VI. Earth Life Emergence: Development of Body, Brain, Selves and Societies
2. Complex Local and Global Societies
Smith, Monica. Territories, Corridors, and Networks: A Biological Model for the Premodern State. Complexity. 12/4, 2007. If this article which finds early human settlements likewise amenable to nonlinear science, might then be joined with other current work by Marcus Hamiliton, Ingo Piepers, Antonio Isalgue, Luis Bettencourt, et al, (please search herein) from hunter-gathers to cities and nations, one might perceive a salutary discovery in our midst by a cerebrally personal humankind.
Ancient human groups also can be analyzed as having perceived and occupied landscapes through strategies of flexible networks in which nodes and corridors were surrounded by unutilized spaces around which boundaries were selectively identified and defended. This strategy is identifiable in human social groups at different levels of complexity ranging from hunter-gatherers through ancient chiefdoms and states.
Spaget, Michael, et al. Toward a Unified Understanding of Casualty Distributions in Human Conflict. arXiv:1911.01994. As many entries across the social and cultural sections lately record an exemplary presence of dynamic networks, scales and forms, here London, Radboud, Michigan State and George Washington University (Neil Johnson) report that even the chaotic carnage of small and large warfare can be seen to exhibit systemic regularities. Such broad, consistent evidence would then necessarily imply a common, independent mathematical source. In 2019 as internecine conflicts spread and intensify like wildfires, might our nascent sapiensphere be at last able to realize and avail such a natural organizational code-program in time?
We are able to resolve various disparate claims and results that stand in the way of a unified description and understanding of human conflict. First, we reconcile the numerically different exponent values for fatalities across entire wars and within single wars. We go on to explain how a true theory of human conflict is able to provide a quantitative explanation of how most observed casualty distributions follow power-laws and why they deviate from them. Combined, our findings strengthen the notion that a unified framework can be used to understand and quantitatively describe human conflict. (Abstract excerpt)
Stout, Dietrich and Erin Hecht. Evolutionary Neuroscience of Cumulative Culture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 114/7861, 2017. An Emory University anthropologist and a Georgia State University behavioral neuroscientist broach views and ways to go beyond standard social studies so as to gain a vital cerebral basis for human artificial cultures.
Sutcliffe, Alistair, et al. Relationships and the Social Brain: Integrating Psychological and Evolutionary Perspectives. British Journal of Psychology. 103/2, 2012. Sutcliffe, University of Manchester, with Robin Dunbar, Oxford, Jens Binder, Trent University, and Holly Arrow, University of Oregon, contribute to the growing articulation of human societies, for these title reasons, as distinguished by nested scales of group members. See also Sutcliffe herein, and Linnda Caporeal (2011), for further studies of this social proclivity. If one might avail, for example, school children, especially disadvantaged, might do better in school in supportive teams of nominally five, then as groups of three, and so on. And cohousing and ecovillage communities seem to succeed best at around a diverse 100 person membership.
Psychological studies of relationships tend to focus on specific types of close personal relationships (romantic, parent–offspring, friendship) and examine characteristics of both the individuals and the dyad. This paper looks more broadly at the wider range of relationships that constitute an individual's personal social world. Recent work on the composition of personal social networks suggests that they consist of a series of layers that differ in the quality and quantity of relationships involved. Each layer increases relationship numbers by an approximate multiple of 3 (5–15-50–150) but decreasing levels of intimacy (strong, medium, and weak ties) and frequency of interaction. To account for these regularities, we draw on both social and evolutionary psychology to argue that relationships at different layers serve different functions and have different cost-benefit profiles. At each layer, the benefits are asymptotic but the costs of maintaining a relationship at that level (most obviously, the time that has to be invested in servicing it) are roughly linear with the number of relationships. (Abstract)
Sutcliffe, Alistair, et al. Social Relationships and the Emergence of Social Networks. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. 15/4, 2012. In this paper, Sutcliffe and Di Wang, University of Manchester, with Robin Dunbar, Oxford, seek a more mathematical quantification of why societies persistently tend to take on common hierarchical and cross-connective structures that better serve survival and prosperity.
In complex social systems such as those of many mammals, including humans, groups (and hence ego-centric social networks) are commonly structured in discrete layers. We describe a computational model for the development of social relationships based on agents' strategies for social interaction that favour more less-intense, or fewer more-intense partners. A trust-related process controls the formation and decay of relationships as a function of interaction frequency, the history of interaction, and the agents' strategies. A good fit of the observed layers of human social networks was found across a range of model parameter settings. Social interaction strategies which favour interacting with existing strong ties or a time-variant strategy produced more observation-conformant results than strategies favouring more weak relationships. Strong-tie strategies spread in populations under a range of fitness conditions favouring wellbeing, whereas weak-tie strategies spread when fitness favours foraging for food. The implications for modelling the emergence of social relationships in complex structured social networks are discussed. (Abstract)
Taborsky, Edwina. The Textual Society. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997. From a semiotic viewpoint, social assemblies and especially human societies can be seen as manifestations of informed energy, in which case they are a “socio-organic text.”
I suggest that a group, any group, be it a human society, animal, biological, chemical, any logical conglomerate of interactive units, can be understood as a text. In the case of the human society, it is a cohesive structure of socially created kinwledge, operative within a long-term group-based logic of interaction. (47)
Tan, Joseph, et al. Health Care and Services Delivery Systems as Complex Adaptive Systems. Communications of the ACM. 48/5, 2005. An example of how this understanding of human society as due to the self-organizing dynamics of many interacting agents can be intentionally employed to facilitate and improve real world situations. At the same time, this increases the emergent organic quality of these societies.
Thompson, Leigh and Gary Fine. Socially Shared Cognition, Affect and Behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 3/4, 1999. A survey of dissension in the field and its resolve by a revival of the theory of group mind.
Thurner, Stefan. Virtual Social Science. arXiv:1811.08156. The Medical University of Vienna systems theorist opens with reference to the French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857) who is seen as the original conceiver of a relation between social behavior and a physical basis, which he dubbed a sociophysics. With colleagues, into the 21st century and later 2010s, it may at last be possible to quantify a mathematical. formative relation between uniVerse and human. The novel achievement is aided by vast amounts of data from societal interactions such as iphone records, media postings, and especially multiplayer video games. Once again the generic node/link network topologies are in effect such that our communal discourse (socioinformatic) becomes akin to everywhere else since each and all spring from the same cosmo/physical source. This is a grand confirmation. Whenever will it be possible to conceive a global sapiensphere learning on her/his own?
Can we describe social systems quantitatively and predictively, when we know all the actions, interactions, and states of individuals? We interpret human societies as co-evolutionary systems of individuals and their interactions. Based on unique data of a society of computer game players, where all actions and interactions between all players are known, we show that this might indeed be possible. Within this framework we address a number of sociological classics, including formation of social networks, strength of relations, group formation, hierarchical organization, aggression management, gender differences, mobility, and wealth-inequality. We discover behavioral and organizational patterns of the homo sapiens and its society that were not visible with traditional methodology from the social sciences. (Abstract)
Tomasello, Michael, et al. Understanding and Sharing Intentions: The Origins of Cultural Cognition. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 28/5, 2005. A team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology makes a case that a our propensity for social collaboration exists because we can understand what others are thinking. So it is this attribute that most distinguishes human uniqueness. Yes, language is important but to facilitate this communal discourse. If such qualities could be set within a sequentially self-organizing emergence, a further movement toward an increasing organic and cognitive wholeness, a next sphere of local and global knowledge, could be observed.
We propose that the crucial difference between human cognition and that of other species is the ability to participate with others in collaborative activities with shared goals and intentions: shared intentionality. (675) If our phylogenetic hypothesis is correct, selection for good collaborators means selection for individuals who are (1) good at intention reading and (2) have a strong motivation to share psychological states with others. Our ontogenetic hypothesis is that it is precisely these two developing capacities that interact during the first years of life to create the normal human developmental pathway leading to participation in collaborative cultural practices. (688)
Tsarev, Dmitriy, et al. Phase Transitions, Collective Emotions and Decisions-Making Problem in Heterogeneous Social Systems. Nature Scientific Reports. 9/18039, 2019. We cite this entry by ITMO University, St. Petersburg (Information Tech, Optics, Engineering) and Linnaeus University, Sweden (Andrei Khrennikov) researchers as an example of novel perceptions of and evidence for physical and quantum phenomena in all manner of psychological and societal realms. As a result, this communal phase can take upon a guise as active biological/sociological matter. As Auguste Comte (1798-1857) once glimpsed, by way of our late worldwide abilities, personal and planetary human abide can indeed be joined with and exemplify an independent, conducive, fertile milieu.
This paper considers collective decision-making as a second order phase-transition which occurs in heterogeneous information-oriented communities with information exchange between individuals. We examine a quantum-like model of two-level cognitive systems interacting with a socially contextual information field. We introduce a new approach for valence and arousal variables, used in cognitive sciences for the description of collective emotion states. The model predicts a super-radiant phase transition leading to coherent polarization in the societal unit. We show that a critical (social) temperature is determined by the population imbalance (valence), detuning, field coupling strength parameter and social viability. (Abstract excerpt)
Turvey, Michael. Philosophical Issues in Self-organization as a Framework for Ecological Psychology. Ecological Psychology. 20/2, 2008. An introduction to papers from a September 2007 conference with this title held at the University of Connecticut. Authors include Alicia Juarrero and Stephanie Petrusz, with the quote from Anthony Chemero.
Imagine that nature is self-organizing all the way down: the processes and entities at any given scale are self-organized, autonomous systems; furthermore, the constituent parts of these self-organized, autonomous systems are themselves self-organized, autonomous systems. This is view that people interested in self-organization and complexity, including ecological psychologists, would find congenial, and one can easily imagine that it encompasses scales of nature from chemical reactions to Gaia. (257)