I’m always thinking about the big questions, while trying to build this business into something great, so I can have money, so I can devote myself to the big questions full time.
Ive read a lot of EO Wilson this year, though not as much as I’d like. I have most of his books, but only read a handful. He’s been an integral part of my intellectual growth.
His ideas are outside the box. I picked up his book on Sociobiology (1977) earlier this year. It’s mostly a text book, but it was the precursor to evolutionary psychology, a very non-PC topic, especially in our current culture, i.e. that there are evolutionary behaviors with a genetic basis that aid in a species ability to self-preserve. It’s like duh, but then you start exploring implications for gender and patriarchy etc, and it gets controversial
Sociobiology is fascinating. Evolutionary psychology just looks at how genetically based behaviors aid in our survival
We will always saddle the Nature vs. Nurture debate, but in the end, our hardware will determine which software (culture, stories) we ultimately run, due to limitations in complexity and nuance, which is fascinating.
If you examine other mammals, you see some pretty compelling patterns that you can apply to humanity to explain our behaviors, because it’s harder to argue that “culture” explains the behaviors of other animals, like ants.
And ants and bees have culture, but there is a genetic basis.
While many would say these behaviors are not as innate as expected, I think that its just complex… and that’s why its easy to dismiss
But as we gather more data, and have more analytics, this culture, and the universal archetypes and patterns we observe will have more genetic evidence as a basis.
Like, you can abstract patterns across cultures, and there are objective themes that emerge, organizational structures across time and geography and culture.
Examining these “themes” or archetypes, then looking for why these emerge, from a historical evolutionary perspective, and from where they emerge in our biology, and how they manifest in our psychology and sociobiology, and why they emerge as a evolutionary imperative of survival
EO wilson is pretty astute. I think he was ahead of his time
All this is fun to think about, and enlightening.
It answers the question “why”?
Why we do organize as a species this way?
What is the impact of language? on our psychology and others? On our evolution? on our notion of self? and how does this allow us to fit into society as a valuable member that aids in its preservation?
What is the end game for humanity? AI? super intelligence?
I would love to talk about a specific topic that I’ve been obsessed about for years now, and really haven’t hashed it out a ton, namely: How Biological Evolution and Thermodynamics (conservation of energy) are one in the same
How everything boils down to energy distribution and transfer, and all life is an energy capturing mechanism.
I think once we understand the physics of energy as the driver of life and adaption, we will understand evolution, and be able to even predict it
Thinking of ecologies as energy systems, and organisms as finding ways to inhabit those energy systems, by adapting to become more efficient at capturing and transferring energy.
And human ecology aka economics,i.e. supply and demand, of resources, of energy, of our ability to capture energy.
Every organization of matter (organisms, institutions) is an efficient energy system. It wouldn’t arise if it wasn’t. The imperative is that it aids in the survival of its members, of the whole. Patterns of being, patterns of action, patterns of action.
When thinking about evolution, and specifically genetics, I believe it’s important to keep this in mind: energy transfer, resource capture, efficiency, is the imperative driving evolution on a genetic level.
Race is a political construct, and it really isn’t important from an evolutionary biological perspective, unless you are looking for why there is a survival advantage. It’s skin pigment. So, it’s really a useless genetic marker for anything anything deeper about our composition.
Now, humans may organize in a tribal way, a way that allows that pigment to survive, because of breeding, and cultural inclusion, but I think its more important to look at the biological or genetic markers for driving propensities of behavior, the fundamental psychological genetically based hardware that provides the capacity for these behaviors, such as language.
I do think language is a massively important factor in the survival of humans, and certain “groups” of humans and their capacity for language, allows certain Homo Sapien sects to survive better.
Perhaps certain cultures have a greater capacity for language.
Perhaps there is a genetic for this capacity.
What about Jews? Their affinity for memorizing text, the Torah, and their contributions to science, and their Nobel Prize winnings.