Tuesday, October 25, 2011

David Mamet on Culture and Society

David Mamet, in The Secret Knowledge, makes several points about culture relevant to the ongoing discussion.

"Culture predates society, as it evolves before consciousness" (11).

"the evolution of a culture takes place not through the disappearance of those lacking a beneficial adaptation and the interbreeding of its possessors, but through imitation" (11).

"cultural adaptations predate and are the basis for that more conscious, more sophisticated agglomeration called society, which might be said to be the appurtenances growing out of culture" (12).

He points out that culture allows those within the culture to be able to better predict the actions of fellow members of that culture (11-12). Of course, the same can be said of the emergent properties of the catallaxy as well. But these are two different levels of predictability: the smaller culture vs. the larger society. We are sometimes confused at the differences from one culture to the next at how people conduct business, then discover that cultural differences explain the differences.

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