“Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age” Book Club General Discussion
Join the discussion of our Book Club here!
You will find on the Book Club page: the précis of the book by Alberto Acerbi, commentaries by Alex Mesoudi, Hugo Mercier, Mathieu Charbonneau, Olivier Morin, Pascal Boyer, Sacha Altay and Tiffany Morisseau, and finally Alberto's response to the commentaries. The general discussion starts today and will continue until July 12th. Everyone is welcome to join.
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Alberto Acerbi’s response: There is much work to do
It was a great pleasure having a book club dedicated to Cultural evolution in the digital age. Writing a book feels like a long and solitary experience and it is comforting that, when done, it may result in such productive exchanges. Thus, first of all, I want to thank the organisers, Tiffany Morisseau and Dan Sperber, and all the participants for their commentaries: kind, sometimes even flattering, but always perceptive and stimulating. I organised my reply around three macro-themes that emerged in the book club: the role of producers of cultural traits, the features of specifically digital cultural transmission, and a discussion on some more foundational issues in cultural evolution, namely the importance of faithful transmission for cumulative culture and our reliance on social information....
Truth is not always the point
Cultural evolution – The mystery of production
The Participatory Age
Consuming vs. sharing information online
Cultural transmission, reinvention, and progress
Are humans ‘wary learners’?
A précis of ‘Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age’
‘Cultural Evolution in the Digital Age’ Book Club
Board games, intuitive monopolists, and pedagogical Georgists
Quiet online spaces as a form of mutualistic nudging for our hyper-networked world
Do COVID-19 conspiracy theories stem from gullibility or skepticism?
Ubiquitous yet nowhere to be found: on the Invisible Hand’s success
How relevant to the psychology of mindreading is knowledge-first epistemology?
Could mindshaping be the bedrock of human social cognition?
If teleology is the answer, what was the question?
A natural experiment of gradual & contingent cultural causation
Ostension, insistence, and harassment
Last week, the “Social Minds: Coordination, Communication, and Cultural Transmission” project was having a five-day workshop at the Burn, a manor in the Scottish Highlands. Elizabeth Warren (a PhD student working with Josep Call at St Andrews) presented her work on ostension in chimpanzees, with videos....
How Jordan Peterson became an Intellectual Guru
I think I have discovered something that no one else has any idea about, and I’m not sure I can do it justice. Its scope is so broad that I can see only parts of it clearly at one time, and it is exceedingly difficult to set down comprehensibly in writing.
- Jordan Peterson (1999, 473)
Signalling signalhood as a means of protest
A few days ago Kazakh police detained a young man holding a poster in Abay Square in Oral, Western Kazakhstan. The poster, however, was blank, and Aslan Sagutdinov was later released without charged. Apparently the authorities could not agree what to charge him with. It’s like this old Soviet joke. A policeman approaches and detains a man handing out leaflets in Red Square. Looking at the leaflets he finds them blank. “Why are they blank?”, he asks. “Why write anything?”, says the man. “Everyone understands.”...
Call for papers: Cognitive Science of Nationalistic Behavior – Evolutionary and cross-cultural perspectives
The Journal of Cognition and Culture (Brill) is hosting a special issue (edited by Dr Michal Fux, Northeastern University) on the role of cognitive science in nationalistic thought and behaviour (CSNB). Spurred by the rise in popularity of nation-based separatist movements, which followed an era of a steady move toward globalization, the editing team is interested in filling a surprising scholarly gap by establishing a wide explanatory framework / cognitive model for CSNB thoroughly integrated with what is known about human cognition and its evolution....