Phil 12.26.17

8:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

  • Gotta get a new keyboard
  • Working on the additional thoughts section. Add paragraph describing how the evolutionary benefits of groups are visible at nearly every level of interaction. However, with these benefits comes the additional burden of control. Evolution has provided mechanisms that are calibrated to match communication to the optimal(?) group behavior. This timeframe has been short-circuited by technology. Coordination based on the trust of a neighbor no longer works when the neighbor isn’t near.
    • Patchwork alignment?
    • Information and its use by animals in evolutionary ecology
      • Information is a crucial currency for animals from both a behavioural and evolutionary perspective. Adaptive behaviour relies upon accurate estimation of relevant ecological parameters; the better informed an individual, the better it can develop and adjust its behaviour to meet the demands of a variable world. Here, we focus on the burgeoning interest in the impact of ecological uncertainty on adaptation, and the means by which it can be reduced by gathering information, from both ‘passive’ and ‘responsive’ sources. Our overview demonstrates the value of adopting an explicitly informational approach, and highlights the components that one needs to develop useful approaches to studying information use by animals. We propose a quantitative framework, based on statistical decision theory, for analysing animal information use in evolutionary ecology. Our purpose is to promote an integrative approach to studying information use by animals, which is itself integral to adaptive animal behaviour and organismal biology.
    • Evolutionary Explanations for Cooperation
      • Natural selection favours genes that increase an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce. This would appear to lead to a world dominated by selfish behaviour. However, cooperation can be found at all levels of biological organisation: genes cooperate in genomes, organelles cooperate to form eukaryotic cells, cells cooperate to make multicellular organisms, bacterial parasites cooperate to overcome host defences, animals breed cooperatively, and humans and insects cooperate to build societies. Over the last 40 years, biologists have developed a theoretical framework that can explain cooperation at all these levels. Here, we summarise this theory, illustrate how it may be applied to real organisms and discuss future directions.
    • Thomas Valone (Scholar)
      • Much of Valone’s work in arid ecosystems has examined desertification and factors that affect the biodiversity. He is particularly interested in livestock effects on soil chemical and physical processes that then affect plant and animal populations. Valone’s examination of behavior is frequently centered on understanding how animals perceive their environment. Much of his behavioral work examines information use in social animals who differ from solitary individuals in that they can acquire public information to estimate the quality of resources by noting the activities of other individuals.
      • Group foraging, public information, and patch estimation
        • Public information is information about the quality of a patch that can be obtained by observing the foraging success of other individuals in that patch. I examine the influence of the use of public information on patch departure and foraging efficiency of group members. When groups depart a patch with the first individual to leave, the use of public information can prevent the underutilization of resource patches.
      • Public Information: From Nosy Neighbors to Cultural Evolution
        • Psychologists, economists, and advertising moguls have long known that human decision-making is strongly influenced by the behavior of others. A rapidly accumulating body of evidence suggests that the same is true in animals. Individuals can use information arising from cues inadvertently produced by the behavior of other individuals with similar requirements. Many of these cues provide public information about the quality of alternatives. The use of public information is taxonomically widespread and can enhance fitness. Public information can lead to cultural evolution, which we suggest may then affect biological evolution.
  • Get started on Polarization Game proposal. Include Moral Machine. Read the papers into LMN and started to poke at the structure.
  • Speaking of which, here’s a labeled map: LabeledMap
  • Which clearly provides more relational (map-ish) information than a word cloud using the same data: wordcloud

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