good commentary, pedro. where do compassion and love--the archangel principle--fit into the lucifer principle? and why have groups progressed in complexity since the end of the last ice age eleven thousand years ago? to form a superorganism, a cohesive group, you need huge amounts of collaboration and cooperation. love is one cohesive force, one bonding element, one form of social glue. justice is another. justice resolves differences in the group without violence. justice is at work in chimpanzee societies, where new leaders are required to uphold the weak and the downtrodden and to settle disputes. if a new leader doesn't understand this imperative and is a mere bully, the females in the group oust him from power. justice is at work in !Kung San societies, where the days are devoted to hunting and gathering and the nights are devoted to story telling and dispute resolution. but where does the increasing complexity of human societies come from? humans are drawn to the sight of other humans. when architects in the 1960s tried to fashion contemplative spaces around office buildings so the buildings' inhabitants could get a touch of calm during lunch hours, it didn't work. the buildings' workers shunned the contemplative spots and sat on the buildings' outdoor steps. why? to watch the sight of other people going by on the sidewalk. we love the sight of others. and the more others, the better. from that impulse came cities. from that impulse came smartphones and facebook. but guess what? the more communication and the more information exchange, the more collaboration. and the richer and more long-distance that collaboration becomes. the more global. the more we communicate, the more group iq we add to the global brain. (the topic of my second book, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century) one more thing. nature seems to have an inexorable itch for novelty. and we, nature's children, are novelty hunters too. from our itch for novelty comes, guess what? innovation. put innovation and increasing group size together and you get a long-term march forward, a march in which humans do the cosmos' work--helping her reinvent herself. helping her lift herself up the staircase of shock and creativity. the staircase of complexity. the staircase of the supersized surprise. with warmth and oomph--howard In a message dated 1/5/2016 12:23:57 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, pcmarijuan.i...@aragon.es writes:
Dear Howard and Colleagues, Many thanks for your contribution! This is the third time we have a New Year Lecture, and the first one devoted to humanities. Well, to the "inhumanities" should I say, as what you have depicted succinctly with the Lucifer Principle describes the main evil that has been torturing human history. There are matters of detail to comment (as previous messages have already pointed out), but also of general perspective. First about the apparent simplicity. The LP scheme looks simple, too simple... but at the same time it may be powerful, really powerful in explanatory capabilities. I really do not particularly like any of the three components involved (super-organism, pecking order, meme/group-identity), and do not trust much about their respective "scientificity", but their combination is chilling. It reminds some of the Marxian strictures about class struggle, partially right but missing and transposing essential ingredients of human life. Presumably some more objectivity in this case --but also missing some counterpart, say the "Archangel Principle", that has confronted and resisted the solvent forces of the Luciferian complex and, in the long trend, supported the complexity growth of societies and improved their structural decency. With only the action of LP, history would not go beyond barbaric empires briefly raising from a mosaic of ever fighting tribes... That's plausible, and some parties may remind Tom Stonier in this list, late 90's I think, on warfare as part of the adaption scenario of human evolution. Then, what could be the AP "bright forces" of history that have counteracted LP? The Pantheon of politheistic cultures could give a hint... I venture to single out three components of AP: knowledge, justice, and the third... what about love/compassion? Anyhow, both the details of your LP scheme and the general canvas of human history need an informational perspective, we completely agree. And it is interesting that the whole trinity of LP have biological/informational origins; but disentangling the info physics from the info bios has not been done yet (and so your final comment is well intended but still confusing in my view). Let me ad, looking both at the achievements of our times and at the open intractable conflicts, that it is amazing the absence of a real international system of justice... Discussing on justice, on its capability to social problem solving and to quench the LP permanent hunger, might not be a bad idea. Best wishes to all for the New Year. --Pedro ____________________________________ De: Fis [fis-boun...@listas.unizar.es] en nombre de howlbl...@aol.com [howlbl...@aol.com] Enviado el: lunes, 04 de enero de 2016 6:45 Para: firstname.lastname@example.org Asunto: [Fis] January Lecture--Information and the Forces of History The Force of History--Howard Bloom In 1995, I published my first book, The Lucifer Principle: a Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of history. It sold roughly 140,000 copies worldwide and is still selling. Some people call it their Bible. Others say that it was the book that predicted 9/11. And less than two months ago, on November 13, 2015, some current readers said it was the book that explained ISIS’ attacks on Paris. Why? What are the forces of history? And what do they have to do with information science? The Lucifer Principle uses evolutionary biology, group selection, neurobiology, immunology, microbiology, computer science, animal behavior, and anthropology to probe mass passions, the passions that have powered historical movements from the unification of China in 221 BC and the start of the Roman Empire in 201 BC to the rise of the Empire of Islam in 634 AD and that empire’s modern manifestations, the Islamic Revolutionary Republic of Iran and ISIS, the Islamic State, a group intent on establishing a global caliphate. The Lucifer Principle concludes that the passions that swirl, swizzle, and twirl history’s currents are a secular trinity. What are that trinity ’s three components? The superorganism, the pecking order, and ideas. What’s a superorganism? Your body is an organism. But it’s also a massive social gathering. It’s composed of a hundred trillion cells. Each of those cells is capable of living on its own. Yet your body survives thanks to the existence of a collective identity—a you. In 1911,_[i]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%2 0foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.docx) Harvard biologist William Morton Wheeler noticed that ant colonies pull off the same trick. From 20,000 to 36 million ants work together to create an emergent property, a collective identity, the identity of a community, a society, a colony, or a supercolony. Wheeler observed how the colony behaved as if it were a single organism. He called the result a “superorganism.”_[ii]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and% 20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.docx) Meanwhile in roughly 1900, when he was still a child, Norway’s Thorleif Schjelderup Ebbe got into a strange habit: counting the number of pecks the chickens in his family’s flock landed on each other and who pecked whom. By the time he was ready to write his PhD dissertation in 1918, Ebbe had close to 20 years of data. And that data demonstrated something strange. Chickens in a barnyard are not egalitarian. They have a strict hierarchy. At the top is a chicken who gets special privileges. All others step aside when she goes to the trough. She is the first to eat. And she can peck any other chicken in the group. Then comes chicken number two. She is the second to eat. And she can peck anyone in the flock with one notable exception. She cannot peck the top chicken. Then comes chicken number three, chicken number four, and so on. Each one cannot peck the chickens above her on the social ladder. But each has free rein to peck the chickens below. Finally, there’s the bottom chicken, a chicken everyone is free to peck but who is free to peck no one. Ebbe called this a “peck order,” a pecking order, a dominance hierarchy. And in 1976, Oxford evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined two new terms._[iii]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2 015.docx) He observed that biological life, all of it from bacteria to bathing beauties, depends on the evolution of what Dawkins called “ replicators,” molecules that can make copies of themselves. Then Dawkins spotted a newer kind of replicator at work. The first biological replicators— genes--did their thing in primordial puddles. The new replicator worked in a puddle of a radically different kind—the puddle of the human mind. Dawkins observed that we see replicators at work when our mind fixates on a song we hate and plays it over and over again, no matter how vigorously we wish it away. That song is using our mind to make more copies of itself. But the most important replicators in the soup of the human mind are not pop songs, they’re ideas. Dawkins called these mind-based replicators “memes.” Superorganism, the pecking order, and ideas—memes--that’s the holy trinity of The Lucifer Principle. That’s the holy trinity that drives the forces of history. Here’s how it works. Social groups compete. They battle for pecking order position in a hierarchy of groups. They strive to be at the top of that hierarchy and to avoid the fate of the chicken at the bottom. What’s the main thing over which groups compete? It’s a badge of group membership. A badge of what molecular biologist Luis Villarreal and philosopher Guenther Witzany call “group identity.”_[iv]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20infor mation%20science%2012-24-2015.docx) That badge? A cluster of memes. A knot of replicators that live in a sea of minds. The Babylonians competed with the Assyrians and the Medes. They competed using different languages. They competed using different ideas of what clothes to wear, what was right and wrong, and, most important, what gods to worship._[v]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20f oundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.docx) The eight states that made war in China in from 475 BC to 221 BC also had competing languages, religions, and philosophies. Rome set itself against the Persian Empire using the same tools of group identity: a different language, a different clothing style, a different way of worship, and a different pantheon of gods-- different ideas. And today militant Islam—in the form of the Islamic State and what’s left of al Qaeda--is pitting itself against the West, Russia, and China using the ideas of Islam. Using the words and deeds of Mohammed, words and deeds that are still making copies of themselves in new minds 1,384 years after Mohammed’s death. Pecking order competitions between groups, pecking order competitions based on ideas, are the meat and potatoes of the headlines. They are the forces of history. Where does information come into this? Everywhere. A fact that we shall have to discuss. Why? Because communication, sociality, and information exchange are at the very heart of this cosmos. So are competition and hierarchy. Not to mention the ancestor of superorganism-ness, the foremother of group identity— the cosmos’ obsession with mobs, gangs, flocks, and massively integrated social entities. Social entities that range from protons, atoms, galaxies, stars, planets and moons to galaxy superclusters. What do all of these things have in common? What do they share with megamolecules, DNA, cells, and bacterial colonies, not to mention ants, nations, and ISIS? Competition, hierarchy, and group identity. Superorganism, pecking order, and ideas—the holy trinity of the Lucifer Principle. And guess what else they share? Information! ____________________________________ _[i]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.doc x) Jürgen Tautz, The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism, Berlin: Springer, 2008, p. 3,. _[ii]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marij una%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.docx) William Morton Wheeler, The Termitodoxa, Or Biology And Society, The Scientific Monthly, February, 1920. _[iii]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.d ocx) Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976. _[iv]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.do cx) Luis P. Villarreal, Origin of Group Identity: Viruses, Addiction and Cooperation, New York: Springer, 2009. _[v]_ (file:///C:/cnt/the%20new%20forces%20of%20history%20for%20pedro%20marijuna%20and%20the%20foundations%20of%20information%20science%2012-24-2015.doc x) For more on the battle of the gods in Mesopotamia, see Howard Bloom, The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates, Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 2016. ____________ Howard Bloom Author of: The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History ("mesmerizing"-The Washington Post), Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century ("reassuring and sobering"-The New Yorker), The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism ("A tremendously enjoyable book." James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic), The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates ("Bloom's argument will rock your world." Barbara Ehrenreich), How I Accidentally Started the Sixties ("Wow! Whew! Wild! Wonderful!" Timothy Leary), and The Mohammed Code ("A terrifying book…the best book I've read on Islam." David Swindle, PJ Media). www.howardbloom.net Former Core Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute; Former Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University. Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; Founder, Space Development Steering Committee; Founder: The Group Selection Squad; Founding Board Member: Epic of Evolution Society; Founding Board Member, The Darwin Project; Founder: The Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Society, Academy of Political Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International Society for Human Ethology, Scientific Advisory Board Member, Lifeboat Foundation; Editorial Board Member, Journal of Space Philosophy; Board member and member of Board of Governors, National Space Society.
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