Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The American Evolution

I've recently finished reading a fascinating book. "The American Evolution, " by Matt Harrison, analogizes societal evolution to biological evolution, suggesting the the same or similar mechanisms are at work. The takeaway: evolution operates through differentiation, selection and amplification and includes lots of false starts. So we need a society with lots of variety and plenty of free choices if we are to experience beneficial evolution.

I talked to Matt Harrison, who has also founded the Prometheus Institute to help refine and promote these and similar ideas. It's funded at six figures. Seems like a long-term constructive development in the midst of plenty of short-term bad news.


Clayton said...

I've read of that in another book published by British scientist Richard Dawkins. He called it 'memetic evolution' rather than the alternative, genetic evolution. It was an extremely interesting topic- he equated radical fundamentalist religion to a self-propagating cultural flu bug, not unlike some genetic bugs in plants that nearly extinct the plant.

Thanks for the recommendation. Time for another book.

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