Enlightenment hierarchical categorization. Entanglement is much more hier(an)archically synplex. Yes, we are still in transition, retaining elements from the Enlightenment. And when we do see evidence of entanglement we try to fit that round peg into the old square hole. But it’s time begin to frame our evidence within that new paradigm where…

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