Modularity and Recombination in Technological Evolution
In May we read Mathieu Charbonneau’s 2016 article, Modularity and Recombination in Technological Evolution. The article is describing a key property of cultural variation, recombination, and its central property, modularity, in order to avoid a circular understanding of their interaction, and to show how the study of recombination and modularity depends on understanding of generative processes involved in production of public displays during social transmission. Using the transition from the Oldowan to Acheulean stone tool industries as an example, the author argues that the recombination depends on the interface produced between modules and the complex recipes for their recombination, and that such interfaces are a result of generative processes involved in production of the recipes.
How do you think this paper benefits the theory of cultural evolution? Do you agree with the concept of cultural modules of recombination (CRM-s)? Can you think of study examples which could benefit from implementing this theory?