The Main Routine
Collecting ideas about human interdependence
I want to assemble a bunch of concepts that I think contribute important insights to the topic of human interdependence. Concepts such as the Dunbar Number, or Warriors and Worriers, or Cultural Intelligence. Each concept deserves its own essay, which I will get to. But the project also requires an overall guide or table of contents, which is this essay. I will constantly be adding to and re-editing this essay.
In terms of 1970s computer programming, an essay on an individual concept will be a subroutine. This is the main routine that calls the subroutines.
When you see a concept listed in italics, I have not yet written the subroutine. When I have at least a draft of the subroutine, it will be a link, without italics.
The ultimate end product will be like a book, consisting of substack essays that I will compose and refine as I go. The general topic will be human interdependence. Humans have many strategies, tactics, habits, institutions, and norms that facilitate cooperation and competition. Examples include Big Gods, Deception and Self-Deception, Gossip, Limited-Access Orders and Open-Access Orders, Communal Sharing/Equality Matching/Authority Ranking/Market Pricing, Specialization and Trade, and many more.
Essays done so far:
Government Does Not Stay Limited (officials want trust without accountability)
Social Learning Strategies (imitation is efficient)
Two Forms of Political Order (North, Weingast, and Wallis)
Dominance, Prestige, and Propriety obtaining coordination
Political Symbols and Misdirection (Murray Edelman)
Misreading Others’ Minds: Asymmetric Insight
Organizational Behavior: Hiring for Serenity
What Economics (and Sociology) ought to be
Human Evolution and Collaboration
Misreading Others’ Minds: Moral Dyads
The Unbundling of Christianity
Expanding on Moral Dyad Theory
The scientific revolution has formed the basis of the technology revolution that has allowed humanity to progress to our present much longer lived and richer world. However, the coupling of this scientific revolution to "Specialization and Trade" is becoming very relevant but not well appreciated.
In my lifetime I have seen the scientific revolution go from the stage where very brilliant individuals could be renaissance men who knew and understood almost all areas of the real sciences (STEM). I have been honored to meet and know some of these individuals. However, science and scientific knowledge is expanding at an exponential rate to the point where individual scientists today only deeply understand narrow areas and don't even know the boundaries of human knowledge in other areas of science. This expansion, as indicated by the increase in scientific literature, creates new opportunities for technological innovation as new ideas interact with older ideas, creating a new cycle of innovation, which scales as a factorial function (faster than exponential).
This expansion of possibilities allows the number of possible specializations to extend all the way to the individual level. With the easy availability of FedEx and DHL one person can trade with the world in a small enough specialized niche market to benefit the entire world. I had a world wide market for some specialized biological materials which some of my customers could have done themselves. However, I could do it much cheaper (much lower labor cost) and air ship to customers ranging from Max Plank institute in Germany to the University of Singapore and almost every major university or government research lab in between.
The expansion of specialization makes each step of the expansion appear smaller by virtue of the small increments of the specialization. That is why many people claim that innovation is becoming limited, when it is actually the expansion of possible innovations exceeding the vision of even the smartest of the analysts who can't even read and understand the reports sections of Science Magazine, let alone the ramifications of those journal articles.
Cool. Another topic to consider for inclusion: bipolarity. People tend to reduce every decision down to YES or NO when making decisions. This seems to push group decision-making to extremes rather than median positions.