How the Internet Subverts Cultural Transmission By Jerome H. Barkow in DOES THE INTERNET SUBVERT CULTURE?
- How the Internet Subverts Cultural Transmission By Jerome H. Barkow
- È l ambiente che si adatta a noi e nn viceversa. Siamo inici. We are alone because instead of evolving different species to adapt to different geographies and climates, we adapt through culture.
- we are utterly dependent on vast bodies of stored, transmitted, and constantly edited and updated information, that is, on culture
- it includes subsistence skills, forms of social organization that are reasonably compatible with our current environment and level of technology, all details of that technology, effective ways to procure food and other essentials, the belief systems that more-or-less support the way we are socially organized, how we communicate from spoken language to gestures
- cultures are always changing,...Youth is a busy, busy time for members of Homo sapiens
- In recent years, some evolutionists have begun to think of culture as an adaptive, evolving system and the participants of a culture not as blind copying machines but as editors and inventers of the knowledge of which a culture consists
- This essay focuses on only one of our culture-editing mechanisms, the tendency to pay preferential attention to, and learn preferentially from, the high in status,
- In adolescence we tend to become preoccupied by our own relative standing and that of the people and groups around us.... we are editing out the behavior and knowledge of the low-in-status, the “losers,”the ignored, from the culture’s information pool. In their place we are replicating versions of the information associated with the high-in-status....Second, we are positioning ourselves to acquire prestige
- Esempio di collasso culturale. Cultural editing is not necessarily smooth. Even before the age of the Internet, preferential attention to the high in status could have unpredictable results. In my own work, during the 1970s, I lived among a people in Nigeria’s Middle Belt who called themselves the Migili (and whom the literature refers to as the “Koro”). Shortly before my arrival, a group of young Migili men had served in the Nigerian army. They had been astounded to learn that their revered elders were held in contempt by the surrounding Muslim, Hausa-speaking peoples, who thought of Migili as ignorant and dirty. The young men lost all respect for their elders and did the unthinkable: upon returning home they physically attacked some of the male elders.... Most people converted either to Evangelical Christianity or Catholicism, though some embraced Islam. The society changed thoroughly and irrevocably....
- for a culture to be perpetuated, the young must respect their elders: at least in some crucial ways, they must want to be like them and therefore to attend to them and learn preferentially from them.
- The Migili case gives us some insight into the impact of social media today. In part, the Migili social collapse resulted from a change in scale –from living in their own homogeneous town and having contact with outsiders....Modern social media represent a change in scale orders of magnitude greater,
- Entertainers and athletes seem to be presented as being near the top of the status hierarchy....We often grow up wanting to be like them, and even when we consciously reject them, they influence us.
- Bolla. Each online community develops its own prestige criteria and its own heroes,
- Whether we are talking of books, films, television, or the Internet, modern mass media devalue the coin of local prestige. This devaluation results in what economists might term “opportunity cost.”
- Everywhere, it seems, parents find themselves in the position of first generation immigrants whose children participate in a new and unfamiliar culture.
- What happens when the extreme group can convince their targets that they represent the most prestigious and powerful individual in the universe, the monotheistic god?
- “biology is destiny only if we ignore it” (Barkow 2003).
- Il dolce. We evolved to seek the tastes of salt, fat, and sweetness because, in earlier environments, these were reliable guides to scarce and valuable nutrients –they were indicators of nutrition. Today, these evolved preferences are exploited by industry to produce profitable but often dangerously unhealthy products. As with preferential attention to the high in status, our own evolved psychology is being turned against us. In both cases, our immediate reaction is to use cultural, religious, and moral systems against those responsible, trying to use shame and the label of “evil”to in effect lower the relative standing of those exploiting our evolved psychology for their own ends.