On the Origin of Culture: A New Species of Evolution

The idea that culture is an emergent property of human interaction isn’t novel, but thinking about culture as a kind of emergent evolutionary process takes this idea to a new level. Our physical evolution has been influenced by the nature and nurture of the human body over time. As an organic system, the body is […]

Turbulent Times: The adolescence of teenagers, technology & the human tribe

REVKIN: In The Descent of Man, in 1871, Darwin wrote a passage about how we were fundamentally tribal, but that the more that humans were interrelating with each other … the more our sense of tribe would expand. Then he said, only an artificial barrier stands before we will become essentially one tribe, not just […]

Transformational Change and Revolutionary Love

TIPPETT: You’ve said … an animating question for you is “How does transformational change happen…?” ALEXANDER: I think very often people are waiting for the next great leader to emerge, not recognizing that that’s actually not how the history unfolded … Throughout history you see that when ordinary people begin to believe that their own […]

The radical reconstruction of society …

These are the bright years of emergence; though they are painful ones, they cannot be avoided … In these trying circumstances, the black revolution is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes. It is forcing America to face all its interrelated flaws —racism, poverty, militarism, and materialism. It is exposing the evils […]

The hypothetical self: Experiementing with body, identity, and relationship

As one woman embodying a diverse range of characters, Sarah Jones helps her audiences discover different perspectives. Her performances provide us with a multifaceted lens to look through the eyes of others, a mirror in which to see ourselves, and a window into a whole new way of imagining the dynamics of body, identity, and […]

Situated Engagement: Climate action in the multi-level context of social life

| Relationship, place, and levels of scale | At the 2013 Climate, Mind, & Behavior Symposium, Chicago-based sustainability and diversity specialist Jennifer Hirsch presented her research on strategies for engaging with diverse communities in Chicago on climate action. With a focus on local narratives and their influence on community-based action, Hirsch illustrated the potential that […]

The moral roots of liberals and conservatives | Jonathan Haidt

What if all human beings share the same foundational moral values, and most of our ideological differences are essentially reflections of our moral diversity? In his 2008 TED talk, Jonathan Haidt describes five moral foundations, how the importance assigned to each moral foundation varies among individuals, and how distinct patterns among people’s moral profiles can […]

Philip Ball (BBC) | Colours: Differing points of hue

A new study by physicist Vittorio Loreto at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and his colleagues argues that the naming of colours is not arbitrary. The researchers say that a natural hierarchy of colour terms arises from the interplay between our innate ability to distinguish one hue from another and the complex cultural negotiation […]

Barbara J. King (NPR) | Culture, not biology, shapes language • Debating language: The role of culture And biology (Part 2)

Cognition + Culture + Communication = Language With this formula as shorthand, in his new book Language: The Cultural Tool, linguist Dan Everett argues that the variability in human cultural life explains the variability in human languages. Reference Barbara J. King (NPR) | Culture, not biology, shapes language Barbara J. King (NPR) | Debating language: […]

What makes us human? Answers from evolutionary anthropology

[W]e are biocultural animals…no other species has evolved as we have: human evolution is not simply a biological process, but truly a biocultural process. Our biology cannot be understood outside of the aforementioned cultural and cognitive reality, and culture cannot be fully understood without biology. REFERENCE What makes us human? Answers from evolutionary anthropology | […]

Chicago Humanities Festival 2013 | Animal: What makes us human

Are humans animals? Not long ago, the question produced a predictable standoff. Now it is the start of a fascinating conversation. The 24th Chicago Humanities Festival takes this new exchange of ideas out of the academy and into the public. We explore what it means to think about culture biologically, about biology culturally, and about […]

Onye Ozuzu (TEDxIIT) | Technology of the American dancing body

As a biracial, bicultural performing artist and instructor from Columbia College presenting at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Ozuzu skillfully weaves a multitude of narrative threads, providing evidence for the confluence of dance, body, culture, cognition, and technology to expressively argue her case for “movement as technology.” …and I was hooked on that activity, on […]

How culture affects the ways we learn to organize the world

Culture, perspective, and systems In this 2012 Clever Apes: Nature and Human Nature podcast, scientists described research comparing the ways Native and non-Native children learn to think about the world. Although non-Native children’s thinking involved hierarchical categories (organizing by type), Native children’s thinking involved ecological or “systems-level” principles (organizing by relationships). These represent very different […]

Experience and Cognition Lab: Culture and Cognition

Can cross-cultural variation reveal cognitive universals? Cultural experience, in addition to perceptuo-motor and linguistic experience, contributes to the creation of knowledge, and cross-cultural differences can demonstrate the diversity of the human conceptual repertoire. Yet, to the extent that our concepts depend on our cultural conventions and artifacts, these same cross-cultural differences can also provide powerful […]

Jonathan Harris (TED) | The web’s secret stories

Artist and computer scientist Jonathan Harris’ work celebrates the world’s diversity even as it illustrates the universal concerns of its occupants. His computer programs scour the Internet for unfiltered content, which his beautiful interfaces then organize to create coherence from the chaos.   Related number27.org

One Day on Earth logo

One Day on Earth | One Day on Earth 10.10.10

Every year, across the planet, documentary filmmakers, students, and other inspired citizens record the human experience over a 24-hour period and contributed their voice to the world’s largest global day of media creation called One Day on Earth. Together, we create a shared archive and an annual film. Founded in 2008, One Day on Earth’s […]