Presentation on theme: "Pathway to the Global Brain What is the nature of the next human metasystem transition? *An evolutionary anthropological perspective on a matter of cybernetics."— Presentation transcript:
Pathway to the Global Brain What is the nature of the next human metasystem transition? *An evolutionary anthropological perspective on a matter of cybernetics
“Biological intelligence is a fleeting phase in the evolution of the universe.” -Paul Davies
The Pathway for Today 1.Human Metasystem Transitions (HMST) – Hunting, Agriculture, Industry – Patterns: New energy, communication, transportation Timing & diffusion 2. HMST = individual/institutional restructuring mechanisms 3. HMST implications for the “Global Brain”
Metasystem Transitions How do systems achieve higher order/control? System-level continuity (Smith & Szathmáry, 2000) – Smaller entities: Form larger entities and differentiate Unable to reproduce in absence of larger entities Disrupt development of larger entities “Discrete jumps” / “Quantum of evolution” (Heylighen & Joslyn, 1995)
The Human System New order/control achieved three times – Hunting, Agriculture, Industry Exploitation of new energy – Meat / Domestication / Fossil Fuels New communication medium – Language / Writing / Printing Press New transportation/agent networks – Regional / Continental / Inter-continental
Hominin Energy Great Apes – Fruit, leaves, other plant types – Chimps (3% animal meat) (e.g., Basabose, 2002; Moscovice et al., 2007) – Gorillas/Bonobos (~0-1% animal meat) (Oelze et al., 2011; Rogers et al., 2004) Pre-Homo hominids – 4mya similar to extant great apes (Sponheimer et al., 2013) – 4-2mya shift to grasses, sedges, bark (Henry et al., 2012)
Hunting Emergence of genus Homo (2 mya) – Regular consumption of animal meat (Schoeninger, 2012) – Site in East Turkana, Kenya (1.95 mya) (Braun et al., 2010) Substantial increase in animal meat (1.7 mya - 200 kya) – Control of fire (Beaumont, 2011) – Body & brain size increase (Antón, 2003) – Total energy expenditure (TEE) (Aiello & Key, 2002) – Complex technoculture (Ambrose, 2001) / “the ratchet” (Tennie et al., 2009) Modern human H&G – Consumed 45-65% energy from animal meat (Cordain et al., 2000)
Communication (#1) Gradual emergence of language (Dunbar, 2003) – Three/four main “movements” (Gamble et al., 2011) – H. erectus / H. heidelbergensis / H. sapiens (Ambrose, 2001) Culture code / symbolic species (Deacon, 1997) – Shift: percept-based to concept-based thinking (Logan, 2007) – Theory of Mind (story-telling, “religion”, “science”) (Dunbar, 2009) Stabilizing of “The Ratchet” (Tennie et al., 2009) – First evidence of multi-generational technoculture
Transportation (#1) Absolute group sizes increase (~150-250) – Exponential increase (Dunbar, 2003) – Mechanism: grooming to language (Gamble et al., 2011) Range expansion (two-stage) (Ambrose, 2001) – Stage 1: Out-of-Africa (1.8-1.0 mya) Small ranges (10-20km) / restricted to temperate climes – Stage 2: Global expansion (~500-100 kya) Larger ranges (100+km) / all climes
Agriculture Seven independent centers (11-3 kya) (Diamond & Bellwood, 2003) – Eurasia (3) – Americas (3) – Africa (1) Same system-level patterns (Morris & Farrar, 2010) – Cultivation of plants / domestication of large animals – “Full farming” sedentary complex villages – Big towns w/ fortressed walls & buildings related to politics/death – Proto-writing writing Intensification dependent on “crop/animal complexes” (Diamond, 1997) – Eurasia > Americas > Africa > Australia Diffusion dependent on: (Bellwood & Oxenham, 2008) – Climate/axis, neighbouring systems
Communication (#2) Four independent writing centers (Trigger, 2004) – Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, Central America Response to increased socio-political complexity – Organization of administration, taxes, trade (Cooper, 2004) Gradual evolution (centuries/millennia) Alphabet brings speech/writing together (Stewart, 2010) – Investment in narration
Transportation (#2) Continental civilizations with as many as 10–100 m agents Mechanisms: – Agricultural intensification (energy) (Mazoyer & Roudart, 2006) – Writing (communication) (Cooper, 2004) – E.g., Yuan Dynasty (Taagepera, 1997), Roman Empire (Taagepera, 1979) Gradual – Limits – Outliers – 11-3 kya – likely no civilization >10 million (Morris & Farrar, 2010; Simmons, 2011) – 5% net primary productivity (NPP) (Haberl, 2006) – Mongols, Spanish/Portuguese Empires
Industry One independent center (Allen, 2009) – England (~1750-1800) Exploitation of fossil fuels (Haberl, 2006) – Coal, oil, natural gas – *also – nuclear, hydro, “renewables” System pattern Diffusion dependent on: – Geography / colonial power / sovereignty
Communication (#3) Printing press (1450-1800) (Harnad, 1991) – Mass communication restructure society Industrial-scale printing press (19 th century) – Global diffusion (Dittmar, 2011) First “one-to-many” medium (Dewar, 1998) – Causative effects: Renaissance, Scientific revolution(s), Enlightenment (Eisenstein, 1980)
Transportation (#3) Groups / Empires / Countries / Organizations – Inter-continental, International, Global (Ferguson, 2004) – As many as 1-2 billion agents (Smith, 1991) Transportation mechanisms for growth: – Steam engines/ships (19 th century) (Geels, 2002) – Automobiles/planes (20 th century) (Smil, 2005) Dependent on: (Landes, 2003) – Industrial intensification (energy) – Access to information (communication)
Timing and Diffusion Timing between transitions decrease: – Hunting: 2 mya – 200 kya – Agriculture: 10 kya – 2000 C.E. – Industry: 1750 C.E. – present Diffusion between start and end increases – Hunting required 500k yrs – 1m yrs to mature – Agriculture required 10k yrs to mature – Industry will require 300 – 400 yrs to mature
Restructuring (#1) Hunting/Language enabled everything we consider human: – Science – Religion – Medicine – Symbolic relationships (politics, marriage) – Complex technoculture Centered around individual and/or small groups
Restructuring (#2) Agriculture/Writing enabled the development of highly centralized institutions: – Chiefdoms, Monarchies, etc. – Pharaohs, Kings, etc. Religion, science, marriage, medicine all effectively run through these institutions Degree of centralization makes them inherently unintelligent – Challenge Propagation
Restructuring (#3) Industry/Printing Press enable a shift towards decentralization – Politics: religious blood-lines to democratically-elected career politicians – Religion: separated from other challenge propagation centers – Science/medicine: established as independent institutions – Marriage: gradually detached from religion Global Brain philosophy – Individual rights (Enlightenment)
The Next Transition? The past 100 years: – Technological singularity (Ulam, 1958; Vinge, 1993; Kurzweil, 2005) – Global brain (Russel, 1985; Bloom, 2000; Heylighen, 2011) – The great transition (Raskin, 2010) – World brain (Wells, 1938) – Noosphere (Teilhard, 1969) – The omega point (Schmidhuber, 2006; Teilhard, 1955) Emerging realization: – Something “big” on the near-term horizon – Usually imagined as: “global” “collective” “planetary” “generally positive” “new stage of evolution” – Usually includes: advanced intelligence / end of biological humans
Global Brain as HMST Energy: – Solar, geothermal, nuclear fusion, wind (?) – Emergent source (?) Communication: – Internet at full maturity (“global brain”) Transportation: – Global civilization – 10-12 billion+ agents – Mechanisms: hyperloop (?) Emergence: – Timing: 2040-2050 – Diffusion: 1-2 decades
Restructuring (#4) (2040s) Politics – Completely decentralized (global distributed voting) Religion – Completely decentralized (religion “as institution” gone) – Spirituality (?) / Humanism or Transhumanism (?) Science/University – Complete open access / funded directly by public Marriage/Sex – Institutionalized pair bonds will not exist / decentralization of sex
Complete HMST Theory Energy and communication feedback loop: – Hunting / Language – Agriculture / Writing – Industry / Printing Press – Solar / Internet Transportation: – Regional / Continental / Inter-continental / Global – 250 / 10-100m / 1-2b / 10-12b Timing & Diffusion – Exponential
Global Brain Will the next HMST close “human” feedback loop? Will higher consciousness emerge? Will higher systems-level reproduction emerge? Will this be a post-human era?
Works Cited Aiello, L.C. & Key, C. 2002. Energetic consequences of being a Homo erectus female. American Journal of Human Biology. 14: 551-565. Allen, R.C. 2009. The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective. Cambridge Books. Ambrose, S.H. 2001. Paleolithic technology and human evolution. Science. 291: 1748-1753. Antón, S.C. 2003. Natural history of Homo erectus. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. 122: 126-170. Basabose, A.K. 2002. Diet composition of chimpanzees inhabiting the Montane forest of Kahuzi, Democratic Republic of Congo. American Journal of Primatology. 58: 1-21. Beaumont, P.B. 2011. The Edge: More on Fire-Making by about 1.7 Million Years Ago at Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa. Current Anthropology. 52: 585-595. Bellwood, P. & Oxenham. 2008. The Expansions of Farming Societies and the Role of the Demographic Transition. In: Bocquet-Appel, J-P. (eds). The Neolithic demographic transition and its consequences. Springer. Bloom, H. 2000. Global Brain. Wiley. Braun, D.R., Harris, J., Levin, N.E., McCoy, J.T., Herries, A.I.R., Bamford, M.K., Bishop, L.C., Richmond, B.G., & Kibunjia, M. 2010. Early hominin diet included diverse terrestrial and aquatic animals 1.95 Ma in East Turkana, Kenya. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107: 10002-10007. Cooper, J.S. 2004. Babylonian beginnings: the origin of the cuneiform writing system in comparative perspective. In: Houston, S.D. (eds.). The First Writing: Script Invention as History and Process. Pp. 71-99.
Cordain, L., Miller, J.B., Boyd Eaton, S., Mann, N., Holt, S.H.A. & Speth, J.D. 2000. Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets. American Society for Clinical Nutrition. 71: 682-692. Deacon, T.W. 1997. The Symbolic Species: The co-evolution of language and the human brain. WW Norton & Company. Dewar, J.A. 1998. The information age and the printing press: Looking backward to see ahead. Diamond, J. 1997. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. W.W. Norton & Company. Diamond, J. & Bellwood, P. 2003. Farmers and Their Languages: The First Expansions. Science. 300: 597-603. Dittmar, J.E. 2011. Information technology and economic change: the impact of the printing press. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 126: 1133-1172. Dunbar, R.I.M. 2003. The Social Brain: Mind, Language, and Society in Evolutionary Perspective. Annual Review of Anthropology. 32: 163- 181. Dunbar, R.I.M. 2009. Why only humans have language. The prehistory of language: 12. Eisenstein, E.L. 1980. The printing press as an agent of change. Cambridge University Press. Ferguson, N. 2004. Empire, The rise and demise of the British world order and the lessons for global power. Basic Books. Gamble, C., Gowlett, J., & Dunbar, R. 2011. The Social Brain and the Shape of the Palaeolithic. Cambridge Archaeological Journal. 21: 115- 136. Geels, F.W. 2002. Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study. Research Policy. 31: 1257-1274. Haberl, H. 2006. The global socioeconomic energetic metabolism as a sustainability problem. Energy. 31: 87-99. Harnad, S. 1991. Post-Gutenberg galaxy: The fourth revolution in the means of production of knowledge. Public-access computer systems review. 2: 39-53.
Henry, A.G., Ungar, P.S., Passey, B.H., Sponheimer, M., Rossouw, L., Bamford, M., Sandberg, P., de Ruiter, D.J., & Berger, L. 2012. The diet of Australopithecus sediba. Nature. Heylighen, F. & Joslyn, C. 1995. Towards a theory of Metasystem transitions: Introduction to the special issue. Pp. 1-4. Heylighen, F. 2011. Conceptions of a Global Brain: an historical review. Evolution: Cosmic, Biological, and Social. In: Grinin, L.E., Carneiro, R.L., Korotayev, A.V. & Spier, F (eds.). Pp. 274-289. Kurzweil, R. 2005. The Singularity Is Near: When humans transcend biology. Penguin. Landes, D.S. 2003. The unbound Prometheus: technological change and industrial development in Western Europe from 1750 to the present. Cambridge University Press. Logan, R.K. 2007. The Extended Mind: The emergence of language, the human mind, and culture. University of Toronto Press. Mazoyer, M. & Roudart, L. 2006. A history of world agriculture: from the Neolithic age to the current crisis. Earthscan. Morris, I. & Farrar, S. 2010. Why the West Rules-for Now: The Patterns of History and what They Reveal about the Future. Profile Books. Moscovice, L.R., Issa, M.H., Petrzelkova, K.J., Keuler, N.S., Snowdon, C.T., & Huffman, M.A. 2007. Fruit availability, chimpanzee diet, and grouping patterns on Rubondo Island, Tanzania. American Journal of Primatology. 69: 487-502. Oelze, V.M., Fuller, B.T., Richards, M.P., Fruth, B., Surbeck, M., Hublin, J-J., & Hohmann, G. 2011. Exploring the contribution and significance of animal protein in the diet of bonobos by stable isotopes ratio analysis of hair. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108: 9792-9797. Raskin, P. 2010, Feb 15. Visions of a Sustainable World. [Video]. Retrieved on Sept 28, 2013 from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS7o4g5kzMM&feature=player_embedded Rogers, E.M., Abernethy, K., Bermejo, M., Cipolletta, C., Doran, D., Mcfarland, K., Nishihara, T., Remis, M. & Tutin, C.E.G. 2004. Western gorilla diet: a synthesis from six sites. American Journal of Primatology. 64: 173-192.
Russell, P. 1985. The Global Brain. Penny Price Productions. Schmidhuber, J. 2006. The New AI: General & Sound & Relevant for Physics. In: Goertzel, B. & Pennachin, C. (eds.). Artificial General Intelligence. P. 175-198. Schoeninger, M.J. 2012. Paleoanthropology: The ancestral dinner table. Nature. 487: 42-43. Simmons, A.H. 2011. The Neolithic revolution in the Near East: transforming the human landscape. University of Arizona Press. Smil, V. 2005. Creating the Twentieth Century: technical innovations of 1867-1914 and their lasting impact. Oxford University Press. Smith, C.J. 1991. China: People and places in the land of one billion. Boulder: Westview Press. Smith, J.M. & Szathmáry, E. 1995. The Major Transitions in Evolution. Oxford University Press: Oxford. Sponheimer, M., Alemseged, Z., Cerling, T.E., Grine, F.E., Kimbel, W.H., Leakey, M.G., Lee-Thorp, J.A., Manthi, F.K., Reed, K.E., Wood, B.A., & Wynn, J.G. 2013. Isotopic evidence of early hominin diets. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110: 10513-10518. Stewart, J. 2010. Foundational issues in enaction as a paradigm for cognitive science: From the origin of life to consciousness and writing. Enaction: Towards a new paradigm for cognitive science. Taagepera, R. 1979. Size and Duration of Empires: Growth-Decline Curves, 600 B.C. to 600 A.D. Social Science History. 3: 115-138. Taagepera, R. 1997. Expansion and Contraction Patterns of Large Polities: Context for Russia. International Studies Quarterly. 41: 475-504. Teilhard, de C. 1955. The Phenomenon of Man. New York: Harper & Row. Teilhard, de C. 1969. The Formation of the Noosphere: A Plausible Biological Interpretation of Human History. In: Teilhard de C. (eds). The Future of Man. Pp. 7-35. New York: Harper & Row. Tennie, C., Call, J. & Tomasello, M. 2009. Ratcheting up the ratchet: on the evolution of cumulative culture. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. 364: 2405-2415.
Trigger, B.G. 2004. Writing systems: a case study in cultural evolution. In: Houston, S.D. (eds.). The First Writing: Script Invention as History and Process. Pp. 39-70. Ulam, S. 1958. Tribute to John von Neuman. Bulletin of the American Society. 64. Vinge, V. 1993. The Coming Technological Singularity: How To Survive In the Post-Human Era. Vision-21 Symposium, NASA Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute. Wells, H.G. 1938. World Brain. London: Methuen. Wrangham, R.W. 2009. Catching fire: how cooking made us human. Basic Books.