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ryan g's picture

Initial thoughts...

I wanted to bring up this idea of the "100th monkey phenomenon" again... Has anyone heard of it?  I mentioned it in a post a few weeks ago, but I think it's more relevant to the discussion at hand.  The idea is that two populations of monkeys are separated by a geographic structure like a lake where they can have no direct contact for communication or observation.  When a critical number (hence the name...) of monkeys learn a skill on one side of the lake (e.g. how to open a banana more effectively), the knowledge seems to jump to the other side of the the lake and those monkeys somehow know how to open the bananas in the more effective way.  

Like I said before, I'm pretty sure this is not a hard and fast scientific theory.  I actually read about it in a book that was encouraging increased awareness of the damage of nuclear stockpiling.  The idea seemed to be "If we can just get enough people to be aware of the dangers of nuclear weapons, it will eventually make the jump to the collective consciousness."

Anyway... my point now is that if there is something somewhat like this, it might be a good example for communication between the tacit knowledge of two different people.  We seemed to be a little fuzzy when we were coming up with examples for that gray arrow.  Anyone have any thoughts?  Too much of a stretch?  

Another thing on my mind is the compartmentalization of the bipartite brain.  I feel like I need more clarity as to what processes are a result of firing in the I-Function and what processes are a result of firing in the the Tacit Knowledge. Right now, I feel like the boundaries are pretty loose.  An example would be memory.  I would have intuitively put that into the Tacit Knowledge, but in class we talked about it as part of the I-Function.  Is there a working definition of the two compartments that we could use to more concretely assess upcoming mental health/illness?  

Finally, I know that people are beginning to find anatomical correlations.  For example, the I-Function is in the neo cortex, the tacit knowledge may be located in lower brain areas, and language is in Broca and Wernike's.  Can anatomical discoveries shine any light on the structure/sectioning of our model?  

I'm looking forward to exploring these specifics and more with our bipartite story in the upcoming weeks... 


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