Consider this question.
If your parent culture (and by default EVERY culture) was a developing baby-culture ....
This question is so interesting that I'm curious to hear reactions from diverse readers.
Some people are still obsessing over how our brains have already been making memories, for many million of years.
Ho hum. Ancient history.
That history is now recognized nothing more than a trivially necessary but not sufficient lesson for application on a larger scale, to current context.
After all, data is meaningless without context. So are known principles. Further, mass education learning rate is meaningless without reference to Cultural Adaptive Rate.
What matters far more are the details of how our social interactions form human culture ... or not.
Meanwhile, a tiny trickle of people - from Marriner Eccles to Warren Mosler - have been tripping over opportunities to link systems principles to everyday real life, and to our amazingly ignorant processes for setting national policies.
I remember hearing of a literature professor in the 1960s proposing that a negligible % of individual humans were "self-aware" before the advent of classical Greek literature, ~400 BC, and their "discovery" of grammar. Was he right? There's plenty of behavioral evidence for & against, so it seems to be a statistical question, not an absolute one. Most may recognize that what some of their neurons know is not always what they as an individual actually do. :) Even more telling:
there are vast differences between what key individuals and whole disciplines claim to know ..... and how their electorates actually behave.In regards to classic Greek culture, it's sobering to consider that it took only a tiny confluence of triggers (perhaps the combination of exposure to vast diversity, plus newfound wealth & leisure?) to unleash a wholesale transfer of attention from trivial to profound interests, in a human population long past capable of doing so.
Such transitions are in general, viewed in systems science as phase shifts in autocatalysis.
Today, 2000 years after the most famous Greeks, we have a vast human population also capable of far more than it is actually doing, or even actively considering.
That aggregate transformation may not be marked by great advances in how much a tiny fraction of humans do know. Rather, it may be marked by great, but subtle, advances in how soon most humans are allowed to and required to know ... what few things most must know in order to produce greater Group Intelligence, and a faster Group Adaptive Rate. Military scientists at War Colleges refer to such "teamwork" adaptive agility as the "[adaptive] quality of distributed decision-making." I'll call it simply the return-on-coordination.
Exciting times indeed!
I'm long past convinced that such expected advances will depend NOT on adding more to what we already know about simple systems like central nervous systems, but rather, in beginning to more actively disseminate and actually APPLY even slightly larger fractions of what's already known ... about system-coordination ... to our own policy coordination.
The difference between a self-tuning electorate (agile, adaptive democracy) and an un-tuned culture (past baby-cultures) will make the dramatic difference between an untuned vs a tuned V8-engine look like trivial child's play.
How do we visualize our own Evolution of Adaptive Power?
What do we have to change in our K-12 education - and in our nation's art - to make most citizens aware of the pattern of process flow, and it's implications for our our own culture and our cultural adaptive rate?
That's a challenge for current artists, working in all medias, to visualize.
It turns out that methods too are meaningless without context.
Here's the challenge for poets, musicians, videographers, writers and all other artists.