On Infinite stupidity

This is another post about an intervention of M.Pagel, this time on Edge. The guy sums up a great deal of ideas I always saw as obvious and adds interesting insights about the nature of intelligence that fit nicely with my view of the world. I do share many of his views.

Are we more stupid now than in the past?
Well, he admits that stupidity has always been around (copiers always existed) but the very fact that people were isolated from each other (i.e., no media/routes/planes to connect them) they were basically living in small groups. if you have 100 small bands of 10 individuals, you’ll need at least one creative (innovator) mind per band (he argues for more than one, as the number of creative minds per band is inversely proportional to the number of individuals, at least before any equilibrium is reached) so that you end up with (at least) 100 creative people (or 10%) but if you have a huge group of 100×10 individuals you might well do with only 1 creative mind (or 0.01%). Larger groups favor copiers and this is why there’s more stupidity now than in the past; there are less small groups and more big ones. Continue reading “On Infinite stupidity”

One World, One Language?

Here’s an interesting talk about language and its evolution, given by Mark Pagel.

Mark Pagel is head of the Evolution Laboratory in the Division of Zoology, at the University of Reading. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Evolution and co-author of the classic The Comparative Method in Evolutionary Biology, as well as author of numerous influential publications and works.

In this TED talk he speaks about language; a topic where he has many interesting ideas. The Question of Language fascinates me, I’m starting to think that this issue (origin, evolution, and other why’s and how’s) is more fundamental than any other question. The reason being that language seems to precede everything else: philosophy, mathematics, physics. Maybe even thinking, since this is somehow based on ‘words’. Continue reading “One World, One Language?”

C. Marker’s La jetée

Chris Marker’s film La jetée (1962) is a film that explores the relation image-sound and image-story in a unique and very original way that escapes standard classifications. It is also about our desires to travel in time and the essential attributes of humanity (love, imagination, evil, patience). Chris Marker reduces the cinematographic narrative to its most basic elements without eliminating any essential part, he goes to the limits of the process of simplification but not further. Like Picasso with his Minotaurs. Continue reading “C. Marker’s La jetée”