venerdì 26 agosto 2016

INTRO Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge by Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge by Michael Suk-Young Chwe
You have 64 highlighted passages
You have 70 notes
Last annotated on August 26, 2016
1 IntroductionRead more at location 161
Note: tesi: contrapporre cultura e tradizione è sbagliato cos è la c.p. e chi produce questo bene? conoscenza comune e ruolo del sacro la ripetizione nei riti la danza nei riti contatto visivo nei riti i social come generatori di c.p. panopticon superbowl il ruolo del simbolo nei riti obiezioni e altre funzioni del rito xchè manteniamo tante norme sbagliate risposta a Boezio... de servitute come ottimizzare contenuto e forma Edit
Note: INTRO@@@@@@@@@@@ Edit
What This Book Is Good ForRead more at location 163
Note: T Edit
Here we consider “coordination problems,” in which each person wants to participate in a group action but only if others also participate. For example, each person might want to take part in an antigovernment protest but only if there are enough total protesters to make arrests and police repression unlikely.Read more at location 164
Note: ESEMPIO Edit
Simply receiving a message, however, is not enough to make an individual participate. Because each individual wants to participate only if others do, each person must also know that others received a message.Read more at location 166
In other words, knowledge of the message is not enough; what is also required is knowledge of others’ knowledge, knowledge of others’ knowledge of others’ knowledge, and so on — that is, “common knowledge.”Read more at location 169
Public rituals can thus be understood as social practices that generate common knowledge. For example, public ceremonies help maintain social integration and existing systems of authority;Read more at location 173
A public ritual is not just about the transmission of meaning from a central source to each member of an audience; it is also about letting audience members know what other audience members know.Read more at location 177
One explanation of how public ceremonies help sustain a ruler’s authority is through their “content,” for example, by creating meaningful associations with the sacred.Read more at location 179
Note: SACRO Edit
It is often argued that public ceremonies generate action through heightened emotion; our argument is based on “cold” rationality.Read more at location 183
Ritual language is often patterned and repetitive. In terms of simply conveying meaning, this can be understood as providing redundancy,Read more at location 184
she knows it is repeated and hence knows that it is more likely that others have heard it.Read more at location 187
when dancing, each person knows that everyone else is paying attention, because if a person were not, the pattern of movement would be immediately disrupted.Read more at location 189
Note: DANZA Edit
I then look at examples of people facing each other in circles, as in the kiva, a ritual structure found in prehistoric structures in the southwestern United States, the seating configuration of various U.S. city halls, and revolutionary festivals during the French Revolution. In each of these examples, the circular form was seemingly intended to foster social unity. But how? Our explanation is based on common knowledge generation. An inward-facing circle allows maximum eye contact; each person knows that other people know because each person can visually verify that others are paying attention.Read more at location 190
Buying certain kinds of goods can be a coordination problem; for example, a person might want to see a movie more the more popular it is.Read more at location 196
an advertiser should try to generate common knowledge.Read more at location 197
More recently, the Super Bowl has become the best common knowledge generator in the United States recently, and correspondingly, the great majority of advertisements on the Super Bowl are for “coordination problem” goods.Read more at location 198
(when I see a popular show, I know that many others are also seeing it). Companies that sell “coordination problem” goods tend to advertise on more popular shows and are willing to pay a premium for the common knowledge they generate.Read more at location 201
Note: PREMIUM Edit
In a weak-link network, the friends of a given person’s friends tend not to be that person’s friends, whereas in a strong-link network, friends of friends tend to be friends. It seems that strong-link networks should be worse for communication and hence coordinated action, because they are more “involuted” and information travels more slowly in them; however, empirical studies often find that strong links are better for coordination.Read more at location 205
even though strong links are worse for spreading information, they are better at generating common knowledge;Read more at location 208
Note: INFO KNOW Edit
Finally, I consider Jeremy Bentham’s “panopticon” prison design, in which cells are arranged in a circle around a central guard tower. Michel Foucault regards the panopticon as a mechanism of power based on surveillance,Read more at location 210
Foucault and most other observers, however, neglect the fact that Bentham’s design includes a central chapel above the guard tower, so that the prisoners can take part in service without having to leave their cells; in other words, the panopticon is to some extent also a ritual structure.Read more at location 212
Ideas of rationality and culture are often considered as applying to entirely different spheres of human activity and as having their own separate logic. This book argues instead for a broad reciprocal connection.Read more at location 217
To understand public rituals, one should understand how they generate the common knowledge that the logic of rationality requires. To understand how rational individuals solve coordination problems, one should understand public rituals.Read more at location 218
Next I try to respond to the common objection that common knowledge is not really applicable to the “real world” because people do not actually seem to think through several layers of “I know that he knows that she knows” and so forth.Read more at location 228
content and common knowledge generation interact in interesting ways;Read more at location 231
Common knowledge depends not only on me knowing that you receive a message but also on the existence of a shared symbolic system which allows me to know how you understand it.Read more at location 233
Note: SIMBOLO Edit
The fact that common knowledge generation is a real resource suggests that “symbolic” resistance should not be underestimated.Read more at location 237
Common knowledge is generated not only by communication but also by historical precedent.Read more at location 238
Note: STORIA Edit
common knowledge not only helps a group coordinate but also, to some extent, can create groups, collective identities, “imagined communities” in which, for example, each newspaper reader is aware of millions of fellow readers.Read more at location 241
First, the concept of common knowledge has broad explanatory power. Second, common knowledge generation is an essential part of what a public ritual “does.” Third, the classic dichotomy between rationality and culture should be questioned.Read more at location 243
The ArgumentRead more at location 246
Note: pullman aggollato ribellione contro regimi apple Edit
Note: TITOLO Edit
One way to coordinate is simply to communicate a message, such as “Let’s all participate.” But because each person will participate only if others do, for the message to be successful, each person must not only know about it, each person must know that each other person knows about it.Read more at location 248
David Lewis (1969), influenced by Thomas Schelling ([I960] 1980), first made it explicitly; Robert Aumann (1974, 1976) developed the mathematical representation that makes it elementary (see the appendix).Read more at location 253
Say you and I are co-workers who ride the same bus home. Today the bus is completely packed and somehow we get separated. Because you are standing near the front door of the bus and I am near the back door, I catch a glimpse of you only at brief moments. Before we reach our usual stop, I notice a mutual acquaintance, who yells from the sidewalk, “Hey you two! Come join me for a drink!” Joining this acquaintance would be nice, but we care mainly about each other’s company. The bus doors open; separated by the crowd, we must decide independently whether to get off. Say that when our acquaintance yells out, I look for you but cannot find you; I’m not sure whether you notice her or not and thus decide to stay on the bus. How exactly does the communication process fail? There are two possibilities. The first is simply that you do not notice her; maybe you are asleep. The second is that you do in fact notice her. But I stay on the bus because I don’t know whether you notice her or not. In this case we both know that our acquaintance yelled but I do not know that you know.Read more at location 255
Successful communication sometimes is not simply a matter of whether a given message is received. It also depends on whether people are aware that other people also receive it. In other words, it is not just about people’s knowledge of the message; it is also about people knowing that other people know about it, the “metaknowledge” of the message.Read more at location 263
just one “level” of metaknowledge is not enough.Read more at location 268
every level of metaknowledge is necessary: I must know about the yell, you must know, I must know that you know, you must know that I know, I must know that you know that I know, and so on;Read more at location 269
We say that an event or fact is common knowledge among a group of people if everyone knows it, everyone knows that everyone knows it, everyone knows that everyone knows that everyone knows it, and so on.Read more at location 271
Note: CK Edit
Two people can create these many levels of metaknowledge simply through eye contact:Read more at location 273
Rebelling against a regime is a coordination problem: each person is more willing to show up at a demonstration if many others do, perhaps because success is more likely and getting arrested is less likely.Read more at location 284
Regimes in their censorship thus target public communications such as mass meetings, publications, flags, and even graffiti, by which people not only get a message but know that others get it also (Sluka 1992, Diehl 1992).Read more at location 285
Note: CENSURA Edit
Anwar el-Sadat’s attempt in 1977 to raise the price was met with major riots. Since then, one government tactic has been to make the loaves smaller gradually; another has been to replace quietly a fraction of the wheat flour with cheaper corn flourRead more at location 287
In January 1984 Apple Computer introduced its new Macintosh computer with a visually stunning sixty-second commercial during the Super Bowl, the most popular regularly scheduled television program each year. The Macintosh was completely incompatible with existing personal computers: Macintosh users could easily exchange data only with other Macintosh users, and if few people bought the Macintosh, there would be little available software.Read more at location 292
Note: APPLE Edit
Note: coordination e free riding @@@@@@@@@@@@@@ Edit
I should make clear that a coordination problem is not a “free rider problem,” also known as the “prisoners’ dilemma.” In a free rider problem, no person wants to participate under any circumstances:Read more at location 300
“Solving” free rider problems hence requires enlarging people’s possible motivations, by for example legal or social sanctions against free riders or repeated contexts in which free riding now might make people not cooperate with you later.Read more at location 302
For example, “many Ghanaians would prefer to rely on a common indigenous national language but differ as to which it should be”Read more at location 317
Note: GAHANA Edit
Common KnowledgeRead more at location 321
Note: i sottotitoli del met Edit
Note: T Edit
common knowledge can to some degree be distinguished from “content” or “meaning.”Read more at location 323
The New York Metropolitan Opera finally decided in 1995 to display translations of the libretto during performances. However, instead of “supertitles,” in which translations are projected on a screen above the stage, the Met developed its own “Met Titles,” in which each member of the audience has her own small electronic screen, which she can turn on or off. According to one reviewer, “ ‘Met Titles’ are markedly superior to the systems of most theatres: … they don’t become part of the performance’s public discourse” (Griffiths 1995). Even if most people turned their screens on, the translations would not be common knowledgeRead more at location 333
Note: MET TITLE Edit
For users of electronic mail, common knowledge is nicely described as the difference between cc: (“carbon copy”) and bcc: (“blind carbon copy”). When one sends a message to several people at the same time via the To: address line or via carbon copy, each receiver gets the list of people to whom the message is sent. With blind carbon copy, however, each receiver gets a message such as “recipient list suppressed.”Read more at location 339
Common knowledge is affected not only by technology, but also by how people choose to communicate. Brian McNaught (1993, p. 53) tells of an accountant friend who says “I’m sure my boss knows I’m gay … but I’m also sure he doesn’t want to talk about it and doesn’t want me to talk about it.”Read more at location 348
Note: GAY Edit
Common knowledge is in some sense the opposite of a secret. George describes how he came out as a gay man: “I told Peter first … then I told Fred … and told them not to tell anyone else or talk about it with anyone else until I did.… After I talked with other people in our circles, then they did, so after a while everyone was talking with everyone else about it instead of having this big secret that everyone bottled up inside” (Signorile 1995, p. 76).Read more at location 356
Note: OUTING Edit
Common knowledge is not always desirable; sometimes people deliberately avoid it. A male hotel butler who intrudes upon a naked female guest, instead of acting embarrassed and thereby letting the guest know that he knows, might say loudly, “Pardon me, sir.” Dissimulation can prevent common knowledgeRead more at location 362
Where the Argument Comes FromRead more at location 375
Note: T Edit
Lewis (1969, p. 6) finds the idea of coordination problem in David Hume’s example of several people in a rowboat, each rower wanting to row at the same rate as all the others.Read more at location 376
Note: ORIGINI Edit
Coordination problems and how they are solved were considered early on by Schelling ([I960] 1980), and common knowledge was modeled mathematically by Aumann (1976);Read more at location 381
distinction between public and private announcements are increasingly relevant concepts for economics and financeRead more at location 384
Note: FINANZA Edit
Common knowledge relies on people having a “theory of mind,” an ability to understand the mental states of other people; how exactly the theory of mind works and develops is an important question for cognitive neuroscience (e.g., Baron-Cohen, Tager-Flusberg, and Cohen 2000).Read more at location 385
Social psychologists developed the concept of “pluralistic ignorance,” which refers to a situation in which people hold very incorrect beliefs about the beliefs of others, and is in this sense the absence of common knowledge. To take one of many examples, in a 1972 survey 15 percent of white Americans favored racial segregation, but 72 percent believed that a majority of the whites in their area favored segregation (O’Gorman 1979; see also Shamir 1993).Read more at location 388
“The reduction of pluralistic ignorance,” due to modern communication technology and increased foreign contacts, “led … to a political wave of tremendous power” (Coser 1990, p. 182; see also Kuran 1991) and the collapse of these regimes.Read more at location 395
there is a need, which social institutions help fill, to stabilize “expectations of expectations.… Moreover, it needs to be considered that there is a third, fourth, etc. level of reflexivity, namely expectations of expectations of expectations and expectations of expectations of expectations of expectations, etc.” According to Luhmann, “the reciprocity of perspectives and the constituted meaning of the you for the I can be traced back to German idealism.”Read more at location 400