Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2-paddle solutions

All these "one oar in the water" narratives about regulation of antibiotics, climate-change, abortion, herd-immunity with vaccines, guns, population, etc. might be seen as classic model-selection problems. For instance, the need for a "smoking gun" e.g. to connect a specific individual pig to a specific individual microbe to a specific illness of a specific individual person may be organism-centric fantasy -- if you drop back to a robust data/model analysis strategy, like agreeing to focus on models that are least-surprised (in a technical sense) by incoming data, folks may be able to work together to tackle these problems understandably while moving their boat along with paddles on both sides of the canoe.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

replicable codes

Digital data is the DNA of culture. It deserves to be created & handled with care & respect.

1-paddle arguments

If you want to get down the river safely, you may want to avoid folks (and arguments) that paddle on only one side of the canoe.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

self-assembly refocus

Our social systems have by and large evolved to be inhabited by primates that buffer subsystem-correlations associated with between 4 and 5 of the 6 niche-network layers that look inward or outward from self, family or culture. Hence they have to implicitly assume, in effect to protect themselves from and even to build upon, behaviors which are informed to only a limited range of interests.

In some areas, however, long education-times and modern-media are helping to nurture 6-layer primates that don't fit in so well. System participants whose behavior is highly-informed are an especially-important resource that we don't want to waste, so perhaps a re-focus in social-system self-assembly is in order (whether it be to job settings or whatever) to nurture 6-layer primate behaviors (e.g. those whose awareness extends well past the edges of one's own self, family & culture).

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

balanced narratives

Unbalanced-narratives are low-hanging fruit, to which I'm afraid electronic media of all sorts (not to mention politicians) are at the moment severely addicted. Pick any controversial issue, and you'll find both sides spending virtually (if not literally) all of their time parroting unbalanced-narratives (often with limited or no interest in available data) rather than on the more difficult work of exploring the full picture.

What are some examples of this that you see?

Sunday, January 25, 2015

pitfalls & workarounds

Previous posts have hinted at shortcomings of organism-centricity as a general trait of human communications & perception. Two special cases of the problem, namely anthropocentricity where we think of our species collectively as the center of the universe, and self-centricity which may leave our individual actions un-informed to the perspective of even those closest to us, are already familiar themes.

One of the less-recognized consequences of organism-centricity in general is our pre-occupation with individuals for credit and blame, while collective processes (like the effects of evolving media, policy design, and self-assembly) remain largely invisible or at best treated anecdotally. Data-driven approaches to these collective-processes are starting to get attention (cf. Picketty in economics), although multi-layer approaches i.e. systematic consideration of processes on multiple-levels of organization at once are still in their infancy.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

them's bad guys

One place in the world of electronic communications, where our evolutionarily-important tendencies toward xenophobia and organism-centricity converge, is around criminal actions by non-state and rogue-state actors. Recall that a media "spectacle focus" on someone makes them seem important (in fact gives them net-surprisal), a result in the face of which the single bit of information as to whether it's " important-good" or "important-bad" may be insignificant.

In this context we've long argued that organism-centric humor ("look at what they are doing now"), rather than organism-centric xenophobia ("they may be evil incarnate") is a much more powerful evolutionarily-available antidote to the problem. Hence sarcasm is naturally seen as a more important target than is the enemy who speaks of your power, given that the latter may be an asset rather than a liability.

The root problem is of course generally not organism-centric at all, but has a solution which lies in a multi-layer focus on community health. Where else might this insight come in handy?