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Evolving Systems Course: PGnotes22

Paul Grobstein's picture

Making sense of ourselves in an evolving universe

Paul's notes - Session 22


Course subject: evolution (physical, biological, cultural, individual)

Course method: co-evolution, co-constructive inquiry, evolving by telling/hearing each other's stories, using them to create new ones, individually and collectively = co-constructive dialogue

Course arrangements:

  • No papers due next week, no individual meetings
  • Individual meetings today
    Thursdays Group A Group B
    9 am Elisa Genesis
    9:30 Aijingwen Julie
    2:30 Ilana Christine
    3:00 Angela  
    3:30 Hillary  
    4:00 Eva Valentina
    4:30 Mattie Kayla
    5:00 Carolina Jordan


Culture as consequence of biological evolution?  Addition to biological evolution?  Differs from biological evolution in what ways?

diversityloopscales biocultdiffs evolfashion
the whole course? evolution biological and cultural: similarities and differences? fashion: a test case of cultural evolution as descent with variation and selection?


Culture and cultural change

  • What similar and different cultural practices have developed in our two esem section meetings?
  • What new cultural practices might evolve from the intersection of the two?

Moving on to individual change

  • Biological change influence cultural change and vice versa
  • So too cultural change influences biological change and vice versa?

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth

Despite ongoing cultural change, ongoing individual change, there is only evolution

Individual life begins as babies, what do we start with?  before culture/individual experience?

"Morality" as another aspect of evolution, biological/cultural/individual?  To be continued, after

A look at the brain

  • Phantoms in the brain
  • Ramachandran TED video
  • The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
    For - put them side by side -
    The one the other will contain
    With ease - and You - beside-

    The Brain is deeper than the sea -
    For - hold them - Blue to Bue -
    The one the other will absorb -
    As sponges - Buckets - do

    The Brain is just the weight of God -
    For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
    And they will differ - if they do -
    As syllable from Sound -

    Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Experience, understanding, morality as construction of brain

Capgras: story that could be otherwise

From the forum

I think the study on the brain only tells us how brain works and how we behave, but it doesn't tell us how we think. And later we mentioned the notions "consciousness" and "unconsciousness".  And I still feel that the structure of the brain or the function of the brain doesn't help us to understand the consciousness better. I think consciousness is how we think, and to understand how we think, we need to understand how our consciousness works ... Olivia

I think it's unsettling to have an unconscious mind. It hides thoughts from me. It hides from me, yet it is a part of me. So, I don't even have the transparency to know myself. I can't trust myself, since I don't really know who and what I am nor what I'm thinking. If I believe, even for a second, that I'm in full control of my thoughts, then I'm lying to myself. Stupid, deceitful, lying brain ... Aimee

I can change them, these neural functions of mine; I can help them learn new things. So I can influence who I am. I can think about how I want my thoughts to be different ... Julie G 

The bipartite brain as a constructor of stories

Finding the bipartite brain in language

Stories evolve, the brain evolves, we evolve ....