Culture As A Cruel Master
22 April 2024 | 9:20 pm

Some things are said to be good servants but bad masters. Consider applying this warning to culture. Culture is humanity’s superpower; it is what makes humans so much more capable than other animals. When we know what outcomes we want, but not how to get them, culture helps us find and copy associates better at getting those outcomes, and then collectively improve our abilities.

Who Warns Of Warners?
22 April 2024 | 12:41 am

Simple action stories depict conflict with an outsider villain/monster. In fighting that monster, the hero often gets help from their usual social allies, such as friends, family, and local authorities. In a more “modern” story, however, the villain may be a friend, parent, boss, teacher, police, or government agency. The hero must now learn to distrust many usual authorities, and judge who are their real allies.

Hail Cecilia Heyes
20 April 2024 | 9:55 pm

I am addicted to ‘viewquakes’, insights which dramatically change my world view. (More) To my shame, I missed Tyler’s review of the 2018 book Cognitive Gadgets: The Cultural Evolution of Thinking. I often get asked what are good books to read, and who are contemporary intellectual heroes, and now I have good answers: this book and its author Cecilia Heyes.

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