Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Continuously Newer Methods For Increasing AND Tuning Key Communication Throughput - The Key To All Development.

An interesting campaign poster appeared on twitter recently, indicating that 100 yrs ago, we as a people had a better grasp of return-on-coordination?





There are tangible benefits to organizing and coordinating?

Why do we have to be reminded of this?

Obviously, we've known this ever since the first proto-humans bagged a mammoth or other large prey, or organized their first camp.

Even chimpanzees and baboons know this implicitly

Every pack, herd or band animal does, to some degree.

So it's extraordinary that modern humans express an oxymoron as profound as the following.

All people implicitly grasp the benefit of small team behavior, and ... too many also DISPUTE the benefit of successfully organizing on a national scale.

If one national effort doesn't quite work, too many tend to say it can't be done or is too difficult, instead of just deciding to adjust existing methods?

THAT BEHAVIOR OF GIVING UP IS NOT NATURAL!

Or at least it's only a part of our nature.

If resisting growth was all we did, we wouldn't be here today in nation-states, after a million+ years of human evolution. You have to presume that a constant level of failed context awareness, aka parasitic self fraud, aka Control Fraud supplies the bulk of our actual selective pressure? What seems to divert us from our own evolution is the same pressure that drives us to further evolve human culture? Namely, our internal frictions.

We've all heard or expressed the following thoughts, at different stages of our development. They're familiar refrains, which both limit and drive our development of new mobilization methods.

"We have too much government!"
"It can't be done!"

"In theory, but not in practice."


True, or not true? It's very difficult to even have this discussion with most people, since most aren't comfortable separating required methods from emerging options. Yet there's a fundamental truth that cuts across this irrelevant, student argument.

FOR OUR GROWTH RATE TO STAY THE SAME, 
WE MUST CONSTANTLY CHANGE EVERYTHING ABOUT OURSELVES?

Ya think?

So why do we see so much friction over such an ancient topic? Today, everyone can discuss small-group teamwork as an implicit or natural behavior, yet too many refute the obvious corollary, that larger scale teamwork can also be "natural" or implicitly achievable.

We all laugh at "Cargo Cults" in simpler settings, yet nearly all of us are still Cargo Cult Cultural Scientists ... who actually believe that we have to GET our dynamic fiat and our static assets FROM something other than our own teamwork.

Here's one significant conclusion. It's one that all students should learn by age 10?

The sensory instrumentation of small groups of people wield communication throughput that allows them to easily accommodate iterative trials & errors, until they find what works. Our 5 senses alone give us enough leeway to do a lot, and our various tools and methods provide additional "force-extension."

Those capabilities allow us to:
.....gather much information;
.....recognize inter-dependency patterns (aka, make context models);
.....test behaviors (generate trials);
.....assess outcomes (before going back to review other context changes).

If we both make enough mistakes and forgive ourselves for them - quickly enough - then we call it learning, and find sustainable success as what's left over.

Sure, we always have to select how little data or communication throughput is needed to be efficient at a given task. Yet to achieve group efficiency, we ALWAYS need enough communication throughput to explore constantly changing group options, by iterative trial & error.

Once achieved, the same new methods that allowed new achievement also allow selective TUNING. Selecting to relax into efficient habits for transient contexts? That requires enough computational power to drive the selection of which transient habits to fall into, and then to re-gear everything as contexts change. To survive, we gradually toggle between fully activated vs relaxed organizational states.

However, at the end of every relaxed period, we usually have MORE PEOPLE to activate or mobilize. So there's a double task.

First, re-activate the prior level of organization, by re-asserting and increasing the active, non-relaxed level of communication throughput across a LARGER TEAM!

Second, tune the communication throughput to actually make this larger team even more organized than competing teams, in a given context. Most data is usually irrelevant to context, but it takes considerable practice to sort that out.

Imagine you're a sports coach. It takes months of practice for a given team to get better at a given game.

What happens if periodically the team and coach are told that the league has changed the rules, and there are more people on every team - say, 7 on 7 basketball, instead of 5 on  5. Worse, imagine that the field size or shape has changed, and that the equipment changed.

All teams would struggle to adapt, and get good at exploiting all the new options! Organizing on a larger scale is difficult. It requires readjust ALL interdependencies, and finding new tolerance limits for every one of them.

Yet would it take even more time and effort than the original training did - or less?

Those growing teams that excelled would be those who adjusted their entire training methods, and got good at learning itself, not just excelling at one, defined iteration of one sport. If the changes occurred too quickly, many would spend time complaining, or just give up and quit.

Only the most agile groups would survive.

Sports are obviously a very pale comparison of life, war, or cultural evolution.

To drive group learning, faster/better/leaner, large groups struggle to field and quickly tune the variable communication throughput required to sustain group trial & error without excessive group frictions.

Simply put, that's why so many individuals and subgroups are always PURSUING MAL-ADAPTIVE OPTIONS FOR TOO LONG, before receiving adequate, full-group, feedback. We call it fraud, yet fraud is itself just a symptom of failed group maintenance or self-regulation, resulting in isolated people lacking adequate, timely group feedback.

Spectacular examples of task-specific or context-specific communication throughput occur repeatedly (campaigns, wars, environmental impact statements, FDA clinical trials, banking regulations, Automatic Economic Stabilizers, etc).

Yet such examples are usually either local or temporary achievements that face considerable frictions, and constant resistance to their retention.

Cultural evolution works on yet another level, beyond the comprehension of most component citizens.

Hence, most adaptive cultural adjustments are not immediately MAINTAINED, even those that were seemingly demonstrated to all. 

THAT, IN A NUTSHELL, IS WHY SO MANY GRANDCHILDREN HAVE TO RE-LEARN DIFFICULT LESSONS WHICH THEIR GRANDPARENTS LEARNED THE HARD WAY, AND THEIR PARENTS EITHER FORGOT, OR NEVER LEARNED TO IMPLICITLY APPRECIATE.

So there's a 2nd step to cultural evolution.

To MAINTAIN organization on a larger scale, we have to first develop the full, group-wide communication throughput that allows the original achievement.

Subsequently, we must then institute some 2nd order changes in citizen development (i.e.,. upbringing, education & training) to permanently capture and retain both the new achievements AND the newly elevated threshold of communication throughput that allows them.

This cycle repeats, so there is a 3rd step in accelerating adaptive rate, or autocatalysis, that is scale dependent. Once a human group fields enough communication throughput to start taking on "larger prey" or bigger challenges, it also fields enough computational power - in the form of agile public discourse - to actively observe and tune it's own developmental methods.

Once we can adjust our upbringing, education and training methods at will, we can accelerate our cultural achievement-&-retention cycle. Then we can chase context change faster/cheaper/better.

This brings up an interesting question. HOW MANY GENERATIONS DOES IT TAKE FOR A GIVEN CULTURE, TO PERMANENTLY RETAIN NEWLY DISCOVERED, ADAPTIVE METHODS?

If you follow the old advertising adage, you might suggest that it once took Neanderthal or ancient Cro Magnon humans, say, 12 generations of observable trial and error before a new group trait was clearly separated as an adaptive signal, from all the competing cultural noise. That's presumably how cults, clans and bands form - through behavioral recruitment and meme flow, not just gene flow. The adjusted methods can be physiological or purely behavioral.

To answer the behavioral part of the question, how soon a culture retains new behaviors is always some selective function of how early each new generation is exposed to a newly practiced behavior, so that kids start practicing it during development, by emulating emerging adult tasks. That's a inescapable reality, given the known developmental "windows" for all forms of human developmental plasticity. To foster results, all groups recruit children to start practicing required individual or group skills at an earlier age.

SO IF WE AREN'T CONSTANTLY PUSHING POLICY DILEMMAS OF THE DAY FURTHER BACK DOWN OUR EDUCATION PROCESS, WE'RE SLOWING OUR CULTURAL ADAPTIVE RATE?

So what must we do? Change everything? How much? Without assessing the impact of everything, how do we selectively change everything?

We have a significant industry evaluating HOW children learn. Yet we don't invest nearly as much effort into constantly reevaluating WHAT they start emulating, how soon, or how to ASSESS THE IMPACT on our desired, national outcomes. If we diverted more of our existing NSA and other MICC budgets to assessing how well our developmental, education and training methods track our emerging national challenges, we'd be far more secure.

National security is a function of what we as a people become, and how quickly we achieve and retain newly adaptive traits? No surprise there. Wallace & Darwin would have said they told us so?

National security tracks our Cultural Adaptive Rate, which tracks our development and assessment of new methods, not just diversion of MICC profits into private hands.

CULTURAL METHODS DRIVE CULTURAL RESULTS.

And rate of changing cultural methods drives our rate of cultural development.

Our rate of retaining new cultural methods, in turn, tracks our effort at rapidly adjusting our development, education and training methods to fit our emerging, national Desired Outcomes.

Yet what good does it do to let children emulate the national tasks of the day, if we're not setting new national goals for ourselves? So we end with yet another link in a cascading cycle of cultural development. If we don't keep setting national goals worthy of our expanding audacity, then we can't keep ourselves employed, or become all that we as a people can become.

To end, here's an updated set of tuning memes for our cultural situation.

Full group interactions drive group awareness.
 Group awareness exposes group options.
  Group options demand adaptive, group exploration activity.
   Adaptive group exploration demands increasing group coordination skills
.
    Increasing group coordination requires new group assessment methods.
     Group assessment drives group interactions
(restarting the cycle, on yet another level).

Please get busy making sure that our culture becomes more than the one we were capable of making. Give ALL of our descendents new cultural options, not just hoarded fiat currency. Fiat they can always make, by fiat.