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 Dr. John Bolender interview – “Symmetry and the Social Mind” – #107

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PostSubject: Dr. John Bolender interview – “Symmetry and the Social Mind” – #107   Sun 20 Mar 2011, 2:54 am

This episode is an interview with Dr. John Bolender titled “Symmetry and The Social Mind” and is being released on Monday, March 14, 2011. My interview with John was recorded on March 11, 2011.

John Bolender received his PhD in philosophy from Columbia University, has taught philosophy in Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, and is currently a Visiting Fellow in the philosophy department of Princeton University. His main interest is in cognition, including interpersonal cognition as well as language. He has published two books: The Self-Organizing Social Mind, published by MIT Press, and Digital Social Mind, published by Imprint Academic.

http://www.gnosticmedia.com/dr-john-bolender-interview-symmetry-and-the-social-mind-107/
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PostSubject: Re: Dr. John Bolender interview – “Symmetry and the Social Mind” – #107   Sun 20 Mar 2011, 3:12 pm

I'm going to be listening to this one again. Some fascinating and complex concepts in there.

http://www.amazon.com/Self-Organizing-Social-Mind-Bradford-Books/dp/0262014440

Quote :
In The Self-Organizing Social Mind, John Bolender proposes a new explanation for the forms of social relations. He argues that the core of social-relational cognition exhibits beauty—in the physicist's sense of the word, associated with symmetry. Bolender describes a fundamental set of patterns in interpersonal cognition, which account for the resulting structures of social life in terms of their symmetries and the breaking of those symmetries. He further describes the symmetries of the four fundamental social relations as ordered in a nested series akin to what one finds in the formation of a snowflake or spiral galaxy. Symmetry breaking organizes the neural activity generating the cognitive models that structure our social relationships.

Bolender's primary claim is that there exists a social pattern generator analogous to the central pattern generators associated with locomotion in many animal species. Spontaneous symmetry breaking structures the activity of the social pattern generator just as it does in central pattern generators.

Bolender's hypothesis that relational cognition results from self-organization is entirely novel, distinct from other theories that describe sociality in terms of evolution or environment. It presents a picture of social-relational cognition as resembling something inorganic. In doing so it reveals deep connections among cognition, biology, and the inorganic world. One can go too far, he acknowledges, in taking a solely dynamical view of the mind; the mind's innate functional complexity must be due to natural selection. But this does not mean that every simple mental feature is the result of natural selection. By noting a descending symmetry subgroup chain at the core of relational cognition, Bolender takes the first step in an important investigation.

Related links:

Human Sociality - Alan Page Fiske: The Inherent Sociability of Homo sapiens


Relational Models Theory

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PostSubject: Re: Dr. John Bolender interview – “Symmetry and the Social Mind” – #107   Sun 20 Mar 2011, 6:10 pm

Is he trying to say that the "Hive Mind" is a beautiful thing, is that the message here? If so, then he's just promoting horizontal fusion, which is what the hive mind (social networks) is largely designed to achieve. It doesn't happen without cybernetic systems designed specifically to make it come about (its not natural).

I'll have to listen to get more out of it, but that's my knee jerk based upon your posted excerpt.

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PostSubject: Re: Dr. John Bolender interview – “Symmetry and the Social Mind” – #107   Mon 21 Mar 2011, 4:25 pm

Bolender's nascent theory bounces off, or goes on a tangent from, the relational models concept of Alan Fiske (linked above) and concerns the inherent symmetry that can be divined in the natural world, human relationships, and the cosmos. Jan Irvin probably interviewed him due to his being very much into certain aspects of the trivium/quadrivium - otherwise known as the liberal arts - where nature's inherent symmetry via the golden ratio, golden mean, sacred geometry is studied as part of it.

What is really interesting, for myself, is the notion that Bolender wants tested by serious scientists (he says his book is an advertisement for such research), that human physiology is perhaps governed more by physics than biological processes in the Darwinian sense.
It's a podcast I will be listening to again as there is a lot of information and new concepts I have to get to grips with.
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