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Techno-Cultural Evolution: Cycles of Creation and Conflict / Edition 1
     

Techno-Cultural Evolution: Cycles of Creation and Conflict / Edition 1

by William Mcdonald Wallace
 

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ISBN-10: 1597971073

ISBN-13: 9781597971072

Pub. Date: 06/30/2007

Publisher: Potomac Books


Evolution has long shaped human behavior. Yet just recently have we learned that evolution based on natural selection is not the continuous process Darwin assumed. It is instead a two-part process of change and stability called punctuated equilibrium, with natural selection operating mainly on the frontiers of change. Taking account of biology’s latest

Overview


Evolution has long shaped human behavior. Yet just recently have we learned that evolution based on natural selection is not the continuous process Darwin assumed. It is instead a two-part process of change and stability called punctuated equilibrium, with natural selection operating mainly on the frontiers of change. Taking account of biology’s latest understanding of evolution, it becomes clear that culture evolves by a similar process. This is important because over the past 30,000 years most human evolution and the behavioral changes that go with it have occurred in our cultures–not in our genes. Knowing the process by which culture evolves clarifies the origin of many of our current problems, both within and between cultures. The author contends that new technology drives cultural evolution much as mutations change our DNA. The problem is that technology is now coming at us so fast that it is inducing “circuit overload” in cultures all over the world, leading to conflict. Techno-Cultural Evolution, which builds on the insights of such bestsellers as Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Collapse, explains how this process works—and what it means for all of us.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597971072
Publisher:
Potomac Books
Publication date:
06/30/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents


Preface     ix
Introduction     xv
From Risen Ape to Human Techno-Culture
The FROCA Process of Cultural Evolution     3
Climatic Crisis and the Risen Ape     15
The Ice Ages and a Bigger Brain     23
Techno-Culture Takes Over     29
Early Farming to Despotic Civilization
Farming as a New Frontier     41
Release and Exploitation: A Population Explosion     49
Social Crash as Intra-Tribal Anarchy     55
Adaptation through Despotic Civilization     61
Equilibrium through Repressed Technology     71
Empires Evolve to Quell Inter-Tribal Warfare     79
Barbaric Disruption: The Fall of Rome     87
From Dark Ages to Enlightenment
Feudalism Opens New Frontiers of Technology     97
Europe Revives to Exploit Colonial Frontiers     105
Democracy Challenges Despotism     113
New Technologies Open Industrial Frontiers     119
Opening the American Frontiers
America's New Frontier     129
Clashing Founder Effects and the Civil War     137
The High-Tech Frontier Takes Over     143
America as Sole Superpower     161
Technology and the Prospects for a Meta-Crash
Globalization and Its Discontents     175
Resurgent High-Tech Tribalism and a Crash of the Western Alliance     189
Technology and the Global Ecosystem     195
A Post-Crash Theocracy for a Stable Global Ecosystem     205
A More Hopeful Scenario     215
Science and Evolution     231
Autopoiesis: Toward an Integrated Theory of Human Behavior     237
Notes     247
Selected Bibliography     255
Index     261

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