Dear Howard and colleagues,

Thanks for the comments on "instinctive" justice. I agree on those evolutionary 
roots, although it is not the kind of complex "invented" justice needed even 
for the early urban settlements. The Hammurabi's legendary code, for instance, 
was in the context of a mostly urban civilization, possessing writing, number 
systems, mass-religion, bureaucracy and very different professions. It was 
written because justice administration could not be left to oral vagaries. 
Celts, conversely, never developed writing systems (& decent number systems) 
and so were unable to go beyond the village/tribe stage, where the 
"instinctive" justice and the face-to-face relationships are sufficient to 
cover the collective organization demands. Their very interesting culture and 
folklore had no parallel in permanent sociopolitical structures, irrespective 
that they could improvise astonishing military rampages. In the book by Jared 
Diamond (Guns, Germs & Steel), there is a very interesting Table in pp. 268-9 
that describes the whole conditions for ascending in social complexity: bands, 
tribes, feuds, kingdoms, empires... Each society has to find, first, an 
adequate ecological environment (or being able to built it "artificially") and 
then has to invent the further organizational requisites (or has to receive 
them from abroad). That Table is quite interesting and may be important for 
further advancing the "informational approach" to human history.

Thereafter, the social "superorganism" becomes possible due to the long term 
work of human knowledge (or "reason" as Hans puts), through language, deictic 
combinatorics, etc., in an exercise of collective intelligence, mostly of the 
AP type (Angelic!). Science as the great social method to 
create/invent/innovate is probably the best paradigm for AP values. Justice is 
as much essential, but the invented one, for it must be differentiated and 
evolved for the larger and larger social organisms. Failure to develop the 
appropriate legal developments and judiciary instances means that the conflicts 
always inherent in the LP human reality will paralyze and even destroy the 
existing social order. Collapse is always close by (what happened with URSS 
colossal empire?). In our times, those perennial, intractable conflicts are 
fueled not just by conflicting memes, but by a series of arbitrariness, errors, 
force exhibitions, retaliations, occupations, etc. that cannot be examined and 
judged by any judiciary system. The Western failure even to glimpse that 
absence is but an epochal blindness.

Bob has drafted the universal drama, where the elements of the two different 
scenarios AP & LP mix and intertwine forming more and more complex tapestries. 
Perhaps the essential point of all this deployment was marked in Howard's first 
paragraph of the kickoff text: "What are the forces of history? And what do 
they have to do with information science?" But a previous question may be in 
order: is "force" the most cogent term to rationalize the upheavals of human 
history? Is "force" an interesting element at all for advancing the 
informational worldview?

Best wishes to all (and particularly thanks to Hans for his hyper-kind comment!)
De: []
Enviado el: miércoles, 06 de enero de 2016 0:37
Asunto: Re: [Fis] January Lecture--Information and the Forces of History

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 

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 

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 

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, 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 

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.

De: Fis [] en nombre de 
Enviado el: lunes, 04 de enero de 2016 6:45
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 
 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 
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 
  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 
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 
  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 
  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 

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!


 Jürgen Tautz, The Buzz about Bees: Biology of a Superorganism, Berlin: 
Springer, 2008, p. 3,.

 William Morton Wheeler, The Termitodoxa, Or Biology And Society, The 
Scientific Monthly, February, 1920.

 Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976.

 Luis P. Villarreal,  Origin of Group Identity: Viruses, Addiction and 
Cooperation,  New York: Springer, 2009.

 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).
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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