2018 Citations

Authors & Works cited in this section (citations below):

 

Algaze, Guillermo. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution
Allen, Robert C. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction.
Bapteste, Eric & Huneman. “Towards a Dynamic Interaction Network of Life to unify
Block, Peter. Community: The Structure of Belonging.
Bogdan, Radu. Mindvaults: Sociocultual Grounds for Pretending and Imagining.
Brenner, Neil, & C. Schmid. 2014. “The ‘Urban Age’ in Question.”
Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability
Clarke, Ellen. 2014. “Origins of evolutionary transitions.
Cochet, Helene & Byrne. “Complexity in animal behaviour: towards common ground.”
Coward, Fiona. 2016. “Scaling up: Material culture as scaffold for the social brain.
De Rosnay, Joel. Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and
De Jaegher, Hanne et al. “Grasping intersubjectivity: an invitation to embody social interaction
Demarest, Boris & Wolfe, C. “The organism as reality or as fiction: Buffon and beyond.
Dennett, Daniel. Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking.
Diaz-Munoz, Samuel et al. “Contextual organismality: Beyond pattern to process in the
Dor, Daniel. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social
Dor, Daniel. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication
Eisenstein, Charles. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition.
Erisman et al. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.”
Evans, G. R. Philosophy and Theology in the Middle Ages.
Gawne, Richard et al. “Unmodern Synthesis: Developmental Hierarchies and the Origin
Gaydarska, Bisserka. 2017. “Introduction: European Prehistory and Urban Studies.”
Gillespie, Alex & Cornish. 2010. “Intersubjectivity: Towards a Dialogical Analysis.
Godfrey-Smith, Peter. “Reproduction, symbiosis, and the eukaryotic cell.”
Heesen, Raphaela et al. Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared
Heylighen, Francis & Lenartowicz. The Global Brain as a model of the future information
Jablonka, Eva. “The entangled (and constructed) human bank.”
Judson, Olivia. “The energy expansions of evolution.”
Karsenti, Eric. “Self-organization in cell biology: a brief history.”
Knight, Chris. “Language and symbolic culture: an outcome of hunter-gatherer reverse
Knight, Chris & Lewis. “Vocal deception, laughter, and the linguistic significance of reverse
Laland, Kevin. “An Evolved Uniqueness: How We Became a Different Kind of Animal.”
Lamm, Ehud. “Forever united: the co-evolution of language and normativity.”
Lehn, Jean-Marie. “Beyond Chemical Synthesis: Self-Organization?!”
Lewis, Jerome. 2014. “BaYaka Pygmy multi-modal and mimetic communication traditions.
McNeill, JR & McNeill. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History.
Milam, Erika L. 2016. “The Ascent of Man and the Politics of Humanity’s Evolutionary Future.
Moczek, Armin et al. “The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology:
Nakajima, Toshiyuki. “Ecological extension of the theory of evolution by natural selection
Okasha, Samir. “Causation in Biology.”
Plato. Dialogue by Socrates in Phaedrus.
Power, Camilla. 2014. “Signal evolution and the social brain.”
Rescher, Nicholas. Process Metaphysics: An Introduction to Process Philosophy.
Riskin, Jessica. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over
Roberts, Patrick. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material
Ruiz-Mirazo et al. “Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process
Schmid, Christian et al. “Towards a new vocabulary of urbanisation processes: A comparative
Scruton, Roger. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction.
Smith, Christian. The Sacred Project of American Sociology.
Soja, Edward. “Cities and states in geohistory.
Spitzer, Jan, Pielak & Poolman. “Emergence of life: Physical chemistry changes the paradigm.”
Stahl, Gerry. 2016. “From Intersubjectivity to Group Cognition.
Stoelhorst, JW & P. Richerson. “A naturalistic theory of economic organization.”
Suddendorf, Thomas. “The Emergence of Episodic Foresight and Its Consequences.
Suddendorf, Thomas & Corballis. “The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel, and is
Suddendorf, Thomas. “Inside Our Heads: Two Key Features Created the Human Mind.”
Sullivan, Alexis et al. Human behaviour as a long-term ecological driver of non-human evolution
Sutherland, John. “Studies on the origin of life – the end of the beginning.”
Swiezynski, Adam. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing
Szathmary, Eors & J.Maynard Smith. “The major evolutionary transitions.”
Szpunar, Karl et al. “Toward a Taxonomy of Future Thinking.”
Taylor, Peter. “Knowledge in Disciplines and Cities: An Essay on Relations Between
Tomasello, Michael. “The Origins of Morality: How We Learned to Put Our Fate in One
Turner, J. Scott. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern
Tylen, Kristian et al. “Language as a Tool for Interacting Minds.”
Ulanowicz, Robert. “Preface: Towards a global understanding of development and evolution.”
Vale, GL et al. “Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to
Van Gestel, Jordi & Tarnita. “On the origin of biological construction, with a focus on
Vermeij, Geerat. “How the Land Became the Locus of Major Evolutionary Innovations.
Vesper, Cordula et al. “Joint Action: Mental Representations, Shared Information and General
Vico, Giambattista. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico.
Wedlich-Soeldner, Roland & T. Betz. Self-organization: the fundament of cell biology.
West, Geoffrey. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace
Woodward, James. Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation.
Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God.
Wulf, Andrea. The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World.
Wyman, Emily. “Language and collective fiction: from children’s pretence to social institutions.

 

Citations collected in 2018 (works listed above):

 

“Contextual organismality begins from the recognition that the condition of organismality is not fixed but instead depends on context.” Diaz-Munoz, Samuel, Boddy A., Dantas G., Waters C. & Bronstein J. 2016. “Contextual organismality: Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms.” Evolution. 70-12: 2669-2677. P. 2670.

 

“It is straightforward to envision that loose interactions, such as interspecific mutualisms, incorporate both cooperation and conflict and are context dependent.” Diaz-Munoz, Samuel, Boddy A., Dantas G., Waters C. & Bronstein J. 2016. “Contextual organismality: Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms.” Evolution. 70-12: 2669-2677. P. 2672.

 

“Thus, a lack of context dependency can be used as an indicator of an organism, that is, a group that preserves high cooperation and low conflict among the parts across widely divergent contexts.” Diaz-Munoz, Samuel, Boddy A., Dantas G., Waters C. & Bronstein J. 2016. “Contextual organismality: Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms.” Evolution. 70-12: 2669-2677. P. 2674.

 

“As outlined in our examples, the cooperation-conflict dynamic of a group can change in response to resource availability in a wide variety of biological entities. In response to nutrient starvation, bacteria, amoeba, and cancer cells increase their cooperative interactions to create new forms of organismality: fruiting bodies, slugs, and tumors, respectively.” Diaz-Munoz, Samuel, Boddy A., Dantas G., Waters C. & Bronstein J. 2016. “Contextual organismality: Beyond pattern to process in the emergence of organisms.” Evolution. 70-12: 2669-2677. P. 2676.

 

“… evolution has been punctuated by hierarchical evolutionary transitions (HET) [also known as transitions in individuality], whereby simple units assembled into groups that themselves became new units of biological organization.” Van Gestel, Jordi & Tarnita C. 2017. “On the origin of biological construction, with a focus on multicellularity.” PNAS. October 17. V 114. N 42. 11018-11026. P. 11018.

 

“Bonner focused in particular on the role of the life cycle in the HET to multicellularity. He argued that the life cycle encapsulates all properties needed for the potential to evolve by natural selection (i.e., reproduction and heritable variation) and considered the life cycle, and not the organism, to be the unit of biology. With this view, biological entities (including groups) have the potential to be a unit of selection if and only if they are part of a life cycle.” Van Gestel, Jordi & Tarnita C. 2017. “On the origin of biological construction, with a focus on multicellularity.” PNAS. October 17. V 114. N 42. 11018-11026. P. 11019. Reference: Bonner, JT. 1965. Size and Cycle: An Essay on the Structure of Biology. Princeton UP.

 

“Even in endosymbioses, facultative associations between the symbiotic partners are hypothesized to have preceded obligate relationships.” Van Gestel, Jordi & Tarnita C. 2017. “On the origin of biological construction, with a focus on multicellularity.” PNAS. October 17. V 114. N 42. 11018-11026. P. 11019.

 

“It is important to note that here the role of ecology is distinct from the one typically considered in studies on HET: while most studies only consider the ecology when it comes to the selection pressures that favor group formation, we emphasize that the ecology can also play a critical role in triggering and supporting the origination of the first group life cycles.” Van Gestel, Jordi & Tarnita C. 2017. “On the origin of biological construction, with a focus on multicellularity.” PNAS. October 17. V 114. N 42. 11018-11026. P. 11020.

 

“Bonner pointed out that all aquatic origins of multicellularity arose via ST [stay together], while most terrestrial origins arose via CT [come together]. This shows that the physics of the environment–for example, a relative lack of surfaces that could support aggregative multicellularity in aquatic systems–can constrain the possible grouping mechanisms, reemphasizing the diverse and critical roles of ecology in the origination of groups.” Van Gestel, Jordi & Tarnita C. 2017. “On the origin of biological construction, with a focus on multicellularity.” PNAS. October 17. V 114. N 42. 11018-11026. P. 11021. Reference: Bonner, JT. 1998. “The origins of multicellularity.” Integr Biol. 1:27-36.

 

“At the core of this look across geohistory is an emphasis on urban spatial causality, how cities as spatially organized social formations actively shape social relations and help to stimulate societal development. Cityspace in this sense is not just a place in which social life unfolds and major events occur but is also an affective and consequential context.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 363.

 

“… it can be argued that he world’s earliest urban settlements took place in the highland belt running through southern Anatolia to present day Iran and south into the levant rather than in the so-called Fertile Crescent of alluvial Mesopotamia.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. Pp. 363-4.

 

“But what is clearly suggested from contemporary archeological evidence and the logic of distance-minimizing human spatial behavior is that urbanization and agricultural development evolved together in a mutually causal and symbiotic relationship. The creation of an agricultural surplus played a key role in stimulating the development of cities, but just as important, urbanization played a generative role in the Agricultural Revolution.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 364.

 

“The settling down into permanent urban clusters was perhaps the most revolutionary event in the history of human society, following after at least 2,000,000 years of existence as small nomadic bands of fewer than a hundred members.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 364.

 

“There is no clear evidence of early agricultural villages that somehow grew into cities. Indeed, the idea that reasonable people would cluster together in permanent dwellings to farm does not make sense, especially when defense against outsiders was not a factor.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 365.

 

“Trade then was the primary urbanizing force, especially in the Neolithic or New Stone Age, when the main commodity was workable stones such as flint and obsidian, the volcanic glass that was most closely associated with the growth of Catalhoyuk.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 365.

 

“Catalhoyuk, perhaps the major metropolis of the Neolithic, lasted for nearly 2,000 years,…. Its generative power was impressive, leading to expanding agricultural development, innovative architecture and urban design, a form of highly egalitarian and family based religion, and the greatest burst of artistic creativity in human geohistory up to that time.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 365.

 

“After around 8,000 BP, however, before the flowering of the Mesopotamian city-states, evidence of walled settlements has been found showing signs of increasingly centralized authority and growing hierarchy, with some buildings much larger than others and with urban spaces possibly devoted to ceremony and/or exchange….

“What this suggests, as noted earlier, is that urbanization and state formation grew together symbiotically, very much like the mutually stimulating development of cities and agriculture….” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 366.

 

“The stimulus of urban agglomeration began to have an effect 12,000 years ago, reached an early peak in Catalhoyuk, and would explode again in Sumeria with the formation of city-states,…” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 367.

 

“Following Aristotle, Isin argues that politics are essentially urban generated, intrinsic to the city-state or polis, and reflective of deepening inequality of power and wealth. Without a sense of urban spatial causality, this argument becomes incomprehensible and almost impossible to understand and accept. Yet it is a vital part of what was happening in the eastern borderlands of the Mediterranean starting 8,000 years ago, as peaceful and egalitarian stateless cities became politically charged city-states.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. Pp. 368-9. Reference: Isin, E. 2002. Being political: Genealogies of citizenship. U of Minnesota Press.

 

“The rise and globalization of mercantile cities, many without significant state functions, had another geographical effect, leading to a rapidly growing coastal urbanization process, as port cities and long distance trade routes connected the littoral of all the worlds inhabited continents and contributed to the relative decline of some city-states located deeper inland.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 370.

 

“The Industrial Revolution accordingly triggered an exponential surge in urbanization unlike any that preceded it. The proportion of the world’s population that lives in cities remained very low, probably well under 1%, for the first 6,000 years of societal development. It rises only slightly over the next 5,000 years through the age of the city-state, but explodes in the late eighteenth century, when some states such as Great Britain and the Netherlands became predominantly urban for the first time as a third mode of urbanization emerged in association with the growth of the industrial capitalist city.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 370.

 

“Manchester illustrated paradigmatically the intertwined co-evolution of urbanization and industrialization in a chicken and egg dynamic resembling what happened earlier with regard to agricultural development and state formation.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 371.

 

“There has been broad agreement that three interactive forces have been primarily responsible for the restructuring of cities and states in the contemporary era. The new technologies have played a facilitative role in fostering an accelerated globalization of capital, labor, and culture and the formation of what is summarily called a ‘New Economy,’ variably described as postfordist, information intensive, flexible, and global. While evidence of the effects of these three forces can be found nearly everywhere to some degree, they combine in unique ways in every city and state to pose new challenges to interpretation, comparative analysis, and theory-building.

“… I focus here on two closely related aspects of the contemporary restructuring of cities and states: rescaling and regionalization. Rescaling refers to the re-organization of the spatial scales and hierarchical structures through which cities and states operate. Scale has conventionally been seen as rigidly defined and almost naturally given…. The notions of rescaling and regionalization in this sense provide a specifically spatial framework for understanding the co-evolution of cities and states.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 373.

 

“The unbounding of the modern metropolis, as in part the product of the globalization of the urban, creating the most culturally and economically heterogeneous cities the world has ever seen, has been at the same time leading to the urbanization of the entire globe.” Soja, Edward. 2010. “Cities and states in geohistory.” Theor Soc. 39:361-376. P. 375.

 

“While performing a joint task, co-actors typically monitor their task progress to determine whether the current state of the joint action and the desired action outcome are aligned…. Monitoring is useful to detect mistakes or unexpected outcomes in one’s own or one’s partner’s performance, enabling one to quickly react and adapt accordingly… Findings from an EEG experiment with expert musicians indicate that the neural signature associated with the detection of unexpected musical outcomes is similar irrespective of whether an auditory deviation arises from one’s own or the partner’s action. This suggests that co-actors monitor the actions toward the overall joint goal in addition to their own individually controlled part.” Vesper, Cordula, Abramova E, Butepage J, Ciardo F, Crossey B, Effenberg A, Hristova D, Karlinsky A, McEllin L, Nijssen S, Schmitz L & Wahn B. 2017. “Joint Action: Mental Representations, Shared Information and General Mechanisms for Coordinating with Others.” Frontiers in Psychology. January 4. V 7. Article 2039. P. 3.

 

“Joint attention relies on co-actors’ ability to monitor each other’s gaze and attentional states. For instance, when synchronizing actions, co-actors divide attention between locations relevant for their own and for their co-actor’s goal, and sharing gaze affects object processing by making attended objects motorically and emotionally more relevant.” Vesper, Cordula, Abramova E, Butepage J, Ciardo F, Crossey B, Effenberg A, Hristova D, Karlinsky A, McEllin L, Nijssen S, Schmitz L & Wahn B. 2017. “Joint Action: Mental Representations, Shared Information and General Mechanisms for Coordinating with Others.” Frontiers in Psychology. January 4. V 7. Article 2039. P. 3.

 

“For instance, Tomeo et al found that expert soccer players, compared to novices, more effectively predict the direction of a kick from another person’s body kinematics.” Vesper, Cordula, Abramova E, Butepage J, Ciardo F, Crossey B, Effenberg A, Hristova D, Karlinsky A, McEllin L, Nijssen S, Schmitz L & Wahn B. 2017. “Joint Action: Mental Representations, Shared Information and General Mechanisms for Coordinating with Others.” Frontiers in Psychology. January 4. V 7. Article 2039. P. 4. Reference: Tomeo E, Cesari P, Aglioti S & Urgesi C. 2012. “Fooling the kickers but not the goalkeepers: behavioral and neurophysiological correlates of fake action detection in soccer.” Cereb. Cortex. 23: 2765-2778.

 

“Accordingly, coactors might adjust the kinematic features of their action (e.g. velocity or movement height) in order to make their own actions easier to predict for another person. Thus, ‘sensorimotor communication’ is characterized by having both an instrumental (e.g., pushing a sofa) and a communicative goal (e.g., informing a partner about one’s movement direction). This facilitates action prediction by disambiguating different motor intentions for the observer, thereby relying on people’s ability to detect even subtle kinematic cues.” Vesper, Cordula, Abramova E, Butepage J, Ciardo F, Crossey B, Effenberg A, Hristova D, Karlinsky A, McEllin L, Nijssen S, Schmitz L & Wahn B. 2017. “Joint Action: Mental Representations, Shared Information and General Mechanisms for Coordinating with Others.” Frontiers in Psychology. January 4. V 7. Article 2039. P. 4.

 

“Mother-infant tactile communication, gaze, and emotional vocalization are found in all cultures and societies, although cross-cultural research revealed that touch plays a more important role for communication during play and learning in traditional compared to Western societies. Moreover, tactile communication is integral to cultural practices such as dance and martial arts.” Vesper, Cordula, Abramova E, Butepage J, Ciardo F, Crossey B, Effenberg A, Hristova D, Karlinsky A, McEllin L, Nijssen S, Schmitz L & Wahn B. 2017. “Joint Action: Mental Representations, Shared Information and General Mechanisms for Coordinating with Others.” Frontiers in Psychology. January 4. V 7. Article 2039. P. 4.

 

“Historically, the word ‘organism’ emerged in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, in particular in the debate between Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and the chemist and physician Georg-Ernest Stahl, the author of a 1708 essay On the difference between mechanism and organism…. For Leibniz, the particularity of the organisms consists in the level of complexity of its organisation: for him, organisms are machines that are machines down to their smallest parts… This contrasts with Stahl’s conception of an organism, as he prefers to think of the organism as a whole governed by the soul at all levels of its bodily functioning from the way we blink if an object comes too close to our eyes, to our fighting off an infection, to fully involuntary processes like digestion. Although Leibniz also insists on the role of the soul or the dominant monad in his account of living beings, this role is far less central to it than to Stahl’s. Consequently, the term ‘organism’ occurs rarely in the Enlightenment, when people spoke more of ‘organised bodies’ or ‘organisation’. Kant … speaks of organised bodies’ rather than of ‘organism.’” Demarest, Boris & Wolfe, Charles. 2017. “The organism as reality or as fiction: Buffon and beyond.” HPLS. 39:2. P. 2.

 

“For the period from Leibniz to Kant is also the period when biology as a science is emerging, the term ‘biology’ itself appearing in the 1760s, although it only settles into stable usage as the designation of a comprehensive science of life by the 1800s.” Demarest, Boris & Wolfe, Charles. 2017. “The organism as reality or as fiction: Buffon and beyond.” HPLS. 39:2. P. 3.

 

“In order to clarify some of these issues, we distinguish between strong and weak conceptions of organism, where the weak conception simply holds that organisms are types of organisation with some specific features, like homeostasis, which are not found in storms or supernovas, whereas the strong conception insists on a real, irreducible uniqueness or organisms and challenges our entire scientific world-picture on the basis thereof e.g. Goldstein’s insistence that the organism is ‘in time’ and characterised by its ‘historicity’ as opposed to the rest of physical nature.” Demarest, Boris & Wolfe, Charles. 2017. “The organism as reality or as fiction: Buffon and beyond.” HPLS. 39:2. P. 3.

 

“Buffon warns us that the success of mathematical physics should not be taken as evidence that nature’s inner structure is on a par with the mathematical structures through which we understand it. Instead, we should keep in mind that mathematical physics is only successful as an approach to those phenomena that are almost unphysical, i.e. unnatural in being abstract. Buffon identifies having physical (natural) qualities with being composite and complex, and being geometrically simple with being unnatural and ‘devoid of physical qualities’. Hence Buffon’s anti-mathematicism in the life sciences: the phenomena of life are those of organisation, of real physical qualities, and not those of abstract mathematical structure.” Demarest, Boris & Wolfe, Charles. 2017. “The organism as reality or as fiction: Buffon and beyond.” HPLS. 39:2. P. 10.

 

“Buffon suggests that the mistake here is to have substituted for real, complex and rich nature that teems with life the impoverished conception of nature proposed by Pythagoreans and Platonists. In real nature, organisation is a common, perfectly natural phenomenon, whereas in the latter it can only be introduced by the special structuring powers of an intentional agent, be it a vital principle, and animal soul or a divine creator.” Demarest, Boris & Wolfe, Charles. 2017. “The organism as reality or as fiction: Buffon and beyond.” HPLS. 39:2. P. 11.

 

Urban has come to mean what modern scholars want it to mean. It may have functional connotations; or contain sociological empirical distinctions, highly influenced by Western societies; or be viewed from the perspective of seats of power; practice theory; the Weberian division into consumer, producer and merchant city; or indeed Fletcher’s global model of settlement growth. This list is very long.” Gaydarska, Bisserka. 2017. “Introduction: European Prehistory and Urban Studies.” J World Prehist 30:177-188. P. 179.

 

“Two factors are identified whose structuring effect has important implications for delineating sites in a relational framework. The first one is centrality. Central places are understood variably in archaeology: as properties of geographically-inspired Thiessen polygons; as meaningful nodes in the landscape; as the dominant part of a core-periphery model; or as a gateway community integrating a centre with its hinterland….

“The second factor is intensification of what Cowgill calls variables: the economic basis (production, distribution, consumption); ideology (political, ritual, civic, the ‘Big Other’, and the ways in which values are negotiated); investment projects (stone architecture, ditches, ramparts); exchange networks (staple goods, exotic goods, prestige goods); inter-personal relations and social power (relational, heterarchical, hierarchical); conflict (competition, warfare); utilization of social space (at site level and at landscape level, including the use and ownership of land); and cultural memory and representation (mnemonics, writing, performance).” Gaydarska, Bisserka. 2017. “Introduction: European Prehistory and Urban Studies.” J World Prehist 30:177-188. Pp. 180-1.

 

“This essay traces the origins and legacy of this scientific commitment to a universal family of man in postwar evolutionary theory, and elaborates how scientists … sought to reframe the politics of human evolution by claiming that the principles governing the physical past of humanity differed fundamentally from those that would matter in the coming decades, centuries, or even millennia. They argued that when humans became human, a new form of evolutionary process came into being. Our capacity for culture, language, and ability to manufacture complex technologies, signaled a pronounced break with the past and necessitated a new set of conceptual scientific tools for thinking about humanity’s possible evolutionary futures. Whether they called it cultural, creative, or social evolution, liberal scientists endowed humanity’s escape from our physical past with hope and self-determination.” Milam, Erika L. 2016. “The Ascent of Man and the Politics of Humanity’s Evolutionary Future.” Endeavour. V 40. N 4. P. 225.

 

“The origins of humanity lay in a quantum evolutionary transition, he [Dobzhansky] wrote–a ‘pronounced break in the biological continuity’–that ushered in a ‘third kind of history.’ Cosmic history described the physical evolution of the universe and then everything changed when the origins of life created biological evolution. The origins of humanity changed things again.” Milam, Erika L. 2016. “The Ascent of Man and the Politics of Humanity’s Evolutionary Future.” Endeavour. V 40. N 4. P. 233.

 

“There are a number of different ongoing research questions associated with the major transitions, which we can organize into three classes. The first asks how transitions occur: what are the mutations or other changes that first get the process going and then drive it along?….

“Secondly, we can questions [sic] about why transitions occur – for what reason does a population sometimes change from State One to State Two [groups formed from State One entities]? In other words, what sort of fitness benefits are made available by moving to a higher level of organization? Calcott calls this the problem of ‘generating benefit’. What is it about the proximate mutations/novel traits that makes them selectively advantageous?…

“Finally, we can ask questions about how the higher-level organization is maintained, especially what protects cooperative interactions among the parts of a new higher-level organism from invasion by free-riding cheats. What makes the spread of the novel traits robust? In virtue of what are the objects in State Two evolutionarily stable?” Clarke, Ellen. 2014. “Origins of evolutionary transitions.” J. Biosci. 39(2) April. 303-317. Pp. 305-6.

 

“Across human cultures, ritual displays the hallmarks of costly signals: indexical, analogue, repetitive, energetic, multimedia, and emotional in effect. Speech, by contrast, is conventional, digital, low-cost, and dispassionate. Whereas in ritual, the receiver’s focus will be on performance, in speech, the focus shifts to underlying intention: what is the speaker meaning to say?” Power, Camilla. 2014. “Signal evolution and the social brain.” Pp. 47-55. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. Pp. 48-9.

 

“The cost of a signal can be divided into a component of ‘efficacy’ cost–what is needed to ensure the information can be perceived–and ‘strategic’ cost–the extra handicap which ensures honesty. In the case of speech, extraordinarily, all the costs appear to fall into the efficacy component; the efforts of both speaker and listener are channelled into distinguishing between contrastive phonemes, combined and recombined on a second digital level where semantic meaning emerges.” Power, Camilla. 2014. “Signal evolution and the social brain.” Pp. 47-55. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 49.

 

“Where all non-human signals evolve to alter behaviour in the real world, and are affected by factors of Darwinian behavioural competition for food and mates, language is designed instead to alter what is inside a listener’s mind, operating in that sense in a virtual world.” Power, Camilla. 2014. “Signal evolution and the social brain.” Pp. 47-55. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 50.

 

“BaYaka seek to speak as many ‘languages’ (djoki) as they can. Their speech is incorporative, open, encompassing, and inclusive. It is a skilful multi-modal deployment of a range of capacities inherent to human bodies that serve to establish relationships with as many creatures as possible.” Lewis, Jerome. 2014. “BaYaka Pygmy multi-modal and mimetic communication traditions.” Pp. 77-91. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 85.

 

“Ian Cross’ suggestion that music and language are part of a human communicative continuum is useful. Mbendjele have adapted each to different purposes: language to express individual intentions and needs, and to organize and negotiate interpersonal relationships and activities; music to structure groups and enable them to ‘speak’ to other groups as collectives rather than as individuals.

“When Mbendjele group together in ritualized ways to sing and dance, they speak as one. If only one spoke for them all, it would imply leadership. If each talked at once nothing would be understood. But when all sing, the message is reinforced and repetition strengthens the point rather than tiring listeners. Crucially, a singing group can say things that no individual in the group could say without fearing repercussions.” Lewis, Jerome. 2014. “BaYaka Pygmy multi-modal and mimetic communication traditions.” Pp. 77-91. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 88. Reference: Cross, Ian. 2005. “Music and Meaning, Ambiguity and Evolution.” Pp. 27-43. Miell, D., R. Macdonald & D. Hargreaves (Eds). Musical Communication. Oxford UP.

 

“Just as each sex employs different reproductive and productive strategies, so too do they differ in their use of similar propensities for mimicry. Based on insight from Mbendjele, women’s mimicry is aimed outwards to ward off dangerous animals, and inwards against individuals who don’t respect the moral order. Women’s mimicry depends on their solidarity for its success: in the case of keeping dangerous animals away, they group together and mimic the forest and each other to produce overlapping sounds that deceive animals about the size of the group. In the second case, they use mimicry to collectively shame those who have behaved in socially unacceptable ways and so impose a normative order on society….

“Both these uses of mimicry enable high levels of trust to be generated and maintained between members of the social group. This enables deceptive signals normally aimed at outsiders to be redeployed for social reasons within the trusting group. So men returning from the hunt could use acoustic and gestural animal mimicry to share their experiences–for instance in describing an accident to non-participants back at camp–and with repetition, establish early lexicon.” Lewis, Jerome. 2014. “BaYaka Pygmy multi-modal and mimetic communication traditions.” Pp. 77-91. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. Pp. 90-1.

 

“… all the other systems [of communications such as paintings, films, etc.] work with what I call the experiential strategy. They provide materials for the interlocutors to experience with their senses. Language, on the other hand, works with a radically different strategy: it is dedicated to the systematic instruction of imagination. It allows speakers to intentionally and systematically instruct their interlocutors in the process of imagining the intended experience, as opposed to directly experiencing it.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 106.

 

“… I agree … that language and intersubjectivity are very closely interrelated, and that early humans must have gone through an entire stage of evolutionary development, before language, that resulted in the emergence of a co-operative, mimetic, intersubjective species.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 108.

 

“I will call the sharing of experience experiential communication. Systems of experiential communication do not attempt to bridge the experiential gap between the two sides: they only become functional where the gap itself is reduced. There are two types of systems of experiential communication: the great majority are what I call presentational. These allow the communicator to behave in a way that is, at the very same time, determined by his or her experience and made available for experiencing by the receiver. A cry of pain, a frowning expression, a smile, a hug, a kick, a threatening posture, demonstrations of physical strength, different forms of mimesis (and teaching through mimesis), manual gestures, grunts and screams, music and dance–all these employ the strategy of presentation. Many other systems of communication, invented and used only by humans, employ a different but related strategy: they are re-presentational. They allow for displacement of the experiential type. In such systems–drawings, paintings, maps, musical recordings, photographs, and movies–the sender’s experience is recorded, frozen in time, delivered from the here-and-now of the sender’s experience into the receiver’s here-and-now, where it is ‘melted back’, so to speak, brought back to life in his or her mind. The products of re-presentational communication are iconic: they provide their receivers with echoes, or silhouettes, of what they would perceive had the original experience been directly presented to them. Just like presentational systems, re-presentational systems do not attempt to bridge the experiential gap between the sender and the receiver. They use various technical means to allow for the displacement without actually bridging the experiential gap.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 110.

 

“In experiential communication (presentational and re-presentational), the sender communicates: ‘This is my experience’. In instructive communication, the sender communicates: ‘My experience is of this type–try to imagine’.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 111.

 

“… language actually allows for communication across the experiential gap: with language, speakers can make the others imagine things without presenting them with any perceptual material for experiencing. This allows for displacement, and also for the communication of inner experiences that are very difficult to communicate in experiential ways: interpretations of reality, causal generalizations, plans for action. This, I suggest, is the specific function of language, and it is the essence of the linguistic revolution in the evolution of humankind.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 111.

 

“Within my model, language consists of two components: the symbolic landscape and the communication protocol. The symbolic landscape is what we usually think of as the lexicon, but it is much more than just a list of words and constructions. It is a huge semantic web, a radically simplified model of the world of experience, which reflects the entire history of negotiation and struggle, within the linguistic community, over what should be properly thought of as a normative worldview. The communication protocol is a set of socially negotiated, prescriptive procedures for the process of linguistic communication. Just like the signs of the symbolic landscape, the procedures emerge from the struggle over norms–this time, the norms of communication. The two components allow speakers to channel, through the symbolic landscape, skeletal descriptions of their private experiences–which the listeners then imagine into experiential interpretations.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 111.

 

“What is important to see in this flow chart is the fact that it redefines the relationship between the mental and the social. What happens inside the mind of the speaker is the socialization of the private intent. What takes place inside the listener’s mind is the privatization of the social message. Language mediates between private experience and the social world. This is what it does as a social technology. This is how it bridges the gap.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 114.

 

“With systematic pointing and eye connection, bodily and vocal mimesis, manual demonstration, bodily movement and posture, facial expression and uniquely human social emotions, individuals in these [pre-linguistic] societies co-operated in unprecedented ways, taught each other and learned from each other, negotiated complex social relations and divisions of labour, and led highly sophisticated lives–with increasingly higher rates of collective innovation, stabilization and retention, alloparenting, music, dance, pretend play, ritual, and so on. A major component of all this was the stabilization of mutual identification as such–the ability to synchronize perception (always partially)–within the here-and-now of communication events. These societies, then, have developed experiential communication to its functional limit: communicators could systematically and reliably direct their interlocutors to a very wide variety of experiences–provided that they could be made (within a very short time range) to experience them by themselves. Handling situations in which the thing to experience was outside the experiencing range of the receiver, however, lay beyond the functional limits of the system as such. This was the Rubicon.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 116.

 

“Humans had to reach the limits of experiential communication, and build communities complex enough, dependent enough on communication, and sophisticated enough in terms of collective innovation to begin the exploratory search for means of communication that could bridge the experiential gaps between the communities’ members.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 118.

 

“For instructive communication, however, it [dissecting experiences into recognizable signs] would be vital: every advancement would provide speakers and interlocutors with more precise tools to work with. It stands to reason, then, that following the language’s initial stabilization, speakers would begin to spend more collective energy on the ongoing process of experiential mutual identification, dissection, and categorization. More and more types of experiences would be isolated from the continuum of private experience, and highlighted by social agreement.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 120.

 

“On the analogue continuum of experiential communication (both at the mimetic and the pre-mimetic level), vocalic and emotional variability between individuals plays a central part in the exchange. It is functional. The instructive strategy, however, would require speakers and listeners to abstract away from all this (very partially in the beginning, and then very gradually), and learn to produce and identify the same vocalizations or gestures across the continuum. In this state of affairs, every change in the arsenal of vocalization and gestures that would produce higher levels of perceptual distinctiveness would be adopted (to the extent that it could be repeated and learned), and the small changes would eventually accumulate to produce a categorical and combinatorial phonetic system.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 121.

 

“The same thing, then, would begin to happen at all three levels: the specific function of instructive communication would force speakers gradually to isolate language from everything else that was already part of their experiential worlds. Their experiences of linguistic sound would be gradually demarcated from their experiences of experiential vocalizations; their experiences of linguistic communication would gradually be demarcated from their experiences of experiential communication (mimetic and pre-mimetic); and the socially constructed worldview of their symbolic landscape would gradually demarcate itself, in their minds, from their worlds of private (and collective) experiencing. Language would be making its first steps towards autonomy.” Dor, Daniel. 2014. “The instruction of imagination: language and its evolution as a communication technology.” Pp. 105-125. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. Pp. 121-2.

 

“Another possibility is to emphasize that the categories that humans recruit in making sense of the world are, in general, not restricted to the traditional ontological dichotomy of objective vs. subjective. They also include categories of fact that may be termed ‘ontologically intersubjective’, in that they exist in virtue of group consensus.” Wyman, Emily. 2014. “Language and collective fiction: from children’s pretence to social institutions.” Pp. 171-183. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 181.

 

“The ability to jointly imagine and subscribe to a set of fictional statuses that we subsequently use to guide our interactions in normative terms is qualitatively different from anything observed outside our own species. Indeed, the whole framework of collective intentionality, in which we share attention to aspects of the environment, share goals and plans for collaborating together, and subscribe to shared fictions that then further govern our interactions, indicates an evolutionary environment in which the threats of competition and social exploitation became outweighed by the necessities of cooperation and trust.” Wyman, Emily. 2014. “Language and collective fiction: from children’s pretence to social institutions.” Pp. 171-183. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 183.

 

“Symbolic culture is an environment of objective facts–whose existence depends entirely on collective belief. To use language is to navigate within that imagined world.” Knight, Chris. 2014. “Language and symbolic culture: an outcome of hunter-gatherer reverse dominance.” Pp. 228-246. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 228.

 

“To determine whether a signal or statement is ‘symbolic’, a simple rule can be applied. Is it patently false? If not, symbolism is absent. Expressions are symbolic, according to Sperber, to the extent that they are literal falsehoods serving as guides to communicative intentions. Metaphor, irony, sarcasm, and much verbal humour illustrate the principle–‘saying’ one thing while ‘meaning’ another. This communicative strategy relies on listeners’ inferential and imaginative abilities; it is central to all linguistic communication. Language in some form must have begun evolving from the moment when, for whatever reason, our ancestors first began deploying and decoding patent falsehoods in communicatively helpful ways.” Knight, Chris. 2014. “Language and symbolic culture: an outcome of hunter-gatherer reverse dominance.” Pp. 228-246. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 233. Reference: Sperber, D. 2005. “A Pragmatic Perspective on the Evolution of Mindreading, Communication and Language.” Paper delivered to the Morris Symposium on the Evolution of Language. New York: Stony Brook.

 

“Words are cheap and therefore unreliable. Communal investment in repetitive and invariant (purposefully ‘inefficient’) ritual is the solution to this problem. At the apex of any congregation’s hierarchy of symbols is its ‘ultimate sacred postulate’–that article of faith which lies beyond possible denial. Without the community’s confidence in that symbol of itself, faith in the entire system of interconnected symbols would collapse.” Knight, Chris. 2014. “Language and symbolic culture: an outcome of hunter-gatherer reverse dominance.” Pp. 228-246. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 233. Referencing work of: Rappaport, R. 1999. Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity. Cambridge UP.

 

“Putting all this together, it seems that language is digital for the same reason that it isn’t real. Its field of operation is exclusively the imagination. Its zero-cost features can prove socially acceptable and evolve only under highly unusual conditions–namely, those internal to a ritually bonded community whose members cannot benefit from lying.

“Combining the insights of Chase, Sosis, Donald, Sperber, and Rappaport, we might summarize by defining symbolic culture as a domain of transparent falsehoods whose social acceptance depends on levels of trust generated through the performance of costly ritual. We might add that once the relevant fictions are socially accepted, they qualify automatically as ‘institutional facts’. Whether in language or elsewhere, institutional facts are digitally contrastive by logical necessity. You cannot be more or less someone’s wife, more or less a knight in chess. X either does have status Y or it doesn’t: there are no shades of grey.” Knight, Chris. 2014. “Language and symbolic culture: an outcome of hunter-gatherer reverse dominance.” Pp. 228-246. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 236.

 

“Human volitional control over vocal signalling, he [J. Lewis] suggests, did not evolve initially in contexts of human social interaction. Instead, it was used initially to deceive prey animals who would prove vulnerable again and again to such fakes. Humans co-operating with one another to deceive external targets wouldn’t be predicted to resist one another’s deceptions. On the contrary, they should echo and amplify them. In Lewis’ account, vocal simulations redeployed internally within the community laid the basis for vocal humour, children’s games, choral singing, narrative fiction, metaphor, religion, and so forth. Humans successfully ‘deceived’ the forest and then constructed the symbolic domain as that forest’s own echo, now directed back into the human social world.” Knight, Chris. 2014. “Language and symbolic culture: an outcome of hunter-gatherer reverse dominance.” Pp. 228-246. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 237.

 

“Distinctively human cognition evolved in this female kin-coalition context, as mothers probed potential allocarers for their co-operative intentions. Infants monitoring the intentions and feelings of mothers and others became adept at perspective-taking and integrating multiple perspectives. Offspring more skilled in reading the intentions of others and eliciting their help were better nourished and more likely to survive. Female strategies of co-operative childcare can explain how and why humans became cognitively and emotionally ‘modern’.” Knight, Chris. 2014. “Language and symbolic culture: an outcome of hunter-gatherer reverse dominance.” Pp. 228-246. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 241.

 

“In the absence of countermeasures, mothers who are pregnant or lactating may be at risk of losing male investment to the cycling female. The rapid increase in neocortex size characteristic of human evolution over the last half million years meant that mothers–now burdened with correspondingly heavier childcare costs–could no longer tolerate rampant philandering; it was in their individual fitness interest to prioritize future economic security over short-term sexual favour-seeking. Counter-dominant female coalitions on this basis responded by ‘painting up’ with false signals representing all members of the coalition as uniformly ‘fertile’. Investor males–whose offspring might have better chances of survival–had a fitness interest in colluding with the corresponding fictions. The evolutionary stability of female strategies of cosmetic bonding and adornment culminated in the transition to symbolic ritual, and–as a consequence of dramatically increased levels of in-group trust–the earliest beginnings of language-like communication.” Knight, Chris. 2014. “Language and symbolic culture: an outcome of hunter-gatherer reverse dominance.” Pp. 228-246. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 242.

 

“Many norm-governed social institutions assist children in the acquisition of language. Moreover, many aspects of language use are normative, for example (1) symbolization, which involves accepting arbitrary signs as appropriate labels; (2) most pragmatic phenomena, such as speech acts, grasping communicative intent, and displaying conversational skills (e.g. turn-taking, handling interruptions); and (3) understanding the normative context of discourse, which can transform questions into commands, requests into demands, and so on.

“Language use is thus clearly affected by the normative background and the normative skills of speakers, yet, reciprocally, norms are affected by language. Acquiring social norms is often affected by linguistic cues (e.g. ‘Only women are allowed to go inside.’, ‘You shouldn’t do that!’, ‘Why did you to that ?!’) and thus by the explicitly normative vocabulary and categories that are available (e.g. ‘must’, ‘ought’, ‘may’, ‘allowed’)….

“Thus, language affects the normative capacity of individuals and the kinds of norms that can be established, while norms and the normative capacities of individuals affect language acquisition and use. This bi-directional interaction, I will argue, leads to co-evolutionary dynamics that are important for understanding both of these fundamental human abilities.” Lamm, Ehud. 2014. “Forever united: the co-evolution of language and normativity.” Pp. 267-283. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 268.

 

“Social facts, however, transcend the individuals who originate them, and even the entire set of individuals involved. Individuals in society are always already both recipients and exemplars of the normative and linguistic structure of their society and new members acquire current conventions and further perpetuate them. This continuity marks both language and norms.” Lamm, Ehud. 2014. “Forever united: the co-evolution of language and normativity.” Pp. 267-283. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 275.

 

“Being able to acquire the appropriate norms, and, just as importantly, to recognize signs such as frowning or grunting that indicate that your behaviour is judged by others as inappropriate, giving you a chance to make amends, are critical skills…. Noticing a violation, as well as being found by others to be a violator, involves emotions such as anger, condemnation, blame, guilt, and shame. There will be an evolutionary pressure for appropriate emotional responses, for greater emotional control, for recognizing emotional cues from others, for rationalizing and reflecting on emotional responses, and for ‘emotional engineering’ skills, such as displaying appropriate signs of contrition and humility or telling jokes.” Lamm, Ehud. 2014. “Forever united: the co-evolution of language and normativity.” Pp. 267-283. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 278.

 

“… there is little common ground to understand the term complexity in the field of animal behaviour and cognition.” Cochet, Helene & R. Byrne. 2015. “Complexity in animal behaviour: towards common ground.” Acta Ethol. 18:237-241. P. 237.

 

“This [imagining future scenarios] allows us to flexibly prepare and weigh options to take advantage of opportunities, manage threats before they manifest, and shape the future to our design. In short, episodic foresight is tremendously powerful and can be regarded as a quintessential human adaptive strategy.” Suddendorf, Thomas. 2017. “The Emergence of Episodic Foresight and Its Consequences.” Child Development Perspectives. V. 11. N. 3. 191-195. P. 191.

 

“As this metaphor [theater metaphor where many acting/directing roles equate to mental faculties to work together for episodic foresight] should make clear, episodic foresight is not an encapsulated module, but a faculty that draws on complex cognitive processes (e.g., working memory, recursive embedding, theory of mind, spatial reasoning, metarepresentation, executive functions, and language) that work together.” Suddendorf, Thomas. 2017. “The Emergence of Episodic Foresight and Its Consequences.” Child Development Perspectives. V. 11. N. 3. 191-195. P. 192.

 

Deliberate practice refers to our capacity to engage in repeated actions with the intention to improve our future skills.” Suddendorf, Thomas. 2017. “The Emergence of Episodic Foresight and Its Consequences.” Child Development Perspectives. V. 11. N. 3. 191-195. P. 193.

 

“We postulate that the crucial selective advantage mental time travel provides is flexibility in novel situations and the versatility to develop and adopt strategic long-term plans to suit individual selected goals.” Suddendorf, Thomas & M. Corballis. 2007. “The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel, and is it unique to humans?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 30: 299-351. P. 302.

 

“Since past is fact and future is fiction, common sense might suggest that different cognitive mechanisms underlie recollection of past events and construction of future ones. There is a fundamental causal asymmetry, and one simply cannot know the future as one knows the past. However, various lines of evidence suggest that mental time travel into the past shares cognitive resources with mental construction of potential future episodes.” Suddendorf, Thomas & M. Corballis. 2007. “The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel, and is it unique to humans?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 30: 299-351. P. 302.

 

“When it comes to establishing solidarity bonds, individuals prefer those who successfully demonstrate their informational capacity and their experience with unexpected events. In our species, those who know first or who can draw highly relevant events from their past experience make potentially good allies. Natural selection favored not only this preference, but also the narrative skills that allow any of us to display these qualities. Episodic memory, in this context, is a crucial tool that enables us to produce the most relevant story at the right time. It has been tailored for this purpose, as demonstrated by the fact that the factors that favor memorization, such as unexpectedness and atypicality, are exactly the factors which increase tellability.

“This account explains why remembered episodes are communicated, instead of remaining private; why they remain coherent in memory (instead of being dismantled for creative synthesis of future scenarios); why they systematically involve various details and precision; why we keep on memorizing episodes throughout our entire life; and why even slight failures in episodic memory (as those that occur with aging or in certain pathologies) have dramatic influence on social relations. It also explains the uniqueness of episodic memory, which was not selected for increasing planning efficiency, but as a tool in support of language performance.” Dessalles, Jean-Louis. 2007. “Storing events to retell them.” Commentary to Suddendorf, Thomas & M. Corballis. “The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel, and is it unique to humans?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 30: 299-351. P. 321.

 

“… we argue that the Oldowan culture, 2.6 to 1.5 million years ago, constituted an ecological niche that enhanced the ability to mentally represent a possible future. MTT [mental time travel] might to some extent already have been in place as a result of earlier selection pressures in the social life, but changes in hominin ecology chiseled out the more advanced ability that we seem totally dependent upon nowadays. The main components of the Oldowan culture are recognized as (1) the manufacturing and use of stone tools; (2) the transport of artifacts (at least stone tools); (3) the transport of pieces of carcasses; and (4) the use of accumulation spots. A significant advantage of this culture is that it enabled a much wider exploitation of meat resources.

“Savannah conditions offered some hominins a wider variety of food sources, and these food sources were more transient and scattered than those exploited by other primates. Therefore, the day ranges of the early hominids were more extended than those of extant apes. The Oldowan life style was signified by an extension in time and space. The fitness of the hominids in this niche increased with adaptations for long ranging, as indicated by the skeletal remains. These morphological adaptations must have been related to behavioral adaptations, which could be a result of an evolving mental time travel.” Osvath, Mathias & P. Gaerdenfors. 2007. “What are the evolutionary causes of mental time travel?” Commentary to Suddendorf, Thomas & M. Corballis. “The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel, and is it unique to humans?” Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 30: 299-351. P. 330.

 

“Interestingly, the barks used by females [chimpanzees] toward badly behaved males are internally redeployed versions of the very same ‘mobbing’ calls which they use to intimidate external threats such as pythons.” Knight, Chris & J. Lewis. 2014. “Vocal deception, laughter, and the linguistic significance of reverse dominance.” Pp. 297-314. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 305

 

“The Mbendjele word massana, as we have seen, means both ritual and play…. From a Mbendjele standpoint, ritual grades imperceptibly into play, which in turn overlaps at many points with language.” Knight, Chris & J. Lewis. 2014. “Vocal deception, laughter, and the linguistic significance of reverse dominance.” Pp. 297-314. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 309.

 

“In our evolutionary model, mothers with increasingly large-brained babies faced heavier and heavier childcare burdens, prompting them to resort to co-operative childcare. No sooner had they got together to share childcare burdens than something else happened: women began discovering the collective capacity to square up to dominant males. Female-led resistance to dominance and sexual exploitation culminated eventually in ‘reverse dominance’, outlawing violence or physical threat as a viable reproductive strategy for males. This liberated human creative potential in many ways. Up until this point, play had remained largely restricted to immaturity, since the transition to adulthood invariably brought sex and sexual conflict into the equation. Once sexual violence had been marginalized, imaginative play was free to extend without a break into adult life, increasingly embracing it and structuring it–to the point of becoming ‘a foundation for hunter-gatherer social existence.” Knight, Chris & J. Lewis. 2014. “Vocal deception, laughter, and the linguistic significance of reverse dominance.” Pp. 297-314. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 310.

 

“Turning to concrete examples [of behavioral reversals inside a safe coalition from threat-derived behaviors to a playful use of the same behavior], it is widely believed that the distinctively human smile evolved in some such way, originating in the nonhuman primate ‘fear grin’–a gesture of tense, nervous submission. The relaxed human version of this primate facial expression–the good-humoured smile–would then be a fear-grin under reversed social conditions, once the threat originally provoking it had dissolved.” Knight, Chris & J. Lewis. 2014. “Vocal deception, laughter, and the linguistic significance of reverse dominance.” Pp. 297-314. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 312.

 

“Listeners must be prepared to give speakers the benefit of the doubt, evaluating ‘truth’ not signal by signal but on a longer term basis, postponing judgement until the entire utterance or conversation is complete, focusing at each point not on surface meanings but on underlying communicative intentions.” Knight, Chris & J. Lewis. 2014. “Vocal deception, laughter, and the linguistic significance of reverse dominance.” Pp. 297-314. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 314.

 

“Above all, we have sought to explain why the falsehood [e.g. women pretending to mob men with cries as if they were a dangerous animal] was not immediately rejected, as signal evolution theory would predict. We have identified a candidate fiction which was collective, essential to the survival of the collectives–and aimed at an ‘enemy’ who might have reason to collude.

“These are tight constraints–so tight that in the animal world, they exclude the very possibility of language. Since language exists, the solution must somehow have been found. Returning to the Mbendjele, let’s look again at Ngoku [a ritual of pygmy women where the female communal spirit is invoked to insult men while being erotic and making fun of men attempting sex] . Those women fresh from ‘singing for their lives’ in the forest have now returned back to camp. They redirect their singing toward a different, internal ‘enemy’–their own menfolk. They do all they can to express erotic desire while resisting male desire.

“At this point, something without evolutionary precedent ocurs. The ‘enemy’ suddenly gives up and joins in. There are good Darwinian reasons why men might accept ‘defeat’ at the hands of women who are nursing their own genetic offspring. It is men’s willingness to yield which distinguishes them as fully human for the first time. Just as the fear-grin morphs imperceptibly into the smile and vocal mobbing turns into laughter, so women’s defiant, boisterous singing and dancing–designed to make sexual violence unthinkable–collapses and reverses, yielding something else. That other thing, we suggest, is language-based human society.” Knight, Chris & J. Lewis. 2014. “Vocal deception, laughter, and the linguistic significance of reverse dominance.” Pp. 297-314. Dor, Daniel, C. Knight & J. Lewis (Eds). The Social Origins of Language. Oxford UP. P. 314.

 

“Re-experiencing events from one’s past and imagining events in one’s future is referred to as ‘mental time travel.’” Vale, GL, E. Flynn & R. Kendal. 2012. “Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to cumulative cultural evolution?” Learning and Motivation. 43: 220-230. P. 220.

 

“Thus, while researchers have teased apart behavioral concomitants that may be representative of different forms of future thinking, much of the evidence in animals remains controversial. Although various animals appear capable of future cognition, there are at present little grounds to suppose that non-humans display mental time travel akin to humans, leading many to conclude that mental time travel, particularly into the future, is unique to our species.” Vale, GL, E. Flynn & R. Kendal. 2012. “Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to cumulative cultural evolution?” Learning and Motivation. 43: 220-230. P. 221.

 

“Although the evidence for culture in animals is clear, there is a lack of compelling evidence that past generations’ behaviors have undergone modifications to ratchet up their complexity or efficiency. Consequently, at present, the notion of cumulative culture in animal species remains speculative. This inevitably raises the question of why humans and not other animals display cumulative cultural evolution.” Vale, GL, E. Flynn & R. Kendal. 2012. “Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to cumulative cultural evolution?” Learning and Motivation. 43: 220-230. P. 223.

 

“The most probable answer to the question of why animals lack cumulative culture is that this process rests not on one specific learning process, mechanism or demographic detail, but that it is the combination of all these (and other) factors that has led to its presence in humans. Indeed, recent empirical considerations suggest this is the case, with a suite of socio-cognitive factors identified that appear to underlie human cumulative learning abilities. These factors include, in addition to those mentioned, human prosocial motivations and the human capacity for shared intentionality. Vale, GL, E. Flynn & R. Kendal. 2012. “Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to cumulative cultural evolution?” Learning and Motivation. 43: 220-230. P. 224.

 

“Specifically, Tulving proposed that a fundamental precondition to human cultural niche construction, that is our heightened capacity to change our environment to adapt it to ourselves, is the conscious awareness of ‘a future’, not just for ourselves, but also for generations to come. …instead of the past just influencing the present and the present the future, present behavior can also be influenced by the future.” Vale, GL, E. Flynn & R. Kendal. 2012. “Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to cumulative cultural evolution?” Learning and Motivation. 43: 220-230. P. 224. Reference: Tulving, E. 2002. “Chronesthesia: Awareness of subjective time.” Pp. 311-325. Stuss, D & R. Knight (Eds). Principles of frontal lobe functions. Oxford UP.

 

“Thus we tentatively suggest that, without the emergence of episodic thought, large social networks, which characterize human societies and promote high levels of cultural exchange, would be curtailed as specific social exchanges would neither be remembered or influence future exchange, thus posing constraints on cumulative cultural evolution.” Vale, GL, E. Flynn & R. Kendal. 2012. “Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to cumulative cultural evolution?” Learning and Motivation. 43: 220-230. P. 225.

 

“To the extent that human teaching does not rely purely upon past experience (i.e. knowledge gained by the teacher in the past which is then transmitted), but is guided by imagined futures and our planning for the future of our students, we suggest that mental time travel and future planning may have facilitated cumulative culture by improving this complex social learning mechanism.” Vale, GL, E. Flynn & R. Kendal. 2012. “Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to cumulative cultural evolution?” Learning and Motivation. 43: 220-230. P. 226.

 

“We propose that a link exists between humanity’s cultural accomplishments and the capacity for mental time travel. Human modes of future thinking seem well positioned to (I) promote cultural innovation, (ii) facilitate knowledge exchange by enabling larger social networks, (iii) enhance teaching capabilities through their orientation to pupils’ futures, and (iv) increase human investment in domains such as learning and long term goal pursuit…. It is also worth noting that mental time travel may have influenced human culture in ways not considered here. For example, episodic memory and episodic foresight would seem essential for economic trade to succeed on a large scale, are likely to have influenced the formation and maintenance of cultural institutions and played an important role in cooperation and social regulation (.e.g. rules, norms and law maintenance though the prospect of future punishment or reward)…. Thus, we hypothesize that mental time travel constitutes one of a suite of abilities that play a role in our extraordinary cultural accomplishments.” Vale, GL, E. Flynn & R. Kendal. 2012. “Cumulative culture and future thinking: Is mental time travel a prerequisite to cumulative cultural evolution?” Learning and Motivation. 43: 220-230. Pp. 226-7.

 

“Intersubjectivity is what makes we-awareness possible. By referencing a realm between or encompassing multiple people, intersubjectivity raises the question of whether knowing, thinking or being aware are at base matters of individual consciousnesses or collectivities.” Stahl, Gerry. 2016. “From Intersubjectivity to Group Cognition.” Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). 25: 355-384. P. 355.

 

“Merleau-Ponty adopts Heidegger’s view of being-there-with-others as fundamental to the human condition. However, he does so more concretely and persistently. He refers to the perception of the other’s body as material, meaningful and expressive. He cites evidence from child development that infants exist in a shared world without even differentiating themselves from others–so that subjectivity is seen to be a derived and learned phenomenon, not a Cartesian starting point.” Stahl, Gerry. 2016. “From Intersubjectivity to Group Cognition.” Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). 25: 355-384. P. 363.

 

“Until Hegel, human nature and human cognition were conceived as based in the individual person, as fully determined from birth ahistorically or universally–not dependent on one’s biography or social context. The theories that minds develop (Freud), that social relations transform (Marx) or that humanity evolves (Darwin) all came after Hegel–in process-oriented sciences inspired by his philosophy….

“Hegel outlined a dynamic view, in which mind develops all the way from primitive sense perception to sophisticated self-consciousness and cultural world-view.” Stahl, Gerry. 2016. “From Intersubjectivity to Group Cognition.” Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). 25: 355-384. P. 365.

 

“The resultant, unevenly woven urban fabric is today assuming extremely complex, polycentric forms that no longer remotely approximate the concentric rings and linear density gradients associated with the relatively bounded industrial city of the nineteenth century,….” Brenner, Neil, & C. Schmid. 2014. “The ‘Urban Age’ in Question.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May. V. 38.3. 731-755. P. 743.

 

“The urban is not a universal form but a historical process.” Brenner, Neil, & C. Schmid. 2014. “The ‘Urban Age’ in Question.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May. V. 38.3. 731-755. P. 750.

 

“Within this extended, increasingly worldwide field of urban development and infrastructural equipment, agglomerations form, expand, shrink and morph continuously, but always via dense webs of relations to other places, whose historical patterns and developmental pathways are in turn mediated ever more directly through their modes of connection/disconnection to the hegemonic zones of urban concentration.” Brenner, Neil, & C. Schmid. 2014. “The ‘Urban Age’ in Question.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May. V. 38.3. 731-755. P. 750.

 

Urbanization has become a planetary phenomenon. Today, urbanization is a process that affects the whole territory of the world and not only isolated parts of it. The urban represents an increasingly worldwide, if unevenly woven, fabric in which the sociocultural and politcal-economic relations of capitalism are enmeshed. This situation of planetary urbanization means that even sociospatial arrangements and infrastructural networks that lie well beyond traditional city cores, metropolitan regions, urban peripheries and peri-urban zones have become integral parts of a worldwide urban condition.” Brenner, Neil, & C. Schmid. 2014. “The ‘Urban Age’ in Question.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May. V. 38.3. 731-755. P. 751.

 

“… comparative concepts of urbanisation that captured a number of common eatures and dynamics. We eventually elaborated and finalised nine of them: popular urbanisation, plotting urbanism, mass housing urbanisation, bypass urbanism, multilayered patchwork urbanisation, laminar urbanisation, industrial urbanisation, incorporation of urban differences and production of centralities.” Schmid, Christian, O. Karaman, N. Hanakata, P. Kallenberger, A. Kockelkorn, L. Sawyer, M. Streule & K. Wong. 2018. “Towards a new vocabulary of urbanisation processes: A comparative approach.” Urban Studies. V 55(1) 19-52. P. 21.

 

“Following Lefebvre we can distinguish three basic dimensions of the production of (urban) space: (1) the production and transformation of material elements and structures (perceived space); (2) processes of territorial regulation and representation (conceived space); and (3) socialisation and learning processes (lived space).” Schmid, Christian, O. Karaman, N. Hanakata, P. Kallenberger, A. Kockelkorn, L. Sawyer, M. Streule & K. Wong. 2018. “Towards a new vocabulary of urbanisation processes: A comparative approach.” Urban Studies. V 55(1) 19-52. P. 29. Reference: Lefebvre, H. 1991. The Production of Space. Blackwell.

 

“In distinction to popular urbanisation, in which collective action, political organisation and self-help play decisive roles, plotting urbanism is mainly defined by three different characteristics: first, the relationship to the land is based on a territorial compromise that allows for the conflict-ridden co-presence of multiple systems and scales of regulation and land ownership regimes. Second, market mechanisms and commercialisation intervene into the process in a fundamental way, which also creates specific social relationships between landlords or rentiers, who often still live in the area, and their tenants. Finally, the process proceeds in a piecemeal and incremental way, plot by plot without overarching planning, which creates a great variety of local situations. We therefore called this process ‘plotting urbanism’ in order to stress the fundamental role of the plot, but also allowing some allusions to the strategic and dubious inferences of ‘plotting’ in the sense of scheming for individual gain.” Schmid, Christian, O. Karaman, N. Hanakata, P. Kallenberger, A. Kockelkorn, L. Sawyer, M. Streule & K. Wong. 2018. “Towards a new vocabulary of urbanisation processes: A comparative approach.” Urban Studies. V 55(1) 19-52. P. 37.

 

“We characterise intersubjectivity as the meaningful engagement between subjects… That this is not the sum of two individual perspectives is clarified by the idea that interactions can take on an autonomy of their own and that interactions as such influence, form and transform their participants.” De Jaegher, Hanne, B. Pieper, D. Clenin & T. Fuchs. 2017. “Grasping intersubjectivity: an invitation to embody social interaction research.” Phenom Cogn Sci. 16: 491-523. P. 492.

 

“Finally, a note on the notion of embodiment, a term so often used nowadays that it may start to lose sense. One of its sharpest critics is Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, who has again and again rallied against the trend of ‘embodying’. She worries that embodied accounts of mind and cognition neglect what she calls ‘animate experience,’ and is concerned that the use of the word ‘embodied’ and its variations does not capture the dynamic ‘synergies of meaningful movement created by animate organisms’.” De Jaegher, Hanne, B. Pieper, D. Clenin & T. Fuchs. 2017. “Grasping intersubjectivity: an invitation to embody social interaction research.” Phenom Cogn Sci. 16: 491-523. P. 501. Reference: Sheets-Johnstone, Maxine. 2015. “Embodiment on trial: a phenomenological investigation.” Continental Philosophy Review. 48(1). 23-39.

 

“… at least six definitions [of intersubjectivity] are in circulation. Most simplistically, intersubjectivity has been used to refer to agreement in the sense of having a shared definition of an object. Going beyond simple sharing, it has been defined in terms of the mutual awareness of agreement or disagreement and even the realisation of such understanding or misunderstanding. Cognitive approaches have used the term to refer to the attribution of intentionality, feelings and beliefs to others. Yet other approaches emphasise the embodied nature of intersubjectivity, conceptualising intersubjectivity as implict and often automatic behavioural orientations towards others. The situated, interactional and performative nature of intersubjectivity is emphasised by researchers such as Goffman, Garfinkel and Schegloff. And finally cultural and dialogical researchers have used the term to study the partially shared and largely taken-for-granted background which interlocutors assume and against which things can be said and done. While some of these definitions may be incomplete accounts of intersubjectivity, we suggest that they are not mutually exclusive and that each captures a different and important aspect of the phenomenon. Accordingly, we adopt an inclusive definition. We conceptualise intersubjectivity as the variety of relations between perspectives. Those perspectives can belong to individuals, groups, or traditions and discourses, and they can manifest as both implicit (or taken for granted) and explicit (or reflected upon).” Gillespie, Alex & F Cornish. 2010. “Intersubjectivity: Towards a Dialogical Analysis.” Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. V 40(1). March. 19-46. P. 20.

 

“When objects take on significance beyond their immediate ready-to-hand functionality, they begin to acquire other connotations and thereby fulfill mnemonic functions, becoming externalized loci of memories which act as ‘prompts’ for and records of the social relationships in which those objects are entangled.” Coward, Fiona. 2016. “Scaling up: Material culture as scaffold for the social brain.” Quaternary International. 405: 78-90. P. 80.

 

“Such externalized loci of memory [example: souvenirs] serve to outsource some of the cognitive demands imposed by keeping track of relationships not just among those individuals encountered every day, but those who – as in larger, more fragmented fission-fusion societies – may often be absent, perhaps for extended periods of time. Incorporating material culture into our social networks therefore allows the construction of social networks which are remarkably temporally and geographically extensive – indeed, as we have seen, potentially global in scope.” Coward, Fiona. 2016. “Scaling up: Material culture as scaffold for the social brain.” Quaternary International. 405: 78-90. P. 81.

 

“If Acheulean technology requires high levels of technical and cognitive skill, then the demands of prepared-core technology (PCT), known from Africa and Eurasia after around 300bp and most commonly associated with the Middle Stone Age (MSA) in Africa and the Middle Palaeolithic of Neanderthals in Europe, are commensurately higher. PCT undoubtedly requires considerable forethought and planning as well as technical skill, which of course places further demands on the social skills required to learn and teach.” Coward, Fiona. 2016. “Scaling up: Material culture as scaffold for the social brain.” Quaternary International. 405: 78-90. P. 82.

 

“Similarly, I would argue, humans were able to complement their brainpower by relying increasingly on the mnemonic, metaphorical and indeed at some point symbolic properties of material culture: off-loading and externally networking social – and ecological – information and thereby reducing the marginal cost of negotiating and maintaining the increasingly extensive social networks that may have been required during the Late Pleistocene, providing them with the edge they needed to expand successfully beyond their ancestral African environments.” Coward, Fiona. 2016. “Scaling up: Material culture as scaffold for the social brain.” Quaternary International. 405: 78-90. P. 84.

 

“Living in at least semi-permanent villages [during the Epipalaeolithic and early Neolithic], however, they were nevertheless required to interact on a daily basis with virtual strangers – potentially stressful, complicated and liable to strain the fabric of social order to the point of fission. The use of material culture environments made this considerably easier by off-loading some of the social cues required.” Coward, Fiona. 2016. “Scaling up: Material culture as scaffold for the social brain.” Quaternary International. 405: 78-90. P. 85.

 

“… the four original faculties–theology, law, medicine, and philosophy–it was in the latter two that research specialization occurred, and especially in philosophy (the highest research degree is still a PhD). One key feature of this process was a bifurcation into sciences and arts that commonly resulted in division into two separate faculties housing very different disciplines (lower research degrees are still called Msc or MA). The differences existed in both research subject matter (non-human–human) and research practices (nomothetic-idiographic)….

“The social sciences began to emerge in the late nineteenth century as a sort of in-between research category combining the research subject matter of the arts with the research methods of the sciences.” Taylor, Peter. 2017. “Knowledge in Disciplines and Cities: An Essay on Relations Between Archaeology and Social Sciences.” Pp. 123-137. Jons, Heike & P Meusburger. (Eds). Mobilities of Knowledge (Knowledge and Space). Springer. P. 125.

 

“There are three key points that arise from this construction of social science [economics, political science, and sociology].

“1. The basic units of analysis were defined by state territories–empirically the abstract concepts of economy, state, and society were all nationalized…

“2. The knowledge produced by the three disciplines covered all modern behaviors–this was a knowledge monopoly position….

“3. This was nomothetic knowledge of modern, rational behavior and therefore it initially only applied to modern, rational economies, states, and societies in advanced regions of the world where the modern universities were located. It was a social knowledge of modern us, with the un-modern them initially excluded. The exclusions were in both time and space and, being un-modern, they could only be studied idiographically (i.e., outside social science).” Taylor, Peter. 2017. “Knowledge in Disciplines and Cities: An Essay on Relations Between Archaeology and Social Sciences.” Pp. 123-137. Jons, Heike & P Meusburger. (Eds). Mobilities of Knowledge (Knowledge and Space). Springer. P. 125.

 

“Most importantly the world changed with decolonization so that development (a property of states) replaced progress (a property of modern civilization only).” Taylor, Peter. 2017. “Knowledge in Disciplines and Cities: An Essay on Relations Between Archaeology and Social Sciences.” Pp. 123-137. Jons, Heike & P Meusburger. (Eds). Mobilities of Knowledge (Knowledge and Space). Springer. P. 126.

 

“Recent resurgences in urban economics and economic geography have focused on the advantages of cities for economic development. Two main processes have been postulated. First, localization refers to the knowledge-related benefits of firms from the same industry clulstered together. This relates to industry-specific opportunities thus stimulating creativity and innovation….

“Second, there are agglomeration effects of multiple firms from a wide range of industries co-locating in a city or region.” Taylor, Peter. 2017. “Knowledge in Disciplines and Cities: An Essay on Relations Between Archaeology and Social Sciences.” Pp. 123-137. Jons, Heike & P Meusburger. (Eds). Mobilities of Knowledge (Knowledge and Space). Springer. Pp. 126-7.

 

“Cities abhor boundaries. Their raison d’etre is being strategically connected within complex spaces of flows, which is antithetical to being neatly ordered within state territories.” Taylor, Peter. 2017. “Knowledge in Disciplines and Cities: An Essay on Relations Between Archaeology and Social Sciences.” Pp. 123-137. Jons, Heike & P Meusburger. (Eds). Mobilities of Knowledge (Knowledge and Space). Springer. P. 129.

 

“The discipline’s [archaeology’s] obvious locale would be as a time discipline alongside history with ancient history. However its formal location in universities is mostly with anthropology. This makes some sense to the degree that anthropology treats hunter-gatherer and early agricultural societies, and such societies dominate the pre-history that archaeology investigates. This is to locate archaeology in the outer reaches of comparative anthropology with an inevitable neglect of concern for cities.” Taylor, Peter. 2017. “Knowledge in Disciplines and Cities: An Essay on Relations Between Archaeology and Social Sciences.” Pp. 123-137. Jons, Heike & P Meusburger. (Eds). Mobilities of Knowledge (Knowledge and Space). Springer. P. 130.

 

“Traditionally, states have been interpreted as the outcome of increasingly complex governance processes, consequent upon class formation and widening material inequalities…. Enhanced complexity is represented spatially by central place hierarchies with three settlement tiers indicating the key complex chiefdoms that generate states in civilizations. An alternative model … The starting point is settlements in a trading network that morphs into a city network via the Jacobs process of import replacement. The more successful this network becomes, the more cosmopolitan are the cities. It is this unprecedented social complexity with consequent intergroup conflicts that generates a demand for new stronger governance structures.” Taylor, Peter. 2017. “Knowledge in Disciplines and Cities: An Essay on Relations Between Archaeology and Social Sciences.” Pp. 123-137. Jons, Heike & P Meusburger. (Eds). Mobilities of Knowledge (Knowledge and Space). Springer. P. 133. Reference: Jacobs, Jane. 1969. The Economy of Cities. Vintage.

 

“… traditional interpretation of the rise of cities: a simple sequencing of settlements by size culminating in cities. In this argument the latter first occur in Mesopotamia because improvements in agriculture (irrigation) increased production, thereby generating a food surplus large enough to feed cities…. The alternative model … is a classic case of import replacement. Hunter-gatherer-traders were exchanging food products within new trade networks but found it hard to keep up supply as city networks emerged. In this situation people in cities invented agriculture to replace and enhance the hunter-gatherer-trader food supply. Thus hinterlands were created around cities in which to produce food.” Taylor, Peter. 2017. “Knowledge in Disciplines and Cities: An Essay on Relations Between Archaeology and Social Sciences.” Pp. 123-137. Jons, Heike & P Meusburger. (Eds). Mobilities of Knowledge (Knowledge and Space). Springer. P. 134.

 

“Although Aristotle placed substance at the center of his metaphysics, he, too, had vestigial processist commitments. In a way, he, too, inherited Heraclitean doctrines, seeing that the Aristotelian cosmos manifested stability only at its outer limits with the fixed stars and that all else is pervaded by change. For Aristotle, however, this change itself conforms to inherently natural–and specifically biological–patterns, so that the Plato’s transcendent ‘forms’ are no longer required.

“While Aristotle’s metaphysics of substances and natural kinds was an emphatic substantialism, Aristotle’s metaphysics nevertheless also deployed a considerable array of processist elements. For, so Aristotle insisted, the ‘being’ of a natural substance is always in transition, involved in the dynamism of change. Dunamis (potency), energeia (activity), kinesis (motion), and metabole (change) are fundamental categories of Aristotelian metaphysics, and he conceives of his particulars developmentally–an acorn is less a stable thing than a stage of an evolving organism moving continually if all goes well, along its predestined journey toward its eventual condition as an oak tree. The programmed directedness of Aristotelian processual particulars that enmesh them in a developmental tendency toward a telos (end-state)–and even beyond to decay and death–is a characteristic feature of Aristotelian metaphysics. The natural world, as Aristotle sees it, exhibits a collective dynamism that effects the transit from mere possibilities for a sector of nature to the realization of its full potential, its perfection (entelecheia). The Aristotelian view of things is pervasively processual.

“Aristotle’s position was accordingly something of a halfway house, seeing that his ontology was less one of substances pure and simple than one of substances-in-process.” Rescher, Nicholas. 1996. Process Metaphysics: An Introduction to Process Philosophy. State University of New York Press. P. 11.

 

“The major transitions:

“Replicating molecules to populations of molecules in compartments

“Unlinked replicators to chromosomes

“RNA as gene and enzyme to DNA and protein (genetic code)

“Prokaryotes to eukaryotes

“Asexual clones to sexual populations

“Protists to animals, plants and fungi (cell differentiation)

“Solitary individuals to colonies (non-reproductive castes)

“Primate societies to human societies (language)”

Szathmary, Eors & J.Maynard Smith. 1995. “The major evolutionary transitions.” Nature. V. 374: 227-32. March 16. P. 228.

 

“It was of concern to generations of Platonists that nothing should be predicated of the supremely divine which might in any way imply diminishment or limit, or be construed as so doing. For some, that meant placing God even beyond being, or at least declaring that to say that he is, is not to say of him anything which tells us what he is. Alternatively, some thought it allowable to speak of God’s being, if his Being was clearly distinguished from the sort of being possible to things in the world of sense, or even the intelligible world. This kind of refinement was possible in Greek thought in part because the Greek language allowed it to be expressed.” Evans, G. R. 1993. Philosophy and Theology in the Middle Ages. Routledge. P. 55.

 

“Both the Platonist and the Aristotelian legacy, then, created an atmosphere of heightened awareness about talk of the being or existence of God. That is to say, his existence could not be equated straightforwardly with his being; nor could the available Latin vocabulary for conducting the discussion pass without intimate scrutiny. One solution was to refuse to attempt to talk of God’s existence or being at all, or to try to say anything at all about him in a positive way.” Evans, G. R. 1993. Philosophy and Theology in the Middle Ages. Routledge. P. 57.

 

“… linguistic symbols liberate human interaction from the temporal and spatial immediacy of face-to-face and bodily coordination and thus radically expand the interaction space.” Tylen, Kristian, E. Weed, M. Wallentin, A. Roepstorff & C. Frith. 2010. “Language as a Tool for Interacting Minds.” Mind & Language. V. 25. N. 1. February. Pp. 3-29. P. 6.

 

“Consider the utterance ‘Are you picking them up today?’ Though the sentence is composed of high frequency words in a conventional interrogative construction, and at first glance seems perfectly meaningful, in fact the utterance makes little sense when detached from the situational context in which it is spoken…. What is at stake in the sentence is thus merely a (re)organization and profiling of the already existing state of affairs (e.g. ‘is it me or you?, ‘is it today?’, etc.). In this example, the role of the linguistic symbol string in the communicative event is thus not primarily to represent meaning, but rather to structure, guide and constrain joint attention and perspective-taking in an already existing, shared meaning space.” Tylen, Kristian, E. Weed, M. Wallentin, A. Roepstorff & C. Frith. 2010. “Language as a Tool for Interacting Minds.” Mind & Language. V. 25. N. 1. February. Pp. 3-29. P. 8.

 

“It thus appears that a general function of language is that it allows a speaker to continuously minimize the set of possible attentional foci in the hearer’s environment.” Tylen, Kristian, E. Weed, M. Wallentin, A. Roepstorff & C. Frith. 2010. “Language as a Tool for Interacting Minds.” Mind & Language. V. 25. N. 1. February. Pp. 3-29. P. 9.

 

“… both kinds of networks [circulatory system of a mammal or bundles of fibers in a plant] are constrained by the same three postulates: they are space filling, have invariant terminal units, and minimize the energy needed to pump fluid through the system.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 117.

 

“Terminal units therefore play a critical role not only because they are invariant but also because they are the interface with the resource environment, whether internal as in the case of capillaries or external as in the case of leaves.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 151.

 

“However, driven by the forces of natural selection to maximize exchange surfaces, biological networks do achieve maximal space filling and consequently scale like three-dimensional volumes rather than two-dimensional Euclidean surfaces. This additional dimension, which arises from optimizing network performance, leads to organisms’ functioning as if they are operating in four dimensions. This is the geometric origin of the quarter power. Thus, instead of scaling with classic 1/3 exponents, as would be the case if they were smooth nonfractal Euclidean objects, they scale with 1/4 exponents. Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. Pp. 153-4.

 

“Unlike the genetic code, which has evolved only once in the history of life, fractal-like distribution networks that confer an additional effective fourth dimension have originated many times. Examples include surface areas of leaves, gills, lungs, guts, kidneys, mitochondria, and the branching architectures of diverse respiratory and circulatory systems from trees to sponges.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 154.

 

“What is shocking is how few people, even many scientists, appreciate that this sensitivity to temperature is exponential…. Consequently, metabolic rate scales exponentially with temperature rather than as a power law as it does with mass. Because metabolic rate–the rate at which energy is supplied to cells–is the fundamental driver of all biological rates and times, all of the central features of life from gestation and growth to mortality are exponentially sensitive to temperature.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 173.

 

“This [age at time of death] can be estimated assuming that the ultimate threshold for death is reached when the fraction of damaged cells (or molecules such as DNA) relative to the total number in the organ or body reaches a critical value, which is approximately the same for all organisms of the same taxonomic group. In other words, the total number of damages is proportional to the total number of cells and therefore to the body mass. We simply ask how long it takes for this number of damages to have happened, knowing from the metabolic rate the rate at which damage is occurring and that, on average, each cellular damage event is caused by approximately the same invariant amount of energy. The total number of damages incurred in a lifetime is just the damage rate (that is, the number of damage events per unit time which is proportional to the number of terminal units) multiplied by the life span, and this has to be proportional to the total number of cells, and therefore to body mass. Consequently, life span is proportional to the total number of cells divided by the number of terminal units. But the number of terminal units scales with mass with a 3/4 power exponent, while the number of cells scales linearly, resulting in life span scaling as the 1/4 power of mass, consistent with data.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. Pp. 202-3.

 

“So as far as their overall infrastructure is concerned, cities behave just like organisms–they scale sublinearly following simple power-law behavior, thereby exhibiting a systematic economy of scale, albeit to a lesser degree as represented by the different values of their exponents (0.75 for organisms vs. 0.85 for cities).” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 273.

 

“However, of even greater significance was the surprising discovery that the data also reveal that socioeconomic quantities with no analog in biology such as average wages, the number of professional people, the number of patents produced, the amount of crime, the number of restaurants, and the gross urban domestic product (GDP) also scale in a surprisingly regular and systematic fashion,…

“So in marked contrast to infrastructure, which scales sublinearly with population size, socioeconomic quantities–the very essence of a city–scale superlinearly, thereby manifesting systematic increasing returns to scale.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 275.

 

“Consequently, each of these urban characteristics, each metric–whether wages, the length of all the roads, the number of AIDS cases, or the amount of crime–is interrelated and interconnected with every other one and together they form an overarching multiscale quintessentially complex adaptive system that is continuously integrating and processing energy, resources, and information. The result is the extraordinary collective phenomenon we call a city, whose origins emerge from the underlying dynamics and organization of how people interact with one another through social networks. To repeat: cities are an emergent self-organizing phenomenon that has resulted from the interaction and communication between human beings exchanging energy, resources, and information.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. Pp. 279-280.

 

“If we think of the city as the great facilitator of social interactions or as the great incubator for wealth creation and innovation, it is natural to speculate that its structure and dynamics evolved so as to maximize social capital by optimizing the connectivity between individuals. This suggests that social networks and the entire social fabric of cities and urban systems–that is, who is connected to whom, how much information flows between them, and the nature of their group structure–is ultimately determined by the insatiable drive of individuals, small businesses, and giant companies to always want more. Or, to put it in crass terms, that the socioeconomic machinery that we all participate in is primarily fueled by greed in both its negative and positive connotations as in the sense of the ‘desire for more.’” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 286.

 

“A city is an emergent complex adaptive system resulting from the integration of the flows of energy and resources that sustain and grow both its physical infrastructure and its inhabitants with the flows and exchange of information in the social networks that interconnect all of its citizenry.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 295.

 

“The integration of these two kinds of networks, namely, the requirement that socioeconomic interaction represented by space-filling fractal-like social networks must be anchored to the physicality of a city as represented by space-filling fractal-like infrastructural networks, determines the number of interactions an average urban dweller can sustain in a city….

“The biological metaphor of the city as a living organism derives primarily from its being perceived in terms of its physicality. This is most apparent in the networks that carry energy and resources in the form of electricity, gas, water, cars, trucks, and people, and it is this component of cities that is the close analog to the networks that proliferate in biology such as our cardiovascular and respiratory systems or the vasculature of plants and trees. Combining the ideas of space filling, invariant terminal units, and optimization (minimizing travel times and energy use, for example) results in these networks also being fractal-like with infrastructural metrics scaling as power laws with sublinear exponents indicative of economies of scale obeying the 15 percent rule.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 321.

 

“But this [the power law increase for income, patents, etc.] can equally well be interpreted in a complementary way by viewing cities as catalytic facilitators or crucibles for social chemistry in which the increase in social interactions enhances creativity, innovation, and opportunity whose dividend is an increase in infrastructural economies of scale.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 322.

 

“Cities are effectively machines for stimulating and integrating the continuous positive feedback dynamics between the physical and the social, each multiplicatively enhancing the other.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 323.

 

“… the sublinearity of infrastructure and energy use is the exact inverse of the superlinearity of socioeconomic activity. Consequently, to the same 15 percent degree, the bigger the city the more each person earns, creates, innovates, and interacts–and the more each person experiences crime, disease, entertainment, and opportunity–and all of this at a cost that requires less infrastructure and energy for each of them.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 323.

 

“In infrastructural network systems, such as transport, water, gas, electrical, and sewer lines, the sizes and flows in the pipes, cables, roads, et cetera, systematically increase from terminal units that service individual houses and buildings up through the network to major conduits and arteries that connect to some central source, place, or repository, in much the same way that the sizes and flows in our cardiovascular system systematically increase from our capillaries up to our aorta and thence to our heart. This is the origin of sublinear scaling and economies of scale. In contrast, in socioeconomic networks–those responsible for wealth creation, innovation, crime, and so forth–the inverse behavior is at play as was explained when we discussed the hierarchy of Dunbar numbers. The strengths of social interaction and the flows of information exchange are greatest between terminal units (that is between individuals) and systematically decrease up the hierarchy of group structures from families and other groups to increasingly larger clusters, leading to superlinear scaling, increasing returns, and an accelerating pace of life.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. Pp. 323-4.

 

“Rather than the pace of life systematically decreasing with size, the superlinear dynamics of social networks leads to a systematic increase in the pace of life: dynamics spread faster, businesses are born and die more often, commerce is transacted more rapidly, and people even walk faster, all following the 15 percent rule.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 327.

 

“… the total amount of time an average individual spends on travel each day is approximately the same regardless of the city size or the mode of transportation….

“So the increase in transportation speed resulting from the marvelous innovations of the past couple of hundred years has not been used to reduce commuting time but instead has been used to increase commuting distances.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 333.

 

“This surprising observation of the approximately one-hour invariant that communal human beings have spent traveling each day, whether they lived in ancient Rome, a medieval town, a Greek village, or twentieth-century New York, has become known as Marchetti’s constant, even though it was originally discovered by Zahavi.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 334.

 

“The size of an average individual’s modular cluster of acquaintances who interact with one another is an approximate invariant–it doesn’t change with city size….

“There is, however, an important qualitative difference in the nature of these modular groups in villages relative to those in large cities. In a real village we are limited to a community that is imposed on us by sheer proximity resulting from its small size, whereas in a city we are freer to choose our own ‘village’ by taking advantage of the much greater opportunity and diversity afforded by a greater population and to seek out people those interests, profession, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so on are similar to our own.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 345.

 

“Suppose that on average 1,600 people visit the area around Park Street, Boston, from 4 kilometers away once a month. How many people visit there from twice as far away (8 km) with the same frequency of once a month? The inverse square law tells us that 1/4 as many make the visit, so only 400 people visit Park Street from 8 kilometers away once a month. How about from five times as far away, 20 kilometers? The answer is 1/32 as many, which is just 64 people visiting once a month. You get the idea. But there’s more: you can likewise ask what happens if you change the frequency of visitation. For instance, suppose we ask how many people visit Park Street from 4 kilometers away but now with a greater frequency of twice a month. This also obeys the inverse square law so the number is 1/4 as many, namely 400 people. And similarly, if you ask how many people visit there from the same distance of 4 kilometers away five times a month, the answer is 64 people.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 348.

 

“The ubiquitous use of per capita indicators for ranking and comparing cities is particularly egregious because it implicitly assumes that the baseline, or null hypothesis, for any urban characteristic is that it scales linearly with population size. In other words, it presumes that an idealized city is just the linear sum of the activities of all of its citizens, thereby ignoring its most essential feature and the very point of its existence, namely, that it is a collective emergent agglomeration resulting from nonlinear social and organizational interactions. Cities are quintessentially complex adaptive systems and, as such, are significantly more than just the simple linear sum of their individual components and constituents, whether buildings, roads, people, or money.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 355.

 

“The proportionality constant is 21.6, meaning that there is approximately one establishment [business] for about every 22 people in a city, regardless of the city size…. Similarly, the data also show that the total number of employees working in these establishments also scales approximately linearly with population size: on average, there are only about 8 employees for every establishment, again regardless of the size of the city.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 365.

 

“The data confirm that diversity [of business types] systematically increases with population size at all levels of resolution, as defined by the NAICS data set [US business typology]… However, an extrapolation of the data strongly suggests that if we could measure diversity to the finest possible resolution it would scale logarithmically with city size….

“To put it slightly differently: doubling the size of a city results in doubling the total number of establishments, but only a meager 5 percent increase in new kinds of businesses.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. Pp. 365-6.

“It is therefore all the more remarkable that, despite the unique admixture of business types for each individual city, the shape and form of their distribution is mathematically the same for all of them.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 368.

 

“The general rule is that business types whose abundances scale superlinearly with population size systematically rise in their rankings, whereas those that scale sublinearly systematically decrease. For instance, at the coarsest level of the NAICS classification scheme traditional sectors such as agriculture, mining, and utilities scale sublinearly; the theory predicts that the rankings and relative abundances of these industries decrease as cities get larger. On the other hand, informational and service businesses such as professional, scientific, and technical services, and management of companies and enterprises, scale superlinearly and are consequently predicted to increase disproportionally with city, as observed.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 370.

 

“This extraordinary process [supply of energy to a city], which can be thought of as the social metabolism of a city, is responsible for increasing our conventional biological metabolic rate derived from the food we eat from just 2,000 food calories a day or 100 watts to about 11,000 watts, the equivalent of 2 million food calories a day. Thus the actual energy content of the food input to the total energy budget of a city is a tiny portion of its overall consumption–less that 1 percent…” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 373.

 

“The superlinear scaling of metabolism has profound consequences for growth. In contrast to the situation in biology, the supply of metabolic energy generated by cities as they grow increases faster than the needs and demands for its maintenance. Consequently, the amount available for growth, which is just the difference between its social metabolic rate and the requirements for maintenance, continues to increase as the city gets larger. The bigger the city gets, the faster it grows….” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 374.

 

“Even though the conceptual and mathematical structure of the growth equation is the same for organisms, social insect communities, and cities, the consequences are quite different: sublinear scaling and economies of scale that dominate biology lead to stable bounded growth and the slowing down of the pace of life, whereas superlinear scaling and increasing returns to scale that dominate socioeconomic activity lead to unbounded growth and to an accelerating pace of life.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. Pp. 377-8.

 

“The mechanisms that have traditionally been suggested for understanding companies can be divided into three broad categories: transaction costs, organizational structure, and competition in the marketplace. Although these are interrelated they have very often been treated separately. In the language of the framework developed in previous chapters these can be expressed as follows: (1) Minimizing transaction costs reflects economies of scale driven by an optimization principle, such as maximizing profits. (2) Organizational structure is the network system within a company that conveys information, resources, and capital to support, sustain, and grow the enterprise. (3) Competition results in the evolutionary pressures and selection processes inherent in the ecology of the marketplace.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 381.

 

“In its extreme version the underlying philosophy of agent-based modeling is antithetical to the traditional scientific framework, where the primary challenge is to reduce huge numbers of seemingly disparate and disconnected observations down to a few basic general principles of laws;… In contrast, the aim of agent-based modeling is to construct an almost one-to-one mapping of each specific system. General laws and principles that constrain its structure and dynamics play a secondary role….” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 384.

 

“In the case of cities, scaling laws revealed that 80 to 90 percent of their measurable characteristics are determined from just knowing their population size, with the remaining 10 to 20 percent being a measure of their individuality and uniqueness, which can be understood only from detailed studies that incorporate local historical, geographical, and cultural characteristics.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 384.

 

“A crucial aspect of the scaling of companies is that many of their key metrics scale sublinearly like organisms rather than superlinearly like cities. This suggests that companies are more like organisms than cities and are dominated by a version of economies of scale rather than by increasing returns and innovation.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 391.

 

“Although there are significant differences, it’s hard not to be struck by how similar the growth and death of companies and organisms are when viewed through the lens of scaling–and how dissimilar they both are to cities.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 403.

 

“… we found that the relative amount allocated to R&D systematically decreases as company size increases, suggesting that support for innovation does not keep up with bureaucratic and administrative expenses as companies expand….”

“While the dimensionality of cities is continually expanding, the dimensionality of companies typically contracts from birth through adolescence,…” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 409.

 

“One of the major challenges of the twenty-first century that will have to be faced is the fundamental question as to whether human-engineered social systems, from economies to cities, which have only existed for the past five thousand years or so, can continue to coexist with the ‘natural’ biological world from which they emerged and which has been around for several billion years.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 411.

 

“Existing strategies have, to a large extent, failed to come to terms with an essential feature of the long-term sustainability challenge embodied in the paradigm of complex adaptive systems, namely, the pervasive interconnectedness and interdependency of energy, resources, and environmental, ecological, economic, social, and political systems….”

“Almost all existing approaches to the challenge of global sustainability focus on relatively specific issues…. They focus primarily on the trees and risk missing the forest.

“We need a broad and more integrated scientific framework that encompasses a quantitative, predictive, mechanistic theory for understanding the relationship between human-engineered systems, both social and physical, and the ‘natural’ environment–a framework I call a grand unified theory of sustainability. It’s time to initiate a massive international Manhattan-style project or Apollo-style program dedicated to addressing global sustainability in an integrated, systemic sense.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 412.

 

“Even though the growth of organisms, cities, and economies follows essentially identical mathematical equations, their resulting solutions have subtle but crucial differences arising from one being driven by sublinear scaling (the economies of scale of organisms) and the other by superlinear scaling (the increasing returns to scale of cities and economies): in the superlinear case, the general solution exhibits an unexpectedly curious property technically known as a finite time singularity, which is a signal of inevitable change, and possibly of potential trouble ahead.

“A finite time singularity simply means that the mathematical solution to the growth equation governing whatever is being considered–the population, the GDP, the number of patents, et cetera–becomes infinitely large at some finite time….” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. P. 413.

 

“Major innovations can therefore be viewed as mechanisms for ensuring a soft transition to a new phase by circumnavigating the potentially disastrous discontinuity inherent in the black hole of a finite time singularity…. This can be restated as a sort of ‘theorem’: to sustain open-ended growth in light of resource limitation requires continuous cycles of paradigm-shifting innovations….”

“Unfortunately, however, it’s not quite as simple as that…. The theory dictates that to sustain continuous growth the time between successive innovations has to get shorter and shorter,. Thus paradigm-shifting discoveries, adaptations, and innovations must occur at an increasingly accelerated pace…

“We’re not only living on an accelerating treadmill that’s always getting faster and faster, but at some stage we have to jump onto another treadmill that is accelerating even faster and sooner or later have to jump from that one onto yet another one that’s going even faster.” West, Geoffrey. 2017. Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. Penguin Press. Pp. 416-8.

 

“Philosophy–in every field of inquiry–is what you have to do until you figure out what questions you should have been asking in the first place.” Dennett, Daniel. 2013. Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking. W.W. Norton. P. 20.

 

“Physics will always trump meaning. A genuine semantic engine, responding directly to meanings, is like a perpetual motion machine–physically impossible. So how can brains accomplish their appointed task? By being syntactic engines that track or mimic the competence of the impossible semantic engine.” Dennett, Daniel. 2013. Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking. W.W. Norton. P. 179.

 

“On the one hand, there is an individuality to the contributions of great artists that seems to be not just rare in science, but positively beside the point. The famous priority disputes in science, and the races for one Nobel Prize clincher or another, are ferocious precisely because somebody else could make exactly the contribution you were striving to make–and you won’t get points for style if you come in second. These contests have no parallel in the arts, where a different set of goals reigns.” Dennett, Daniel. 2013. Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking. W.W. Norton. P. 412.

 

Mental rehearsals of a unique sort, which I construe as mental projections of further mental states and the actions these states may generate, are what bring together the various abilities that animate mindvaulting, in an adaptive response to the socio-cultural and sociopolitical pressures of human ontogeny. I call them ‘metamental rehearsals.’ Metamental rehearsals are the formative matrices and ontogenetic incubators of pretending, imagining, and other intellectual faculties.” Bogdan, Radu. 2013. Mindvaults: Sociocultual Grounds for Pretending and Imagining. MIT Press. P. xv.

 

“What is most characteristic about and central to the work of the intellect is its capacity to vault itself consciously as well as deliberately out of the realm of current perception, motivation, emotion, and action, and leap over to future, past, abstract, possible, or even impossible facts, situations, or scenarios.” Bogdan, Radu. 2013. Mindvaults: Sociocultual Grounds for Pretending and Imagining. MIT Press. P. xvii.

 

“I suggest below that the distinguishing feature of causal explanations, so conceived, is that they are explanations that furnish information that is potentially relevant to manipulation and control: they tell us how, if we were able to change the value of one or more variables, we could change the value of other variables.” Woodward, James. 2003. Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press. P. 6

 

“The notion of invariance is closely related to the notion of an intervention…. A necessary and sufficient condition for a generalization to describe a causal relationship is that it be invariant under some appropriate set of interventions.” Woodward, James. 2003. Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press. P. 15.

 

“Rather than thinking of all causal generalizations as laws, I suggest that we should think of laws as just one kind of invariant generalization.” Woodward, James. 2003. Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press. P. 17.

 

“I have been claiming that causal relationships share a common feature: they are invariant relationships that are potentially exploitable for purposes of manipulation and control.” Woodward, James. 2003. Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press. P. 17.

 

“‘Property is robbery,’ proclaimed Proudhon: tracing back the origin of any piece of property through a succession of ‘legitimate’ transfers, we eventually get to the first owner–the one who simply too it, the one who separated it off from the realm of ‘ours’ or “God’s’ into the realm of ‘mine.’” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 54.

 

“Private property is supposed to give people an incentive to make improvements upon the land. But wouldn’t it be more just if there were some way to own the improvements, and not the land itself?” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 54.

 

“As Lewis Mumford puts it, ‘A patent is a device that enables one man to claim special financial rewards for being the last link in the complicated social process that produced the invention.’” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. Pp. 71-2.

 

“… we are self-sufficient in relation to the people we know but dependent as never before on total strangers living thousands of miles away.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 77.

 

“The propertization and privatization of the economic realm leaves us, to coin a phrase, helplessly independent–independent of anyone we know, and dependent on impersonal, coercive institutions that govern from afar.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 78.

 

“But to say that money transactions are evidence of an overall rise in utility is absurd; or rather, it assumes that the needs they meet were originally unmet. If we are merely paying for something once provided through self-sufficiency or the gift economy, then the logic of economic growth is faulty.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 83.

 

“Usury is the very antithesis of the gift, for instead of giving to others when one has more than one needs, usury seeks to use the power of ownership to gain even more–to take from others rather than to give.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 94.

“The imperative of perpetual growth implicit in interest-based money is what drives the relentless conversion of life, world, and spirit into money.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 101.

 

“To service debt or just to live, either you take existing wealth from someone else (hence, competition) or you create ‘new’ wealth by drawing from the commons.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 103.

 

“The dual pressures I have described–toward growth of the money realm, and toward the polarization of wealth–are two aspects of the same force. Either money grows by devouring the nonmonetized realm, or it cannibalizes itself.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 111.

 

“Credit money is (via a different kind of social agreement than explicitly backed currencies, but an agreement nonetheless) backed by the entirety of an economy’s goods and services and, more deeply, by growth.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 167.

 

“The money of the future will be backed by the things we want to nurture, create, and preserve: by undeveloped land, clean water and air, great works of art and architecture, bio-diversity and the genetic commons, unused development rights, unused carbon credits, uncollected patent royalties, relationships not converted into services, and natural resources not converted into goods. Even, indeed, by gold still in the ground.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 168.

 

“Generalized the principle is, ‘The use of any thing for money will increase the supply of that thing.’” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 169.

 

“Once we have decided how much of each commons should be made available for use, we can issue money ‘backed’ by it. For example, we might decide that the atmosphere can sustain total sulfur dioxide emissions of two million tons a year. We can then use the emissions rights as a currency backing. The same goes for the rest of the commons. The result would be a long list comprising all the elements of the commons we agree to use for economic purposes. Conceptually, it might look something like this:

“‘Our money derives its value from the right to harvest 300,000 tons of cod from the Newfoundland cod fishery, the right to draw 30 million gallons of water monthly from the Ogallala Aquifer, the right to emit 10 billion tons of CO2, the right to pump 2 billion barrels of oil from the ground, the use of the X-microhertz band of the electomagnetic spectrum…

“How to implement this in practice? One way would be for the government to simply create money and spend it into the economy in the way governments spend tax revenues today. The money would circulate through the economy and eventually back to the government when producers redeem it for the backing items. This could happen through auction, or relative prices for the backing items could be set in advance and then adjusted each year according to actual prices on the secondary market. Either way, the redemption of money for backing items would function just like a tax on resources and pollution.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 189.

 

“Money today, however, is not like bread, fruit, or indeed any natural object. It is the lone exception to nature’s law of return, the law of life, death, and rebirth, which says that all things ultimately return to their source. Money does not decay over time, but in its abstraction from physicality, it remains changeless or even grows with time, exponentially, thanks to the power of interest.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 203.

 

“The pioneering theoretician of negative-interest money was the German-Argentinean businessman Silvio Gesell, who called it ‘free-money’, a name that I will adopt in his honor. The system he proposed in his 1906 masterwork, The Natural Economic Order, was to use paper currency to which a stamp costing a small fraction of the note’s value had to be affixed periodically. This effectively attached a maintenance cost to monetary wealth. Like any physical commodity, such money ‘goes bad.’” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 207.

 

“Commodities in general, straw, petrol, guano and the rest can be safely exchanged only when everyone is indifferent as to whether he possesses money or goods, and that is possible only if money is afflicted with all the defects inherent in our products.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 208. (Quoting Silvio Gesell from The Natural Economic Order)

 

“But today, as in Gesell’s time, money is preferred to goods. The ability to withhold the medium of exchange allows money holders to charge interest; they occupy a privileged position compared to holders of real capital (and even more so to those who sell their time, 100 percent of which disappears each day it goes unsold). The result is an increasing polarization of wealth because everyone essentially pays a tribute to the owners of money.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. Pp. 208-9.

“Gesell advocated currency decay as a device for decoupling money as a store-of-value from money as a medium of exchange. Money would no longer be preferred to physical capital. The result, he foresaw, would be an end to the artificial scarcity and economic depression that happens when there are plenty of goods to be exchanged by a lack of money by which to exchange them.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 209.

 

“The proper rate of interest, positive or negative, depends on whether the economy is to grow or shrink.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 219.

 

“Even the very few substances that don’t suffer oxidation, such as gold and platinum, must be transported, guarded, and insured against theft; precious metal coinage can also be scraped or clipped. That money is an exception to this universal law, the law of return, is part of the broader ideology of human exceptionalism relative to nature. Decaying currency is therefore no mere gimmick; it is an acknowledgment of reality.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 224.

 

“Negative interest on currency must accompany Georgist or Gesellian levies on land as well, and indeed on any other source of ‘economic rents.’ The physical commons of land, the genome, the ecosystem, and the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as the cultural commons of ideas, inventions, music, and stories, must be subject to the same carry costs as money, or Keynes’s concern will come true. Thankfully, we have a serendipitous convergence of rightness and logic, that the social obligation entailed by the use of the commons doubles as a liquidity tax on any substitute store of value. Fundamentally, whether applied to money or to the commons, the same principle is at stake: we only get to keep it if we use it in a socially productive way.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. Pp. 224-5.

 

“Historically, economic contraction or stagnant growth has meant human misery: economic polarization, a sharpening of the divide between the haves and the have-nots. Free-money prevents this from happening by providing a way for money to circulate without needing to be driven by growth-dependent lending.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 227.

 

“Imagine you are the President of the World and receive the following offer from aliens: ‘Supreme Leader, a sustainable gross world product (GWP) is $10 trillion a year. We would like to make you an offer: $600 trillion for the entire earth. True, we plan to extract all of its resources, destroy the topsoil, poison the oceans, turn the forests into deserts, and use it as a radioactive waste dump. But think of it–$600 trillion! You’ll all be rich!’ Of course you would say no, but collectively today we are essentially saying yes to this offer. We are carrying out the aliens’ plan to a tee, making over the next ten years perhaps $600 trillion (current GWP is $60 trillion a year). Through a million little choices every day, we are cashing in the earth.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. Pp. 233-4.

 

“Most economists consider medium of exchange and store of value to be defining functions of money. But combining these two functions into a single object begs trouble because a medium of exchange needs to circulate to be useful, while a store of value is kept (stored) away from circulation.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 242.

 

“Negative economic growth doesn’t entail a decline in wealth at all, nor a decline in the availability of what we call ‘goods and services.’ Remember, goods and services at present are defined as things that are exchanged for money. If they are provided through some other, nonmonetary, mechanism, then the statistical ‘economy’ can shrink even as the real economy–what people made and do for each other–grows richer.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 258.

 

“‘Encarta sales didn’t bring in money equivalent to the exchange value it destroyed for Britannica et al. And Wikipedia destroyed billions in net monetized value for both hard-copy encyclopedias and Encarta.’

“If this trend continues, we will indeed see a perfect example of greater wealth accompanied by a smaller (money) economy.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 260. Subquote: Caron, Kevin. “Abundance Creates Utility but Destroys Exchange Value.” February 2, 2010. Http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/abundance-creates-utility-but-destroys-exchange-value/2010/02/02.

 

“The key is degrowth, not efficiency. It seems very counterintuitive: that degrowth–economic recession–will be what ushers in true affluence for the many.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 265.

 

“Imagine what would happen if, all of a sudden, a magical technology were found that could double the productivity of every worker. Now the same amount of goods is available with half the labor. If (as in a steady-state or degrowth economy) demand does not increase, then half the workers are now superfluous. To stay competitive, firms must fire half their workers, make them part-time, or pay them less. Aggregate wages will fall by half since no one will pay workers more than the revenues they are generating for the employer. The laid-off workers no longer have the money to buy the products, even though they are about 50 percent cheaper. In the end, despite more goods being available with less effort, the money to buy those goods doesn’t get to the people who could use them. Leisure has increased all right; it is called ‘unemployment’–and the results are catastrophic: a rapid concentration of wealth, deflation, bankruptcies, and so on…”

“The ensuing socioeconomic calamity can be averted in two ways: wealth redistribution or growth. To accomplish the former, we could simply take money away from the employed and give it to the unemployed, subsidize firms in keeping superfluous employees, or pay everyone a social wage regardless of whether they work or not. These redistributive policies diminish the relative wealth and power of the holders of money. The other solution, in the above scenario, would be to double demand so as to keep everyone employed.”

“Since, generally speaking, the rich are in control of things and don’t want their wealth to be redistributed, the traditional solution to the problem of overproduction and underemployment is to somehow generate economic growth, which means increasing demand for new goods and services. One way to do that is through exports; obviously, this solution cannot work for the planet as a whole. Another way to increase demand is, as I have abundantly described, to colonize the nonmonetary realm–to make people buy what was once free. Finally, we can simply destroy excess production through war and waste. All of these measures keep everyone hard at work when natural demand has been sated.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. Pp. 268-9.

 

“Local currencies are viable only to the extent that producers are making goods and services that are consumed locally by people who themselves produce locally consumed goods and services. In the 1930s, economies were still highly local. People had goods and services to exchange but no money to use as a medium due to bank failures and hoarding. Today, the situation is quite different. Most people provide services that only make sense in a vast, often global, coordination of labor. Local currency cannot facilitate a supply and production chain that involves millions of people in thousands of places.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 297.

 

“Measures such as Georgist land-value taxes, leasing of mineral rights, and the use of the subjects of economic rent as a currency backing as described in this book are ways to return economic rents to the people, so that private interests can only profit by using property well, not by merely owning it. Anything that comes from the commons should be subject to fees or taxes.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 335.

 

“Then I considered its [investment’s] etymology: it means to clothe, as in to take naked money and put it into new vestments, something material, something real in the physical or social realm. Money is naked human potential–creative energy that has not yet been ‘clothed’ with material or social constructions.

“Right investment is to array money in sacred vestments: to use it to create, protect, and sustain the things that are becoming sacred to us today.” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 380.

 

“Banking, in its sacred dimension, says, ‘I will help you find someone who can use your money beautifully.’” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. P. 381.

 

“Money must be universally transparent.

“Obviously, a system in which every transaction and every account balance is available for public view would radically change business practice. If you have ever been in business, imagine if you will that every customer, supplier, and competitor knew your true costs!” Eisenstein, Charles. 2011. Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition. Evolver Editions. Pp. 440-1.

 

“The seventeenth-century banishment of agency, perception, consciousness, and will from nature and from natural science gave a monopoly on all of these attributes to an external god. The classical mechanist approach to science, with its attendant mechanical model of nature and of living creatures, relied crucially as it was developing from around the mid-seventeenth century upon an accompanying theology, namely the argument from design. The authors of the argument from design sought proof of the existence of God in the evidence of mechanical design in nature, God’s artifact.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 4.

 

“The Protestant Reformation, which starkly distinguished God from His works, was the theological sea change that preceded the modern model of nature as passive machinery….  This model represented a nature composed of intrinsically inert mechanisms whose passivity indicated a supernatural source of action.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 4.

 

“In short, a contradiction sits at the origin of modern science. The central principle responsible for defining scientific explanations as distinct from religious and mystical ones was the prohibition on appeals to agency and will. This principle itself relied for its establishment upon a theological notion, the divine Engineer, and a theological program, the argument from design.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 4-5.

 

“… when the inventors of modern science banished mysterious agencies from nature to the province of a transcendent God, they predicated their rigorously naturalist approach on a supernatural power.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 5.

 

“I think that biologists’ figures of speech reflect a deeply hidden yet abiding quandary created by the seventeenth-century banishment of agency from nature: do the order and action in the natural world originate inside or outside? Either answer raises big problems. Saying ‘inside’ violates the ban on ascriptions of agency to natural phenomena such as cells or molecules, and so risks sounding mystical and magical. Saying ‘outside’ assumes a supernatural source of nature’s order, and so violates another scientific principle, the principle of naturalism.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 6.

 

“As Leibniz saw it, the balance of a clock was in a constant state of agitated motion, and so too were human bodies.

“To be clocklike, to Leibniz, was to be responsive, agitated, and restless. How different this is from what people generally understand by the clockwork metaphor! The clockwork universe with its clockwork creatures has familiarly signified regularity and constraint, not agitation and responsiveness….

“As Leibniz pointed out, if one wanted to disallow appeals to a supernatural god, then passive clockwork would not work as a model of living nature. One needed a different model: active, restless clockwork.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 6-7.

 

“The Reformation marked a sea change in the way people understood the relations between matter and spirit, nature and divinity. Among the many implications of these changed relations–among the less-remarked implications, but important nevertheless–was that machines, and mechanism in general, came to signify something new: an artificial mechanism, composed of material parts, became definitively empty of spirit.

“To understand why this was so, one must consider that in each of their main doctrines, the Reformers distinguished God from nature and spirit from matter. The doctrinal heart of their movement was their denial of the miracle of the Eucharist, transubstantiation: although they disagreed among themselves about just what happened during the Sacrament, they all maintained that the communion bread and wine remained bread and wine. That is, the sacramental bread and wine represented, but did not become, the body and blood of Christ, as Catholic doctrine said they did. In fact, the Reformers denied the occurrence of miracles in general.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 22.

 

“With the Reformation, the same machines began to look very different. Reformism and clockmaking developed side by side from Augsburg to Strasbourg to Geneva. The flood of mechanized religious images coincided both in time and place with an opposing impulse: the spread of the Reformers’ view that representational religious images were sacrilegious because they blurred what was properly a sharp boundary between symbol and deity, matter and spirit. The mechanical icons went from being divine, inspirited statues to being deceitful, fraudulent: material contraptions masquerading as their antithesis, spiritual beings.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 22-3.

 

“The destruction of mechanized icons represented only small swells inside the larger surges of iconoclasm that spread across Europe during the middle decades of the sixteenth century.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 23.

 

“The idea that a fully material entity could have no agency, but must be purely passive, arose with the Reformation, when the Reformers asserted a categorical distinction between matter and spirit, setting their clockmaker God rigorously apart from his clockwork Creation and assigning him a monopoly on agency.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 43.

 

“By describing animals as automata, Descartes did not mean to reduce them to lifelessness. On the contrary, he meant to declare that one could explain every aspect of life in terms of machinery, and so could understand the working of living beings as fully as a clockmaker understands a clock. Rather than to reduce life to mechanism, he meant to elevate mechanism to life: to explain life, never to explain it away.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 45.

 

“Just look, he [Descartes] exhorted his readers, at all the clocks, fountains, and mills. If people could build such machinery, God must surely be able to do it even better…. Descartes drew an analogy between the water that created these diverse effects and the ‘animal spirits’ that he supposed drove living bodies.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 46.

 

“Descartes dismissed both of these Aristotelian souls as superfluous. Aristotle had described a third soul, the rational soul, present in humans alone, endowing humans with the capacity for rational thought. This uniquely human, rational soul, Descartes retained. But he eliminated the vegetative and sensitive souls altogether, …

“In general, Descartes attributed all the functions of life and sentience, apart from rational thought, to animal-machinery alone: digestion; circulation; nutrition; growth; respiration; waking and sleeping; ….” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 49.

 

“By analogy, a brain produced different feelings according to which pores filled with animal spirits. The heart and arteries were like the bellows of the organ, pushing animal spirits into the cavities of the brain. External objects, acting upon the sense organs, moved certain nerves such that they would receive a flow of animal spirits from the brain:….” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 50.

 

“Organs, especially hydraulic organs, offered a more suitable metaphor than clocks and watches for Descartes’s animal-machinery, which was essentially hydraulic. In this sense, his animal-machinery was in keeping with the humoral theories of ancient medical tradition, which located life in the interacting fluids of living creatures.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 50.

 

“To be sure, he [Descartes] dismissed two of the three Aristotelian souls, the vegetative and the sensitive, but apart from that, Descartes’s view of animal and human life did not depart much from the ancient physiological tradition established by Aristotle and Galen, the predominant medical philosopher of classical antiquity. This ancient tradition was filled with analogies between living bodies and artificial machines.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 51.

 

“The new, modern science-theology was devoted to demonstrating God’s existence by detailing the mechanical perfection of his artifact, the world-machine…. To be sure, natural theology, the search for evidence of the existence of God in nature, was an ancient tradition… But the idea that God had built the world out of inert material parts was something new under the sun, along with the associated idea of nature as passive machinery.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 79.

 

“Nothing could have been worse from a Cartesian perspective, given the unreliability of experience, than to make the existence of God a matter of empirical demonstration. Descartes’s philosophical achievement was tremendously powerful and yet unstable: his science of life devolved into a science that seemed to explain life out of existence, while his transcendent and logically necessary God collapsed into a contingent feature of His own mundane contraptions.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 80.

 

“The world became an entirely passive machine whose job it was to indicate the existence of a divine Designer, whose omnipotence was guaranteed by his monopoly on agency. Classical mechanism was, in the first instance, theological mechanism.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 84.

 

“Leibniz called force a ‘metaphysical’ thing, meaning that it was not a material entity in itself, but rather a principle underlying all material events. Without such a metaphysical principle, nature was unintelligible. Matter drained of spirit or force could explain nothing, he argued, not even inanimate machinery.

“Leibniz elaborated his idea of a vis viva or ‘living force’ in all mechanical phenomena during the co-called vis via controversy of the 1680s and ‘90s…. Moreover, he said, no one had ever explained force, and he rejected what he saw as the current tendency to instead ‘summon God ex machina, and withdraw all force for acting from things.’ This was a marionette mechanism with God as the puppeteer, such that ‘when a person thinks and tries to move his arm, God moves the arm for him,’ an idea so absurd it ‘ought to have warned these writers they were depending on a false principle.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 97-8. Subquotes: Leibniz. Philosophical Essays. Specimen Dynamicum. Pp. 125, 130.

 

“Leibniz was after a third way: neither marionette mechanism nor what he saw as alchemical abandonments of mechanism, but a fully mechanist account of nature that included immaterial ‘active force.’” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 98.

 

“In particular, Leibniz shared Spinoza’s refusal of extra-natural causes, of a marionette mechanism, and his insistence that nature was everything. Whereas Spinoza took this to imply that nature encompassed every possibility, leaving no room for contingency or paths not taken, Leibniz instead construed it to mean something like the opposite: that perceptive agency (and therefore contingency) was integral to the cosmic machinery. They arrived at these opposite poles, however, from a shared principle of unbounded naturalism.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 100-1.

 

“Any corporeal entity, not matter how ‘invincibly attached,’ must still be composed of parts: one could imagine dividing it further. The indivisible atoms that made up the world, therefore, must be something else:…

“Since chunks of inert matter, on their own, in his view explained nothing, he replaced extension with perception, and offered an equal and opposite philosophy to Hobbesian materialism: a reduction of matter to spirit. In place of chunks of matter, he put perceiving subjects. The building blocks of his cosmos were not blocks but little souls.

“No difference in substance, therefore, divided material from spiritual things. By the time he wrote the Monadologie (1714), Leibniz had decided that both the material and the spiritual were composed of ‘Monads,’ elementary spiritual substances whose defining attribute was perception. The difference between material and spiritual things lay only in the laws governing them: laws of force and transfer of motion for material things, laws of justice for spiritual ones.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 102-3.

 

“What he [Leibniz] now meant by ‘machinery’ was therefore not just different from but in fact opposite to, what Hobbes and the Cartesians meant. There was no actual pushing and pulling, no action by impact, but just the appearance of these mechanical causes. Indeed, matter itself was an appearance, a secondary effect of the perceptual substance out of which the world was composed.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 103.

 

“Leibniz’s great objection to the Newtonian system, which he voiced steadfastly during the last couple years of his life in an intense epistolary debate with Newton’s friend and translator Samuel Clarke, was that Newton described the cosmos as an artifact, a device, of brute mechanism. Like any such device, it required its Maker to step in and adjust it, to rewind it and keep it running….

“In Leibniz’s view, this was not only to denigrate God’s handiwork but also to violate the principles of naturalism and mechanism. It made neither for good theology nor for good science.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 105.

 

“According to Leibniz’s ideal of science, there should be one single system encompassing all of nature, with nothing outsourced, nothing rendered exceptional or external. The authors of the mechanical philosophy–Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, Gassendi–had ‘purged inexplicable chimera from philosophy’ but they had left a metaphysical gap and filled it with a meddlesome God who acted supernaturally.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 106.

 

“As with the argument-from-design natural theologians’ God, Leibniz’s God remained the source of order in the cosmos, but with a crucial difference. As we have seen, the natural machinery participated actively in bringing about this order, which was therefore not delivered all at once at the beginning of time, but rather it unfolded over all eternity. This sort of order was not ‘design’ but ‘organization,’ not a static structure but a patterned process.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 110.

 

“Kant’s dilemma was how to reconcile the mechanist ban on agency in nature, which he embraced, with his own conviction that the argument from design was unintelligible: that one could only meaningfully understand the apparent purposefulness of living forms as intrinsic to themselves. His solution was to distinguish between how people understood organism and how organisms actually were in themselves (which was anyway, he said, unknowable). The apparent purposefulness of organisms did not mean that these were in fact the results of an internal agency, but rather that our reason or ‘cognitive faculty’ had to understand them as such. Naturalists should therefore retain their methodological principle that all living forms originate in purposeful agency, but they should also regard this principle as ‘reflective’ and ‘regulative’ rather than ‘determining’ and ‘constitutive.’ In this way, they might carry on seeking natural purposes while assuming no ‘underlying end,’ no actual ‘teleology.’” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 194. Subquotes: Kant, I. Critique of Judgement. Academy Edition of Kant’s Works.

 

“Lamarck, in a manuscript sketch of the book he planned to write to inaugurate his new science entitled ‘Biology, or Considerations on the Nature, the Faculties, the Developments and the Origins of Living Bodies,’ began by dividing nature into two parts: ‘brute bodies’ and ‘living bodies.’ This division, Lamarck wrote, was ‘infinitely distinct,’ with no ‘intermediary’ between the brute and the living. A living body was ‘a natural body limited in its duration, organized in its parts… possessing what we call life, and subject necessarily to lose it, that is, to succumb to death,’ at which point it must be re-classed among the brute bodies. In addition to these two sorts of bodies, Lamarck announced two opposing forces to govern them: one a force of composition and life, the other a force of destruction and death.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 209.

 

“How to revoke the monopoly on agency that mechanist science had assigned to God? How to bring the inanimate, clockwork cosmos of classical mechanist science back to life while remaining as faithful as possible to the core principles of the scientific tradition? A whole movement of poets, physiologists, novelists, chemists, philosophers and experimental physicists–roles often combined in the same person–struggled with this question. Their struggles brought the natural machinery of contemporary science from inanimate to dead to alive once more. The dead matter of the Romantics became animate, not at the hands of an external Designer, but through the action of a vital agency, an organic power, an all-embracing energy intrinsic to nature’s machinery. Along with this new understanding of matter and force, organic life and vital agency came two major developments.

“Both developments represented ways in which living machines might transcend the limits of their own machinery without leaving the realm of material nature. The first was a genetic (again, genesis-related) approach to life whose proponents thought that by tracing the developments of limited agents working in specific contexts over periods of time, they might reconcile the demands of mechanism with the appearance of living purpose. In other words, they tried out the idea of transcendence through the dimension of time, placing their hope in a form of explanation that was coming to be called ‘historical’ in Kant’s and Lamarck’s new sense. ‘Historical’ in this sense described a gradual, open, undetermined, self-driven process of transformation.

“The second development was the idea of a kind of transcendence through energy: the idea that organisms, understood as living machines, were connected through a great web of energy exchange to the cosmos itself…. The Romantics had arrived, through a dramatic collaboration of science and poetry, at the possibility of a rigorously, exhaustively natural science: one in which the divine Clockmaker ceded his monopoly to inherent agencies operating over time, through matter and energy, across space, and always within the continuum of nature.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 212-3.

 

“In other words, officially, Darwin rejected both internal (striving) and external (divine) agency as elements of scientific explanations. But he adopted the modes of explanation that each had informed: the genetic or historical mode that went with the notion of an internal, striving agency, according to which living beings actively transformed themselves over time; and the fitness mode that went with the assumption of divine agency, according to which living beings were static, passive, designed devices.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 215.

 

“Whereas genetic accounts of life from Leibniz to Lamarck had replaced an external designer God with an inner, burgeoning force, operating within living matter, Darwin now appeared to side with the natural-theological brute mechanists in rejecting any such internal agency. Living matter, he said, did not strive. Regarding the ‘primeval creative power’ that Lyell had thought necessary, Darwin retorted that no such power could have any part in his science and that, indeed, he preferred to leave an explanatory gap at its very core, as Newton had done for gravity.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 218.

 

“In championing natural selection, Huxley adopted Darwin’s Newton-inspired strategy of confessing ignorance about the cause of variation, as Newton had ostentatiously done regarding the cause of gravity.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 225.

 

“The idea of spontaneous generation was now, Darwin thought, quite out of the question: ‘I need hardly say that Science in her present state does not countenance the belief that living creatures are now ever produced from inorganic matter.’ A decade later, however, Darwin wrote to Alfred Russel Wallace that he thought spontaneous generation probably did take place.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 228. Subquote: Darwin, Charles. 1861. Origin of Species. P. 135. Letter to Wallace: The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, 1887, 3:168.

 

“He [Wallace] argued the opposite [from life by a divine Engineer God]: brute machinery could not account for any kind of action, movement, or agency on its own, and yet these phenomena were everywhere in nature. It therefore made better epistemological sense to assume that nature as made, not of matter, but of force: action, agency. Here once again is the badly strained seam whose line we have been tracing through the heart of Darwin’s theory of natural selection: on the one hand, the genetic approach to development, founded in an ascription of agency to living forms; and on the other, the notion of mechanical adaptation, originating in the brute-mechanist tradition of the argument from design, which strictly banished agency from nature. For Wallace, the seam finally came apart, and he chose agency over matter, nature over a supernatural God.

“Darwin was dismayed.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 229.

 

“Having rejected, at least in principle, both Lamarck’s inner agency and Paley’s outer agency, Darwin found himself with a ‘brute’ world in which he did not after all believe.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 241.

 

“Biologists around the turn of the twentieth century accepted that change could take place through a combination of random and mechanically determined events, but not that change could be contingent, directed by tendencies or actions within the living organisms themselves. Neither random nor deterministic processes violated the principled exclusion of agency from scientific explanations. Therefore, it became the habitual stance of the new generation of biologists to reason in terms of a combination of random and deterministic processes, but never of contingent, historical ones.

“In keeping with their rejection of historical explanations in science, these biologists asserted a sharp distinction between the natural sciences and the humanities. Whereas the humanities offered sweeping descriptions and impressions of the world, the natural sciences established causal accounts of discrete phenomena. Brute-mechanist science took on a new twist, becoming antihistorical and distinct from humanist disciplines.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 251.

 

“‘Vitalists’ were those who set living beings apart from the rest of the natural world, as requiring a distinct set of explanatory principles. Eclipsed from view was the path that Leibniz, Lamarck, and others had struggled to defend: that of a single, active-mechanist and historical philosophy embracing all of nature.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 252.

 

“With his insistence on the necessity of history to biology, Haeckel violated several tenets of the university departments’ Protestant Wissenschaft: the strict separation between natural and human sciences; the cloistering of scientific subdisciplines; and the new model of historical scholarship itself as founded in the excavation of discrete, particular philological and archival facts whose proximate relations reflected a transcendent divine order.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 261.

 

“Weismann’s mechanist science was the culmination of two centuries of intellectual and scientific development: a teleological, antimaterialist, in fact, dualist form of mechanism. It had first emerged in conjunction with the argument from design, and it now fit comfortably in the world of the new research universities where it supported the limited partnership established there between the science and theology faculties.

“With his impermeable ‘barrier’ between individual agency and evolutionary transformation, Weismann became the face of modern mechanist Darwinism. In Germany, his passive-mechanist, antihistorical rendition of evolution supplanted Haeckel’s active-mechanist Lamarckian-Darwinian historicist one. When Weismannism came to dominate biological thinking in the United States in the early-to-middle decades of the twentieth century, it was once again crucially transmitted by someone who had come up within the same world of the German research university, Ernst Mayr.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 277-8.

 

“Weismann had rescued Darwinism by ridding it of Lamarckian agencies, rendering it properly brute-mechanist. His anti-Lamarckian distinction between the somatic cells and germ plasm, individual action and hereditary machinery, according to Huxley, had constituted a ‘great clarification’ of the Darwinian position. This ‘clarification’ had been crucial to the establishment of what Huxley named the ‘Modern Synthesis’: a new approach to biology formed by biologists bringing Darwin’s theory of evolution together with the science of genetics.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 279.

 

“… between two competing approaches [for cognitive science and artificial intelligence fields]. The first, ‘cognitivism,’ or ‘computationalism,’ construed thought as information processing: the rule-governed manipulation of symbolic, representational structures. Turing’s work provides the defining paradigm for this first approach. The second approach, still according to the consensus view, is ‘embodied.’ In contrast with the cognitive-computationalist tradition, it does not construe thought as abstract reasoning, but as a form of physical engagement with the world….

“But this dichotomy hides deeper commonalities. Turing’s diesembodied, cognitivist program included his ‘P-machine,’ trainable through ‘pleasure and pain,’ on the principle that an intelligent machine must learn from experience. Ashby’s active, ‘embodied’ program employed the same abstract notion of ‘pleasure’ and ‘pain’ as Turing: the positions of certain levers. The ‘cognitivist’ and ‘embodied’ programs shared the axiom that intelligence must be an epiphenomenon of pleasure and pain, which were in turn mechanisms by which the environment directed the mechanical creature. Fundamentally, they agreed upon the essential passivity of the living, intelligent being.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 336.

 

“… mechanical clockwork model of nature. This model banished from nature all purpose, sentience, and agency, leaving behind a brute mechanical world that was fully intelligible without reference to mysterious forces or agencies. But, just as a watch implies a watchmaker, this passive mechanical artifact world relied upon a supernatural, divine intelligence. It was inseparably and in equal parts a scientific and a theological model.

“These chapters have also traced the parallel development of a competing form of science that naturalized rather than exported purpose and agency. This alternative, active-mechanist tradition, though overshadowed by the brute-mechanist one, developed in ongoing dialectic with it.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 337.

 

“Instead of decomposing intelligence into ‘information processing modules,’ Brooks and his fellow researchers in nouvelle AI work to evolve intelligence as an emergent result of assemblages of ‘behavior generating modules’…. He and his colleagues call the design scheme by which they assemble their behavior-generating modules ‘subsumption architecture,’ because discrete behaviors are subsumed together, with no highest-level behavior to oversee and govern all the others….

“A crucial feature of Brooks’s robots is that they have no robot equivalent of a Cartesian, unified, knowing self, no central repository of information, no overall governing module. Their intelligence is without a discrete locus: ‘There is no homunculus.’” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 340. Subquotes: Brooks, Rodney. 1991. Intelligence without Reason. MIT AI Lab Memo 1293. April. Pp. 6, 16-17.

 

“The computationalists also share with the behavioral roboticists the axiom that cognition does not reside in any particular kind of stuff. In the case of behavioral roboticists, it is surprising, given their emphasis on physical engagement and embodiment, that the physical aspects of the materials they use do not figure in their theoretical discussions of what constitutes responsive, engaging, lifelike behavior.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 346.

 

“… she [Eva Jablonka] emphasized the importance of distinguishing among different forms and levels of agency. A very primitive kind of material agency, she explained, is not only admissible in current biological explanations, but indeed many biologists assume it to exist. Jablonka proposed, referring to my ‘restless clock’ image, that one might call this primitive, material agency the ‘restlessness of matter.’” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 365.

 

“Mueller and Newman argue that random variation and natural selection alone do not account for the presence of organic forms in nature. Evolutionary biology, they write, has neglected the origin of organic form: natural selection can only work on what is already there….

“To explain how organismal forms originate, Mueller and Newman invoke an ‘inherent plasticity’ in living matter, comparable to that of various forms of nonliving matter such as clay or lava….

“Plasticity and responsiveness together, according to Mueller and Newman, constitute an intrinsic, primitive, physically based’ property, a capacity for ‘morphological variation in response to the environment.’ This primitive tendency, during the very earliest stages of the development of life, was the dominant force in generating new forms.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 365.

 

“Because of this very particular form of agency [resisting entropy], the ability to produce and maintain order, Schroedinger considered living creatures to be essentially machines. Producing and maintaining order, he proposed, was the defining feature of machines, whether natural or artificial. Machines represented one of the two ways, Schroedinger wrote, in which order occurs in nature: either statistically, as in thermodynamic events such as the magnetization of a gas or the diffusion of a liquid; or else mechanically, as in the motion of the planets or the working of a clock. Mechanisms, whether natural or artificial, seemed not to follow the statistical ‘order from disorder’ principle of thermodynamics but rather to enact an ‘order from order’ principle. Living organisms, with their active ability to produce order from order, were therefore like ‘clockwork’ mechanisms….

“To see how this might be, one had to consider that in reality neither organisms nor clocks did in fact produce order from order strictly according to a set of deterministic laws. Rather, both were real, physical entities, made of matter and therefore subject to entropic forces. On the most fundamental level, that is, organisms and clocks too, like the rest of the natural world, were statistical regularities rather than law-determined systems. An ideal clock would never need to be wound:….

“A clock was accordingly to Schroedinger, as it had been to Leibnitz, a beleaguered, disquiet, and restless thing, perpetually striving to maintain an orderly and balanced state of affairs.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 369-70.

 

“In fact, Schroedinger went so far as to argue that the very distinction between structure and use, which the neo-Darwinists insisted upon, had no real meaning.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 372-3.

 

“The essential activeness of living mechanisms, the indistinguishability of part from use, offered Schroedinger a source of scientific hope. He returned to it in addressing what he took to be the worst ‘impasse’ of contemporary science, namely, how to bring ‘mind’–sensation, experience–back into the world picture from which it had systematically excluded itself. Somehow, he wrote, science must overcome this ‘exclusion principle’ by which natural philosophers and scientists over the preceding three centuries had systematically exempted themselves from the natural world, producing a ‘horrible antimony. I maintain that it cannot be solved on the level of present-day science which is still entirely engulfed in the ‘exclusion principle.’’ To get beyond the confines of brute mechanism, Schroedinger urged, ‘scientific attitude would have to be rebuilt, science must be made anew.’” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 373. Subquote: Schroedinger. Mind and Matter. P. 122.

 

“Three and a half centuries after the natural sciences assumed their modern forms–intellectual, institutional, instrumental, and social–their relations to religious beliefs and institutions remain fiercely embroiled. This book has tried to show that their embroilment was built into modern sciences from its inception, built into a definition of science that made a supernatural God necessary to naturalist explanation by banishing agency from nature’s mechanism. Practitioners of the sciences have regularly, from the beginning, challenged this brute-mechanist definition of science and violated its ban on agency. Yet they have not succeeded in dethroning the brute-mechanist ideal of science, whose supernaturalism is deeply implicit despite being long hidden. To say that a human being works like a machine, whether one accepts or rejects the idea, sounds like science. But it sounds less like science when one describes the machinery as restless, moved by its own inner agency.” Riskin, Jessica. 2016. The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick. University of Chicago Press. P. 374.

 

“With its capacity for simulation, the computer has become a macroscope. It helps us understand complexity and act on it more effectively to build and manage the large systems of which we are the cells–companies, cities, economies, societies, ecosystems.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. ix.

 

“Any new life deserves a name. I propose that we baptize this planetary organism the cybiont–a name I have coined from cybernetics and biology.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. xiii.

 

“The instrument I will use throughout is the computer, not only as the catalyst that accelerates the functioning of our societies but also as a tool for the direct observation of complexity, as a macroscope.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. xiv.

 

“They [people of the future] will be neither supermen nor biorobots. Nor will they be a supercomputer or a megamachine. They will simply be symbiotic humanity, living in close partnership with a social system–if they succeed in building it–that is an externalization of their own brains, senses, and muscles, a superorganism that nourishes and lives off the neurons of the Earth, neurons that we humans are in the process of becoming.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. xvi.

 

“I define symbionomics as the study of the emergence of complex systems through self-organization, self-selection, coevolution, and symbiosis.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 31.

 

“Human beings are taking part in the birth of a new life-form on Earth. They are the principal catalysts for the origins of this new life. But this time humanity cannot consider itself the product of biological evolution; it has become the copilot of an evolutionary process that involves the whole living world, human societies and their ‘natural artifices’ (machines, organizations, systems, networks, cities), and the ecosphere, whose functioning they have barely begun to regulate.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 35.

 

“To understand the mystery of the origins of life, science turned to microbiology, the study of the infinitely small world of the first living forms. To understand our future, we now have to call upon macrobiology, a new biology of the infinitely complex.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 35.

 

“The Internet is not a new technology; it is an integrated resource-sharing system, an informational ecosystem made up of numerous interdependent elements (computers, modems, networks, software, access and content providers, and so on). As a gateway to cyberspace-time, the Internet is a kind of cooperative or society.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 55.

 

“The rules of the Internet may be summed up as follows:

“* Everyone uses the same protocol, TCP/IP, the basic language of communication, making possible an infinite number of interconnections.

“* Information circulates in standardized packets in a chaotic way, using any path available and making multiple detours.

“* Users pay for their own links in the network.

“* Each node in the network (a user and his or her compute) benefits from the operation of the whole network, and the whole network benefits from the creative contribution (software, protocols, information servers, etc.) of each node.

“The application of these rules leads to three emergent properties: interconnectivity, intercommutability, and intercreativity….

Intercommutability is an extraordinary and generally overlooked development in human communications. Information switching has conventionally been accomplished using two main types of organization: the post office and telecommunications companies. Here, users are not directly responsible for rerouting their letters or phone connections. With the Internet, on the other hand, users can switch or commute information coming into their Web site to another site simply by creating a dynamic hypertext link pointing to the new address….

Intercreativity is a step beyond basic computer interactivity. Users are not only connected to the Internet, they are interconnected through the Internet. This means that the system is transparent; it interconnects brains through computers and network links.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. Pp. 57-8.

“With the Internet, we are also seeing the emergence of a new form of economy, in which agents are paid in information rather than in currency.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 59.

 

“A new kind of tissue, initially mechanical and now bioelectronic, is developing around humanity, linking it to a social macroorganism to which humanity is contributing in turn–the connective, digestive, and nervous tissue of a huge planetary embryo that is gradually taking form before our very eyes.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. Pp. 67-8.

 

“Analogous to the basic functions of life, the great vital functions of the cybiont are gradually making themselves known: self-preservation through agriculture and the metabolism of energy, self-replication through industry and the economy, and self-regulation through computers and networks. Energy, information, economy, and ecology are the components of the new macrobiology, the discipline of the future that will be necessary for the rational conceptions and control of the life of the cybiont. Macrobiology is based on the symbiotic relationship between humans and this macroorganism, a relationship that will require new interfaces between the human brain and the planetary brain.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 68.

 

“I propose extending its [symbiosis’] meaning beyond its generally accepted definition as a relationship between living organisms to include relationships that occur at various levels between human beings and species ‘domesticated’ by them (plants, animals, or useful microbes), between human beings and specific environments molded by them (houses, cities, and even ecosystems), between human beings and the new ‘species’ of mechanical and electronic machines that now populate the technosphere, and, finally, between human beings and the macrolife they are helping to create all over the planet, for which the cybiont is the hypothetical model.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 72.

 

“The digestive system of the cybiont does not yet function in symbiosis with Gaia: waste is ‘encysted’ in dumps or piled up in the open air and allowed to pollute whole regions of the planet. The cybernetic loops of macroregulation are not yet closed, as they are in the natural ecosystem by the work of decomposer microorganisms.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 117.

 

“It is astonishing how long it took economists to become aware of the nature of the relationship between the natural ecosystem and the social ecosystem. The same major symbionomic principles are at work: metabolism of energy; self-preservation, competition or cooperation among species or companies, populations or nations; transmission of information; culture; competitive exclusion; flows; reservoirs; decisions; markets; exchanges.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 127.

 

“Writers have described planetary macroorganisms in two strikingly different ways. Either they see the ecosphere as the only model of a planetary organism, or they regard human society and its machines as a social meta-organism, almost independently of their relationship with the ecosphere. The approach I have chosen connects the two entities in a symbiotic partnership that is in coevolution but still at a primitive stage.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. Pp. 128-9.

 

“Let us imagine that the capital of the Earth is divided into shares held by the five billion Earth-dwellers. On the basis of regularly published information and indexes on the ‘health’ of their shared capital, the shareholders have the power to enhance its value.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 130.

 

“With the introsphere [simulations especially as made more productive with computer modeling] and its connection to virtual reality, a new world has been created between reality and imagination.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 140.

 

“Cities once provided the amplifying social network for people’s physical, intellectual, and cultural capacities. Economic, sociological, and ecological constraints have now led us to seek other, complementary and dematerialized, networks in order to amplify our potentialities. The networks of networks that make up the electronic city offer a possible solution.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 143.

 

“Like a cell in the body, dependent and interdependent, but autonomous in its activity, symbiotic humanity will benefit from the cybiont’s contributions while preserving its own autonomy.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 152.

 

“From the proposed symbionomic perspective, dictatorship, anarchy, and democracy express three different ways of cybernetically regulating the dynamics of social systems… Together, these three forms of social organization reflect the dynamic described earlier between order, disorder, and complexity.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 160.

 

Governance is defined as the adaptive and network-based comanagement of all government action, or the ability of governing bodies to control, direct, and orient the populations for which they are responsible.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 162.

 

“Already made necessary by the political crisis in leadership, the transition from government to governance would seem even more urgent because of the progressive erosion of national sovereignty.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 162.

 

“… ‘sustainable development.’ I suggest we replace this term with another, regulated adaptive development, since it brings out more clearly the cybernetic nature of governance.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 163.

 

“… we now need to establish some kind of conversation between government and governance; between hierarchical contralized authority and decentralized participatory democratic behavior. To maintain the fragile equilibrium between ossified order and sterile turbulence in this narrow transition zone ‘on the edge of chaos,’ humans must relinquish part of their individualism and allow it to be subsumed into something greater that will offer them freedom and more power.

“The basic rules of future governance depend on the combination of two elements: individual action and social feedback.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 164.

“While ants might be said to behave like individual idiots and collective geniuses, humans behave rather like individual geniuses and collective idiots.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 166.

 

“Drivers can be compelled to respect traffic lights and offenders can be prosecuted. Individual participation is minimal–simply obeying the traffic signals. But another approach would be to create a traffic circle, so that a form of collective intelligence contributes to regulating the traffic.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 167.

 

“In its current rigid framework, however, classical economic science does not know how to transform activities into jobs. For that, it would need to take into account nonmarket activities.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. Pp. 175-6.

 

“One of the fundamental rules of symbionomics is the selection of an evolving population through autocatalysis and competitive exclusion. The process is occurring before our very eyes. Competitive exclusion (economic, technical, and cultural marginalization) is occurring at the very heart of the nation, between cities and their suburbs, between the rich and the poor. On a global scale, this can be seen in the ever-increasing gulf between the privileged and the underprivileged. Autocatalysis generates different time densities. Despite our apparent contemporaneity, we all remain isolated in our individual time capsules. This is fractal time, separating us from one another and encouraging us in our attempts to conquer time. The competitive exclusion of the underprivileged is one of the most serious threats to humanity ever encountered in its history. We are heading toward a world made up of varying evolutionary speeds, in which individuals grow (or stagnate) in their own time bubble.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 179.

 

“Explanation and involvement. Knowledge and meaning. Causality and purpose. Determinism and teleology. Materialism and spirituality. So many mutually contradictory alternatives related to the problem of time. It is the concept of time flowing in one direction that creates the opposition, the universal time measured by clocks, the time of increasing entropy and disorganization of the universe according to the second law of thermodynamics–and the time, too, of our lives progressing toward death, which we project onto the time of the evolution of the world.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 259.

 

“Biological evolution, working through the information contained in genes, has produced potential time. Human beings have taken over from biological evolution and are using information to create a time capital that can be used today or by future generations. A scientific publication, a plan, a library, a data bank, a culture, or a work of art is comparable to a reserve of potential time. This time capital bears ‘interest’ in the form of time, accelerating the evolutionary process through autocatalysis. The creation of an original requires duration, but making a copy is practically instantaneous. The act of creation is always historic; the act of copying is commonplace. The former capitalizes time, while the latter only updates an existing reserve.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 260.

 

“A new situation has arisen because of the speed at which human beings are producing original information. This information increases complexity, and complexity generates potential time: it adds time to time; it creates time within time. A system of high complexity (such as a living cell or a computer network) traps time, creating its own time bubble that represents the environment of its evolution.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 261.

 

“The great choices of tomorrow will not concern the synchronization of times according to a standard decided by an elite, but the harmonization of times, of the different densities of fractal bubbles, the specific constants of evolution, and appropriate response times. Just as different times coexist in our bodies, the cybiont will live by the harmonization of super-imposed times.” De Rosnay, Joel. 2000. The Symbiotic Man: A New Understanding of the Organization of Life and a Vision of the Future. McGraw Hill. Translated by P. Aronoff, R. Charest, H. Scott & W. Romer Taylor. P. 280.

 

“Every religion, to survive elementary logical scrutiny, has to have its explanatory loopholes. With Polynesian chiefs, as with shamans in the previous chapter, one loophole is the assumption that waning earthly powers signify a loss of the divine touch. And this loophole places a limit on how much exploitation even a divinely ordained leader can get away with.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 66.

 

“Nor would these three elements–monotheism, an ethical core, and universalism–be thoroughly combined for millennia. But it’s also true that each of these elements had appeared in at least rough form, in one ancient state or another, during the third or second millennia BCE.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 72.

 

“According to Mesopotamian cosmology, the universe had once been on the brink of chaos, but fortunately kingship was then invented, which meant that gods who favored order could be rallied to defeat an older generation of gods who didn’t.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 75.

 

“… monolatry, a way station on the road to full-fledged monotheism. Elijah wasn’t necessarily claiming Baal didn’t exist (the monotheistic position), just that he didn’t deserve the respect of Israelites [who worshiped Yahweh].” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 132.

 

“… if monolatry was to rule …other gods with valid Israelite pedigrees must also be shown the door; there needed to be a domestic housecleaning…

“Then again, foreign policy isn’t the only political realm in which a king operates. There’s also domestic politics. Here lies the second major explanation of how the drive toward monolatry acquired critical mass. Call it the DP scenario, for domestic politics–or, perhaps, for domestic power…. In the DP scenario, the extinction of all gods but Yahweh would turn out to have compelling logic in the realm of power politics.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 148.

 

“After all, the ‘problem of evil’ doesn’t arise in acute form unless you believe in a single all-powerful and good God. Only if God is omnipotent does all human suffering become something he is choosing to tolerate, and only if he is wholly benevolent does this choice become something of a puzzle.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 166.

 

“An apt response when a people kills your god is to kill theirs–to define it out of existence. And if other nations’ gods no longer exist, and if you’ve already decided (back in Josiah’s time) that Yahweh is the only god in your nation, then you’ve just segued from monolatry to monotheism….

“Monotheism was, among other things, the ultimate revenge.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. Pp. 177-8.

 

“Greek monotheism grew out of one of Greece’s great cultural aspirations; the rational refinement of religious ideas…. Greek religious rigor foreshadowed modern attempts to reconcile religious belief with a scientific outlook, and in that sense the attraction of Greek thinkers to monotheism was natural.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 183.

 

“Then again, Christianity and Judaism feature Satan, an evil and hardly impotent supernatural being, yet we still call them monotheistic. At any rate, the Zoroastrian ‘dualism’ of Persia was closer to monotheism than was the average ancient religion.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 184.

 

“If ‘god’ indeed grows, and grows with stubborn persistence, does that mean we can start thinking about taking the quotation marks off? That is: if the human conception of god features moral growth, and if this reflects corresponding moral growth on the part of humanity itself, and if humanity’s moral growth flows from basic dynamics underlying history, and if we conclude that this growth is therefore evidence of ‘higher purpose,’ does this amount to evidence of an actual god?…

“I’ll try to show that on balance, notwithstanding bursts of backsliding, human conceptions of the divine do get morally richer–that ‘god’ tends to grow morally because humankind is itself growing morally. And the reason, I’ll argue, is that circumstances conducive to moral growth–the breadth and density of non-zero-sum dynamics–intensify as time goes by. Technological evolution (wheels, roads, cuneiform, alphabets, trains, microchips) puts more and more people in non-zero-sum relationship with more and more other people at greater and greater distances, often across ethnic, national, or religious bounds. This doesn’t guarantee moral progress, but it shifts the odds in that direction, and in the long run, the odds tend to win out.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. Pp. 214-5.

 

“Logos, writes the scholar David Runia, is ‘God’s instrument both during creation and in the cosmos’s providential administration.’ As Philo himself put it, ‘The Logos was conceived in God’s mind before all things and is manifest in connection with all things.’” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 220. References: Runia, David. 1990. “Philo, Alexandrian and Jew.” From: Exegesis and Philosophy. Variorum. P. 9. Goodenough, Erwin. 1986. An Introduction to Philo Judaeus. 2nd edition. University Press of America. P. 100.

 

“What emerged with early Christianity isn’t really, strictly speaking, a god of universal love. The core appeal of the early church, remember, was that ‘brotherly love’ was a form of familial love. And familial love is by definition discerning–it is directed inwardly, not outwardly; toward kin, not toward everyone….

“This isn’t to say that Paul’s preachings offer no foundation for truly universal love. He often exhorts Christians to extend generosity and hospitality to the unconverted, and he occasionally goes further. He tells the Thessalonians, ‘And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all.’ Still, he isn’t in the habit of putting Christians and non-Christians on quite the same plane. He tells the Galatians: ‘Let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith’…

“The key to Christianity’s growth was to be nice to outsiders, but not endlessly nice–unless, of course, they became insiders, after which they were expected to give and not just get.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. Pp. 280-1.

 

“Maybe the growth of ‘God’ signifies the existence of God. That is: if history naturally pushes people toward moral improvement, toward moral truth, and their God, as they conceive their God, grows accordingly, becoming morally richer, then maybe this growth is evidence of some higher purpose, and maybe–conceivably–the source of that purpose is worthy of the name divinity.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 286.

 

“Though the official gods of the Roman state offered no blissful afterlife, the empire had been besieged by foreign cults that, by filling this void, had won followings. These religions of salvation came under a variety of brands. There were gods not just from Egypt but from Persia and Greece. Persian cults talked of souls migrating through the planetary spheres to paradise, and Greek cults offered bliss in Hades, the underworld that had once offered only a humdrum existence for the average soul but now featured lush subdivisions.

“Am I saying that Luke stole his afterlife scenario from a competing religion? Not with great confidence, no. But if you wanted to indict him on this charge, you would not be wholly lacking in evidence.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 312.

 

“You might call this a ‘morally contingent afterlife,’ because it makes a blissful afterlife contingent on your moral fiber–a fiber that, in turn, gives sinew to the church itself. Christianity would harness this incentive to carry the God of Israel well beyond Israel, into the religious marketplace of the Roman Empire,… The morally contingent afterlife was a major threshold in the history of religion.

“Yet Christianity was nowhere near being the first to cross that threshold. Once again, we come back to Osiris.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 317.

 

“Maybe it shouldn’t surprise us that Buddhism, with all its early austerity, was founded by a man who, as a member of the ruling class, could presumably indulge his appetites fully. In any event, the very possibility of overindulging appetites, a possibility that grew as civilization advanced, suggests that some behaviors came to be considered sins not just because they were bad for society, but because they were bad for individuals. Religion has long been partly about self-help.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 320.

 

“After moving to Medina and mobilizing its resources, Muhammad would, like the Israelites of Deuteronomy, find war a more auspicious prospect. And, as we’ll see, God’s views on fighting infidels would change accordingly, as they did in the Bible. But so long as Muhammad remained in Mecca, fighting was unappealing and religious tolerance expansive.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 350.

 

“Once you see Muhammad in this light–as a political leader who deftly launched an empire–the parts of the Koran that bear on war make perfect sense. They are just Imperialism 101. Like the Byzantine and Persian Empires that the Islamic Empire would largely displace, Muhammad used a combination of war and diplomacy to expand his turf. All-out jihad–attack the infidels wherever you find them–wouldn’t have made sense for an incipient military power, and that is why you don’t find it in the Koran.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 380.

 

“This also explains why the New Testament has fewer belligerent verses than either the Koran or the Hebrew Bible. During the formative years of Christian scripture, Christianity wasn’t the official religion of an expanding power. Doctrines of holy war would surface when needed–as during the Crusades–but the gospels and epistles took shape too early to reflect them.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 396.

 

“Then again, the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament are repositories of an intellectual heritage that went well beyond the Hebrew and Christian worlds. Composed by legions of urban elites, they captured ideas of great civilizations, from Mesopotamia to Egypt to Christianity’s Hellenistic milieu. The Koran took shape in two desert towns on the margin of empires, uttered by a man who was more a doer than a thinker and was probably illiterate.

“It’s ironic, then, that in important senses the Koran was a more modern work than the Bible, and Muhammad a more modern figure than Moses or Jesus.

“For one thing, Muhammad, in contrast to the key figures in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, has no special powers.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 397.

 

“The Koran is in no small part a book about gratitude: look around you; count your blessings. The pre-Islamic meaning of one of several Arabic words that the Koran uses to denote ‘unbelievers’ seems to have been ‘those who are ungrateful.’

“In defining a blessing, Muhammad could be creative. Thunder and lightning are scary, and sometimes lightning is fatal. But are these really bad things? Thunder brings ‘awe of Him.’ Lightning brings ‘fear and hope,’ and has the added virtue of occasionally eliminating people who spend too much time arguing about theology and not enough time buying into it: ‘He sendeth His bolts and smiteth with them whom He will while they are wrangling about God!’” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 399. Subquote: Koran 13:12-13.

“Further, Meccans seem to have agreed that Allah was a creator god. The question was how much of a worshipper’s devotion should go to that creator god. If Muhammad could argue that the creation–Allah’s handiwork–showed Allah to be a god of tremendous power and goodness, then the answer would be: a whole lot of the devotion, like all of it. Allah was God.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 400.

 

“But even religions that emphasize personal salvation are ultimately concerned with social salvation. For Muslims and Christians the path to personal salvation involves adherence to a moral code that keeps their social systems robust. As we’ve seen, successful religions have always tended to salvation at the social level, encouraging behaviors that bring order.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 409.

 

“This is the way moral evolution happens–in ancient Israel, in the Rome of early Christianity, in Muhammad’s Arabia, in the modern world: a people’s culture adapts to salient shifts in game-theoretical dynamics by changing its evaluation of the moral status of the people it is playing the game with. If the culture is a religious one, this adaptation will involve changes in the way scriptures are interpreted and in the choice of which scriptures to highlight. It happened in ancient times, and it happens now.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 413.

 

“… the least we can do is ask that the machinery work as designed: that when we are in a non-zero-sum relationship with someone we do extend moral imagination to them. That would better serve the interests of both parties and would steer us toward a truer understanding of the other….” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 421.

 

“But occasionally I’ve suggested that there might be a kind of god that is real. This prospect was raised by the manifest existence of a moral order–that is, by the stubborn, if erratic, expansion of humankind’s moral imagination over the millennia, and the fact that the ongoing maintenance of social order depends on the further expansion of the moral imagination, on movement toward moral truth.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 444.

 

“… as natural selection ground along, creating more and more intelligent forms of life, it eventually created a form of life so intelligent as to give birth to a second creative process, cultural evolution; and as cultural (especially technological) evolution proceeded, the human species exhibited larger and larger expanses of social organization, and eventually this expanse approached global proportions; and in the process there appeared a moral order, linkage between the growth of social organization and progress toward moral truth. This moral order, to the believer, is among the grounds for suspecting that the system of evolution by natural selection itself demands a special creative explanation.” Wright, Robert. 2009. The Evolution of God. Back Bay Books. P. 450.

 

“In mathematics man counterfeits God’s creation by abstraction and definition, and thereby achieves science; but this science is not knowledge of realities like God’s knowledge of the created universe, but of man-created fictions. Its certainty is not a matter of Cartesian self-evidence, but rises from the fact that it is a constructive science, not only in its problems but even in its theorems, though the latter have commonly been supposed to be objects of contemplation only. In proportion as human knowledge contains anything more than such abstractions or unreal entities, it is less certain: mechanics less certain than geometry and arithmetic, the rest of physics less certain than mechanics, psychology and history less certain than physics.” Vico, Giambattista. 1944. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico. Cornell University Press. “Introduction” by Fisch, Max Harold. P. 39.

 

“Whereas Bacon’s Novum Organum had shown ‘how the sciences as they now stand may be further perfected,’ Vico’s novum organum of history disclosed ‘the ancient world of the sciences, how crude they were in their origins, and how they were gradually refined until they reached the form in which we have received them.’ Here is one more expression of Vico’s reaction against the rationalism which exalted natural science and disparaged history. He puts the sciences in their place by swallowing them up in history, and anticipates the later view that the true philosophy of science is simply its history.” Vico, Giambattista. 1944. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico. Cornell University Press. “Introduction” by Fisch, Max Harold. P. 60.

 

“To admit the feral state as the starting-point for the rise of humanity, and to make the development of society a matter of internal dialectic, was to put the entire structure of Catholic thought in jeopardy. He [Vico contemporary critic Finetti] saw too that Vico’s theory of the origin of religion was Lucretian, not Christian; and that the disintegration of the personality of Homer and of other heroic characters would open the way to the ultimate disintegration of Moses, the patriarchs and prophets.” Vico, Giambattista. 1944. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico. Cornell University Press. “Introduction” by Fisch, Max Harold. P. 63.

 

“The text of the New Science is this: Humanity is its own work. God acts upon it, but by it. Humanity is divine, but no one man is divine. The heroes of myth–Hercules who thrusts mountains aside, Lycurgus and Romulus, swift legislators who accomplish in a lifetime the long work of centuries–are creations of the people’s thought. God alone is great. When man craved god-men, he had to condense generations into an individual person; to combine in a single hero the conceptions of a whole poetic cycle. Thus it was that he fashioned his historical idols–a Romulus, a Numa. Before these gigantic phantoms the people remained prostrate. The philosopher bids them rise. ‘That which you adore,’ he says to them, ‘is yourselves, your own conceptions.’” Vico, Giambattista. 1944. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico. Cornell University Press. “Introduction” by Fisch, Max Harold. Pp. 78-9.

“And in this study he [Vico] noticed that Roman jurisprudence was an art of equity conveyed by innumerable specific precepts of natural law which the jurists had extracted from the reasons of the laws and the intentions of the legislators. But the science of justice taught by moral philosophers proceeded from a few eternal truths dictated in metaphysics by an ideal justice,…” Vico, Giambattista. 1944. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico. Cornell University Press. Pp. 120-1.

 

“For the metaphysics of Aristotle leads to a physical principle, which is matter, from which the particular forms are drawn; and indeed makes God a potter who works at things outside himself. But the metaphysics of Plato leads to a metaphysical principle, which is the eternal idea, drawing out and creating matter from itself, like a seminal spirit that forms its own egg.” Vico, Giambattista. 1944. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico. Cornell University Press. P. 121.

 

“At the same time the philosophical writings of Cicero, Aristotle and Plato, all worked out with a view to the good ordering of mankind in civil society, caused him [Vico] to take little or no pleasure in the moral philosophies of the Stoics and Epicureans. For they are each a moral philosophy of solitaries: the Epicurean, of idlers inclosed in their own little gardens; the Stoic, of contemplatives who endeavor to feel no emotion.” Vico, Giambattista. 1944. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico. Cornell University Press. P. 122.

 

“For example, we make images by imagination, recollections by memory, passions by appetite; smells, tastes, colors, sounds and touches by the senses; and all these things we contain within us. But for the eternal truths which are not of our making and have no dependence on our bodies, we must conceive as principle of all things an eternal idea altogether separate from body, which, in its consciousness, when it wills, creates all things in time and contains them within itself, and by containing them sustains them.” Vico, Giambattista. 1944. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico. Cornell University Press. P. 127.

 

“He [Vico] discovers new historical principles of philosophy, and first of all a metaphysics of the human race. That is to say, a natural theology of all nations by which each people naturally created by itself its own gods through a certain natural instinct that man has for divinity.” Vico, Giambattista. 1944. The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico. Cornell University Press. P. 167.

 

“If we had to characterize American sociology’s sacred project in brief, therefore, we might say that it stands in the modern liberal-Enlightenment-Marxist-social-reformist-pragmatist-therapeutic-sexually liberated-civil rights-feminist-GLBTQ-social construtionist-poststructuralist/postmodernist ‘tradition.’” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. P. 11.

“This project is, first, intent to realize an end. It is going somewhere. It is fundamentally teleological, oriented toward a final goal. It is not about defending or conserving a received inheritance, but unsettling the status quo.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. P. 12.

 

“To the more traditional western commitments to freedom and equality, sociology’s sacred project also adds the centrality of moral affirmation… Everyone also deserves to be morally affirmed by everyone else in their society. Justice and equity are not sufficient: it is necessary to ensure the kind of social and moral approval, validation, appreciation, and approbation that people are believed to need to feel good about themselves.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. Pp. 13-4.

 

“The focal concern of sociology’s sacred project is the welfare of human beings.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. P. 14.

 

“The individual human person, then, is understood as naturally, and thus ideally, autonomous…. The crucial disciplinary contribution to its own project is thus for sociology to discover and expose the many unjust and oppressive ways that ‘society’ constraints [sic], exploits, and oppresses individuals, so that they can be challenged and surmounted. ‘The social’ is thus construed as essential to humanity’s problem, an all-too-often dehumanizing force that must be subverted and reconstructed to foster individuals’ autonomy.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. Pp. 14-5.

 

“Three somewhat substantive focuses help to define good human ends here. One involves individuals constructing their own favored identities….

“Two other somewhat substantive features of the individually self-directed good life envisioned by American sociology’s spiritual project are freedom to enter and exit relationships as they choose and to equally enjoy the gratification of experiential, material, and bodily pleasures.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. Pp. 16-7.

 

“It is as if, standing within the secular modern movement that had jettisoned the Christianity and Judaism that had so shaped the western imagination for two millennia, and so demystified the world, American sociologists felt compelled to fill in the sacred and eschatological void left in Christianity and Judaism’s absence by constructing, embracing, and proselytizing the world with a secular salvation gospel of its own making. Or perhaps this was not an ‘as if’ situation, but what actually happened.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. P. 20.

“What are the specific examples of this process [incorrect assumptions made from assuming sociology’s sacred project] at work? For one illustration, the sacred project of American sociology directs those who belong to it and who carry it forward to conceive of social reality ontologically as consisting of ‘individuals’ and ‘society.’ In this model, the interests and desires of individuals and society are assumed to be in conflict, and so the relationship between the two is considered to be individuals versus society. This is what is known as the ‘homo-duplex’ model of social reality, which was adopted by most of sociology’s founders…. The specific package of ideas from which the homo-duplex model derives is western liberal individualism.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. P. 149.

 

“Frequently the state is seen and portrayed as callous, inept, and corrupted by elite interests. The state is conceptualized as the agent of socially legitimate violence and so essentially a malign force in human life. On the other hand and simultaneously, American sociology’s spiritual vision looks to the state to finally solve most of the social, economic, cultural, and political problems it is committed to ending.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. P. 154.

 

“Sociology’s job in this view [author’s view] is to do its very best to tell the truth about what is happening in society, what is causing it, and what consequences seem to be produced as a result. This view gives sociology two key tasks: reporting and explaining, the purpose of which is to promote public understanding and self-reflection.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. P. 186.

 

“The problem with my view of sociology as reporting back to those societies that support it what really is going on in and among them, why and how so, and with what apparent consequences–and then allowing the many deliberative functions of those societies to determine what to do about it–is that the disciples of sociology’s sacred project do not trust ordinary people and social institutions to know the ‘right’ things to do or to actually do them. In fact, in sociology’s dominant view, it is ordinary people and institutions that are a main part of the problem with the world.” Smith, Christian. 2014. The Sacred Project of American Sociology. Oxford UP. Pp. 187-8.

 

Community as used here is about the experience of belonging. We are in community each time we find a place where we belong. The word belong has two meanings. First and foremost, to belong is to be related to and a part of something. It is membership, the experience of being at home in the broadest sense of the phrase. It is the opposite of thinking that wherever I am, I would be better off somewhere else. Or that I am still forever wandering, looking for that place where I belong. The opposite of belonging is to feel isolated and always on the margin, an outsider. To belong is to know, even in the middle of the night, that I am among friends….

“The second meaning of the word belong has to do with being an owner: Something belongs to me. To belong to a community is to act as a creator and co-owner of that community. What I consider mine I will build and nurture. The work, then, is to seek in our communities a wider and deeper sense of emotional ownership; it means fostering among all of a community’s citizens a sense of ownership and accountability.

“Belonging can also be thought of as a longing to be. Being is our capacity to find our deeper purpose in all that we do. It is the capacity to be present, and to discover our authenticity and whole selves. This is often thought of as a individual capacity, but it is also a community capacity. Community is the container within which our longing to be is fulfilled. Without the connectedness of a community, we will continue to choose not to be.” Block, Peter. 2008. Community: The Structure of Belonging. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. P. xii.

 

“The five conversations for structuring belonging are possibility, ownership, dissent, commitment, and gifts.

“Since all the conversations lead to each other, sequence is not that critical.” Block, Peter. 2008. Community: The Structure of Belonging. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. P. 181.

 

“The Possibility Conversation: The distinction is between possibility and problem solving. Possibility is a future beyond reach.” Block, Peter. 2008. Community: The Structure of Belonging. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. P. 181.

 

“The Ownership Conversation: It asks citizens to act as if they are creating what exists in the world.

“The distinction is between ownership and blame.” Block, Peter. 2008. Community: The Structure of Belonging. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. P. 181.

 

“The dissent conversation creates an opening for commitment.

“When dissent is expressed, just listen. Don’t solve it, defend against it, or explain anything.

“The primary distinction is between dissent and lip service.” Block, Peter. 2008. Community: The Structure of Belonging. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. P. 182.

 

“The commitment conversation is a promise with no expectation of return.

“Commitment is distinguished from barter.

“The enemy of commitment is lip service, not dissent or opposition.” Block, Peter. 2008. Community: The Structure of Belonging. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. P. 183.

 

“The Gifts Conversation: The leadership and citizen task is to bring the gifts of those on the margin into the center.

“The distinction is between gifts and deficiencies or needs.

“We are not defined by deficiencies or what is missing. We are defined by our gifts and what is present.

“We choose our destiny when we have the courage to acknowledge our own gifts and choose to bring them into the world.” Block, Peter. 2008. Community: The Structure of Belonging. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. P. 184.

 

“… we recently proposed that prospective cognition can be organized into four basic modes of future thinking: simulation (construction of a detailed mental representation of the future); prediction (estimation of the likelihood of, and/or one’s reaction to, a particular future outcome); intention (the mental act of setting a goal); and planning (the identification and organization of steps toward achieving a goal state).” Szpunar, Karl, RN Spreng & D. Schacter. 2016. “Toward a Taxonomy of Future Thinking.” Michaelian, Kourken, S. Klein & K. Szpunar (Eds). Seeing the Future: Theoretical Perspectives on Future-Oriented Mental Time Travel. Oxford UP. P. 21.

 

“Here Humboldt spelled out his vision [in book “Cosmos”] – of a world that pulsated with life. Everything was part of this ‘never-ending activity of the animated forces’, Humboldt wrote. Nature was a ‘living whole’ where organisms were bound together in a ‘net-like intricate fabric’.” Wulf, Andrea. 2015. The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World. Alfred A. Knopf. P. 245.

 

“Instead of God, Humboldt spoke of a ‘wonderful web of organic life’.” Wulf, Andrea. 2015. The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World. Alfred A. Knopf. P. 246.

 

“The extended synthesis debate has provided several years’ worth of thought-provoking discussion, but a resolution is no closer now than when the affair first began. Here’s one reason why. What was the modern evolutionary synthesis, anyway? Now, try to answer that question again, without appealing to textbook platitudes about ‘integrating the insights of Darwin and Mendel.’ If you find that difficult, you are not alone. The parties currently debating the status of the synthesis cannot seem to agree on an answer either. A handful of biologists who purport to be defenders of the modern synthesis have treated it as an ongoing event, something akin to ‘the sum total of everything we know about evolution.’” Gawne, Richard, K McKenna & H. Frederik Nijhout. 2018. “Unmodern Synthesis: Developmental Hierarchies and the Origin of Phenotypes.” BioEssays. 40, 16000265. P. 1.

 

“As with any scientific concept, one can find different uses of ‘modern evolutionary synthesis’ in the literature. However, it has long been common to treat the synthesis as a protracted historical event that began in the 1920s and ended sometime in the late 1950s. During this time, biologitsts of nearly all stripes, including botanists, cytologists, paleontologists, systematists, and most importantly, geneticists, are said to have come to some sort of general agreement about the causes and consequences of evolution.” Gawne, Richard, K McKenna & H. Frederik Nijhout. 2018. “Unmodern Synthesis: Developmental Hierarchies and the Origin of Phenotypes.” BioEssays. 40, 16000265. Pp. 1-2.

 

“Yet, examining the literature of the period, it is challenging to identify any sort of profession-wide consensus, aside perhaps from a universal agreement that evolution is true, and the rather minimal concurrence that genetic differences somehow, and sometimes facilitate evolutionary change. In aggregate, the canonical monographs of the synthesis era span thousands of pages, and this is to say nothing of periodical publications. These books differ significantly in content, and even when similar topics are addressed, the authors often express different opinions. As early as 1980, biologists and professional historians set themselves to the task of determining what, if anything, the modern synthesis was, and why it was valuable. Reading these commentaries, it becomes clear that even those who lived through the synthesis were at odds about what was accomplished, and who deserves credit for the achievement. The composite and varied nature of early twentieth-century research has been almost systematically ignored in recent exchanges, which tend to treat the modern synthesis as some sort of monolithic conception of evolutionary theory ….” Gawne, Richard, K McKenna & H. Frederik Nijhout. 2018. “Unmodern Synthesis: Developmental Hierarchies and the Origin of Phenotypes.” BioEssays. 40, 16000265. P. 2.

 

“At this point, the extended synthesis is not a predictive framework, but a loose collection of facts still waiting to be synthesized.” Gawne, Richard, K McKenna & H. Frederik Nijhout. 2018. “Unmodern Synthesis: Developmental Hierarchies and the Origin of Phenotypes.” BioEssays. 40, 16000265. P. 5.

 

“The problem is not that evolutionary theory needs a rethink, it is that professional specialization has blinded us to the fact that organisms are hierarchically arranged systems.” Gawne, Richard, K McKenna & H. Frederik Nijhout. 2018. “Unmodern Synthesis: Developmental Hierarchies and the Origin of Phenotypes.” BioEssays. 40, 16000265. P. 7.

 

“The Global Brain can be defined as the self-organizing, adaptive network formed by all people on this planet together with the information and communication technologies that connect them into a cohesive system. The idea is that global interactions have made the people on this planet interdependent to such a degree that together they form a single superorganism,…. The communication with the superorganisms’s physical body is supported by the internet of Things, another emerging technology for the integration of physical objects into the ICT [information and communication technology] network.” Heylighen, Francis & M. Lenartowicz. 2017. “The Global Brain as a model of the future information society: An introduction to the special issue.” Technological Forecasting & Social Change. 114: 1-6. P. 1.

 

“As one of the founding fathers of Artificial Intelligence in the Soviet Union in the 1960s, Turchin developed an integrated theory of the evolution of cybernetic organization and intelligence, from primitive cells to the human brain, and beyond, to what he called the social ‘superbeing’. His core innovation was the concept of metasystem transition: the evolutionary emergence of a higher level of complexity through the integration of subsystems into a metasystem. The implication of his theory was that humanity is at present undergoing a metasystem transition to a level of collective intelligence that we as yet cannot imagine.” Heylighen, Francis & M. Lenartowicz. 2017. “The Global Brain as a model of the future information society: An introduction to the special issue.” Technological Forecasting & Social Change. 114: 1-6. P. 2.

 

“Supramolecular entities are by nature dynamic in their constitution as they are built on labile non-covalent interactions. They are prone to dissociate into their molecular components and to re-associate by breaking and forming non-covalent interactions, thus defining a Dynamic Non-Covalent Chemistry (DNCC) that is intrinsic to supramolecular entities. Traditionally, the objective of molecular chemistry and synthesis is to generate static ‘stable’ molecules. However, molecules can also be made dynamic in their constitution by the intentional introduction of reversible covalent bonds formed by reversible chemical reactions. They become endowed with the ability to continuously modify their constitution by breaking apart into components and regenerating with recombination and exchange of components under thermodynamic control. Such processes define a Dynamic Covalent Chemistry (DCC).

“The dynamic molecular (DCC) and supramolecular (DNCC) fields may be joined together under the general heading of Constitutional Dynamic Chemistry (CDC) encompassing chemical entities dynamic in their constitution, able to undergo a continuous change in constitution by reorganization and exchange of building blocks. CDC introduces a paradigm shift with respect to constitutionally static chemistry. The latter relies on design and stepwise build-up for the generation of a target entity, whereas CDC takes advantage of dynamic diversity to allow variation and selection.” Lehn, Jean-Marie. 2018. “Beyond Chemical Synthesis: Self-Organization?!” Israel Journal of Chemistry. 58: 136-141. P. 139.

 

“CDC enables the implementation of selection in chemistry introducing thus a fundamental change in outlook. Whereas self-organization by design strives to achieve full control over the output molecular or supramolecular entity by explicit programming, self-organization with selection operates on dynamic constitutional diversity in response to either internal or external factors to achieve adaptation, leading to the emergence of adaptive chemistry.” Lehn, Jean-Marie. 2018. “Beyond Chemical Synthesis: Self-Organization?!” Israel Journal of Chemistry. 58: 136-141. P. 139.

 

“Although numerous studies have focused on the functions of individual genes, proteins and other molecules, it is increasingly clear that each of these functions belongs to complex networks of interactions.” Bapteste, Eric & P. Huneman. 2018. “Towards a Dynamic Interaction Network of Life to unify and expand the evolutionary theory.” BMC Biology. 16:56. P. 2.

 

“However, compensatory interactions between agents, each of them being by themselves poorly adapted, ran counter to the intuition that natural selection will eliminate dysfunctional individual entities. Their recognition invites one to consider Earth as possibly populated by unions of individually dysfunctional agents rather than by the fittest survivors within individual lineages, possibly since early life, according to Woese’s theory on progenotes, namely communities of interacting protocells unable to sustain themselves alone, evolving via massive lateral genetic exchanges.” Bapteste, Eric & P. Huneman. 2018. “Towards a Dynamic Interaction Network of Life to unify and expand the evolutionary theory.” BMC Biology. 16:56. P. 3.

 

“Thus, cells belong to networks that affect their growth and survival, which might explain why most bacteria cannot be grown in pure culture.” Bapteste, Eric & P. Huneman. 2018. “Towards a Dynamic Interaction Network of Life to unify and expand the evolutionary theory.” BMC Biology. 16:56. P. 4.

 

“The living world is a world of ‘and’ and ‘co-‘. From division of labor and compensations, to dependencies and co-constructions, etc.: interactions (which only begin to be deciphered) are everywhere in biology. Thus, explaining the actual features of biodiversity requires explaining how multiple processes, interface phenomena (co-construction of biological features, niche construction, metabolic cooperation, co-infection and co-evolution) and organisations (for instance, from molecular pathways to organisms and ecosystems) arose from interacting components, and how these processes, phenomena and organisations may have been sustained and transformed on Earth.” Bapteste, Eric & P. Huneman. 2018. “Towards a Dynamic Interaction Network of Life to unify and expand the evolutionary theory.” BMC Biology. 16:56. P. 5.

 

“Scaffolding thus defines the causal backbone of collective evolution. It describes the historical continuity between temporal slices of interaction networks, since any evolutionary stage relies on previously achieved networks and organisations.” Bapteste, Eric & P. Huneman. 2018. “Towards a Dynamic Interaction Network of Life to unify and expand the evolutionary theory.” BMC Biology. 16:56. P. 6.

“Thus, we suggest that evolutionary biology could be reframed as a science of evolving networks, because such a shift would allow inclusive, multilevel studies of a larger body of biological and abiotic data, via approaches from network sciences.” Bapteste, Eric & P. Huneman. 2018. “Towards a Dynamic Interaction Network of Life to unify and expand the evolutionary theory.” BMC Biology. 16:56. Pp. 7-8.

 

“Enlargements, as expressing the need to consider structures that are more general than what already exists, have already occurred within evolutionary theory, when simplifications from population genetics were relaxed with respect to the original formalization in the Modern Synthesis, to account for within-genome interaction, gene-environment covariance, parental effects, and extended fitness though generations.” Bapteste, Eric & P. Huneman. 2018. “Towards a Dynamic Interaction Network of Life to unify and expand the evolutionary theory.” BMC Biology. 16:56. P. 10.

 

“Interactions are not merely a part of biological history, they are what made this history. But evolutionary biologists have certainly not reconstructed the Dynamic Interaction Network of Life (DINoL) yet. Undertaking this endeavor, however, would emphasize the importance of processes. Our ancestors were processes. Our descendants and those of other life forms will be processes too. Some one hundred and fifty years after On the Origin of Species, which started a great evolutionary inquiry, evolutionists should prepare to face a larger challenge expanding evolutionary theory to study the evolution of processes. With the development of -omics and network sciences, the concepts, data and tools for this research program are increasingly available.” Bapteste, Eric & P. Huneman. 2018. “Towards a Dynamic Interaction Network of Life to unify and expand the evolutionary theory.” BMC Biology. 16:56. P. 12.

 

“It is turning increasingly apparent that evolutionary theory can no longer keep the ‘black box’ of individuality closed.” Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa, Briones C & de la Escosura A. 2017. “Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.” Open Biology. 7: 170050. P. 3.

 

“Thus, the challenge for origins-of-life research is to make use of systems chemistry to identify and characterize mixtures of bio-molecular precursors that could get coupled into individuals with capacity for self-maintenance and potential increase in complexity (i.e. proto-organisms’, taken as assemblies of different chemical species with functional attributes…).” Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa, Briones C & de la Escosura A. 2017. “Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.” Open Biology. 7: 170050. P. 3.

 

“Potentially capable of robust self-maintenance, autocatalytic networks have nevertheless obtained very little experimental support in prebiotic conditions, and hold severe theoretical limitations as well (e.g. the depletion of certain network intermediates when side reactions are considered, or the lack of evolvability in the absence of some mechanism of heredity).” Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa, Briones C & de la Escosura A. 2017. “Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.” Open Biology. 7: 170050. P. 3.

 

“Thus, one can reformulate the question of the origins of life in the following global terms: before full-fledged biological systems appeared on Earth, what systems could overcome the apparent thermodynamic barrier to complexification and produce the rather intricate self-reproducing entities that initiated evolution in a Darwinian sense? There is no current answer for this riddle; therefore, we need a more general conceptual framework to understand chemical evolution. The required theory should account for the increase in complexity that occurred in prebiotic times, when chemistry was already complex and heterogeneous but still far from generating the self-replicating polymers, the self-sustaining protometabolic cycles and the self-multiplying protocellular compartments whose efficient functional integration brought about the first living systems.” Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa, Briones C & de la Escosura A. 2017. “Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.” Open Biology. 7: 170050. P. 4.

 

“The underlying hypothesis is that, under adequate physico-chemical conditions, those molecular species and assemblies will achieve a collective reinforcement through various types of interaction (e.g. mutual chemical transformations, recognition and control relationships, self-assembly, pattern formation, collective synchronization phenomena and physical boundary effects). Consequently, some of these mixed bio-precursors, together with the processes that they trigger off in interaction, will increase their dynamic / structural stability by becoming functionally engaged with each other.” Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa, Briones C & de la Escosura A. 2017. “Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.” Open Biology. 7: 170050. P. 4.

 

“Central to our account is the idea of function, a key concept in biology that is projectable to a chemical scenario. By function we understand any distinct contribution, by a distinguishable part of a system, to the maintenance of that system as a whole… A part of the system (e.g. a molecule), by itself, does not have a function. It can only have it in connection to other components of such a system.” Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa, Briones C & de la Escosura A. 2017. “Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.” Open Biology. 7: 170050. P. 4.

 

“… the minimal set of control mechanisms that should operate, in a highly interdependent manner, to support the development of the first autonomous functional systems in the context of heterogeneous prebiotic chemistries. These mechanisms involve: (i) kinetic control, to coordinate the different reaction processes in time and enable transformations that reinforce the incipient chemistry but would otherwise be kinetically hindered; (ii) spatial control, to establish a clear inside/outside distinction and preserve minimal concentration thresholds of the relevant chemical species; (iii) energetic control, to facilitate the thermodynamically uphill but necessary reactions; and (iv) variability control, for these systems to have a minimal chance to evolve, through natural selection, into more complex forms.” Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa, Briones C & de la Escosura A. 2017. “Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.” Open Biology. 7: 170050. P. 5.

 

“Thus, kinetic, spatial and energetic control mechanisms must interweave to bring about chemistries that support the minimum levels of complexity required for a system to become functionally autonomous.” Ruiz-Mirazo, Kepa, Briones C & de la Escosura A. 2017. “Chemical roots of biological evolution: the origins of life as a process of development of autonomous functional systems.” Open Biology. 7: 170050. P. 6.

 

“The history of the life-Earth system can be divided into five ‘energetic’ epochs, each featuring the evolution of life forms that can exploit a new source of energy. These sources are: geochemical energy, sunlight, oxygen, flesh and fire.” Judson, Olivia. 2017. “The energy expansions of evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V. 1. N. 0138. April 28. Pp. 1-9. P. 1.

 

“… geochemical models suggest that the productivity of the biosphere before it was powered by the sun would have been at least a thousand times less than it is today, and may have been one million times less.” Judson, Olivia. 2017. “The energy expansions of evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V. 1. N. 0138. April 28. Pp. 1-9. P. 1.

 

Today, several groups of bacteria engage in photosynthesis, using a variety of different pathways. One pathway, oxygenic photosynthesis, gives off oxygen as a byproduct; the others, all forms of anoxygenic photosynthesis, do not. Genetic, fossil, and biochemical evidence all suggest that of the two, anoxygenic photosynthesis evolved first.” Judson, Olivia. 2017. “The energy expansions of evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V. 1. N. 0138. April 28. Pp. 1-9. P. 1.

 

“This lifestyle [anoxygenic photosynthesis] does not involve fixing carbon–organisms still require a source of organic carbon–but does involve transducing sunshine into ATP, which reduces energy needs from other sources.” Judson, Olivia. 2017. “The energy expansions of evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V. 1. N. 0138. April 28. Pp. 1-9. P. 2.

 

“But the crucial event of this period–the one that would go on to have by far the most biological and geological impact–was the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, an innovation that appeared in just one phylum, the cyanobacteria.” Judson, Olivia. 2017. “The energy expansions of evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V. 1. N. 0138. April 28. Pp. 1-9. P. 2.

 

“Between 2.45 and 2.32 Ga, significant quantities of oxygen began to accumulate in the air, an episode known as the Great Oxidation Event. Before the Great Oxidation, atmospheric oxygen levels were less than 10-5 of the present atmospheric level of ~21%. By ~2 Ga, they had risen to perhaps 0.1-1% of the present atmospheric level.” Judson, Olivia. 2017. “The energy expansions of evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V. 1. N. 0138. April 28. Pp. 1-9. P. 2.

 

“However, genetic, fossil, and geochemical evidence all suggest that cyanobacteria evolved at least 300 million years before the Great Oxidation Event.” Judson, Olivia. 2017. “The energy expansions of evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V. 1. N. 0138. April 28. Pp. 1-9. P. 2.

 

“Of all the planets and moons in the Solar System, Earth is the only one to have fire. This is because, to have fire, all of three conditions must be met. (1) Fire needs a source of ignition–such as lightning strikes. Throughout Earth history, these have been abundant, today, there are more than 1.4 billion lightning strikes per year, of which an appreciable number ignite wildfires. Lightning occurs on other planets, but none of these meets the other two conditions. (2) Fire needs oxygen. Assuming current atmospheric pressure, Earth’s air must contain at least 16% of the gas. For most of Earth’s history, oxygen levels have been lower than this threshold. (3) Fire needs fuel. So it is not until the evolution of vascular plants on land, around 420 Ma, that all three conditions were met.” Judson, Olivia. 2017. “The energy expansions of evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V. 1. N. 0138. April 28. Pp. 1-9. P. 5.

 

“Erisman and colleagues estimate that between 1908 and 2008, industrially produced nitrogen fertilizer supported an additional four billion people and that by 2008, nitrogen fertilizers were responsible for feeding 48% of the human population.” Judson, Olivia. 2017. “The energy expansions of evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V. 1. N. 0138. April 28. Pp. 1-9. P. 5. Reference: Erisman, JW, MA Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nat. Geosci. 1: 636-639.

 

“The transition of a system from the inanimate state to the animate is envisioned as an increase in ‘aliveness’ over time [description of graph where ‘aliveness’ is the Y axis and time or complexity is the X axis]. We prefer to consider this transition as a series of steps, rather than a single step, following the prelude of prebiotic chemistry. Equilibrium is death, which means some sort of coupling of energy dissipation to maintain the system continuously out of equilibrium throughout the transition is envisaged, but when we first started contemplating this, we could not see a way in which this might be achieved, hence the somewhat nebulous picture. Also shown is the necessity-contingency boundary beyond which material limitations prevent full exploration of the sequence space of macromolecules assembled from different monomeric building blocks, therefore, chemical determinism can no longer be relied on as a source of innovation, and further improvements have to be chanced upon instead.” Sutherland, John. 2017. “Studies on the origin of life – the end of the beginning.” Nature Reviews | Chemistry. V. 1. N. 0012. P. 4.

 

“On 13 October 1908, Fritz Haber filed his patent on the ‘synthesis of ammonia from its elements’ for which he was later warded the 1918 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A hundred years on we live in a world transformed by and highly dependent upon Haber-Bosch nitrogen.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 836.

 

“… the current worldwide use of fertilizer nitrogen is about 100 Tg N per year.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 836.

 

“Haber’s other motivation, … was to provide the raw material for explosives to be used in weapons, which requires large amounts of reactive nitrogen.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 836.

 

“With the blockade of Chilean saltpeter supplies during the First World War, the Haber-Bosch process provided Germany with a home supply of ammonia. This was oxidized to nitric acid and used to produce ammonium nitrate, nitroglycerine, TNT (trinitrotoluene) and other nitrogen-containing explosives. Haber’s discovery therefore fuelled the First World War, and, ironically, prevented what might have been a swift victory for the Allied Forces.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 837.

 

“We estimate that the number of humans supported per hectare of arable land has increased from 1.9 to 4.3 persons between 1908 and 2008. This increase was mainly possible because of Haber-Bosch nitrogen.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 837.

 

“Overall, we suggest that nitrogen fertilizer has supported approximately 27% of the world’s population over the past century, equivalent to around 4 billion people born (or 42% of the estimated total births) since 1908…. nitrogen fertilizers were responsible for feeding 44% of the world’s population. Our updated estimate for 2008 is 48% – so the lives of around half of humanity are made possible by Haber-Bosch nitrogen.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 837.

“Of the total nitrogen manufactured by the Haber-Bosch process, approximately 80% is used in the production of agricultural fertilizers. However, a large proportion of this nitrogen is lost to the environment: in 2005, approximately 100 Tg N from the Haber-Bosch process was used in global agriculture, whereas only 17 Tg N was consumed by humans in crop, dairy and meat products.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 837.

 

“A recent study suggested that approximately 40% of fertilizer nitrogen lost to the environment is denitrified back to unreactive atmospheric dinitrogen.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 838.

 

“Much of this reactive nitrogen is deposited in nitrogen-limited ecosystems, leading to unintentional fertilization and loss of terrestrial biodiversity… As with terrestrial ecosystems, many of the coastal ecosystems receiving increased nitrogen loadings are nitrogen-limited, leading to algal blooms and a decline in the quality of surface and ground waters.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 838.

 

“We assume that human diets will be optimized to improve nitrogen-conversion efficiency in the production cycle. Specifically, we assume that the ratio of meat protein to milk protein (currently about 2:1) will be reversed (1:2), as the nitrogen-to-protein conversion ratio is higher in milk than meat.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 839.

 

“But, as illustrated in our future scenarios, there is a high probability that the unintended environmental consequences [of high production of biologically usable nitrogen] will not be reduced over the coming decades. Each of the main human drivers, such as growth in the population, improvement of the world’s food supply and the use of biomass to provide energy, will lead to further increases in the demand for nitrogen, and will more than compensate for expected improvements in efficiency. In the worst-case scenario, we will move towards a nitrogen-saturated planet, with polluted air, reduced biodiversity, increased human health risks and an even more perturbed greenhouse-gas balance.” Erisman, JW, M Sutton, J Galloway, Z Klimont & W Winiwarter. 2008. “How a century of ammonia synthesis changed the world.” Nature Geoscience. October. V. 1. Pp. 836-39. P. 839.

 

“When speaking about letters, Theuth [Egyptian god of writing] said: ‘This branch of learning, my king, will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memory. The drug for memory and wisdom has been discovered!’ – to which the king responded: ‘Oh, Theuth, the greatest of technicians, one person is granted the ability to beget the things of art, another the ability to judge what measure of harm and benefit they hold for those who intend to use them. And now you, father of these letters, have in your fondness for them said what is the opposite of their real effect. For this will produce a forgetting in the souls of those who learn these letters as they fail to exercise their memory, because those who put trust in writing recollect from the outside with foreign signs, rather than themselves recollecting from within by themselves. You have not discovered a drug for memory, but for reminding.’” Plato. 2003. Dialogue by Socrates in Phaedrus. Focus Publishing. Newburyport, MA. Translated by Stephen Scully. P. 65.

 

“This [a belief that written speeches are more than reminders for a person already in the know] is what makes writing clever and really analogous to painting, Phaedrus. A painting’s creations stand there as if alive, but if you question them, they remain in complete and solemn silence. The same for words written down. You might suspect that they would speak as if they understand something, but if you ask them about anything in the text in hopes of learning something, the words signify only one thing, and always the same thing. And once something is written down, every speech is whirled about every which way, picked up as well by those who understand as by those who have no business reading it, a speech having no idea to whom it should speak and to whom it shouldn’t. Ill-treated and unjustly abused, a speech always needs the help of its father because it is unable by itself to defend or help itself.” Plato. 2003. Dialogue by Socrates in Phaedrus. Focus Publishing. Newburyport, MA. Translated by Stephen Scully. P. 66.

 

“Elsasser noted how in order to achieve universality, physics has to deal entirely with homogeneous systems, such as mass, charge, energy, etc. Biology, by contrast, is all about massive heterogeneity. In order to apply the homogeneous methods of physics to heterogeneous biology, separate variables must be defined for each distinguishable element of a biological system and the boundary values for the many variables must be woven into an integral statement.

“Unfortunately, the combinatorics of many categories makes the boundary statement ‘unprestateable.’ Ulanowicz, Robert. 2017. “Preface: Towards a global understanding of development and evolution.” Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 131:12-14. P. 12. Reference: Elsasser, WM. 1981. “A form of logic suited for biology?” In: Rosen, Robert (ed.). Progress in Theoretical Biology, vol. 6. Academic Press, New York. pp. 23-62.

 

“Bluntly stated, the desire to fully explain biology in terms of physical laws is fatuous.” Ulanowicz, Robert. 2017. “Preface: Towards a global understanding of development and evolution.” Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 131:12-14. P. 12.

 

“A fruitful way forward might be to face the obvious difference between biology and physics and treat the former as process instead of timeless dynamics. As Karl Popper ecstatically exclaimed ‘We are not things, but flames … nets of coupled chemical and biochemical processes!’” Ulanowicz, Robert. 2017. “Preface: Towards a global understanding of development and evolution.” Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 131:12-14. P. 12. Reference: Popper, Karl. 1990. A World of Propensities. Thoemmes, Bristol, UK.

 

“Guided by three different paradigm cases, a distinction can be introduced between three general forms of biological reproduction, which I will call simple, collective, and scaffolded reproduction. A simple reproducer is something that can give rise to more objects of the same kind largely through the operation of resources internal to it–through its own biological machinery, in a broad sense–and, further, is not made of smaller parts that also have this capacity. A paradigm case is a bacterial cell. A collective reproducer is a reproducing object that has parts that are themselves simple or collective reproducers. A paradigm case is a multicellular organism such as a human, which is made of cells that also can reproduce. Third, a scaffolded reproducer is an entity that reproduces (or is reproduced) in a way highly dependent on resources external to itself. Paradigm cases are viruses and also genes; the copying of genes is a form of reproduction, but it is dependent on the machinery of a whole cell.” Godfrey-Smith, Peter. 2015. “Reproduction, symbiosis, and the eukaryotic cell.” PNAS. August 18. V. 112. N. 33: 10120-10125. P. 10121.

 

“The main categories above can be organized as follows: Recurrence of structure is a general feature of living systems, seen both in things that reproduce and things that do not. Reproduction and reconstruction are two different causal bases for recurrence. Structures such as hearts and ribosomes recur because they are reconstructed, from generation to generation or on some other temporal scale. Reproduction generates parent-offspring lineages between instances of recurring structures, whereas reconstruction does not generate such lineages.” Godfrey-Smith, Peter. 2015. “Reproduction, symbiosis, and the eukaryotic cell.” PNAS. August 18. V. 112. N. 33: 10120-10125. P. 10122.

 

“These processes [endosymbiosis, lateral gene transfer & horizontal transmission of symbionts] of generating genetic/phenotypic novelty result in reticulate evolution, in which phylogenies may form web or network structures rather than the tree structures (i.e., the tree of life) conceived by Darwin. A considerable body of evidence supports reticulate evolution and generation of novelty by lateral gene transfer, hybridization, and symbiogenesis.” Nakajima, Toshiyuki. 2017. “Ecological extension of the theory of evolution by natural selection from a perspective of Western and Eastern holistic philosophy.” Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 131: 298-311. P. 304.

 

“Human cultural evolution, the historical change in human culture, involves changes in the intergenerational transfer of ecological legacies, in the reconstruction of developmental conditions, in the transmission of behavioural and symbolic information and in the selective stabilization of practices and preferences. Human cultural evolution is therefore a special and extreme case of niche construction. It is different from other types of niche construction not just in scope but also because it involves deliberate and planned actions that are based on communally shared, virtual (imagined) realities that are stabilized by learning, pedagogy and social conventions. Because human niche construction is often future-oriented, and because it is stabilized by reasoning and by conventional beliefs, the potential range of constructed human niches is enormous. The actual diversification and sophistication of human-constructed environments is a testimony to the special properties of human niche construction….

“Thirdly, ongoing, systematic, niche construction can lead to genetic changes in the niche-constructing species (e.g. human) or the niche-constructed species (e.g. domesticates such as the dog or wheat). Such coevolution of genes and culture that affects the niche-constructing cultural capacities themselves can lead to an increase in the evolvability of culture, something that may explain human-specific cognitive and affective traits.” Jablonka, Eva. 2011. “The entangled (and constructed) human bank.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 366:784. P. 784.

 

“On the one hand, different conceptions of language call for different evolutionary explanations: ‘your theory of language evolution depends on your theory of language’. On the other hand, the evolution of language is the most crucial bottleneck that every theory of language should be able to squeeze through.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 107. Subquote: Jackendoff, R. 2010. “Your theory of language evolution depends on your theory of language.” In: R. Larson, V. Deprez & H. Yamakido (Eds). The evolution of human language: biolinguistic perspectives. pp. 63-72. Cambridge University Press.

 

“The third conception of language [after Chomsky and after the cognitive-constructivist view where in both cases language has a cognitive essence but in the latter case this is from general capacities] agrees with the second that language is a tool of communication, but denies that language, with its particular properties, directly reflects the cognitive capacities of the individual mind-brain. These capacities are obviously important, but language as such can only be properly understood as a property of the social-cultural network. Language resides between speakers, not simply in them, at a level of complexity that transcends the individual mind-brain and cannot be reduced to it. To understand language, and thus to understand its cognitive requirements, we have to concentrate on the nature of social interactions and relationships within social networks.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 108.

 

“The general theory of language that I present … is the first attempt to develop a full-fledged theoretical model of language as a social entity. The theory re-conceptualizes language as collectively-constructed communication technology, a social communication software, not unlike the social media on the Internet today. Individual speakers are re-conceptualized as end-users; they download copies of the software and use them for communication (to the extent that the copies are similar enough), and they also constantly participate in the collective effort of the construction and maintenance of the technology.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 108.

 

“The communicator does not try to make some of his or her experience perceptibly present to the receiver. Instead, the communicator provides the receiver with a coded set of instructions for imagination, a structured list of the basic coordinates of the experience – which the receiver is then expected to use as a scaffold for experiential imagination; follow the encoded instructions, raise past experiences from memory, and then reconstruct and recombine them to produce a new, imagined experience. In making this strategy possible, language actually achieves something that is unimaginable without it: it constructs bridges over the experiential gaps between its users.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 109.

 

“What is unique to language is not simply displacement, but displacement of that which cannot be experientially communicated. This is exactly the essence of the instructive strategy. Among other things, this implies is a clear division of communicative labor between language and all the other systems. Where experiential communication works well, language is quite useless; consider music, practical instruction (learning to play an instrument), the undeniable fact that a picture is often worth a thousand words, and so on. Language begins where experiential communication reaches the limits of its expressive envelope. This will also be the story I will tell about the origin and evolution of language: it emerged when ancient humans brought experiential communication to the limits of the envelope – and needed more.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 109.

 

“The particular architecture of language, its modus operandi, and the way it is socially constructed – all these are determined by the strategy of the instruction of imagination. The technology consists of two components. The first I call the symbolic landscape. This is what we usually think of as the lexicon, but we need to see it for what it is, as a collectively-constructed model of the world, specifically designed for instruction…. The second component is the communication protocol, a set of normative rules for the regulation of instructive communication. The protocol governs the iterative processes of the production and comprehension of complex instructions for imagination.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 110.

 

“The two components of the technology, the symbolic landscape and the protocol, are constructed collectively in a never-ending dialogical process that I call experiential mutual identification for language. In this process, groups of speakers carefully identify and mark those points in experience, and those ways of speaking, which they mutually decide are similar enough for them to count on in the process of instruction. Every word and construction on the symbolic landscape instructs the listener to imagine a mutually-identified type of experience; every mutually-identified combination of items from the symbolic landscape instructs the listener to calculate the imagined intersection between the experiences in a certain way. Essentially, experiential mutual-identification is a process of meaning discretization done together; the analogue complexities of private experience are sacrificed for the construction of common-ground….

“And note that with all the effort, as the literature in conversational analysis shows so well, the amount of time we spend repairing mistaken interpretations in our conversations is huge. This is so not simply because we don’t listen – even if this is also true – it is an inherent fact about the technology. The instruction of imagination is a fragile strategy. It attempts to bridge the experiential gap, but the gap is always still there.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 110.

 

“The conception of language as a socially-constructed communication technology re-defines the universality of language on a social basis. Language is a universal fact about humanity not in the sense that all human minds have language, but in the sense that all human societies have it… Not all human minds have language, but all societies do. There are many human minds without language: the minds of all human children before they acquire language; autistic minds (not all of them); aphasic minds; and most importantly – the minds of human individuals who have not been exposed to the social activity of language at the right age.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 112.

 

“There is not a single human society that has no language.

“From this fundamental assertion emerges a distinction between two levels of description: essentialist and emergent. At the essentialist level, all languages of all societies are treated as one and the same, as imagination-instructing technologies, and this implies a long and substantial set of constitutive and absolute universals, true of all languages. At the emergent level, everything else about language is allowed to be as diverse and multi-causal as society itself.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 113.

 

“Pre-linguistic human societies were already deeply entangled in a unique spiral of social, technological, communicative, cognitive, and emotional co-evolution – and it was from this spiral that language eventually emerged.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 113.

 

“Mimetic communication, then, was the first system of communication that allowed for the upgrade of the individualistic capacity of theory of mind into a collective, mutualistic, dialogical capacity – the capacity of experiential mutual identification – and its establishment as the single most important determinant of human life. Our pre-linguistic ancestors managed to achieve what they did because they spent enormous amounts of collective effort in the struggle for mutual understanding, mapping the differences and similarities between their experiential worldviews, learning from each other and teaching each other. They gradually spent more and more of their time doing things together, solving problems together, sharing and comparing experience. This was the first revolution that made us who we are.

“As far as the invention of language is concerned, all this is good news, because it suggests a new type of answer to the twin questions of how the invention of language became possible, and why it became necessary. The invention became possible because experiential mutual-identification is the machinery required for the construction of language. The machinery was already there before language emerged. The invention must have gradually become necessary because the growing dependency on experiential mutual-identification locked humanity in a vicious circle: the ever-growing dependency of the community members on mutual-identification required a constant rise in the amount and quality of the information that could be shared and compared among the group; the rise in information sharing, however, only contributed to the deepening of the dependency. We, today, are still trapped in this circle. It is foundational to human life.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 114.

 

“Consider a simple scenario, in which individual A point[s] at x (a prey, a predator, other people, fire), and accompanies the pointing with some mimetic sound associated with x; then B follows the pointing and looks at the right direction. Now, in the realm of experiential-mimetic communication, if B sees x all is well. But B doesn’t see x, the act of communication fails. Turning this failure into success was the challenge. The failure would turn into success if B managed to interpret A’s communicative act not as an invitation to experience – but as an invitation to trust and imagine. B would have to understand (without words): ‘A is intentionally attempting to turn my attention to something by pointing. His or her vocalization indicates that it is of the type x. As for myself, I cannot see anything there. I will, however, choose to go against my own experiential judgment, trust A’s experiential judgment, imagine there is something there of the type x, and act upon my imagination.’” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 114.

 

“This revolution, however, also brought with it a totally new problem: the problem of truth. As long as communication is experiential, the interlocutors always maintain the capacity to verify the communicated meaning at the time of the communication event, to see with their own eyes. When immediate verification is always possible, the principled problem of truth does not arise. It was exactly this sense of experiential confidence that the inventors of language had to sacrifice: the new function was based on the replacement of knowledge with trust. This brought about the problem of lying, the problem of honest mistake, and eventually also the problem of false memory, the confusion between individuals’ memories of their own experiences and their memories of what they were told about.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 114.

 

“Among other things, this view of the first explorations into the instruction of imagination implies that what appeared in the moment of origin was not the technology, but the function. What the inventors of language began to experiment with was not the construction of a new system, but the use of the old tools of experiential-mimetic communication for a new type of communicative function –based on experiential trust.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 114.

 

“On the analogue continuum of experiential communication (vocalic and manual, pre-mimetic and mimetic), the physical and emotional variability between individuals is highly functional. It is meaningful. The instructive function, however, demands that all speakers transcend individual differences and mutually identify the same gestures and vocalizations for the same mutually identified experiences. Under such a demand, then, every minute change in the arsenal of vocalization and gestures would be selected for if it provided higher levels of perceptual distinctiveness – and thus minimized the probability of confusion. As Zuidema and de Boer show, the accumulation of exactly such changes would eventually produce a categorical and combinatorial phonetic system. It is important to see that the challenge was not the construction of a sound and gesture system out of nothing; it was the isolation of a distinct sound and gesture system from the analogue continuum of experiential communication. What this means, in simple words, is that instructive interactions must have gradually begun to sound differently. This was the beginning of phonetics.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 115. Reference: Zuidema, W & B de Boer. 2009. “The evolution of combinatorial phonology.” Journal of Phonetics. 37(2): 125-144.

 

“For a long time, then, the same thing was happening on both sides of the communication process. At the level of meaning, the mutually identified worldview of the symbolic landscape was beginning to demarcate itself from the experiential worlds (private and collective) of its speakers. At the level of form, increasingly phonetic vocalizations were beginning to demarcate the sounds of language from the sounds of experiential mimetic communication. On both sides, the function of instruction was beginning to push language toward autonomy.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 115.

“… concatenation presented listeners with a radically new challenge: they were no longer required to bring up from their memories clusters of experiences that were associated with mutually-identified signs. They were asked to imagine from their memories clusters of experiences that were associated with mutually-identified signs. They were asked to imagine the experiences associated with the sounds, and then calculate the intersection between them: concentrate on chasing-experiences, and on rabbit-experiences, and then calculate the experience of rabbit-chasing. This was revolutionary mainly because, to the extent that it worked, it allowed for communication about the intersected cluster of experiences without the prior mutual-identification of the cluster itself. This implied a great leap forward in the expressive power of the technology: the function from the number of signs to the number of messages, which was up to now a linear one, would turn into an exponential function. The dividends for the mutual-identification of new signs grew much higher.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. Pp. 115-6.

 

“When they began to stabilize their protocols, speaking communities already had all the components of the technology in their rightful place. From now on, all the relevant evolutionary dynamics would spiral together – the collective investigation of the world of experience; the ongoing expansion of the symbolic landscape; the further construction of a social-semantic worldview; the development of the dialectic relationship between this worldview and the variable experiential worlds of the speakers; the growing formalization of the sound system; the steady appearance of new communication problems; the consequent rise in the complexity and generality of the norms invented to resolve them; and so on – and all of it, always under the same pressure: to increase the levels of success in instructive communication, in communities that were gradually becoming more and more dependent on the technology for their survival.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 116.

 

“Language is no longer a property of the evolving brain: it is now an emerging component of the selective environment within which brains evolve.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 116.

 

“Speakers were struggling to keep up with language, and whenever they managed to adapt to it, it was already somewhere else, further down the road of evolutionary development.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 116.

 

“… the inventors of language (most probably Homo erectus or heidelbergensis) were expert experiencers, but language forced them to weaken their dependency on experience – and develop a worldview based on imagination. They were expert experiential communicators, but language gradually forced them to systematically suppress most of what they knew how to communicate. What emerged from all this was a new species adapted to language: Homo sapiens. The species had the cognitive and physiological capacities required for fast speech, full-fledged social cognition, and full-fledged, creative imagination.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 116.

 

“Mithen makes the distinction between basic and creative imagination. It seems that other animals, apart from humans, use basic imagination for the planning of action and similar goals. As Corballis puts it, these animals are capable of some degree of mental travel, bringing back from memory experiences from the past and re-experiencing them internally. It stands to reason that pre-linguistic humans, with their complex culture and mimetic communication, developed the capacity further…. Language, however, requires something radically different: the construction of an imagined experience on the sole basis of the creative assembly of pieces of experiential memory – in isolation from real-time experience. It requires listeners to calculate the intersection between sets of memories. For the first time, imagination is activated independently of experiencing. What this means is that language must have been a major – maybe the major – engine pushing the emergence of creative imagination in the human species.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. Pp. 116-7. References: Mithen, Steven. 2007. “Seven steps in the evolution of human imagination.” Proceedings of the British Academy. 147:3-29; Corbalis, Michael. (To appear) Outspoken: The Truth about Language, What it is and Where it Came from. University of Chicago Press.

 

“Mimesis gradually upgraded the individualistic capacity of ToM into the collective capacity of experiential mutual-identification, which allowed for higher levels of co-operation and collective invention, created a new level of sociality, and eventually prepared the ground for the emergence of language.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 117.

 

“Crucially, from a certain group size on, the member of ancient human groups no longer spent all or more of their time together. Rather, ‘at any given moment the community (was) dispersed into subgroups of varying size that forage and rest independently of each other.’ The increasingly dispersed nature of the group thus began to force individuals to ‘think about absent individuals and their potential influence.’ As importantly, it also began to force them to communicate about them with those who were present, which is what gossip is all about. This correlates very well with the view of language as a tool for the instruction of imagination: the only way to think about absent people is to imagine them, and the only way to communicate about absent people (before the emergence of visual art) is to instruct the imagination of the others with respect to them. Language came into the picture with the emergence of (partially) imagined communities.” Dor, Daniel. 2017. “From experience to imagination: Language and its evolution as a social communication technology.” Journal of Neurolinguistics. 43:107-119. P. 117. Subquotes: Gowlett, J., C. Gamble & R Dunbar. 2012. “Human evolution and the archaeology of the social brain.” Current Anthropology. 53(6): 693-722.

 

“Specifically, evo-devo research has demonstrated that developmental evolution relies heavily on (i) duplication of patterns and processes, from individual genes or genome elements… (ii) modification, from expansion of specific domains and regulatory network interactions to the coordinated modification of organ systems, and (iii) co-option at multiple levels of biological organization, enabling the evolution of novel traits, novel developmental mechanisms, and novel trait characteristics. Rather than requiring novel genes or pathways, functionally integrated, novel phenotypes emerge from ancestral variation through the differential combination and re-deployment of existing developmental modules.” Moczek, Armin, K. Sears, A. Stollewerk, P. Wittkopp, P Diggle, I Dworkin, C Ledon-Rettig, D Matus, S Roth, E Abouheif, F Brown, C-H Chiu, CS Cohen, A de Tomaso, S Gilbert, B Hall, A Love, D Lyons, T Sanger, J Smith, C Specht, M Vallejo-Marin & C Extavour. 2015. “The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology: a vision for the 21st century.” Evolution & Development. 17:3, 198-219. Pp. 199-200.

 

“Developmental plasticity–the ability of the genome to produce a range of phenotypes through its interactions with the environment–was once considered a special case observable in a subset of taxa, but is now recognized as the norm, and ecological conditions are recognized as being able to influence developmental outcomes at all levels of biological organization.” Moczek, Armin, K. Sears, A. Stollewerk, P. Wittkopp, P Diggle, I Dworkin, C Ledon-Rettig, D Matus, S Roth, E Abouheif, F Brown, C-H Chiu, CS Cohen, A de Tomaso, S Gilbert, B Hall, A Love, D Lyons, T Sanger, J Smith, C Specht, M Vallejo-Marin & C Extavour. 2015. “The significance and scope of evolutionary developmental biology: a vision for the 21st century.” Evolution & Development. 17:3, 198-219. P. 200.

 

“… Shipley notes that randomized experiments are not feasible in many areas of science, but that causal inferences are nonetheless made. Howson and Urbach point out that even with randomization it is overwhelmingly likely that the treatment and control groups will differ in some respect (given the large number of possible ‘respects’), which for all we know might influence the experimental outcome. So it is quite wrong, they claim, to regard randomization as a universal panacea for the problem of confounding factors, as many scientists do.” Okasha, Samir. 2009. “Causation in Biology.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Helen Beebee, C. Hitchcock & P. Menzies (eds). Oxford University Press. P. 7. References: Shipley, B. 2000. Cause and Correlation in Biology. Cambridge University Press; Howson, C. & P. Urbach. 1989. Scientific Reasoning: The Bayesian Approach. Open Court.

 

“Sober distinguishes between what he calls ‘developmental’ and ‘selectional’ explanations. To illustrate the difference, suppose we are trying to explain why a class of schoolchildren is academically outstanding. One possible explanation would look at each child in the class individually, citing the reasons for their exceptional performance–which might include their dedication to study, their stimulating home environment, etc. This is a developmental explanation–it cites the causal factors that have led each child to develop into a high achiever; by aggregation, this yields an explanation of why the class as a whole is outstanding. But a second, quite different explanation is that in order to get into the class in the first place, children need to have scored above 95 per cent in the previous year’s examination; as a result, the class contains only outstanding children. This is a selectional explanation. It explains why the class is academically outstanding by describing the selective process used to determine class membership, rather than by explaining the abilities of the particular children in the class.

“Importantly, the developmental and selectional explanations are complementary rather than competing. This is because, as Sober points out, the two explanations have slightly different explananda. The former explains, of each child in the class, why the child developed into a high achiever, rather than that self-same child developing into a low achiever. The latter explains, of the class as a whole, why it contains high achieving children, rather than containing other children who are low achievers. Also importantly, both explanations are causal. The developmental explanation tells us what caused each child in the class to become a high achiever. The selectional explanation tells us what caused the class a a whole to be composed of high achievers.” Okasha, Samir. 2009. “Causation in Biology.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Helen Beebee, C. Hitchcock & P. Menzies (eds). Oxford University Press. P. 8. Reference: Sober, E. 1984. The Nature of Selection. University of Chicago Press.

 

“The condition [Darwin’s requirement that some variants in a population must leave more offspring than others] says that some variants in the population must leave more offspring than others, that is, reproduction must be differential. The rationale for this condition is obvious–if all organisms leave the same number of offspring, natural selection cannot operate. But the condition as stated contains an ambiguity. Is the idea that an organism’s reproductive output (fitness) must causally depend on which traits it has, or can the dependence simply be statistical? In Sober’s terms, when a given trait causally affects organismic fitness there is selection for that trait; but if the trait merely correlates with fitness, without causally affecting it, there is selection of the trait.” Okasha, Samir. 2009. “Causation in Biology.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Helen Beebee, C. Hitchcock & P. Menzies (eds). Oxford University Press. P. 9. Reference: Sober, E. 1984. The Nature of Selection. University of Chicago Press.

 

“… Ernst Mayr drew a distinction between what he called ‘functional’ and ‘evolutionary’ biology. Functional biologists are concerned with how organisms and their parts work; the primary question they ask is ‘how’…. Evolutionary biologists, by contrast, are interested in a fundamentally different sort of question. They want to know why organisms exhibit the features they do; the primary question they ask is ‘what’, not ‘how’….

“Mayr argued that both types of biology deal with causal questions, but of different types. Functional biology is concerned with ‘proximate’ causation, evolutionary biology with ‘ultimate’ causation.” Okasha, Samir. 2009. “Causation in Biology.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Helen Beebee, C. Hitchcock & P. Menzies (eds). Oxford University Press. P. 11. Reference: Mayr, Ernst. 1961. “Cause and Effect in Biology.” Science. 134: 1501-6.

 

“Those who hold that Darwinism eliminates teleology stress that natural selection produces the appearance of design in nature, rather than the real thing; one of Darwin’s main achievements, they argue, was to show that the teleology in nature is only apparent. Those who hold that Darwinism naturalizes, rather than eliminates, teleology stress that the notion of a trait’s adaptive function is a key part of Darwinian explanations, so Darwinism clearly doesn’t eliminate all teleological language.” Okasha, Samir. 2009. “Causation in Biology.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Helen Beebee, C. Hitchcock & P. Menzies (eds). Oxford University Press. P. 12.

 

“Causality is relevant to the debate over teleology for this reason: traditionally in philosophy, teleological explanation has been contrasted with causal-mechanistic explanation. The idea behind this contrast is that in causal-mechanistic explanation one explains a given feature by reference to its causes; while in teleological explanation, one explains a given feature by reference to its effects–as, for example, when one explains the operation of a thermostat by saying that it ensures the room is kept at a constant temperature.” Okasha, Samir. 2009. “Causation in Biology.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Helen Beebee, C. Hitchcock & P. Menzies (eds). Oxford University Press. P. 13.

 

“It is important to remember that ‘natural selection’ is just a metaphor for the process of differential reproduction; no one literally does any selecting.” Okasha, Samir. 2009. “Causation in Biology.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Helen Beebee, C. Hitchcock & P. Menzies (eds). Oxford University Press. P. 13.

 

“Also important is the fact that the process of genetic mutation, which creates the variation on which natural selection acts, is random, or undirected. Favourable mutations do not arise because they are favourable, but rather by chance.” Okasha, Samir. 2009. “Causation in Biology.” In: The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Helen Beebee, C. Hitchcock & P. Menzies (eds). Oxford University Press. P. 13.

 

“The status of beauty as an ultimate value is questionable, in the way that the status of truth and goodness are not.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 3.

 

“‘With the good, the true and the useful,’ wrote Schiller, ‘man is merely in earnest; but with the beautiful he plays.’” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 14.

 

“… when it comes to beautiful architecture function follows form. Beautiful buildings change their uses; merely functional buildings get torn down. Sancta Sophia in Istanbul was built as a church, became a barracks, then a stable, then a mosque and then a museum.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 18.

 

“Like the pleasure of friendship, the pleasure in beauty is curious; it aims to understand its object, and to value what it finds. Hence it tends towards a judgement of its own validity. And like every rational judgement this one makes implicit appeal to the community of rational beings. That is what Kant meant when he argued that, in the judgement of taste, I am ‘a suitor for agreement’, expressing my judgement not as a private opinion but as a binding verdict that would be agreed to by all rational beings just so long as they did what I am doing, and put their own interests aside.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 26.

 

“The sacred, like the beautiful, includes every category of object. There are sacred words, sacred gestures, sacred rites, sacred clothes, sacred places, sacred times.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 43.

 

“The Virgin’s beauty is a symbol of purity, and for this very reason is held apart from the realm of sexual appetite, in a world of its own. This thought reaches back to Plato’s original idea: that beauty is not just an invitation to desire, but also a call to renounce it. In the Virgin Mary, therefore, we encounter, in Christian form, the Platonic conception of human beauty as the signpost to a realm beyond desire.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 45-6.

 

“The judgement of beauty, even in the context of sexual desire, focuses on how a thing presents itself to the contemplating mind.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 47.

 

“Having identified aesthetic interest as essentially contemplative, Kant was naturally inclined to describe its characteristic object as something not made but found. With artefacts our practical reason is often too vigorously engaged, he seemed to think, to permit the stepping back that is required by aesthetic judgement. And he made a distinction between the ‘free’ beauty that we experience from natural objects, which comes to us without the deployment of any concepts on our part, and the ‘dependent’ beauty that we experience in works of art, and which depends upon a prior conceptualization of the object.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 54.

“The experience of natural beauty is not a sense of ‘how nice!’ or ‘how pleasant!’ It contains a reassurance that this world is a right and fitting place to be–a home in which our human powers and prospects find confirmation.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 55.

 

“Through style we grasp what is being emphasized, what is placed in the background, and what is being connected with what. Hence style is one of the features of everyday aesthetic judgement that we carry over into art, where it takes on a wholly new significance. That which secures our part in everyday social existence, in art becomes the shaping spirit of imaginary worlds.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 78.

 

“Conventions create a background of unchanging order in our lives, a sense that there is a right way and a wrong way to proceed… There are cultures in which this aspiration towards the fixed and the permanent takes on a dominating and even crushing form–the ancient Egyptian, for example–so that every aspect of life is shaped and mummified by conventions….

“Although we value permanence, therefore, we are also aware of the fleetingness of our attachments, and have a natural desire to express this awareness in a publicly endorsed aesthetic. Indeed there are cultures–the traditional Japanese being the most notable–in which the aesthetics of everyday life focuses on what is fleeting, allusive and animated by a poignant regret.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp 79-80.

 

“Only in the course of the nineteenth century, and in the wake of Hegel’s posthumously published lectures on aesthetics, did the topic of art come to replace that of natural beauty as the core subject-matter of aesthetics. And this change was part of the great shift in educated opinion which we know as the romantic movement, and which placed the feelings of the individual, for whom self is more interesting than other and wandering more noble that belonging, at the centre of our culture. Art became the enterprise through which the individual announced himself to the world and calls on the gods for vindication. Yet it has proved singularly unreliable as the guardian of our higher aspirations.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 82.

 

“There is a useful comparison to be made here with jokes. It is as hard to circumscribe the class of jokes as it is the class of artworks. Anything is a joke if somebody says so. A joke is an artefact made to be laughed at. It may fail to perform its function, in which case it is a joke that ‘falls flat’. Or it may perform its function, but offensively, in which case it is a joke ‘in bad taste’. But none of this implies that the category of jokes is arbitrary, or that there is no such thing as a distinction between good jokes and bad. Nor does it in any way suggest that there is no place for the criticism of jokes, or for the kind of moral education that has an appropriate sense of humour as its goal. Indeed, the first thing you might learn, in considering jokes, is that Marcel Duchamp’s urinal was one–quite a good one first time round, corny by the time of Andy Warhol’s Brillo boxes, and downright stupid today.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 83.

 

“Works of art, like jokes, have a dominant function. They are objects of aesthetic interest. They may fulfil this function in a rewarding way, offering food for thought and spiritual uplift, winning for themselves a loyal public that returns to them to be consoled or inspired. They may fulfil their function in ways that are judged to be offensive or demeaning. Or they may fail altogether to prompt the aesthetic interest that they petition for. The works of art that we remember fall into the first two categories: the uplifting and the demeaning. The total failures disappear from public memory. And it really matters which kind of art you adhere to, which you include in your treasury of symbols and allusions, which you carry around in your heart. Good taste is as important in aesthetics as it is in humour, and indeed taste is what it is all about… When it comes to art, aesthetic judgement concerns what you ought and ought not to like, and (I shall argue) the ‘ought’ here, even if it is not exactly a moral imperative, has a moral weight.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 83-4.

 

“Both fantasy and imagination concern unrealities; but while the unrealities of fantasy penetrate and pollute our world, those of the imagination exist in a world of their own, in which we wander freely and in a condition of sympathetic detachment.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 88.

 

“It would be plausible to suggest that this defines one aim of art: to present imaginary worlds, towards which we can adopt, as part of an integral aesthetic attitude, a posture of impartial concern.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 90.

 

“Art answers the riddle of existence: it tells us why we exist by imbuing our lives with a sense of fittingness.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 108.

 

“Implicit in our sense of beauty is the thought of community–of the agreement in judgements that makes social life possible and worthwhile.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 113.

 

“Symmetry and order; proportion; closure; convention; harmony, and also novelty and excitement: all these seem to have a permanent hold on the human psyche.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 119.

“Seen as a merely physical urge, desire can be equally satisfied by any member of the relevant sex. In which case the individual cannot be its true object, since he or she is merely an instance of the universal man or woman. Seen as a spiritual force, however, desire is equally indifferent to the individual. If the individual is targeted, it is on account of his or her beauty; and beauty is a universal, which can be neither consumed nor possessed but only contemplated. Either way the individual drops out of consideration as irrelevant–physical desire doesn’t reach him, and erotic love transcends him. In both Plato’s version and that of the medievals the incarnate individual vanishes as the object of love, etherealized into a discarnate smile like Beatrice in the Paradiso.

“Gradually, in the aftermath of the Renaissance, the Platonic view of our condition lost its appeal, and erotic feelings began to be represented in art, music and poetry for what they are….

“While the Platonist mind of the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance conceives the object of desire as a premonition of the eternal, the modern mind sees the object of desire as both rational and mortal, with all the poignant and grief-implying helplessness that stems from this.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 131-2.

 

“The pornographic image is like a magic wand that turns subjects into objects, people into things–and thereby disenchants them, destroying the source of their beauty. It causes people to hide behind their bodies, like puppets worked by hidden strings. Ever since Descarte’s cogito, the idea of the self as an inner homunculus, has cast its shadow over our views of the human person. The Cartesian picture tempts us to believe that we go through life dragging an animal on a lead, forcing it to do our bidding until, at the last, it collapses and dies. I am a subject, my body an object: I am I, it is it. In this way the body becomes a thing among things, and the only way I can rescue it is to assert a right of ownership, to say, this body is not just any old object, but one that belongs to me.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 136-7.

 

“There is another and better way of seeing things, however, and it is one that explains much of that old morality that many people now profess to find so puzzling. On this view my body is not my property but–to use the theological term–my incarnation. My body is not an object but a subject, just as I am. I don’t own it, any more than I own myself. I am inextricably mingled with it, and what is done to my body is done to me. And there are ways of treating it that cause me to think and feel as I would not otherwise think or feel, to lose my moral sense, to become hardened or indifferent to others, to cease to make judgements or to be guided by principles and ideals. When this happens it is not just I whom am harmed: all those who love me, need me or relate to me are harmed as well. For I have damaged the part on which relationships are built.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 137.

 

“The modernists feared that the aesthetic endeavour would detach itself from the full artistic intention, and become empty, repetitious, mechanical and cliche-ridden. It was self-evident to Eliot, Matisse and Schoenberg that this was happening all around them, and they set out to protect an endangered aesthetic ideal from the corruptions of popular culture.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 143.

 

“Our need for beauty is not something that we could lack and still be fulfilled as people. It is a need arising from our metaphysical condition, as free individuals, seeking our place in a shared and public world. We can wander through this world, alienated, resentful, full of suspicion and distrust. Or we can find our home here, coming to rest in harmony with others and with ourselves. The experience of beauty guides us along this second path: it tells us that we are at home in the world, that the world is already ordered in our perceptions as a place fit for the lives of beings like us. But–and this is again one of the messages of the early modernists–beings like us become at home in the world only by acknowledging our ‘fallen’ condition, as Eliot acknowledged it in The Waste Land. Hence the experience of beauty also points us beyond this world, to a ‘kingdom of ends’ in which our immortal longings and our desire for perfection are finally answered.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 145.

 

“For the most part our lives are organized by transitory purposes. But few of these purposes are memorable or moving to us. Every now and then we are jolted out of our complacency, and feel ourselves to be in the presence of something vastly more significant than our present interests and desires. We sense the reality of something precious and mysterious, which reaches out to us with a claim that is in some way not of this world. This happens in the presence of death, and especially the death of someone loved. We look with awe on the human body from which the life has fled….

“The experience is a paradigm of our encounter with the sacred. And it demands from us a kind of ceremonial recognition. The dead body is the object of rituals and acts of purification, designed not just to send its former occupant happily into the hereafter–for these practices are engaged in even by those who have no belief in the hereafter–but in order to overcome the eeriness, the supernatural quality, of the dead human form. The body is being reclaimed for this world, by the rituals which acknowledge that is also stands apart from it. The rituals, to put it in another way, consecrate the body, purify it of its miasma and restore it to its former status as an embodiment. By the same token, the dead body can be desecrated, when it is displayed to the world as a mere heap of discarded flesh–and this is surely one of the primary acts of desecration, one to which people have been given from time immemorial, as when Achilles drags the body of Hector in triumph around the walls of Troy.

“There are other occasions when we are in a similar way startled out of our day-to-day preoccupations. In particular, there is the experience of falling in love. This too is a human universal, and it is an experience of the strangest kind. The face and body of the beloved are imbued with the most intense life. But in one crucial respect they are like the body of someone dead: they seem not to belong in the empirical world.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 147-8.

“The wilful desecration of the human form, either through the pornography of sex or the pornography of death and violence, has become, for many people, a kind of compulsion. And this desecration, which spoils the experience of freedom, is also a denial of love.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 148.

 

“… jealousy is painful not least because it sees the object of love, once sacred, as now desecrated.

“One cure for the pain of desecration is the move towards total profanation: in other words, to wipe out all vestiges of sanctity from the once worshipped object, to make it merely a thing of the world, and not just a thing in the world, something that is nothing over and above the substitutes that can at any time replace it. That is what we see in the spreading addiction to pornography–a profanation that removes the sexual bond entirely from the realm of intrinsic values. It involves wiping out one area in which the idea of the beautiful had taken root, so as to protect ourselves from the possibility of loving it and therefore losing it.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 151.

 

“I don’t say that works of art are sacred things–though many of the greatest works of art started life in that way, including the statues and temples of the Greeks and Romans, and the altarpieces of medieval Europe. But I do say that they are, or have been part of the continuing human attempt to idealize and sanctify the objects of experience, and to present images and narratives of our humanity as a thing to live up to, and not merely a thing to live.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 152.

 

“As I have been at pains to point out, aesthetic judgement is an integral part of these elementary forms of social coordination, and aesthetic judgement leads of its own accord to other and potentially ‘higher’ and more stylized applications. It is constantly pointing away from our ordinary imperfections and fallings short, to a world of high ideals. It therefore contains within itself two permanent causes of offence. First it is urging upon us distinctions–of taste, of refinement, of understanding–which cannot fail to remind us that people are not equally interesting, equally admirable, or equally able to understand the world in which they live.

“Secondly, because the democratic attitude is invariably in conflict with itself–it being impossible to live as though there are no aesthetic values, while living a real life among human beings–aesthetic judgement begins to be experienced as an affliction. It imposes an intolerable burden, something that we must live up to, a world of ideals and aspirations that is in sharp conflict with the tawdriness of our improvised lives. It is perched like an owl on our shoulders, while we try to hide our pet rodents in our clothes. The temptation is to turn on it and shoo it away. The desire to desecrate is a desire to turn aesthetic judgement against itself, so that it no longer seems like a judgement of us.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 152-3.

 

“The contrast that I have been implicitly drawing between the love that venerates and the scorn that desecrates is like the contrast between taste and addiction. Lovers of beauty direct their attention outwards, in search of a meaning and order that brings sense to their lives. Their attitude to the thing they love is imbued with judgement and discrimination. And they measure themselves against it, trying to match its order in their own living sympathies….

“Art is at war with effect addiction, in which the need for stimulation and routinized excitement has blocked the path to beauty by putting acts of desecration centre stage.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 155-6.

 

“Art as we have known it, stands on the threshold of the transcendental. It points beyond this world of accidental and disconnected things to another realm, in which human life is endowed with an emotional logic that makes suffering noble and love worthwhile.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 156.

 

“Simply put, kitsch is not, in the first instance, an artistic phenomenon, but a disease of faith. Kitsch begins in doctrine and ideology and spreads from there to infect the entire world of culture. The Disneyfication of art is simply one aspect of the Disneyfication of faith–and both involve a profanation of our highest values. Kitsch, the case of Disney reminds us, is not an excess of feeling but a deficiency. The world of kitsch is in a certain measure a heartless world, in which emotion is directed away from its proper target towards sugary stereotypes, permitting us to pay passing tribute to love and sorrow without the trouble of feeling them. It is no accident that the arrival of kitsch on the stage of history coincided with the hitherto unimaginable horrors of trench warfare, of the holocaust and the Gulag–all of them fulfilling the prophecy that kitsch proclaims, which is the transformation of the human being into a doll, which in one moment we cover with kisses, and in the next moment tear to shreds….

“We seem to be caught between two forms of sacrilege, the one dealing in sugary dreams, the other in savage fantasies. Both are forms of falsehood, ways of reducing and demeaning our humanity. Both involve a retreat from the higher life, and a rejection of its principal sign, which is beauty.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 159-60.

 

“Kitsch deprives feeling of its cost, and therefore of its reality; desecration augments the cost of feeling, and so frightens us away from it. The remedy for both states of mind is suggested by the thing that they each deny, which is sacrifice…. Sacrifice is the core of virtue, the origin of meaning and the true theme of high art.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 160-1.

 

“My answer [to what beauty is] is simply this: everything I have said about the experience of beauty implies that it is rationally founded. It challenges us to find meaning in its object, to make critical comparisons, and to examine our own lives and emotions in the light of what we find. Art, nature and the human form all invite us to place this experience in the centre of our lives. If we do so, then it offers a place of refreshment of which we will never tire. But to imagine that we can do this, and still be free to see beauty as nothing more than a subjective preference or a source of transient pleasure, is to misunderstand the depth to which reason and value penetrate our lives. It is to fail to see that, for a free being, there is right feeling, right experience and right enjoyment just as much as right action. The judgement of beauty orders the emotions and desires of those who make it. It may express their pleasure and their taste: but it is pleasure in what they value and taste for the true ideals.” Scruton, Roger. 2011. Beauty: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. Pp. 163-4.

 

“Most of the people on this planet blithely assume, largely without any valid scientific rationale, that humans are special creatures, distinct from other animals. Curiously, the scientists best qualified to evaluate this claim have often appeared reticent to acknowledge the uniqueness of Homo sapiens, perhaps for fear of reinforcing the idea of human exceptionalism put forward in religious doctrines. Yet hard scientific data have been amassed across fields ranging from ecology to cognitive psychology affirming that humans truly are a remarkable species.” Laland, Kevin. 2018. “An Evolved Uniqueness: How We Became a Different Kind of Animal.” Scientific American. September. Pp. 33-39. P. 34.

 

“Those primates that excel at social learning and innovation are the same species that have the most diverse diets, use tools and extractive foraging, and exhibit the most complex social behavior. In fact, statistical analyses suggest that these abilities vary in lockstep so tightly that one can align primates along a single dimension of general cognitive performance, which we call primate intelligence (loosely analogous to IQ in humans).” Laland, Kevin. 2018. “An Evolved Uniqueness: How We Became a Different Kind of Animal.” Scientific American. September. Pp. 33-39. P. 36.

 

“The size of a species’ cultural repertoire and how long cultural traits persist in a population both increase exponentially with transmission fidelity. Above a certain threshold, culture begins to ratchet up in complexity and diversity. Without accurate transmission, cumulative culture is impossible.” Laland, Kevin. 2018. “An Evolved Uniqueness: How We Became a Different Kind of Animal.” Scientific American. September. Pp. 33-39. P. 38.

 

“Mathematical analyses reveal tough conditions that must be met for teaching to evolve, but they show that cumulative culture relaxes these conditions. The modeling implies that teaching and cumulative culture co-evolved in our ancestors….” Laland, Kevin. 2018. “An Evolved Uniqueness: How We Became a Different Kind of Animal.” Scientific American. September. Pp. 33-39. P. 38.

 

“It also turns out that animal and human cognition, though similar in many respects, differ in two profound dimensions. One is the ability to form nested scenarios, an inner theater of the mind that allows us to envision and mentally manipulate many possible situations and anticipate different outcomes. The second is our drive to exchange our thoughts with others. Taken together, the emergence of these two characteristics transformed the human mind and set us on a world-changing path.” Suddendorf, Thomas. 2018. “Inside Our Heads: Two Key Features Created the Human Mind.” Scientific American. September. Pp. 43-47. P. 44.

 

“One feature, nested scenario building, allows us to imagine several alternative situations, some with different outcomes, and embed them into a larger narrative of connected events. The second feature is the urge to connect, the human drive to exchange thoughts with others, enabling achievements beyond the abilities of lone individuals. These two traits amplify each other and have altered our minds, leading to human language, mental time travel, morality, culture, ‘mind reading’ (or discerning the thoughts of others), and the capacity to develop and share abstract explanations of the world around us.” Suddendorf, Thomas. 2018. “Inside Our Heads: Two Key Features Created the Human Mind.” Scientific American. September. Pp. 43-47. P. 45.

 

“That is, whereas all primates feel pressure to pursue their individual goals in ways they believe will be successful, the interdependency that governed social life for early humans meant that individuals felt pressures to treat others as they deserve to be treated and to expect others to treat them in this same way. This second-personal morality did not have all the defining attributes of modern human morality, but it already had the most important elements–mutual respect and fairness–in nascent form.” Tomasello, Michael. 2018. “The Origins of Morality: How We Learned to Put Our Fate in One Another’s Hands.” Scientific American. September. Pp. 70-75. P. 73.

 

“[Referring to collective intentionality] As groups grew in size beginning 150,000 years ago, the smaller bands that made up a tribe developed a set of common practices that represented the formal beginnings of human cultures. A set of norms, conventions and institutions grew up to define the group’s goals and establish divisions of labor that set roles for each of its members–a collective intentionality that distinguished a tribe. These goals were internalized by each tribe member as an ‘objective morality’ in which everyone knew immediately the difference between right and wrong as determined by the group’s set of cultural practices.” Tomasello, Michael. 2018. “The Origins of Morality: How We Learned to Put Our Fate in One Another’s Hands.” Scientific American. September. Pp. 70-75. P. 74.

 

“In fact, the dynamic order of the cell results from a combination of complex stereospecific interactions (deterministic self-assembly) and extremely varied dynamical interactions between molecules that require energy dissipation (self-organization).” Karsenti, Eric. 2008. “Self-organization in cell biology: a brief history.” Nature Reviews/Molecular Cell Biology. March. V. 9. Pp. 255-262. P. 257.

“During mitosis, for example, chromosomes induce the assembly of a spindle that acts on the chromosomes themselves. Therefore, the chromosomes trigger the self-organization of a pattern (the spindle) that acquires the function of segregating them. This is exactly the loop between organization and function that Kant was looking for ….” Karsenti, Eric. 2008. “Self-organization in cell biology: a brief history.” Nature Reviews/Molecular Cell Biology. March. V. 9. Pp. 255-262. Pp. 258-9.

 

“Something incredibly imoportant for the understanding of the origin of life and evolution is emerging here: self-organization principles tell us that if there is an ensemble of products that can interact dynamically to reach a functional steady state, they will do so robustly at least under certain conditions. Suddenly, life becomes much less improbable, as Kauffman suggested.

“The principles that are associated with self-organization processes tend to indicate that the driving force behind the diversity of life and its evolution is not mainly selection. Instead, it may derive largely from the intrinsic properties of living matter and the combination of various self-organized functional modules. The maximum diversity of life is probably represented by the parameter space within which dynamic interactions between the whole and the parts robustly produce a cell or an organism that can survive in a given environment. In a sense we are moving back to the views of D’Arcy Thompson, who thought that biologists overemphasize the role of evolution over that of physical laws in the origin of growth and form.” Karsenti, Eric. 2008. “Self-organization in cell biology: a brief history.” Nature Reviews/Molecular Cell Biology. March. V. 9. Pp. 255-262. Pp. 260-1.

 

“One of the overarching themes that has emerged from the many detailed studies in mesoscale systems biology over the past decades is that nearly all cellular and subcellular structures, patterns and behaviours rely to some extent on self-organization.” Wedlich-Soeldner, Roland & Timo Betz. 2018. “Self-organization: the fundament of cell biology.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. 373: 20170103. P. 1.

 

“Clear examples of anthropogenic effects on the evolutionary biology of non-human, non-domesticated species have been documented in modern studies of body size or other morphological trait change in response to selective human harvesting of natural populations of vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants.” Sullivan, Alexis, Douglas Bird & George Perry. 2017. “Human behaviour as a long-term ecological driver of non-human evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V 1. N. 0065. February 21. P. 1.

 

“However, good evidence for repeated, systematic butchery of terrestrial vertebrate species by hominins, consistent with targeted hunting and processing, is observed by ~780,000 yr BP, and hafted spear technology appears in the archaeological record by at least ~560,000 yr BP. Archaeological data from South Africa and Spain also show that broad use of coastal resources by hominin foragers began by at least 150,000 yr BP.” Sullivan, Alexis, Douglas Bird & George Perry. 2017. “Human behaviour as a long-term ecological driver of non-human evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V 1. N. 0065. February 21. P. 2.

 

“Morphological evolution has been especially well documented in fisheries, in which larger prey are typically of higher value and netting technology may greatly enrich the catch for larger individuals based on the sizes of the net openings. Body length and mass reductions of 25% or greater have been documented over time periods of only one or several decades in multiple independent taxa.” Sullivan, Alexis, Douglas Bird & George Perry. 2017. “Human behaviour as a long-term ecological driver of non-human evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V 1. N. 0065. February 21. P. 2.

 

“The vegetation consumption and trampling activities of herbivorous megafauna helped to maintain rich, mosaic-like landscapes; following megafaunal extinction these structured habitats were then replaced by denser and less-diverse landscapes.” Sullivan, Alexis, Douglas Bird & George Perry. 2017. “Human behaviour as a long-term ecological driver of non-human evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V 1. N. 0065. February 21. P. 8.

 

“Strikingly, present-day human behaviour can apparently affect morphological evolution in non-human, non-domesticated species at rates similar to or greater than those associated with longer-term domestication processes.” Sullivan, Alexis, Douglas Bird & George Perry. 2017. “Human behaviour as a long-term ecological driver of non-human evolution.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. V 1. N. 0065. February 21. P. 8.

 

“… the earliest material evidence for ‘modern’ minds and behaviour in the form of a ‘checklist’ that has included symbolic behaviour, concern with ornament and personal display, subsistence complexity and diversity, and refined technologies.” Roberts, Patrick. 2016. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material Engagement Theory and Metaplasticity for understanding the Late Pleistocene record of human behaviour.” Quaternary International. 405:8-20. P. 8.

 

“In the last decade, a number of serious problems have emerged with the concept of ‘behavioural modernity’ as a threshold in H. sapiens. These include: the association of certain material traces from the ‘behaviourally modern’ checklist with hominins other than H. sapiens, evidence for the emergence and then disappearance of certain ‘hehaviourally modern’ traits in Africa and elsewhere, the apparent lack of ‘behavioural modernity’ in certain regions of the world even upon the arrival of H. sapiens, and preservation biases involved in the search for its ‘earliest’ material traces. Perhaps even more problematic is the way in which the conceptualisation of ‘behavioural modernity’ draws a dichotomy, not only between our species and other hominins (ancestral or otherwise), but also between ‘behaviourally modern’ humans and ‘non-behaviourally modern’ humans within the H. sapiens taxon…. It is perhaps unsurprising then that a number of archaeologists have concluded that research may advance more readily without the concept of ‘modern human behaviour’, looking instead at more nuanced understandings of ‘complex cognition’ and ‘behavioural variability’.” Roberts, Patrick. 2016. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material Engagement Theory and Metaplasticity for understanding the Late Pleistocene record of human behaviour.” Quaternary International. 405:8-20. Pp. 8-9.

 

“The idea that a given material trace can be passively reflective of an innate mental capacity suggests a static, unilinear association between defined internal minds and an external material world.” Roberts, Patrick. 2016. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material Engagement Theory and Metaplasticity for understanding the Late Pleistocene record of human behaviour.” Quaternary International. 405:8-20. P. 9.

 

“The human mind is an incomplete and unfinished project to be further shaped and developed by its own potency for material interaction.” Roberts, Patrick. 2016. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material Engagement Theory and Metaplasticity for understanding the Late Pleistocene record of human behaviour.” Quaternary International. 405:8-20. P. 9.

 

“The term ‘behavioural modernity’ was fist used to describe a series of material changes seen in the European archaeological record at the onset of the Upper Palaeolithic period c. 40,000 years ago. These changes included a shift towards more varied and complex lithic technologies, the working of non-lithic media for tools, increasingly diverse subsistence strategies, long-distance procurement networks, and evidence for personal ornamentation and ‘symbolism’.” Roberts, Patrick. 2016. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material Engagement Theory and Metaplasticity for understanding the Late Pleistocene record of human behaviour.” Quaternary International. 405:8-20. P. 9.

 

“Such a perspective is allied with that developed in neuro-constructivism in the field of evolutionary psychology. Neuro-constructivism has demonstrated that cognitive development occurs through a process of ‘probabilistic epigenesis’. Rather than viewing brain development as gene driven and determined, it is instead seen as a bidirectional process influenced by genetic, behavioural, environmental, and socio-cultural factors. As Griffiths and Stotz state, humans do not inherit a mind ‘but the ability to develop a mind’. Consequently, the same genotype can have a myriad of different neural, cognitive, and behavioural outcomes.” Roberts, Patrick. 2016. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material Engagement Theory and Metaplasticity for understanding the Late Pleistocene record of human behaviour.” Quaternary International. 405:8-20. P. 12. Subquote: Griffiths, P.E. & K. Stotz. 2000. “How the mind grows: a developmental perspective on the biology of cognition.” Synthese. 122:29-51. P. 31.

“Such neural plasticity is not, however, limited to humans. Other mammals, birds, and amphibians have all been shown to demonstrate hormone-related seasonal changes in neural connectivity and mapping.

“In 2003, the neuroscientists Zhang and Linden coined the term ‘Metaplasticity’ to describe the emergent, higher-order properties of synaptic plasticity that are apparently exclusive to the human brain.” Roberts, Patrick. 2016. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material Engagement Theory and Metaplasticity for understanding the Late Pleistocene record of human behaviour.” Quaternary International. 405:8-20. P. 12. Reference: Zhang, W. & D. Linden. 2003. “The other side of the engram: experience driven changes in neuronal intrinsic excitability.” Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 4:885-900.

 

“The human mind is not unique for being modern or sophisticated, it is unique in the extent of its reciprocal and plastic engagement with the material and cultural worlds around us.” Roberts, Patrick. 2016. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material Engagement Theory and Metaplasticity for understanding the Late Pleistocene record of human behaviour.” Quaternary International. 405:8-20. P. 13.

 

“… from 2 mya onwards certain raw materials began to be transported for distances of greater than 1 km, and by 1.6 mya distances of 13 km…. By c. 1 mya some hominin sites have evidence for instances of transport of stone materials for distances of up to 100 km. However, it is only from c. 100 ka onwards, during the Late Pleistocene, that raw material movement expands considerably, both spatially and in terms of the types of materials being transported. Movement of stone resources regularly exceeds 100 km with shells, amber, and stones coming from over 1000 km away from source, almost certainly the result of social exchanges rather than human movement.” Roberts, Patrick. 2016. “‘We have never been behaviourally modern’: The implications of Material Engagement Theory and Metaplasticity for understanding the Late Pleistocene record of human behaviour.” Quaternary International. 405:8-20. Pp. 13-4.

 

“Humans are social animals with cooperative dispositions derived from a long history of living in tribal scale groups in which culturally transmitted norms and institutions favored cooperation.” Stoelhorst, JW & P. Richerson. 2013. “A naturalistic theory of economic organization.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 905:545-556. P. 547.

 

“… satisfactory theories to explain the evolution of cooperation only emerged relatively recently. They include kin selection, or inclusive fitness theory, reciprocity, indirect reciprocity, and group selection, or multi-level selection theory. Each of these theories proposes a mechanism that can, in principle, explain the evolution of cooperation. This means that we can only hope to reach conclusions about the relative importance of these mechanisms in explaining the evolution of cooperation by confronting the theories with empirical facts. In the case of humans, these facts point to a central role for cultural group selection.” Stoelhorst, JW & P. Richerson. 2013. “A naturalistic theory of economic organization.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 905:545-556. P. 547.

 

“Cultural mechanisms are uniquely suited to create and maintain the two conditions that are needed for group selection to take force: the maintenance of variety between groups to allow cooperation to evolve in the first place, and once it has evolved, the stabilization of this cooperation in the face of within-group selection pressures in favor of free-riding.” Stoelhorst, JW & P. Richerson. 2013. “A naturalistic theory of economic organization.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 905:545-556. P. 547.

 

“There are advantages to large scale cooperation, although these advantages are easily undermined by within-group competition….

“The central problem human organizations need to solve is overcoming the tension that results from instincts that favor pursuing our self-interest and instincts that favor maintaining group cohesion.” Stoelhorst, JW & P. Richerson. 2013. “A naturalistic theory of economic organization.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 905:545-556. P. 548.

 

“That reciprocity, other-regarding preferences, social norms, costly punishment, and relative as opposed to absolute payoffs play an important role in human behavior flies in the face of standard economic assumptions, but is consistent with what we would expect from an evolutionary history of multi-level selection…. It is too early to say exactly how stable these types are, to what exten[t] the percentages of types are universal across cultures, or if the types are genetic polymorphisms.” Stoelhorst, JW & P. Richerson. 2013. “A naturalistic theory of economic organization.” Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. 905:545-556. P. 549.

 

“Many innovations among multicellular organisms originated in the sea during or before the Cambrian, including predation and most of its variations, biomineralization, colonial or clonal growth, bioerosion, deposit feeding, bio-turbation by animals, communication at a distance by vision and olfaction, photosymbiosis, chemosymbiosis, suspension feeding, osmotrophy, internal fertilization, jet propulsion, undulatory locomotion, and appendages for movement.” Vermeij, Geerat. 2017. “How the Land Became the Locus of Major Evolutionary Innovations.” Current Biology. 27:3178-3182. October 23. P. 3178.

 

“Activity is less constrained in air than in the denser, more viscous medium of water. I therefore predict that high-performance metabolic and ecological innovations should predominantly originate on land after the Ordovician once organisms had conquered the challenges of life away from water and later appeared in the sea, either in marine-colonizing clades or by arising separately in clades that never left the sea. In support of this hypothesis, I show that 11 of 13 major post-Ordovician innovations appeared first or only on land.” Vermeij, Geerat. 2017. “How the Land Became the Locus of Major Evolutionary Innovations.” Current Biology. 27:3178-3182. October 23. P. 3178.

 

“Thirteen high-performance, metabolically expensive innovations satisfy the criteria employed in this study. Of the 12 that could be reliably dated, nine appeared first on land and later in the sea, one appeared at about the same time in the two realms, and two have remained restricted to the land. Electrogenic communication and predation, restricted to marine and freshwater fishes, cannot be inferred in fossils and is most likely the only major post-Ordovician innovation confined to aquatic environments…

“All innovations are briefly documented below. Plant Vascular Anatomy… Nutrient-Mining Plants… High Photosynthetic Capacity … Vertebrate Herbivory … Nonmicrobial Farming … Aerial Locomotion … Endothermy … Eusociality … Plant Guards [possible also in sea at same time]… Echolocation … Nonparasitic Animal-Mediated Gamete and Propagule Dispersal … Communal Construction ….” Vermeij, Geerat. 2017. “How the Land Became the Locus of Major Evolutionary Innovations.” Current Biology. 27:3178-3182. October 23. Pp. 3178-9.

 

“The land underwent an irreversible transition from a net recipient of clades and innovations to a net donor. Post-Palaeozoic sea-to-land colonizations have become limited to islands, where terrestrial predation and competition are reduced, or to low-energy gastropds and crustaceans, which have remained competitively subordinate.” Vermeij, Geerat. 2017. “How the Land Became the Locus of Major Evolutionary Innovations.” Current Biology. 27:3178-3182. October 23. P. 3180.

 

“One question in the law camp [life inevitable from physics principles as opposed to the almost miracle camp] is whether untangling the complexity of life’s emergence requires new, as yet unknown molecular principles, for example autocatalytic ‘hypercycles of replicators’, ‘metabolic networks’ of varying complexity and dimensionality, ‘molecular ecology of composomes’, ‘dynamic kinetic stability’ and others.” Spitzer, Jan, G. Pielak & B. Poolman. 2015. “Emergence of life: Physical chemistry changes the paradigm.” Biology Direct. 10:33:1-15. P. 3.

 

“Thus, three non-covalent interactions: the hard crowding (the distances between inert biomacromolecular surfaces), hydration (2 to 4 water molecules) and screened electrostatic forces act over a commensurate distance of just below one nanometer.” Spitzer, Jan, G. Pielak & B. Poolman. 2015. “Emergence of life: Physical chemistry changes the paradigm.” Biology Direct. 10:33:1-15. P. 6.

 

“The evolutionary continuity between chemistry and biology, our first premise, is uncontroversial: complex non-equilibrium chemical matter inevitably evolves such that under some conditions the emergence of living states becomes imperative, eliminating the discontinuous (‘miraculous’) mechanism of ‘life being breathed’ into inanimate matter by external experimenters.” Spitzer, Jan, G. Pielak & B. Poolman. 2015. “Emergence of life: Physical chemistry changes the paradigm.” Biology Direct. 10:33:1-15. P. 6.

 

“… the presumed molecules select themselves (un-mix) from all the other prebiotic chemicals. Instead, an energy source (work) is needed for ‘un-mixing’ when it is enabled by the formation (phase separations) of microspaces. Thus, the second law of thermodynamics demands that phase separations into microspaces, no matter which (evolving) chemistries they involve, are a prerequisite for the beginning of chemical evolution toward cells,….” Spitzer, Jan, G. Pielak & B. Poolman. 2015. “Emergence of life: Physical chemistry changes the paradigm.” Biology Direct. 10:33:1-15. P. 7.

 

“Our three remaining premises address conditions for physicochemical evolution toward cellular life: planetary energies driving chemical evolution (premise 2) under complex – multicomponent, multiphase, crowded, and non-equilibrium molecular conditions (premise 3), thereby enabling the evolution of molecular recognition and cellular self-organization (premise 4).” Spitzer, Jan, G. Pielak & B. Poolman. 2015. “Emergence of life: Physical chemistry changes the paradigm.” Biology Direct. 10:33:1-15. P. 7.

 

“The third premise of required chemical complexity is physicochemically and logically straightforward, but the least understood. The higher the complexity of evolving inanimate chemical mixtures, either prebiotic or biotic e.g. dead cells, the more likely a subset of chemicals can separate and evolve into living states….

“According to this interpretation of chemical complexity as a nominally extensive property of evolving matter, the universal (cosmic) emergence of life progresses from the large and complex – gravitational and nuclear evolution of stars providing chemical elements, molecules and macromolecules in planetary disequilibria – to the small and complex, the evolutionary chemistry of phase-separated micron-sized microspaces.

“The principle of high chemical complexity at the origin of life directly challenges current paradigms of life’s emergence based on ‘from the simple to the complex’ – the complexification of matter.” Spitzer, Jan, G. Pielak & B. Poolman. 2015. “Emergence of life: Physical chemistry changes the paradigm.” Biology Direct. 10:33:1-15. P. 8.

 

“At the bacterial end of the evolutionary continuum, the remnants of the complexity principle can be seen in bacterial energy utilization. That is, there are many bacterial red-ox chemistries (high chemical complexity) but just one chemical reduction practiced by highly evolved animals, the mitochondrial reduction of molecular oxygen to water (lower chemical complexity). Thus Earth’s evolution from ancestral prokaryotes to Homo sapiens is accompanied by the reduction of cellular chemical complexity and an increase in structural complexity (eukaryotic organelles, multicellularity).” Spitzer, Jan, G. Pielak & B. Poolman. 2015. “Emergence of life: Physical chemistry changes the paradigm.” Biology Direct. 10:33:1-15. P. 9.

 

“In human joint actions, participants typically exchange communicative signals to build up a participation framework, which defines the participants of the interaction, the terms on which they are to interact, and the particular content of the action, among other things. This constitutes the opening phase of the joint action.” Heesen, Raphaela, E Genty, F Rossano, K Zuberbuehler & A Bangerter. 2017. “Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement.” Learn Behav. 45:390-405. P. 391.

 

“Taken together, the opening, main body, and closing constitute three macro-level phases that are common to all joint actions and constitute the behavioral embodiment of the process by which participants achieve and maintain shared intentionality.” Heesen, Raphaela, E Genty, F Rossano, K Zuberbuehler & A Bangerter. 2017. “Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement.” Learn Behav. 45:390-405. P. 391.

 

“Joint action involves two or more individuals collaborating to achieve a shared goal, often corresponding to an outcome that no individual could attain alone.” Heesen, Raphaela, E Genty, F Rossano, K Zuberbuehler & A Bangerter. 2017. “Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement.” Learn Behav. 45:390-405. P. 391.

 

“Several disciplines have investigated joint action in human interaction. In the words of Levinson, ‘human interaction belongs in an interdisciplinary no-man’s land: it belongs equally to anthropology, sociology, biology, psychology, ethology, but is owned by none of them.’ Philosophy and pragmatics typically analyzes the intentional structure of joint action. Psychology focuses on experimental explorations of the neural and cognitive processes involved. Approaches from the social sciences like ethnomethodology and conversation analysis have described the linguistic and bodily coordination of joint action in natural settings. Economics and biology have explored its game-theoretical structure. Converging evidence from all these fields has led to the establishment of a sophisticated understanding of the phenomena that human interaction produces as well as the cognitive underpinnings entailed by it.” Heesen, Raphaela, E Genty, F Rossano, K Zuberbuehler & A Bangerter. 2017. “Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement.” Learn Behav. 45:390-405. P. 391. Subquote: Levinson, Stephen. “On the Human ‘Interaction Engine.’” Pp. 39-69. From Enfield, N. & S. Levinson. 2006. Roots of Human Sociality: Culture, Cognition and Interaction. Berg. P. 39.

“Thus, shared intentionality can be construed as a transient state of collective being that participants in joint action strive to attain and maintain, or in the terminology of conversation analysis, as an interactional achievement. As a result, shared intentionality is an ongoing process in joint action.” Heesen, Raphaela, E Genty, F Rossano, K Zuberbuehler & A Bangerter. 2017. “Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement.” Learn Behav. 45:390-405. P. 392.

 

“In terms of the cognitive abilities necessary for shared intentionality understanding, from 12 months on children possess the motivation to inform others and to share attention and interest via declarative pointing, but also understand and engage in role reversal. Furthermore, unlike chimpanzees, children from 18 months on attempt to reengage reluctant partners after interruption of a shared game and show mutual support by helping others achieve their goal. Taken together, then, children, already possess a ‘we’ intentionality (shared intentionality) at least from 14 months of age and act cooperatively, but it is only by 3 years that they become sensitive to joint commitments and begin to understand the obligations and conventions involved in joint action.” Heesen, Raphaela, E Genty, F Rossano, K Zuberbuehler & A Bangerter. 2017. “Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement.” Learn Behav. 45:390-405. P. 396.

 

“Common ground plays a major role in setting up pretend scenarios, especially when activities reflect an event structure borrowed from real-life cultural activities (e.g., baking a cake).” Heesen, Raphaela, E Genty, F Rossano, K Zuberbuehler & A Bangerter. 2017. “Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement.” Learn Behav. 45:390-405. P. 397.

 

“Although children seem to be able to engage in joint action from 12 months on and to understand shared intentionality from 14 months, it is only around 18 months that they start understanding pretense.” Heesen, Raphaela, E Genty, F Rossano, K Zuberbuehler & A Bangerter. 2017. “Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement.” Learn Behav. 45:390-405. P. 397.

 

“Taken together, across species, this review shows that R&T [rough & tumble play] seems to be organized in macro-level phases of opening, main body, and closing.” Heesen, Raphaela, E Genty, F Rossano, K Zuberbuehler & A Bangerter. 2017. “Social play as joint action: A framework to study the evolution of shared intentionality as an interactional achievement.” Learn Behav. 45:390-405. P. 399.

 

“The emergence of large settlement agglomerations as an enduring phenomenon is particularly intriguing because of an apparent paradox inherent to premodern urbanism recently noted by the historian William McNeill: absent strict sanitation standards and recent advances in preventive medicine, early centers were almost certainly unable to demographically reproduce themselves without a constant stream of new population. Two reasons account for this, according to McNeill. The first and most crucial one is the fact that early cities must have been places of intensified mortality as a result of crowding and the consequent increase in the infection rates of a variety of diseases. The second is that a possibly substantial portion of the inhabitants of such cities lived lives of isolated dependency not conducive to forming families and raising numerous children.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 29.

 

“The most salient of these similarities [between views of Jane Jacobs on economies and ecosystems] are that (1) the viability, stability, and resiliency of the two types of systems, as well as their ability to expand, are directly related to the degree of diversity present; (2) expansion ultimately depends on capturing and using external energy, principally light in the case of ecosystems and exogenous resources in the case of human societies, and the more diverse means a system possesses for using, modifying, and passing around energy/resources, the larger the cumulative consequences to the system, as a whole; and (3) development takes place as part of a larger web of codevelopments; the greater the internal diversity of the system, the more numerous and intricate the codevelopment relationships that will exist within it and the greater the number of emergent properties that will be spawned.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 31.

 

“More specifically, she [Jane Jacobs] argues that what commonly determines a settlement’s ability to urbanize is a positive feedback loop initiated by its capacity to generate exports by combining some of its resources and/or imports with existing human labor and capital. This generates economic diversity at the same time that it makes it possible for growing settlements to acquire more and different imports, some of which can again be used to generate further exports.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 32.

 

“Jacobs’s main insight, namely, that urban growth is at its root a process of diversification, implicitly challenges two centuries of economic orthodoxy, which sees economies (and cities) as growing mainly through specializing in particular industries, through division of labor, and through standardization.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 33.

 

“One such advantage [for southern Mesopotamia over other areas] was that the south possessed a greater variety of complementary ecosystems within exploitable distance than any other area in southwest Asia…. (1) subsistence grain from the irrigable alluvial plain; (2) fruits, vegetables and flax (used for textiles) from cultivated gardens and orchards near the rivers; (3) extensive pasture for sheep, goats, and cattle created by fallow and recently harvested grain fields; and (4) abundant fish, fowl, wild animals, and various types of reed products, all obtainable in coastal and aquatic environments at the head of the Persian Gulf.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 41.

 

“On average, it should be remembered, the caloric yield of the dairy products that a lactating animal can produce over its productive life is about four times greater than the caloric yield of its meat if slaughtered as an adult, and this differential is much greater in the case of bovids.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 48.

 

“… the historian Paul Bairoch finds that under pre-industrial conditions, the average cost to transport a ton of cereals was 8.8 kg of the cereals per kilometer if carried by human porters; 4.8 kg/km if transported by pack animals; and 3.9 kg/km for transport by simple carts pulled by draught animals. These costs compare unfavorably with transport by water. Bairoch’s calculations show that dragging the same amount of grain on a barge alongside a canal, for instance, lowers costs to 0.9 kg/km. In other words, all other factors being equal, in the case of high-bulk, low-cost commodities, water transport proves to be four to five times more efficient than the most efficient types of possible overland transport.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 53. Reference: Bairoch, Paul. 1990. “The Impact of Crop Yields, Agricultural Productivity, and Transport Costs on Urban Growth between 1800 and 1910.” Urbanization in History: A Process of Dynamic Interactions, ed. by A.D. van der Woude, A. Hayimi, and J. de Vries. pp. 134-151. Oxford: Clarendon Press. P. 141.

 

“The southern Mesopotamian alluvium is entirely devoid of flint sources, and cutting tools and materials used for the manufacture of such tools constitute the earliest imports yet attested in the archaeological record of alluvial societies. Accordingly, it is not surprising that perhaps the earliest example of import substitution in the archaeological record of southern Mesopotamia is the partial replacement of imported flint and obsidian blades for less efficient but much more economical terracotta clay sickles manufactured locally.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 73-4.

 

“Initially, metal goods must have been brought into southern centers as fully finished products imported from metal-producing highland regions of Iran and Anatolia where metallurgical technologies were first developed… Nonetheless, the bulk of our evidence clearly indicates that, by the Middle and Late Uruk periods, southern societies were no longer mere passive consumers of imported metal objects crafted in the highlands. Rather, by then they were well underway to creating their own value-added metal industries that relied instead on imports of only lightly processed ores and of ingots of smelted copper.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 74, 76.

 

“… by far the most consequential case of early import substitution processes in those [Uruk] cities is provided by the adoption, probably sometime in the late fifth millennium, by the very end of the Ubaid period, of wool-bearing breeds of sheep initially developed in the highlands surrounding Mesopotamia…. This took the form of a fast-growing indigenous textile industry based on woven woolen cloth, which, for all practical purposes, replaced the flax-based textiles that had constituted the bulk of local production in the south until then.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 77.

 

“… raising sheep instead of growing flax would have expanded the overall productive capacity and economies of early Mesopotamian societies, as textile production shifted away from the well-watered tracts that flax-growing requires to more marginal lands that could be profitably exploited for sheep/goat herding.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 79.

 

“The centrality of textiles to the early Mesopotamian urban process has been elegantly expressed by Robert McCormick Adams, who notes that ‘without the wool for textiles to be traded for natural resources that were wholly lacking in the alluvium, it is difficult to believe that Mesopotamian civilization could have arisen as early and flourished as prodigiously as it did.’ Adams’s observation naturally brings us to an examination of the evidence for trade in fourth-millennium Mesopotamia.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 92. Reference: Adams, Robert McCormick. 1981. Heartland of Cities. University of Chicago Press. P. 11.

 

“Multiple repercussions would have arisen from the just-discussed differences in population density and distance between polities typical of southern Mesopotamia and areas on its periphery throughout the second half of the fourth millennium. These repercussions represent in effect socioevolutionary synergies that help explain why the earliest urban and state-level societies of southwestern Asia appeared in southern Mesopotamia and not elsewhere.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 123.

 

“The first synergy arises from the greater concentration of polities that existed in the Mesopotamian alluvium throughout the seven-hundred-year or so duration of the Uruk period, as compared to neighboring areas…. the long-term presence of multiple polities within relatively short distances of each other invariably engenders important processes of competition, exchange, emulation, and technological innovation ….”

“… in situations where antagonistic but mutually communicative polities exist, social and economic innovations that prove maladaptive in any one society are likely to be weeded out more quickly than in less competitive settings. Conversely, innovations that prove advantageous are more likely to spread quickly across the various polities in competition, thus accelerating the pace of change of the system as a whole.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 123-4.

 

“The third synergy is related to the preceding [greater proportion of the population of southern Mesopotamia that lived in towns and cities and their immediate dependent hinterlands through the Uruk period, as compared to the more dispersed settlement typical for surrounding areas] and arises from the conjuncture of two linked processes: the increasing density of the urban landscape of Uruk Mesopotamia during the second half of the fourth millennium and the expansion of Uruk colonies and colonists across the Mesopotamian periphery at that time…. these processes are related in that both are partly explainable in terms of evolving patterns of trade between southern Mesopotamian societies and polities at their periphery. A further correlation between the two processes may now be added: both involved a multiplication of the number of interpersonal interactions possible at every level of the Uruk world system…. As interpersonal interactions multiplied, information flow would have been enhanced. In turn, this radically improved the possibility that unforeseen technological improvements and inventions would emerge in Uruk cities and the Uruk cultural sphere as opposed to elsewhere in southwest Asia….

“… technological innovation is essentially a process of recombining existing elements of information so that the rate of innovation is bound to rise as the store, diversity, and flow of information increase. At a minimum, this means that the potential for innovation in the Uruk world system must have increased at an exponential rate many times greater than the actual increase in the number of people in Uruk cities, dependencies, and colonies, or in the stock of information within early Sumerian culture itself.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 126-7.

 

“Where the Uruk world excelled, however, was in the realm of … new modes of social control, most notably new and more efficient ways to organize labor, increase economic production, and process and disseminate socially useful information. These interrelated ‘technologies of the mind, so to say, were as much a part of the emerging ‘created landscape’ of early Mesopotamia as the new Uruk period irrigation canals and, once developed, arguably became the single most important source of developmental asymmetries between southern Mesopotamia and neighboring areas.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 128.

 

“Southern elites came to view and use fully encumbered laborers in the same exploitive way that human societies, over the immediately preceding millennia, had viewed and used the labor of domesticated animals. This represents a new paradigm of the nature of social relations in human societies… Scribal summaries detailing the composition of groups of foreign and nativeborn captives used as laborers describe them with age and sex categories identical to those used to describe state-owned herded animals, including various types of cattle and pigs. Because these parallels are repeated in numerous texts, they cannot be explained away as either accidents or scribal idiosyncrasies. Rather, it would appear that the two classes of labor (captive ‘others’ and domestic animals) were considered equivalent in the minds of Uruk scribes and in the eyes of the institutions that employed them. Early Near Eastern villagers domesticated plants and animals. Uruk urban institutions, in turn, domesticated humans.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 128-9.

 

“Closely related to the changes in commodity production and labor organization just discussed, it [second ideational technology] consisted of new forms of record keeping that were exponentially more expressive than the simpler systems used by contemporary societies elsewhere and that were capable of conveying knowledge across space and time with much greater efficiency than any and all rival systems in existence at the time.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 133.

 

“Immediately striking is the fact that owing to their larger size and lateral orientation, the cylinder seals used by southern polities in the second half of the fourth millennium lent themselves better to the expression of complex linear visual narratives than the smaller stamp seals of various sizes and shapes used by contemporary polities in the north…. Equally important, the numerous mid- and late-fourth-millennium sealings found discarded at various locations within Late Chalcolithic levels at Arslan Tepe commonly bear the impression or impressions of but a single seal…. In contrast, as noted earlier in reference to Susa, contemporary glyptic procedures in Middle and Late Uruk cities and their colonial outposts regularly exhibit the imprints of multiple seals, particularly in the case of balls and bullae. This difference in sealing practice … is relevant because the number of impressions of different seals in a single sealing gives us a glimpse of the number of agents and, possibly, witnesses involved in whatever transaction is being recorded.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 135.

 

“The divergence in the efficiency and complexity of the accounting and information processing systems possessed by groups in each of the two areas (and, by inference, the differences in the scale and complexity of their economies) becomes particularly marked by the very end of the Uruk period (ca. 3200/3100 BC) with the appearance in the south of the earliest tablets with pictographic writing…. By using pictograms to represent objects amenable to illustration and as rebuses (singly or in combination) to denote abstract concepts and verbs not amenable to concrete depiction, these tablets were now capable of recording commodity flows of significance to controlling institutions in a manner that allowed for the expression of nuances of time, location, persons involved, administrative action effected, and that was fully transmissible through space and time within the confines of early Sumerian culture.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 137-8.

 

“Planning in turn, allowed Late Uruk urban administrators to deploy available labor and resources so as to maximize their future revenues and power. In this sense, writing was a key component of the ‘labor revolution’ of Uruk Mesopotamia alluded to above. To the extent that it was so, the renowned anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss was disturbingly correct when he noted that ‘[t]he primary function of writing, as a means of communication, is to facilitate the enslavement of other human beings.’” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 138. Reference: Levi-Strauss, Claude. 1964. Tristes Tropiques. New York: Atheneum. P. 292.

 

“Bluntly put, this [access by elites through scribes to accumulated knowledge of earlier generations] meant that by the final phase of the Uruk period, the web of interpersonal communications across the Uruk world was being thickened by interaction not only between the living but also, and for the first time in human history, between the living and the dead. Equally important, because writing is a form of ‘cognitive scaffolding’ or ‘external memory’ that permits individuals to perform cognitive tasks above and beyond those normally possible by the unassisted brain, the presence of a scribal class in Uruk cities guaranteed that, as a group, Sumerian elites would have been more likely than their peers elsewhere to possess the problem-solving tools and institutional memory that are needed to efficiently integrate larger populations and more diverse territorial realms, to successfully react to recurring environmental perturbations and social threats, and to profitably recognize and take advantage of opportunities for gain arising in a more unpredictable manner.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. Pp. 138-9.

 

“After all, in Mesopotamia as along other old world river basins where pristine civilizations formed, cities emerged not at random along the courses of the rivers but rather in fertile areas downstream, where a minimal threshold of access to local agricultural resources was ensured and where, more importantly, transport costs were lowest and access to diverse resources within the river’s watershed and information about them was highest.” Algaze, Guillermo. 2008. Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization: The Evolution of an Urban Landscape. University of Chicago Press. P. 147.

 

“So given that Pareto ascribes little rational behavior to modern people and Levy-Bruhl little to primitive people, it is paradoxical that contemporary economic theory could be built on the proposition that most people in modern societies engage in rational and logical behavior in making economic choice. This is most astounding when one recalls that nearly 100 years ago in the experiments of Kohler it was known that animals of different species varied in their ability to solve problems and they varied within species as well. What we have seen develop, however, is a variety of exceptions created to provide for the lack of rational decision making, especially in stock trading, as in ‘bounded rationality.’” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. P. 31.

 

“The idea of human behavior organized to satisfy needs is the foundation of economics, and beginning with the Classical economic theorists, the conception of needs was based on an unscientific, perhaps even fantasy of what basic needs were.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. P. 32.

 

“Central to Malinowski’s theory is how societies function in the satisfaction of wants and needs, that ‘… certain forms of organization, customs or ideas enlarge the range of human potentialities on the one hand, and impose certain restrictions on human behavior on the other.’ This is the aspect of community control of need and want satisfaction. Here Malinowski finds a conflict between the needs of the individual and of society. Efforts to resolve or mediate these conflicts through the choices of individuals lies at the core of the process of social organization.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. P. 35. Reference: Malinowski, B. 1944. A Scientific Theory of Culture, and Other Essays. U. of North Carolina Press.

 

“The major forms of the present crisis have appeared as a credit and debt bubble (assessed as a regulatory failure) and a growing inequality. Both these features of the crisis have been recurrent in economic panics and depressions for over three hundred years. An earlier generation tried to set these deficiencies of capitalism in context, usually by analysis of money and credit. However, if we look further we find that they are associated with stages in the development of capitalism in its several historic appearances, most recently in the Roman example described by Rostovtzeff. The foundations of this development begin with the peasant economy, like America’s pioneer period and settlement, and then a growing mercantile class which steered government policy into foreign wars to control exports and imports (e.g., wine and olive products), and then the degradation of the peasant economy due to market manipulation, pressures of the peasantry to fight the wars and their inability to sustain economic independence in the face of cheap imports. Finally, the financial monopoly of the profits of empire and industry into a shrinking elite and impoverishment of the peasantry into urban cheap labor stripped of property.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. Pp. 41-2. Reference: Rostovtzeff, Michael. 1957. The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

 

“To Douglas and Isherwood purchases are symbolic avenues that lead to further interactions, compounding and providing complexity to the feeling of identity. In this context, either goods are endowed with value by the judgment of fellow consumers, or advertising provides the authority of value.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. P. 44. Reference: Douglas, Mary & Baron Isherwood. 1996. The World of Goods: Towards an Anthropology of Consumption. London: Routledge.

 

“Consumption becomes then, non-verbal behavior, it can be affirmative –‘I agree with the universe, so I buy these objects.’ Or it can be competitive, in that I identify with these rebellious symbols.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. pp. 44-5.

 

“To Douglas increased income transforms the frequency of ceremonial events (low number to high number) and increases the amount of social interaction. This also enhances the importance of goods as symbols of social status and communication.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. p. 45. Reference: Mary Douglas. 1992. “Why do people want goods.” pp. 19-39. In: Understanding the Enterprise Culture, Shawn Hargreaves Heap & Angus Ross, eds., Edinburgh University Press.

 

“Under situations of differences in wealth, religion functions to support the stability of society by the existence of taboos and piety values that teach that the violation of human property rights and privileges has harmful supernatural consequences while conformity has rewards. Such rules obviously affect choices regarding the use of resources and values with respect to maximizing material necessities. As Cancian pointed out, maximization can be part of an institution and directed by the ideology of that institution in the particular culture of a society. Because, however, the essential concept involved in modern ideas of the market center on the idea of the equality of exchange where, ‘both parties to the exchange are most satisfied when they manage to guess correctly the level at which they are exchanging with each other.’ We can imagine that the gap between the landscape of purchases which typify characteristic market conditions in traditional societies can possess such an exchange, this does not exist in modern, post-advertising economies. Perhaps we can agree that often people in modern market economies are making purchases for products which are divorced from necessities and that most of their purchases are based on ideas of value which have been enhanced through advertising media. The real question is the nature of these decisions. Can we say they are rational and logically derived from valid assumptions? I think that the evidence implies that they are not and that they are no less so than those decisions made in traditional societies, which Polanyi and his followers believed were governed by the nature of their being embedded in culture. Advertising is the network of assumptions and values about the world in which our economy is embedded.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. pp. 46-7. Reference: Cancian, F., 1966. “Maximization as norm, strategy, and theory: a comment on programmatic statements in economic anthropology.” American Anthropologist, 68:465-70.

 

“Polanyi’s entire thesis rests on the assumption that the market was destructive and that efforts to control it were distorting to the market and threatened social life. Human society then adapted to the vagaries of the market that disrupted social organization based on it. This is hard to accept.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. p. 56. Reference: Polanyi, K. 1944. The Great Transformation. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

 

“Perhaps the most interesting view of the colonial transition before and after the two world wars is that we can regard the wars as civil wars in which the colonial nations of Europe utilize the resources and manpower of their colonies to attempt to settle issues of dominance and control among the European elites. The process caused these colonizing nations to arm their colonial populations and train them in modern warfare. The result was twofold, one, the colonizing states of Europe were weakened by the wars and, two, the colonial populations observed the struggle between warring European peoples and the nature of their vulnerabilities in victory and defeat. The outcome was the many military struggles for independence that followed World War II.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. p. 156.

 

“Tainter tells us that to understand collapse we must recognize four essential concepts:

“1) Human societies are problem-solving organizations. As such they conform to Wiener’s concept that they can provide feedback to reduce entropy.

“2) Sociopolitical systems require energy for their maintenance. We have discussed how traditional societies have provided for the needed energy in payments to chiefs, etc., and for redistribution as a means to allow for communal projects.

“3) Increased complexity carries with it increased costs per capita, thus as the population increases so does the cost of management and services.

“4) Investment in sociopolitical complexity as a problem-solving response often reaches a point of declining marginal returns.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. p. 164. Reference: Tainter, JA. 1988. The Collapse of Complex Societies. Oxford: Cambridge University Press.

 

“We can change governments, but we cannot change corporations. Revolutions bought with blood our right to change our government, but only the 1 percent can change the corporations’ policies.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. p. 199.

 

“There is no ‘firewall’ of philosophy or interest between government and banking and we need one as this credit crisis proves.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. p. 200.

 

“The foundations of this development begin with the peasant economy, like America’s pioneer period and settlement, and then a growing mercantile class which steered government policy into foreign wars to control exports and imports (e.g., wine and olive products) and then the degradation of the peasant economy due to market manipulation, pressures of the peasantry to fight the wars and their inability to sustain economic independence in the face of cheap imports. Finally, the financial monopoly of the profits of empire and industry into a shrinking elite and impoverishment of the peasantry into urban cheap labor stripped of property.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. p. 204. Comparison of US and Roman economic history based on: Rostovtzeff, Michael. 1957. The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

 

“From my analysis, however, these processes [ecological adaptations which can result in a number of cross-cultural regularities of developmental processes] are modified by the unique cultural histories of peoples and as Benedict theorized, such histories can provide peoples with distinct cultural patterns upon which development or stasis can rest.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. p. 209. Reference: Benedict, Ruth. 1934. Patterns of Culture. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

 

“… the only one that fits the history of Afghanistan is that everyone makes money when the foreigner is there, and when they leave, so does the money. By intensifying the attacks, the Taliban extends the money train, and any other answer is simply inconsistent with the history.” Caldararo, Niccolo Leo. 2014. The Anthropology of Complex Economic Systems: Inequality, Stability, and Cycles of Crisis. Lexington Books. p. 234.

 

“The rate of economic growth achieved in the century after 1760 (1.5%) per year) was very low by the standards of recent growth miracles in which GDP has grown by as much as 8-10% per year. However, Britain was continuously extending the world’s technology frontier, and that is always slower going than catching up to the leader by importing its technology, which is how countries have grown very rapidly.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. P. 27.

 

“The crux in explaining why the Industrial Revolution was invented in Britain is, therefore, explaining why British inventors spent so much time and money doing R&D to operationalize what were often banal ideas. The key is that the machines they invented increased the use of capital to save labour. Consequently, they were profitable to use where labour was expensive and capital was cheap, that is, in England. Nowhere else were the machines profitable. That is why the Industrial Revolution was British.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 33.

 

“The steam engine emphasizes the importance of economic incentives in inducing invention. The science of the engine was pan-European, but the R&D was conducted in England because that was where it paid to use the steam engine. The purpose of the Newcomen engine was to drain mines, and Britain had many more mines than any other country due to the large coal industry. In addition, the early steam engines burned vast quantities of coal, so they were cost-effective only where energy was cheap.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 36.

 

“Steam power is an example of a general-purpose technology (GPT), that is a technology that can be applied to a variety of uses. Other GPTs include electricity and computers. It takes decades to develop the potential of GPTs, so their contribution to economic growth takes place long after their invention.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 39.

 

“The standard development strategy, which built on Napoleon’s institutional revolution, had four imperatives: create a large national market by abolishing internal tariffs and improving transportation; erect an external tariff to protect ‘infant industries’ from British competition; create banks to stabilize the currency and provide business with capital; and, finally, establish mass education to speed the adoption and invention of technology.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 41-2.

 

“Western technology in the 21st century uses vast amounts of capital per worker. It only pays to substitute that much capital for labour when wages are high relative to capital costs…. When capital per worker is high, it takes a lot more capital per worker to increase output per worker by $1,000 than is required when capital per worker is low. Labour has to be very expensive to make it worthwhile to build all that extra capital. The Western countries have experienced a development trajectory in which higher wages led to the invention of labour-saving technology, whose use drove up labour productivity and wages with it. The cycle repeats. Today’s poor countries missed the elevator. They have low wages and high capital costs, so they make do with archaic technology and low incomes.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 51.

 

“… the California School is right that the Industrial Revolution happened in Britain because of coal and commerce. What is notable about Asian history is the absence of such triggers.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 54.

 

“Government policy was the third factor affecting economic performance after Waterloo. The USA and Western Europe met the challenge of cheap British imports with the standard development strategy of internal improvements, external tariffs, investment banks, and universal education. Colonies were not in a position to entertain such a strategy since their economic policies were subordinated to the interests of the colonial power.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 56-7.

 

“The story of Indian textiles was the story of much of the Third World in the 19th century. Biased technical change in combination with globalization promoted the industrialization of Western countries while simultaneously de-industrializing the ancient manufacturing economies of Asia. Even when nations were independent – the Ottoman Empire is an example – technical change and falling transport costs turned them into modern underdeveloped countries.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 61.

 

“With shipping costs high, North Americans could profitably produce and export a wider range of products than South Americans. This advantage was reinforced by the interior geography of the continents. The eastern seaboard of North America was broad enough and fertile enough to support a significant economy, and the interior of the continent could be reached by the St. Lawrence, Mohawk-Hudson, and Mississippi Rivers. In contrast, most economic activity in Latin America was in the interior of Mexico and the Andes. Rivers did not connect these regions to the coast, so the cost of exporting was high.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 64-5.

 

“Of course, maize, beans, and squash diffused widely, but their genetics and cultivation had to be adapted to different environments, which slowed their spread. The growing season of maize, for instance, had to be cut from the 120-150 days characteristic of the tropics to about 100 days or less for it to succeed in colder climates, and that task was not accomplished until about 1000 CE. Nowhere in the eastern half of the USA or Canada was maize widely cultivated before that date, so the population of eastern North America had little time to grow before the Europeans turned up.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 65-6.

 

“The situation was very different in North America because there were few natives to begin with. The quarter-million living on the east coast in 1500 were reduced to only 14,697 in 1890, when they were fully enumerated in the US census for the first time.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 66.

 

“Staple colonies had three characteristics. First, the price of the staple in the colony was less than its price in Europe by an amount that equalled the transportation cost. Prices in the two markets moved up and down together since they were linked by trade. Second, exports amounted to a large share of colonial income, with the remainder being support services. Third, the returns to settlers and their capital exceeded returns in Europe by a margin covering the costs and risks of moving to the colony.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 68. Reference to staples thesis of Harold Innis, Canadian economist.

 

“The southern cone of Latin America was like North America in that it had a small native population that was killed off by disease, warfare, and European mistreatment. The Pampas could produce beef and wheat at least as well as Pennsylvania, but Argentina was too far from Europe for that to be feasible in the colonial period. All that Argentina could muster was a small export trade in hides. Chile was even more remote. The economic history of these countries began in earnest only in the middle of the 19th century, when ships were sufficiently improved for their exports to compete in Europe.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 73-4.

 

“When the Spanish arrived in the 1520s, the population was very high, and wages were low. Indeed, the power of the conquistadores pushed wages even lower than high population implied. As the native population collapsed, the real wage rose (despite attempts to coerce labour) and reached a value of about one [income ratio to subsistence requirements] in the mid-17th century. At this wage, a full-time worker could support a family at a minimal level of comfort.

“After 1650, the Mexican population grew from 1-1.5 million to 6 million in 1800. Over the same period – and this is of great importance – the inverse relationship between population and the wage broke down; the wage rose to twice subsistence even though the population was expanding. The labour supply and the wage could both increase only if the demand for labour was growing faster than supply. The rise in labour demand reflected rising productivity across the economy. Agriculture was transformed by the integration of European crops and animals (wheat, sheep, cattle) with the indigenous crops (maize, beans, squash, tomatoes, chillies). Transportation was revolutionized with European draught animals (horses and mules). Manufacturing gained impetus through the fabrication of new products (woollen cloth) and the concentration of production in specialized regions that promoted the division of labour. These were the characteristics of English industry that made it more productive than American and precluded manufacturing in the colonies. In contrast, the isolation of Mexico and the Andes and the large size of their populations made manufacturing development feasible.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 77-8.

 

“Staples theorists believe that cotton exports drove the whole US economy. According to this view, Midwestern agriculture expanded in order to supply plantations with food – a conclusion that has been much disputed. Cotton was also responsible for the industrialization of the northeast since southern plantations and western farms were the markets for its products….

“This conclusion, however, attaches too much importance to staple exports. First, although cotton (and later wheat) were major foreign earners, total exports were only 5-7% of the GDP in 1800-60. This was far less than the 30% realized in Pennsylvania and coastal South Carolina, to say nothing of the 41% reached in Jamaica. Cotton and wheat exports were not substantial enough to drive the antebellum economy. Second, the labour market performed better than the staples theory predicts. In the 18th century, the real wage in Pennsylvania was marginally greater than real wages in England, which is what one would expect if the USA was growing and drawing immigrants from Europe. With American independence and European warfare, the Atlantic labour market disintegrated, and the USA real wage grew continuously while British wages stagnated during the Industrial Revolution. By the 1830s, real wages in the USA were double those in Britain. Immigration should have kept wages lower if the staples mode was in play….

“A major question in staples theory is how and when an economy develops beyond dependence on its staple. Evidently, the USA made the transition in the first half of the 19th century. A venerable explanation is Habakkuk’s hypothesis that the abundance of free land on the frontier generated high real wages – why should anyone work for a low wage in New York or Philadelphia if he could move west and start a farm? – and these, in turn, induced businesses to invent labour-saving technology that pushed up GDP per head and ultimately raised wages even further. The USA, along with Britain and the Netherlands, was one of the handful of economies that consistently pioneered high-productivity, capital-intensive technology in the last two centuries….” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 79, 81-2.

 

“The Frenchman Honore Blanc and the American Eli Whitney were the first to conceive and experiment with interchangeable parts, but they could not be made on a mass scale until the milling machine was invented around 1816. American government arsenals in Springfield and Harper’s Ferry in the 1820s fabricated interchangeable parts for muskets. American firearms exhibited in the crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851 so impressed the British that they sent a delegation to study the ‘American system.’ Interchangeability spread to private arms producers like Colt, then to watch manufacturers in the mid-19th century, and next, to bicycles, sewing machines, farm machinery, and, finally, automobiles, where they were a building block of Ford’s assembly-line system.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 83.

 

The success of the American economy depended on the application of inventive engineering across the full spectrum of industries. The incentive to mechanize was provided by the high cost of labour. The successful response required a large pool of potential inventors. The interplay between challenge and response made the USA the world’s productivity leader by the First World War.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 83.

 

“To understand why Africa is poor today, we must understand why it was poor in 1500. The answer turns on geography, demography, and the origin of agriculture. The social and economic structure of 1500 then determined how the continent responded to globalization and imperialism, and those responses have kept it poor since.

“Sub-Saharan Africa was poor in 1500 because it was not an advanced agrarian civilization. There were only a few – Western Europe, the Middle East, Persia, parts of India, China, and Japan. They were the countries that were in a position to have an industrial revolution. The rest of the world, including Africa, was not, and that is why Africa is left out of the great divergence debate.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 92.

 

“Colonial governments adopted [in Africa] only one element of the standard 19th-century development model – transportation improvements.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 104.

 

“Japan faced a problem that has only become worse with time: modern technology was embodied in machinery and plant specifications that were designed for Western firms facing Western conditions. By the late 19th century, wages were much higher in the West than they were in Japan, so Western designs used much capital and raw materials to economize on labour. This configuration was inappropriate for Japan and resulted in high costs. Some countries limped along with inappropriate technology, but the Japanese response was far more creative: they redesigned Western technology to make it cost-effective in their low-wage economy.

“Silk-reeling was an early example. At the same time that the Tomioka mill was losing money, the Ono merchant family in Tsukiji established a mill that also used European-inspired machinery. In this case, however, the machines were made of wood rather than metal and the power came from men turning cranks rather than a steam engine. The modification of Western technology along these lines became common in Japan as the ‘Sowa method.’ This was an appropriate technology for Japan in that it used less expensive capital and more cheap labour….

“The contrast with India is telling. The cotton-spinning industry that grew rapidly in Bombay in the 1870s used English mules, and the mills were operated in the same manner as in Britain. No systematic attempts were made to reduce capital in the Indian industry. Such efforts were made in Japan, however. An elementary step was to operate the mills with two eleven-hour shifts per day rather than one, which was normal in Britain and India. This cut capital per hour worked in half. From the 1890s onwards, high-speed ring spindles were installed instead of mules. These changes in technique all increased employment relative to capital and cut costs. By the 20th century, Japan was the world’s low-cost spinner of cotton and was out-competing the Indians and Chinese as well as the British.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 122-3.

 

“Many Latin American countries were too small to become industrial nations and continued to export primary products and import manufactures – and continued to be poor. The larger economies, on the other hand, experimented with the standard development model in the late 19th century and persevered with it until the 1980s, when it was dubbed ‘import substitution industrialization (ISI).” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 127.

 

“The failure of tariff-induced industrialization also reflected deeper factors like the evolution of technology. The difference in wages between rich and poor countries had grown, so that the new highly capital intensive technology of the 1950s was even less suitable to poor countries than was the technology of 1850. In addition, a new problem appeared. The new technology of the mid-20th century involved not only high capital to labour ratios but also large plant sizes. These were often too big for the markets of poor countries.

“Automobiles are an important example. Most Latin American countries promoted their production, but markets were too small for efficient operation. The MES (minimum efficient size) for vehicle assembly plants in the 1960s was 200,000 autos per year….

“Latin American car markets were smaller. In the 1950s, about 50,000 new cars were sold each year in Argentina. The Automotive Decree of 1959 required that 90% of the content of vehicles sold in the country be manufactured there. Production grew at 24% per year until 1965, when 195,000 vehicles were produced, and automobiles accounted for 10% of the economy. ISI looked a great success in terms of the growth in output, but the industry was far too small to realize the economies of large-scale production. The small size of the national market was exacerbated by its division amongst 13 firms, the largest of which produced only 57,000 vehicles. The upshot was that the cost of producing an automobile in Argentina was 2.5 times the cost in the USA. Argentina could never compete internationally with this industrial structure, and the overall efficiency of the economy was dragged down by this sector. Since the same story was repeated in steel, petrochemicals, and other industries, ISI played a big role in depressing GDP per worker and, hence, the standard of living.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 128-9.

 

“The high USA and European tariffs raised the prices paid by consumers in the 19th century, but they did not burden their economies with an inefficient industrial structure. That is a fundamental reason why the standard model worked in North America but not in South America.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. p. 129.

“The era of high-speed growth [in Japan] could not last forever . The end of the boom is conventionally dated to the collapse of the real estate and share bubbles in 1991, which ushered in an era of deflation. The cause, however, was more fundamental, for it was the elimination of the conditions that allowed rapid growth in the first place. Japan grew rapidly by closing three gaps with the West – in capital per worker, education per worker, and productivity. This was done by 1990, and Japan was then like any other advanced country: it could grow only as fast as the world’s technology frontier expanded – a per cent or two each year. The post-1990 growth slowdown was inevitable.” Allen, Robert C. 2011. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. pp. 138-9.

 

“All webs combined cooperation and competition. The ultimate basis of social power is communication that sustains cooperation among people….

“Competition at one level, then, promoted cooperation at other levels.

“Over time, those groups–families, clans, tribes, chiefdoms, states, armies, monasteries, banking houses, multinational corporations–that achieved more efficient communication and cooperation within their own ranks improved their competitive position and survival chances. They acquired resources, property, followers, at the expense of other groups with less effective internal communication and cooperation. So the general direction of history has been toward greater and greater social cooperation–both voluntary and compelled–driven by the realities of social competition. Over time, cooperating groups of every sort tended to grow in size to the point where their internal cohesion, their ability to communicate and conform, weakened and broke down.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 5-6.

 

“Eventually, a critical threshold was passed sometime between 90,000 and 40,000 years ago, inaugurating an enormously fertile interaction between agreed-upon meanings and actual encounters with the external world. Like control of fire and like song and dance, speech capable of creating a world of common meanings had such overwhelming advantages for survival that it too became universal among humans. These three forms of learned behavior thus became and remain distinctive hallmarks of our species.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 14.

 

“As contrasting pastoral, agricultural, and urban ways of life defined themselves throughout western Eurasia after 3500 B.C.E., trading and raiding connected each with the others.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 49.

 

“Overall, farming villagers bore the brunt of the unstable balance between pastoralist and urban military capability that emerged in Southwest Asia after about 3000 B.C.E. Except where mountains or marshes obstructed external attack, local groups of farmers could not match the organized violence that pastoralists and urban-based professional soldiers routinely exerted. Submission was inevitable and preferable to resistance since more or less predictable rents and taxes were easier to bear than unrestrained plundering. This was true for all concerned, and such arrangements therefore became standard and customary. In effect, herders together with professional soldiers and rulers of agrarian states established an informal but effective market in protection costs, setting rent and tax payments at a level that assured survival for villagers by leaving them a margin in ordinary years to guard against occasional crop failures.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 50.

 

“First [of three landmarks of military shifts determining empires of early civilization] was the chariot revolution that spread across most of Eurasia, starting from the northern borderlands of Mesopotamia where light, sturdy horse-drawn chariots capable of carrying a driver and an archer into battle were perfected by about 1700 B.C.E. Like tanks in European warfare between 1918 and 1945, chariots proved irresistible …

“A second landmark came when common foot soldiers, equipped with comparatively cheap iron armor and weapons, overthrew charioteer elites after 1200 B.C.E. Democratization of warfare ensued and a rash of more egalitarian, local states supplanted large empires for a while. But, rather quickly, armed struggles once again led to bureaucratic consolidation, and cheaper armaments and larger armies soon made the Assyrian and Persian empires far more formidable than their predecessors had been….

“A third transformation came in the seventh century B.C.E. when cavalry archers became numerous and skilled enough to alter the military-political balance of Eurasia once more…. Cavalrymen from urbanized states might hope to catch and match raiding pastoralists, but since grass was scant in cultivated landscapes, and feeding horses with grain was expensive, a small elite of mounted warriors was all that could ever be mobilized by agrarian empires against steppe cavalry raiders.

“Consequently, even modest populations of herders became militarily formidable….

The strategic advantages steppe raiders enjoyed were enough to introduce an irregular political cycle into Eurasian history that lasted from 612 B.C.E., when Scythian cavalrymen from the Ukraine participated in the overthrow of the Assyrian empire, through 1644 C.E., when Manchu bannermen founded a new dynasty in China.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 56-8.

 

“Iron metallurgy got started in Cyprus or perhaps eastern Anatolia about 1200 B.C.E… Abundant ores [of iron] made the metal cheap enough that many farmers could afford iron plowshares, hoes, and sickles, making cultivation of heavy clay soils much easier than before. For the first time rural majorities had a stake in maintaining urban-based exchanges that kept specialized miners, smelters, and merchants busy supplying blacksmiths with the iron needed to make their tools.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 57.

 

“The military prowess of pastoralists in Eurasian and North African history meant more than political instability and rapid diffusion of the arts of war: their mobility sustained trade links, as well as exchanges of microbes, religious ideas, and technologies. Pastoralists, in short, bound the agrarian heartlands together from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Yellow Sea, persistently tightening the strands of existing webs, and eventually fusing them together into the Old World Web.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 59.

 

“As for civil society, the long agony of military-political upheavals around the Mesopotamian core between 2350 B.C.E. and 331 B.C.E. provoked three fundamental innovations: bureaucratic government; alphabetic writing; and portable, congregational religions.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 59.

 

“Bureaucratic administration, alphabetic writing, and portable, congregational religions have never been surpassed as instruments for sustaining civilized societies, and stand as the most important innovations generated among ancient Southwest Asian peoples between 2350 B.C.E. and 331 B.C.E.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 61.

 

“Collective valor supplanted individual actions on the field of battle when, after about 650 B.C.E., phalanx warfare proved its effectiveness against more random, individualized combat of the sort Homer had celebrated in the Iliad. Thereafter, military success came to depend on how bravely and skillfully each citizen kept his place in line, wielding his spear against the foe while helping to protect the man next to him with his shield. Phalanx fighting had the effect of checking individual rivalries by transferring heroic pursuit of fame and glory from individual warriors to the polis as a whole.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 69.

 

“When too many citizens fell into debt and became unable to equip themselves for the phalanx, radical reformers like (the perhaps mythical) Lycourgos of Sparta (ca. 610 B.C.E.) and the entirely historical Solon of Athens (594 B.C.E.) canceled debts and rearranged property and voting rights. They thereby deliberately diminished the gap between rich and poor and increased the number of citizens properly equipped for phalanx fighting.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 69-70.

“Thus, Greek and Roman republican patterns of state and society were eccentric and lasted only a few centuries. But the literature they produced preserved ideals of freedom and citizenship even after the last traces of the Roman Empire disappeared….

“Quite a career for such small and exceptional states, but understandable if one remembers how polis and republican government reconciled two apparently incompatible advantages, combining the wealth and power of urban, civilized states with the freedom, equality, and cohesion of tribal society.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 77-8.

 

“Nonetheless, two opposite and enduring reactions had emerged clearly [at the time of early civilization]. This was due to the profound ambivalence created among peoples outside, or on the fringes of, the metropolitan webs, who, recognizing their own vulnerability, either sought to remedy the situation by borrowing and adapting whatever made others so powerful–or, alternatively, deliberately tried to reject outside corruption by defending, strengthening, and reaffirming what made them different.

“Consequently, as skills, goods, and attitudes spread from the heartland of each civilization, a cultural slope defined itself, and social and environmental strains multiplied everywhere along it. Whenever local elites chose to imitate civilized ways by striving to acquire urban habits and luxuries, they had to betray local rites, rights, and custom…. When local leaders instead repudiated civilized seduction, that too introduced strains since it meant strengthening older ways–somehow.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 81.

 

“Heavy plows, equipped with a moldboard that turned a furrow over to one side, were the instruments that eventually allowed the previously waterlogged clay soils of Western Europe to become permanently productive grainfields. They did so by piling the soil into ‘lands,’ with lower ‘baulks’ between each land, thus creating an effective system of artificial drainage. But for several centuries after such plows had been invented their cost, and the difficulties in assembling plow teams of six to eight oxen needed to drag them through the soil, hindered their use. Nevertheless, the heavy moldboard plow and associated methods of cooperative cultivation did spread, so that, by 1000, between the Loire and the Elbe rivers, a carpet of grainfields began to stretch across the landscape, replacing ancient forests and swampy meadows, and changing what had previously been a backward, thinly inhabited part of the world into a productive, growing node within the Old World Web.

“The spread of moldboard plow agriculture across the plains of Northern Europe invites comparison with the earlier, and more extensive, spread of rice paddies in monsoon Asia.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 102.

 

“The religions of salvation that spread so widely differed in innumerable respects, yet some commonalities are worth noting. First of all, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam fundamentally redirected older expectations. Instead of promising divine help in assuring worldly prosperity and protection, as nearly all religions had previously done, they redirected human aspiration toward an eternal, transcendental world–Heaven, Nirvana, reunion with Siva and Krishna, or Paradise, as the case might be…

“Such a shift fitted the distressing facts of civilized urban life far better than before. After all, the interdependence among occupational specialists that made cities wealthy and powerful were also persistently unstable, blatantly inequitable in good times and liable to painful breakdown in bad…. Consequently, the spread of these faiths made the social differentiation of civilized society easier to maintain, restore, and extend to new ground. This congruence explains the intimate connection between conversion to one or another of the religions of salvation and the rapid propagation of civilized states and societies across Eurasia and Africa that was such a prominent feature of the centuries between 200 and 1000.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 106-7.

 

“Thirdly, religions of salvation connected rulers and ruled through shared subjection to God’s will, or, in the Indian religions, subjection to karma that defined each soul’s future state….

“That [occasional breakdown of alliance between throne and altar] was because profound ambiguities lurked in the political patronage these faiths attracted. Was a ruler obligated to be just, pious, and doctrinally correct? If he fell short, did rebellion become a religious duty? Rigorous sects frequently came to that conclusion, thus endowing rebels with a sacred cause to propagate, often in secret, and occasionally by force.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 107.

 

“While pastoralists thus achieved greater prominence in Islamic lands [period just after 1000 C.E.], an opposite shift was underway in China and Europe, where peasant farmers were extending and intensifying their hold on the landscape.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 132.

 

“The renewed Muslim expansion between 1000 and 1500, its central location in the Old World Web, the attractiveness of mystic forms of religion, and the new sensibilities woven into the various elite cultures patronized by local rulers, all demonstrated that Islam was as vigorous as ever. Yet, however spectacular, Muslim innovations were primarily cultural, commercial, and military, and did not much affect the vast majority of the population, peasants at the plow. Indeed, agricultural decline in the heartlands augured ill. Handicapped by the limits of caravan transport, Muslim society lagged behind Chinese and West Europeans in harnessing rural labor to market production. Consequently for Muslims the Old World Web, with all its new information promoting specialization and efficiency for every kind of activity, remained almost wholly confined to an urban and military minority. The brilliance of Turko-Mongol court cultures, the raptures of mystic religion, and Ottoman military success could not compensate for this deficiency.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 136-7.

 

“By 1000, in the lands between the Loire and Elbe rivers, mounted knights and moldboard plow teams capable of cultivating flat, waterlogged clay soils protected and supported one another very efficiently. From this core area, knights of Latin Christendom expanded their domain in every direction….

“But within limits set by the mild winters and year-round rainfall that the Gulf Stream and prevailing westerly winds brought to the plains of Western Europe, agricultural production swelled as peasant villagers established a sustainable style of farming that employed labor almost uniformly throughout the year….

“Cooperative cultivation of open fields in northwestern Europe therefore permitted peasants to sustain formidable fighting men who had a clear self-interest in guarding them against destructive raiders, together with priests and monks who attended to relations with God. Usually they still had something left over in ordinary years to exchange for items they needed or wanted and could not make for themselves. This extended the demand for artisans’ wares into peasant homes, furthering urban skills and tightening local trade and transport links. And when noble and clerical rent and tax receivers developed a taste for superior artisan products and rare commodities from afar, urban dwellers, recruited from the fringes of society and often led by pirate traders from the Viking era, began to supply them with what they wanted. They did so partly by specializing as artisans, and partly by importing luxury items from Mediterranean Europe. There towns and trade had not decayed as much as in the north, and rapid revival set in after 1000 when Italian merchants joined the network of long-distance commerce centered in the Indian Ocean and bolstered by China’s radical commercialization.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 137-8.

 

“Western Europe thus replicated China’s commercialization with a delay of three to four centuries, but unlike what happened in China, European rulers and clerics failed to maintain control over the merchants and bankers who managed the new interregional economy.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 140.

 

“Europe’s urban self-government contrasted with the firm subordination of China’s far larger urban populations to official control. The freedom of Muslim urban elites stood in between.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 140.

 

“Urban self-government in Europe had another distinctive dimension. In Muslim and Chinese society, members of a single, sometimes extended family managed most economic enterprises. The strength of family ties made it difficult or impossible to trust outsiders, thus limiting the scale of most undertakings. Although Europeans adopted the same legal methods for setting up partnerships and settling debts that Muslims and Chinese used, they found it easier to trust fellow citizens, regardless of whether they were blood relatives or not. Perhaps they found it necessary to do so, because extended family ties were unusually weak in most of Western Europe.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 140-1.

 

“Overall, European urban society acquired unusual flexibility thanks to moral habits that sustained effective participation in an indefinite number of voluntary, ad hoc corporations, formed not only for making money but also for other purposes–religious, charitable, intellectual, or merely convivial. Europeans, in other words, seem to have sustained a more luxuriant growth of autonomous private groups than other societies did. The plow team was probably the cell from which this capability grew. Travelers may notice that people in those parts of Europe where cooperative moldboard plowing once prevailed still obey rules, form queues, and in general trust one another more than do the inhabitants of lands where separate families cultivated their fields independently and often distrusted their neighbors because of boundary disputes or the like….

“Simultaneously, local rivalries made rulers unable to regulate merchants and bankers effectively, allowing moneyed interests to acquire unusual autonomy…. But flexibility came at the cost of the security and human warmth that extended families can provide, and the peace that imperial states can impose.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 141-2.

 

“The subsequent consolidation of national kingdoms in France and England also rested in large part on continual bargaining between kings and townsmen whereby, in return for money taxes, the royal administration agreed to protect towns from knightly harassment and allow townsfolk to conduct their internal affairs as they pleased. Merchants, bankers, and poorer urban dwellers, in other words, played a farm more prominent role in politics and war than was common elsewhere.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 142-3.

 

“Someone had to recruit, equip, and train appropriate numbers of fighting men for each arm [cavalry, infantry, and artillery], and find means of supplying them with food, weapons, and other necessities, both in garrison and on campaign.

“These tasks presented European governments with difficult logistical, administrative, and financial challenges. A handful of Italian city-states, with Milan and Venice in the lead, showed how to meet them by subcontracting organized violence. They invented bureaucratic ways of making sure that hired fighting men were properly trained and equipped and had effective inducements to obey municipal magistrates instead of seizing power for themselves.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 143.

 

“Any innovation in weapons or tactics that really worked was sure to spread quickly, since rival cities and territorial rulers were all trying to field the most effective force at the cheapest possible price.

“That was also why, by 1450, European gun manufacturers were able to capitalize on local mining and metallurgical capabilities and outstrip the world’s other armament makers.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 143-4.

 

“The ability of Europeans to pursue power and knowledge by buying innumerable guns and books meant that religious and political authorities could not possibly maintain a stable status quo.

“In Europe, moreover, no public authority could halt the continuing commercialization of society. Wealth increased, but so did poverty, since many people failed to adjust to the dictates of market behavior. Old people, for example, were often cast aside in ways unthinkable in China or Africa. Distress and uncertainty were pervasive counterparts of reckless venturing and incessant innovation. In short, every sort of change was out of control in Europe. This distinguished Latin Christendom from other, better-governed Eurasian societies, where concerted efforts to defend traditional ways of thought and conduct continued, for the most part, to prevail.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 147.

 

“These far-flung Polynesian populations had severed connections with the Old World Web, but the emergence of militarized chiefdoms in the larger island clusters closely resembles the emergence of states elsewhere. This suggests that political responses to population growth and local shortages were uniform, and perhaps even necessary, since states and chiefdoms redistribute goods by circulating gifts and taxes, and do something to restrain disruptive violence (like that which broke out on Easter Island) by monopolizing it.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 150-1.

 

“… the Atlantic Europeans. They were the Mongols of the sea.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 178.

 

“The forging of a worldwide web disrupted and destroyed, but it also transformed and created. With the creation of a single web, it is as if history speeded up. Innovations and inventions, booms and depressions, pests and plagues rippled through a unified system, spreading wherever local conditions allowed.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 178.

 

“Indeed, around the world, the interconnections of the web favored the portable religions at the expense of local ones, for membership in a larger community conferred many practical and perhaps psychological benefits. Strict adherence to local traditions and belief left one isolated, and invited political annihilation wherever militant Christians or Muslims were nearby.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 186.

 

“Like the refinement of the arts of navigation, the Scientific Revolution in general required the combination of a political landscape that gave protected space to thinkers and broader circumstances that favored the long-distance flow of ideas and information. The political (and after 1517 increasingly religious) fragmentation of Europe, combined with the peculiar institution of universities, achieved the requisite political landscape. The information flow came via the printing press and oceanic voyaging.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 188.

 

“About 100 or 150 million people lived under Mughal control in the seventeenth century, and state revenues were four times those of France. Succession crises were routine because there were no set rules. Every emperor had to worry about all his sons, each of whom was trying to prepare himself for the throne by building power, making alliances, assassinating rivals. When an emperor died, civil war usually followed, and the victor took pains to kill off or otherwise destroy his brothers, and maybe his nephews too. This political system, widely followed in the Muslim world, characterized the Ottoman Empire too until the mid-seventeenth century. It assured frequent crises and civil wars, but it also assured strong rulers: few weaklings or military incompetents withstood this selection process. The Mughal Empire lasted officially until 1857, but its real power evaporated after 1707, when Hindu forces developed too much power for any Mughal emperor to control.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 190-1.

 

“The package of innovations [for a military revolution that occurred between 1450 and 1800 and was led by European states], to summarize, consisted of a hardware of ships, cannon, muskets, gunpowder, and fortifications, and a software of drill, military engineering, logistical-bureaucratic apparatus, and financial systems.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 194-5.

 

“The ultimate effects of the military revolution were threefold: it concentrated power, building states and empires and laying the foundations for the modern international system; it prepared the way for the emergence of Western European states as the most formidable in the world; and it destroyed nomad power forever.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 197.

 

“But the military power of nomads, indeed, of tribally organized societies in general, ended around 1760. The reasons lay with guns and money…. As settled societies had always lacked for horses and had to trade for them, mobile societies now lacked guns and powder, and had to trade for them. From West Africa to Mongolia, this tipped the balance of power in favor of agricultural societies, who could more easily generate more firepower.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 198.

 

“The world’s economy between 1450 and 1800 grew very rapidly by the standards of previous ages, although very slowly by the standard of the twentieth century…. The world’s average standard of living in 1450 was about the same as it is today in the poorer countries of Africa, and it did not rise much at all: maybe by 20 percent over 350 years. Almost all the economic growth came simply from population growth….” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 201.

 

“European immigrants to the Caribbean normally hoped to make money fast and return home before malaria or yellow fever killed them, and treated slaves accordingly. Slaves had no such hopes.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 205.

 

“Britain had abundant coal deposits, part of a ‘carboniferous crescent’ that stretched from the Scottish lowlands through England to northern France and Belgium and the Ruhr region of Germany. This would become the industrial heartland of Europe, a region as important for modern history as the fertile crescent was for ancient history.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 231.

 

“Before the Industrial Revolution, the Atlantic Europeans had created maritime empires. In most cases these consisted of strings of fortified trading posts or sugar islands. The Spanish and Portuguese claimed vast territories in the Americas, but genuinely controlled only about a quarter of what they claimed…. Outside the Americas, Siberia, and Australasia, where demographic catastrophes made imperialism easy, the political balance did not permit overseas imperialism on any scale. European power melted away beyond the range of ships’ cannon.

“Industrialization changed this situation fundamentally, making European, especially British, imperialism cheap and easy, and therefore more inviting…. From the 1840s, a great imbalance in weaponry and communications systems prevailed, making European armies victorious in war even against far more numerous foes….

“By the end of the 1800s, this imbalance grew far greater, what with repeating rifles, the first machine guns, exploding ordnance, and other arms innovations. After 1875, industrial countries made their gun barrels of steel using new techniques; no longer could clever smiths in Africa or Indonesia imitate and build modern weaponry.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 237-8.

 

“Wherever labor was too scarce to make the most of the commercial opportunities presented by the tighter web and by industrialization, the economic logic of slavery or serfdom improved.

“But just as the world’s systems of forced labor attained their maximum historical size, something strange happened: the systems were dismantled. Slavery, which had existed for at least 5,000 years, and had seemed part of the natural order of human affairs, in many societies came to be seen as immoral. Simultaneously, its economic logic began to weaken, its political support waned, and its opponents organized. All these developments show the worldwide web at work. McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 253.

 

“Moral opposition to slavery originated in the Atlantic world. In the 1780s, just as the Atlantic slave trade reached its apogee, religious and intellectual opinion turned against it. English Quakers first led this movement, concluding that slavery was un-Christian. They joined forces with more secular thinkers influenced by the ideals of the Enlightenment, in particular, notions of the rights of man.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 253.

 

“Moral qualms about slavery only partly explain these events. The other parts of the equation were economic and political. The moral objections to slavery flourished where slavery was only indirectly important to the economy–Britain, France, the northern United States. Where it formed the basis of production and the social order, moral qualms remained unpersuasive. But some slaveowners accepted the abolition of the slave trade willingly, because they expected that natural increase among slave populations could perpetuate slavery. Indeed, this was the case in the United States and Barbados where slave populations were biologically self-sustaining. The prospect of further population growth among slaves everywhere undermined the economic logic of slavery. If people were plentiful enough, plantations could flourish on the basis of cheap wage labor. This helped reconcile some plantation owners to the idea of the emancipation of slaves.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 253-4.

 

“Some 750,000 colonial slaves [of Britain] acquired their freedom over six years, during which they were legally obliged to work three-quarters’ time for their former masters for free. The government paid the masters a sum equivalent to about one-third or one-half of the annual budget of Britain as compensation. Thus an ancient institution came to its legal end in the British Empire….” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 254-5.

 

“In Russia in 1797 there were about 20 million serfs owned privately, and another 14-15 million state peasants owned by the government, whose lives were somewhat more free but subject to frequent labor conscription.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 255.

 

“He claimed to be the recently murdered tsar, proclaimed the abolition of serfdom, and led a ragtag army on a violent spree that killed 1,000 landowners, took the city of Kazan, and shook the foundation of the Russian state until his capture and execution in 1775. The memory of Pugachev’s revolt led Russia’s rulers to fear the continuation of serfdom but also to fear its abolition. They felt they were riding the tiger, much as did slaveowners in the Atlantic would after the Haitian revolution: the status quo entailed dangers, but dismounting seemed riskier still.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 256.

 

“Like the ex-slaves in the British colonies, they [serfs] had to work for their ex-masters, in this case for nine years: they bought their freedom with more unpaid labor. They also had to buy their land from the state, which had paid landowners for it. These terms [in 1861] applied to the 23 million serfs held privately. In 1866, another 27 million state peasants were given the lands on which they worked in exchange for tax payments. Some 50 million people thus acquired greater freedom in the Russian emancipation, albeit by degrees and on terms that left them disappointed.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 256.

 

“Ironically, the suppression of the Atlantic slave trade in the early 1800s helped expand the scope of slavery within Africa itself. Slave prices declined with the closure of the transatlantic market, so the economic logic of using slaves in Africa improved. African entrepreneurs responded by establishing new slave plantations in West and East Africa, raising peanuts, cassava, cloves, and other crops.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 257.

 

“What the harnessing of fossil fuels achieved in the sphere of work itself–a historic liberation from muscular toil–abolition achieved in the social sphere. They were connected events and roughly simultaneous. The use of inanimate energy gradually made labor less scarce, and forced labor less appealing.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 258.

“Some 30-40 million Indians migrated in all (1830-1913), and 3-6 million stayed put overseas….

“Perhaps 10 to 15 million Chinese coolies emigrated (1830-1914), and they were far less likely than Indians to return home.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 260.

 

“Roughly speaking, the technological transformations came in three waves. Although the telephone was invented in the 1870s, the automobile in the 1890s, and radio around 1900, they became widespread only in the 1920s, and even then mainly in the United States. Their spread around the world came in fits and starts thereafter. The second wave came in the 1940s and 1950s, when television (invented in the 1930s) and commercial aviation became routine in the United States and soon in much of the rest of the world…. The third wave, networked computers, originated in the 1960s but took off in the early 1990s. All of these new technologies worked as networks, which meant they were slow to catch on but once over a threshold they spread very rapidly.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 269.

 

“In 1900, the two most scientifically advanced nations, Germany and Britain, each had about 8,000 working scientists. By 1940, American businesses employed some 70,000 scientists in research and development. The demands of World War II led to the emergence of larger-scale, more institutionalized and bureaucratic science: the atomic bomb project alone employed 40,000 people. The success of that and other efforts showed what abundant funding and scientific manpower could do, and thereafter governments and businesses generously bankrolled scientific research, a large share of which was connected to military projects. By 1980 the United States boasted over 1 million scientists, and Western Europe employed still more. While their backers were prepared to pay for a modest amount of pure science–disinterested inquiry about, say, the fate of the dinosaurs–what they most wanted was applied science that would help build a better mousetrap–or, after the rise of biotechnology in the 1980s, a better mouse. Science could not do without state funding and, increasingly, states could not do without the technological fruits of science.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 278.

 

“The tremendous human slaughter of the twentieth century had little effect on population trends. If one adds up all the premature deaths from wars, genocides, state terror campaigns, and human-caused famines, the total comes to perhaps 180-90 million. This accounts for about 4 percent of the total deaths in the twentieth century. The acceleration of death from political causes did not nearly match the deceleration of death from public health measures and improved nutrition.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 280.

 

“In cities, at least where child labor is uncommon, children are costly to their parents for fifteen or twenty years, whereas in rural settings, especially where there are goats or chickens to tend, children from the age of five or so are economically useful.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 283.

 

“This pattern, if it persists, means that cities are resuming their historic role as demographic black holes. Before 1880, they consumed population because their death rates were so high, after an interval of growth by natural increase, they began to consume population because their birth rates were so low. London today, as in 1750, would shrink without in-migration.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 284.

 

“In World War I, international trade had fallen sharply. The combatants ceased trading with one another and energetically set about sinking one another’s merchant ships, which the invention of the submarine made much easier. So shortages affected all participants, especially those most in need of imported food. Devising substitutes for lost imports became a crucial part of the war economics, but no one found a substitute for food. The USSR and Italy, determined not to suffer such shortages again, made autarky a peacetime policy… So, although capital and trade flows recovered substantially in the 1920s, the fragmented political landscape and ambitions for autarky prevented the full resumption of the globalizing economy of the pre-1914 era.

“What remained soon collapsed. After 1924, American loans allowed Germany to pay some of its war reparations to Britain and France, and soon Germans, British, and French resumed their imports from around the world: the international economy flickered back to life. But American loans dried up in 1928 when a stock market boom absorbed all available capital. Financing for exports from Latin America, Australia, and other agricultural regions evaporated too, bringing an agricultural depression. Then the American stock market crashed in 1929, loans were called in, and banks and firms suddenly went bankrupt. The fact that banks were linked in worldwide networks of loans ensured that the New York crash and the subsequent failure of 40 percent of American banks set off a chain reaction around the world. Soon millions of people lost their jobs in the industrial countries, and farmers around the world could not sell their crops. Given the memory of successful economic management during World War I, governments had to do something.

“They did: they shattered the world economy in trying to save themselves. They put up tariffs, quotas, and other obstacles to trade. They devalued their currencies, raised taxes and lowered public spending to balance budgets and some defaulted on bonds, bankrupting a few more enterprises. They abandoned the gold standard, making all international transactions more difficult. Each state tried to minimize imports so as to maximize production and employment at home. In short, by seeking national escapes from the depression, they deepened it internationally.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 291-2.

 

“The new regime [Bretton Woods, the United Nations, etc.] was intended to reglobalize the world, but in a less anarchic way than had happened between 1870 and 1914, so that the resentments that experience generated would not erupt again.

“Domestic policy in the United States and most of its allies followed this general goal: it was designed to soften the blows inherent in participating in the international economy. This took various forms, but usually involved commitments to full employment and/or unemployment insurance, pensions, and subsidies for farmers and some other primary producers (often the coal or oil industries). It obliged the state to regulate social and economic life, raise taxes to levels formerly reached only in wartime, and cultivate the arts of economic management. As ancient states had rested on an alliance between throne and altar, and could not do without their high priests, modern ones came to depend on an alliance between cabinet and boardroom (government and business), with economists increasingly serving as the high priests.

“So the United States, with a little help from its friends, organized a new international regime based ultimately on American economic, and military power, but mediated by a set of international agreements and institutions. It was, in some ways, an extension of the wartime cooperation after 1941, and in other ways a reaction to the depression and its autarkic policies.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 299-300.

 

“In World War II the Japanese had claimed they were going to stamp out communism in China, but they inadvertently helped bring it to power (as Hitler inadvertently helped make the USSR a superpower).” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 301.

 

“The Soviets lost the Cold War for the same reason the Axis lost World War II; they could not create an interactive, cooperative, innovative, international economy to match the American-led one.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 304.

 

“Soon after World War II ended, the global economy entered its most remarkable era, growing sixfold between 1950 and 1998….

“It happened because of oil and energy, medicine and population growth, science and technology–the three long booms. It also happened because married women had fewer children, and so entered (and stayed) in the paid labor force in unprecedented numbers, and because farmers left the land at record pace for urban jobs. Each of these was a singular, unrepeatable social transformation that added greatly to GNP numbers….

“The long boom also happened because of the reglobalization of the world economy, which yielded all the usual returns from specialization and exchange. The international institutions created in the 1940s helped in this regard, as, perhaps more fundamentally, did American commitment to open U.S. markets to the exports of Europe and East Asia. That commitment wavered, and in any case never extended to some sectors (e.g., agriculture), but it was a crucial political ingredient in the recipe of post-1950 world economic growth.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. pp. 310-1.

 

“Whereas in 1870-1914 the great majority of international capital flows took the form of long-term investment in bonds, railroads, or factories, after 1980 it increasingly was short-term, restless capital looking for the opportunity of the moment–a currency or stock whose value was likely to rise…. In small and medium-sized countries, say Chile or Thailand, the ability of capital to flee instantly sharply restricted the range of policies open to them….” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 213.

 

“Seen slightly differently, human history is an evolution from simple sameness to diversity toward complex sameness. Our remotest ancestors lived in simple, small groups, spoke only a few languages, and pursued a narrow range of survival strategies in East Africa. Eventually, as groups spread out across the world, broader cultural variety emerged–more languages, differing toolkits, and so on. Later still, people developed more social complexity, reflected in a broad range of political forms–tribes, chiefdoms, city-states, empires. The trend was toward cultural differentiation, toward heterogeneity, toward islands of complexity in a sea of near uniformity. But that did not last. At some point (I would guess between 1000 and 1 B.C.E.) The trend reversed. Interactive webs reduced cultural diversity–fewer languages and religions, fewer polities, and fewer political formats. As the webs grew and fused, complexity became the rule–the new uniformity. Best practices spread; societies settled on a narrower range of traits, beliefs, institutions, all compatible with life inside far-ranging interactive webs. Societies that resisted were wiped out. Diversity declined.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 322.

 

“The biosphere, with all its complex patterns of cooperation and conflict, also constitutes a global web, closely resembling the symbolic human web that now unites, and, we claim, has always united, humankind.” McNeill, JR & William McNeill. 2003. The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History. W.W. Norton. p. 325.

 

“Generally speaking, the beginning of life on the Earth may be interpreted and explained in five main forms: (1) as the result of God’s or some kind of supernatural creation act; (2) as the effect of the spontaneous and immediate process of transforming inanimate matter into an animate one (‘naive’ spontaneous generation); (3) as the effect of the physico-chemical evolution of matter taking place on the Earth (natural-scientific abiogenesis); (4) as the transference onto the Earth of life, which had previously arose on other celestial bodies or in cosmic places (panspermia); (5) lastly, there is the supposition that life is an eternal property of existence. This last thesis does not actually explain biogenesis, but rather refutes the nature of the question by asserting that life has no beginning at all.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 291.

 

“Between the 1957 and 2000, more than 150 theories of biogenesis were published; and recently the number has increased significantly….”

“I think that each of the theories in question is underlain by one of two main ideas, which have shaped both the past and the present views on the origin of life. These ideas are: (1) the idea of spontaneous generation and (2) the idea of panspermia.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 292.

 

“The scientific conceptions may also be divided into those concerning the emergence of life on the Earth and those, which concern the origin of life in the Universe. Chronologically speaking, we may distinguish the following within the former group of conceptions: (1) the natural-scientific earthly abiogenesis; (2) the natural-scientific bilinear abiogenesis (In this case biogenesis means a cosmic-earthly joint of physico-chemical processes leading to the formation of life… This group of theories is also called pseudo-panspermia, or soft-panspermia, or molecular panspermia); (3) the pre-existence of life in conjunction with neopanspermia. Within the area concerning the origin of life in the Universe, we may situate cosmic abiogenesis.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. pp. 293-4.

 

“The primary spontaneous generation (also called ‘naive’) comes from ancient times, mainly from Aristotle’s views; it contains the conviction that the specific (sometimes even quite complex like fishes, frogs or insects) living organisms may emerge suddenly and spontaneously in the favorable environment circumstances. This view was maintained for centuries because, as late as the 19th century, some micro-organisms were thought to be able to emerge in this way…. With time, the idea of a spontaneous origin of organisms underwent many transformations, first consisting in limiting the range of its application (from macroscopic organisms with complex structure to relatively simple microorganisms), then in a change in its understanding, and finally to questioning the very idea.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 294.

 

“Abiogenesis is the term sometimes used as a synonym for spontaneous generation, that is, abiogenesis means life coming from nonliving matter.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 295.

 

“Biogenesis rather means life coming from living matter. In contrast to spontaneous generation, the law of biogenesis is a thoroughly documented law of biology. The natural-scientific abiogenesis, in turn, is the collection of numerous particular protobiological theories – the proposition on the gradual process way of the emergence of life in the Universe, being realized through gradual and complex physico-chemical transformations – is common for all of them.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 295.

 

“That is why [theories differ in their natural-scientific level], taking into account the content of particular theories of the origin of life, we may distinguish three fundamental types of philosophical level underlying the natural-scientific views (the implications from them), hence, it is possible to propose three variants of abiogenesis theory: (1) meta-information abiogenesis – the theories, which refer to some form of universal integration principle, i.e. to ‘the design’, ‘the eternal order’, the law governing the course of all the processes within the Universe or the theories assuming the eternal existence of biological information; (2) mechanistic-chance – (eventist) abiogenesis – the theories based on the assumption of the chance emergence of the first living thing, because of lucky coincidence or natural circumstances and physico-chemical regularities favourable for the emergence of life; (3) abiogenesis is a self-organization of matter – theories, which adopt the evolutional way of understanding the emergence of qualitatively new systems and which point to regularities governing the process of their development, among which the crucial element is the natural tendency of matter to organize itself into more and more complex structures.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 295.

 

“What concerns the mode of explanations of the transition non-life into life in the current theories of the origin of life a great variety of solution have been observed: chance information of the first information-carrying molecule; chance formation of the first autocatalytic loop; physico-chemical interactions, mineral prescription; the universal law of integration; self-organization explained in physico-chemical terms; biochemical self-organization; environmental self-organization spin-glass formalism; broken symmetry and the abiogenesis as a cosmos-earth joint venture.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 295.

 

“Only by keeping in mind such a double philosophical genealogy of the origins of life studies [of Hegelian and Comte’an views] it is possible to avoid several paradoxes: order without order, information without information, beginning without beginning, commonly claimed to be inherent to all theories….” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 298.

 

“The very act of initiating the scientific research of biogenesis constituted the philosophical turning point in two fundamental aspects. In its ontological aspect, it required resignation from an understanding matter as a passive substance. In its methodological and epistemological aspect, it meant a shift from the scientific patterns connected with classical physics and a move towards the patterns proposed by evolutional biology.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 298.

 

“The ontological foundation of contemporary research on biogenesis is the attitude known as processual holism. The essence of processual holism consists of: (1) autodynamism, i.e. the conception of active matter; (2) holism, i.e. an interpretation of nature as a system with interrelated elements affecting one another; (3) historicism, i.e. the fully historical approach towards the evolutional process that takes into account the variability of the elements and mechanisms of evolution.” Swiezynski, Adam. 2016. “Where/when/how did life begin? A philosophical key for systematizing theories on the origin of life.” International Journal of Astrobiology. 15(4):291-299. p. 298.

 

“I have come to believe that there is something presently wrong with how we scientists think about life, its existence, its origins, and its evolution.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. xi.

 

“…we don’t have a good Darwinian explanation for the origin of life. Part of the reason for this is that we don’t have a good Darwinian explanation for what life is in the first place. Nor do we have a good explanation for the origin and evolution of the cornerstone of the edifice of modern Darwinism, the gene.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 7.

 

“… the essential nature of homeostasis: it is life as a persistent dynamic disequilibrium.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 20.

 

“[Claude] Bernard’s form of vitalism [homeostasis] pointed a way out of this seemingly Sisyphean state–a middle path that was not quite mechanism and not quite vital essence, but a hybrid, an extraordinarily fruitful hybrid at that.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 44.

 

“By shuttling all day between hot spots and cool spots, warming up a little now, cooling a little then, again and again, the lizard can keep its body within a narrow band of temperatures. In short, a supposedly ‘cold-blooded’ lizard not only can be ‘warm-blooded,’ it can be remarkably adept at regulating its temperature behaviorally.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 67.

 

“It appears, then, that lizards actively take stock of their environments and determine what temperature they will sustain based upon a perceived matrix of costs, benefits, and risks.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 70.

 

“… I argued that cognition and intentionality are flipsides of the same underlying phenomenon of homeostasis. Cognition involves forming a coherent mental image of the ‘real’ world, and the coherence of that mental image depends upon a homeostatic brain. Intentionality is the obverse of this: intentionality is the reshaping of the real world to conform to a cognitive mental image.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 70.

 

“Much of the history of evolutionary thought, and of medical thought for that matter, can be understood as an ongoing argument between two competing visions of nature: Romantic idealism and Enlightenment rationalism. Vitalism, and the insistence on the ineffable nature of the organism, was a reflection of the Romantic, as was the whole notion of natural theology as it applied to natural history. The English tradition of medicine, on the other hand, tended to lean toward the rational….” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 90.

 

“Today, we look upon Darwin’s pangenesis adventure as a quaint anomaly, something akin to a revered ancestor’s flirtations with a secret society that involved funny hats and odd rituals in secret rooms. What could the old coot have been thinking? we ask ourselves as we indulgently shake our heads. The joke is on us, though, because in proposing pangenesis, Darwin saw, more clearly than we typically bother to do today, the essential truth that Lamarck also saw: that evolutionary and physiological adaptation somehow shared a common foundation.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 96.

 

“Darwin was driven to propose pangenesis because he recognized, again more than we do today, the essential tension that sits at the heart of the evolutionary idea: between adaptation, which implies the ability to change according to conditions, and heredity, which is the opposite of change, that is, the legacy of the past imposing itself on the future.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 97.

 

“When it comes to powering metabolism, the garbage truck is as vital as the grocery truck.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 173.

 

“In the eukaryotic cell, the diverse forms of the cytoskeleton can be traced to a ghostly object called a microtubule organizing center (MTOC), a self-replicating assemblage of microtubule ‘seeds’ that generate and organize the cytoskeleton in all its multitudinous forms….

“No matter what the details prove to be, what is remarkable about the MTOC of eukaryotes is that the MTOC is itself a form of hereditary memory, because its various forms can self-replicate, as nucleic acids do, and in ways seemingly independent of the chromosomes….” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. pp. 177-8.

 

“The orderly passage of electrons, energy, and materials through a cell can be managed because genes encode a particular catalytic environment of proteins within the cell.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 179.

 

“… intentionality is fundamentally the flip side of cognition, and you cannot really have one without the other.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. pp. 181-2.

 

“The genetic organism is therefore a euphemism for the organism as algorithm. Life is code. Evolution is modification of code. We are all beta versions of something, with infinite updates coming. The question nags, though: code for what? Anyone who has done any coding appreciates that an algorithm must do something, and that something usually begins as a desire somewhere in the mind of a coder. The genetic theory of natural selection is supposed to have done away with the need for a coder and his messy intentions, because good codes will naturally survive and replicate, while bad codes will disappear. That’s not really a satisfactory solution, though, because it drives us right back to the tautology of modern Darwinism: the well-adapted organism is the code that specifies the well-adapted organism. So, we’re again left stuck in a muddle.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 211.

 

“Here is where homeostasis might provide a lifeline….

“In this conception, the organism is not code, and neither is it an assemblage of code tokens composing the genome. Rather, the organism is process, specifically the process of homeostasis. That process might take different forms, but in all instances, a successful process is one that sustains the form most reliably in the widest possible range of environments. In short, homeostasis is persistence and persistence is fitness.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. pp. 211-2.

 

“What Bernard did not see was that physiology must also be extensive; that is, any modification of the cell interior necessarily affects the environment outside the cell as well. There is no magic at work here; it is a straightforward consequence of the principle of conservation of mass….

“Therefore, homeostasis is necessarily both intensive and extensive: it can be no other way. Homeostasis, indeed all physiology, cannot be confined to an internal environment, as Bernard implied; all homeostasis must be extended homeostasis that encompasses both internal and external environments.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 214.

 

“Organisms at any scale–cell, epithelium, organism—are properly extended organisms, continually working to draw the environment into a conspiracy of extended homeostasis.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 219.

 

“The extended organism concept effectively treats the organism as a focus of homeostasis rather than as a collection of memory tokens. The individual that is ‘me’ need no longer be limited to the lineal descendants of my zygote: it can also include all the microbial riders that populate my body. All contribute to the physiological conspiracy that is the extended homeostatic ‘me.’” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 219.

 

“The extended organism idea also seems to dissolve whatever equivalence there might be between organism and individual. ‘I’ am no longer an autonomous being but a superorganism. ‘I’ includes the multitude of genetically diverse microbial riders, as well as numerous other adaptive interfaces that extend outward from ‘me’: the farmers who grow my food, the soil microbes that help the farmers, the government bureaucrats who ensure that the little pieces of paper I give the farmers will compensate them fairly for their efforts, the contributions of the vast assemblage of taxpayers who give me the little sheets of money in the first place. In this tangled web of physiological conspiracies, the individual that is’me’ dissolves away into the vast collective ‘we.’” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. pp. 219-20.

 

“This [specification by genes] leads us right back to the concept of the genetic organism, with all its attendant problems and tautologies. Among them is the negation of the individual as a agent of evolutionary adaptation. In this conception, organisms evolve, but individuals do not. Conversely, individuals may adapt, but organisms do not, at least not in the same way. The individual is thus an illusion; only the organism is meaningful. The organism and individual are cleaved asunder.

“There is a way out of this unsatisfying logic, however, and it involves cognition. The extended organism, defined as it is as a focus of homeostasis, is actually a cognitive organism, cognitive in the same sense that the coalition of sulfur-breathing bacteria and spirochetes from the previous chapter constituted a cognitive entity. Homeostasis involves coupling information about the state of the environment on one side of an adaptive boundary to the matter and energy flows across the adaptive boundary. Now the notion of what individuality is becomes clearer: the individual is a cognitive being that has a sense of itself as something distinct from its environment.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. pp. 220-1.

 

“Life, therefore, represents a tiny froth on the crest of the Earth’s standing wave of orderliness…. The signature of life amounts to a specified orderliness that shapes the crest. What life has done is to make the wave crest ‘foamier,’ if you will, ordering it into an infinitude of nested and interlocking systems of persistent and specified energy flows, vast conspiracies of life that currently envelop our living planet.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. pp. 251-2.

 

“… what law demands that life has to evolve up, from the small scale to the large? Why couldn’t it have been the other way? Why couldn’t life–homeostasis, essentially–have emerged first at the large scale, even as a planetary phenomenon, sustained at a large scale on pre-existing orderly flows of matter and energy until it could be encapsulated within the safe harbor of the cell? All that is needed is an energy source that is large enough to overcome the disruptive power of diffusion at a small scale and that is persistent enough to allow incipient conspiracies of homeostasis to piggyback on that standing thermodynamic wave. And that only occurs at large scale.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 252.

 

“Because [ecologist George E.] Hutchinson’s n-dimensional niche conception was cast in the same language as Wright’s adaptive hyperspace, it was a short leap to merging n-dimensional Darwinian adaptive landscapes with n-dimensional ecological niches, winding all together into an inextricably bound ‘triple helix’ of gene, organism, and environment.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 274.

 

“… the concept of exaptation suffers from the same tautology that afflicts modern Darwinism. Where evolutionary adaptation is selection of genes that promote adaptation, exaptation is an adaptation that leads to another adaptation–it’s the same logical fallacy, multiplied.” Turner, J. Scott. 2017. Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism has Failed to Explain It. New York: HarperOne. p. 288.