Biological, cultural, and individual evolution

Paul Grobstein's picture

"Booming, buzzing confusion":
Its role in biological, cultural, and individual evolution

Some reflections on The Story of Evolution and the Evolution of Stories, Spring, 2009 (in progress).  With thanks for everyone's participation in story evolution ...

The long, wide perspective

     
 Space  Time  Inquiry

 

Our perspective is distinctly limited, both in space and in time.  Point isn't that there are not stories nor that nothing has meaning.  Point is instead that

  •  
    • meaning and stories are themselves products of evolution - we create them
    • both meaning and meanings/stories are not fixed but rather continue to evolve
    • both meaning and meanings/stories are constructions and hence deconstructable (interpretable)
    • deconstruction (interpretation) of meaning/stories can create new meaning and hence contribute to the ongoing evolution of both meaning and meanings/stories

 

 Evolution times three 

Divergence, convergence, skyhooks and stories

 Biological Cultural (literary, artistic, etc)
 Individual

originally no goal, no skyhook

exploring/creating possibilities

originally no goal, no skyhook

exploring/creating possibilities?

originally no goal, no skyhook?

exploring/creating possibilities?

random change, history dependence, differential persistance

random change, history dependence, differential persistance random change, history dependence, differential persistance
tree like with some lateral spread
 more lateral spread but still tree like
tree like?

alternating divergence/convergence - periods of "blooming, buzzing confusion" present, not noticed

alternating divergence/convergence - periods of "blooming, buzzing confusion" present, sometimes noticed alternating divergence/convergence - periods of "blooming, buzzing confusion", often noticed
minor later role for story
earlier significant role for story?
major early role for story?
story can both contribute to/detract from ongoing exploration/creation story can both contribute to/detract from ongoing exploration/creation
story can both contribute to/detract from ongoing exploration/creation

 

New Terrain: Evolution Inside the Brain



 
 The brain
The constraint
 The opening ("crack")

 



   

The "blooming, buzzing confusion" is itself a rich source of new possibilities, well worth cultivating ("Against Method," "Against Interpretation")

 

That's the story to date .... with the inevitable cracks

 

"Living with the cracks is part of being, well, reasonably healthy" ... Hustvedt

"the idea is that we are made up of fragments that we try to pull together into a coherent "self." ... kcofrinsha

"The theory of evolution, like the authors and their works, is a continuous loop… a steady stream of information moving slowly, waiting to be observed – summarized – reobserved – resummarized and so on." .... eawhite

"what new things are possible through evolution is more interesting than analyzing the way things came to be the way they presently are. This moment in history is one way that things have happened, but it could have been infinitely otherwise, and will become infinitely otherwise ... sustainablephilosopher

"Because of the fact we already know this a class about evolution, I feel that our brains will be able to mold anything so that it may be linked to evolution ... Rica Dela Cruz
Did you all get bamboozeled? Did we bamboozele each other? We'll see. Looking forward to hearing your stories.

Comments

Paul Grobstein's picture

afterthoughts re evolutionX3

Found myself leaning on important argument: similarities between biological, cultural, individual change suggest that "meaning" and "story" play less role in the latter than one might think.  Left impression, appropriate I think, that all three should be thought of as "exploratory/creative systems" rather than truth or ideal seekers.  Didn't get to equally important point, that meaning/story plays a significant role, as opener of new spaces for exploration/creation (by deconstruction, divergence, reconstruction) but also as can function as potential inhibitor of those (by convergence).  Is a choice for individuals to make, shaping culture as they do so.    

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