Humans and Protocols

April 19, 2009 at 7:55 pm Leave a comment

This study has, to me, entirely different meanings than those assigned to it.  One of the unstated assumptions, for instance, is that “good” scientists can be defined by some criteria or criterium (it almost seemed like the latter was indicated).  The main one is once again that proximity at the least implies a causational relationship.  It doesn’t, and the directionality of causation isn’t a given.  At times studies have been done that were like saying a stream being polluted caused mining.

“We are extremely susceptible to how questions are posed.”  That would be the likely result of the phrasing indicating the kind of framework of judgment that’s expected.

For right now, I basically wanted to earmark the article and say this; language is the DNA of society, just as necessarily humans are the cells.  There is practically infinite evidence that mammals default to using language, and a fair amount of evidence that life forms that aren’t warm-blooded don’t.  (This also depends on your definition of language.  Technically, the usage of pollen can be counted as language, although it’s not “realtime” compared to ordinary human usage.)  Cold-blooded actually do use genetic transmission of knowledge, warm-blooded don’t do as much (there is some real evidence that we have a genetic predisposition to find the nearest thing we can and act like it, “we” being warm-blooded; humans, of course, tend to be a tad helpless at birth).

The kinds of protocols, then, that humans use as components of a group are fairly limited.  First of all, there are task-oriented and generalized protocols; those two broad trees.  A task-oriented protocol is short-term by nature.  We’re perhaps most familiar with such protocols in situations involving money, modernly.  Spend or save?  Does saving make sense in sense of such-and-such a percentage of profit in terms of such-and-such a percentage of inflation?  Generalized protocols involve “bonding”, basically.  They do something to establish identity.  Remember the roots of the word “identity” here.  Identical means the same.  Identity in social terms means relative position in an effectively infinite sequence of ordered sets.  However, being analog the way we sloppy humans are we tend to summarize things like this with “He’s rich and an a**hole,” and so forth.  (He’s actually a very nice guy.)  Identity in term allows some automatic decisions.  This makes things easier.

And an actually final note.  One passing comment was that humans will consider the negative before the positive.  In a situation involving survival, you’ll always try to make the right choice.  We model on things.  That means we get taught.  Like, by adults, or what passes for them.  Rewards, that is, are handled by the same person as the one who gives the punishments.  And for the first few years, this doesn’t tend to be terribly consistent.  Well, I’ll back up.  It’s no problem at all getting punished.  Getting the reward is a great idea and may never happen.  I’ll say it again.  Humans learn. More than that, language/society evolved to its present condition because (at least in a specific environment) it was the best way to survive, for one and all.  A multicellular organism was best for a lot of situations once again.

–Glenn

Entry filed under: modal philosophy, social networking, social psychology, writing and thought.

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