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Author: Claes Andersson Topics:

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A decade ago, Henrich proposed group size as a driver of cultural complexity. Derex et al.2 now present experimental results they say support this ‘group size hypothesis’ by seemingly showing that larger groups perform better than smaller groups under imitation-based cultural evolution. Our reanalysis of their experimental data, however, shows that larger groups actually perform [...]

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Paper
Author: Claes Andersson Topics:

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Abstract The stability of behavior across generations is a definitional feature of culture that is typically seen as an e ect of high cultural transmission delity. With some recent exceptions, however, formal models have rarely been brought to bear on this problem. Using an evolutionary quasispecies model we here explore the connection between delity and the emergence of stable complex [...]

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Paper
Author: Claes Andersson Topics:

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Abstract Complexity science is widely seen as a source of key theoretical capabilities that have long been lacking in the study of large-scale societal phenomena such as sociotechnical transitions. But compared with the transformative impact of complexity science in many other elds, few if any real breakthroughs have materialized. We here address the question of why societal systems remain [...]

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Paper
Author: Sander van der Leeuw Topics: ,

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Abstract This paper uses a case study on the evolution of the Rhine river delta to illustrate the coevolution of the environment, the technology used to exploit it, and the institutions governing it. Three strands are interwoven: Achieving equilibrium between protecting and utilizing land is difficult. In this area, as a result of exploitation, agriculture [...]

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Paper
Author: Claes Andersson Topics:

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Abstract Evolutionary developmental theories in biology see the processes and organization of organisms as crucial for understanding the dynamic behavior of organic evolution. Darwinian forces are seen as necessary but not sucient for explaining observed evolutionary patterns. We here propose that the same arguments apply with even greater force to culture vis-a-vis cultural evolution. In order not to argue entirely [...]

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Author: David Lane Topics:

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Abstract A key problem in research on innovations is that of understanding their origins. In this paper, we propose that radical innovations are created by a process of ’exaptation’, and we introduce a dynamical model that describes how it may happen. In particular, our model is focussed on the interplay between artefact innovation and attributions [...]

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Author: Stefan Thurner Topics:

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Abstract Complex systems — when treated as systems accessible to natural sciences — pose tremendous requirements on data. Usually these requirements obstruct a scientific under- standing of social phenomena on scientific grounds. Due to new developments in IT and collective human behavior, new dimensions of data sources are beginning to open up. Here we report [...]

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Paper
Author: Sander van der Leeuw Topics:

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Abstract In most of the sustainability debate, the discussions refer to the past much more specifically than to the future. Collectively, we seem to select things from our current lifestyle that we’d like to keep, others which we think we might do without, or yet others for which we expect to find the substitute technologies that allow [...]

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Author: David Lane Topics:

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Abstract This paper begins by reviewing the Darwinian account of biological innovation, which is based on what Ernst Mayr calls “population thinking” and posits two kinds of key mechanisms underlying the innovation process, variation and selection. The chapter then argues that the increasingly popular tendency to adapt this account to provide the foundations for a [...]

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Paper
Author: David Lane Topics:

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Abstract Human life is impossible to conceive without two fundamental ingredients: artifacts and organizations. Just about everything we do involves interactions with artifacts, from the clothes we wear and the buildings we inhabit, to the devices through which we communicate with one another and the tools and technologies we use to make ever more artifacts. [...]

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