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Quizzing the Anonymous - Why aren’t we Teletubbies? Part 2.
February 3rd, 2013
04:06 pm

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Why aren’t we Teletubbies? Part 2.
continued from http://shkrobius.livejournal.com/399194.html

The example of deaf people communicating using sign language indicates that we could have been Teletubbies. Chimps can sign effortlessly, while for verbal language one needs to evolve specialized vocal apparatus. No such preadaptation would be required for a gesture-call system. We could have been Teletubbies 1 Mya rather than becoming humans 150 kya.

Gestures, of course, are primitive in comparison to the ability of cephalopods to be live TV screens. The cruel fate that covered mammals with hair robbed us of the chromatophores that would make such displays possible, but that’s a zigzag of evolution. We could’ve been the spitting image of Teletubbies.

Signing, of course, has obvious disadvantages. It takes longer, although on average sentences are completed in the same time, as signing has higher information density (our verbal language is notorious for its inefficiency and vagueness).
http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0912/0912.1768.pdf
But there are advantages, too. We speak against a noisy backdrop, while signing is visually unimpeded. Making a hand gesture slower takes problems of incomprehension; speaking slower rarely does. Perhaps talking in the dark is easier than, say, tapping in Morse code, but it is bed time anyway. Another "explanation" one reads is that human hands were occupied by stone tools, so signing was difficult. Mine are not occupied, and I find this rationale ridiculous.

But there is an entirely different way of thinking about the same problem.

One thing that is not so easy to do if you are a Teletubby is to fabricate imaginative, elaborate lies, to fib. Observe that our speech pursues no goal of reliable communication. When fidelity is important, you can always recognize such situations by dedicated effort that goes into achieving reliability (see Part 1). There are solutions for high high and low processing power; we use neither. Our communication is deliberately confusing. Language is a tool to obfuscate, deceive, and block understanding. The more is left to imagination, the better.

Of many theories of origin of speech the only one that makes sense to me is the theory that language is part of the ritual, the general symbolic culture. The reason we are not Teletubbies is that Darwinian evolution has no means of making Teletubbies to trust each other, because for that they need to be willing to believe a lie, if only passingly. To use speech they need to develop faith. This faith cannot be trusting into each other (that would never work, as explained below). They need to believe and trust their own imaginations. There is no other path to a rational being.

To understand this, one needs to think through the evolutionary consequences of deception in signaling. As this argument has been presented quite well by the others, below is a long excerpt from Knight’s chapter in this book
http://www.chrisknight.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/knight_ritual_speech_coevolution.pdf
If you can, read the whole thing, as it is worth it.

...Politics and power relations are inevitably involved in communication. Animal communication is the means by which one individual, the actor, exploits the muscle power of another, the reactor. Where animals have conflicting interests, they will seek to exploit and deceive rather than share good information, prompting receivers to develop corresponding ‘sales resistance’. As conflict intensifies, signals become restricted to displays of fighting or other competitive ability. Such signals are uninformative except in one narrow respect: they reveal the signaller’s ability to meet the costs of the display. The more discernibly costly the signal, the more impressive it is. As receivers incur fitness penalties for being too impressionable, all but the most costly, elaborate, repetitive and ‘ritual’-like signals are simply ignored. The dynamic culminates in extravagant advertisements such as peacock displays.

...Where interests converge, however, this dynamic is set into reverse. Signals then evolve to become less repetitive and ‘ritualized’, more cryptic, quiet and efficient. Signals may now take more effort to detect and decode, but if the information is valuable, receivers should be motivated to invest that effort. This allows signallers to offload costs of communication onto receivers — minimizing redundancy, lowering amplitude and narrowing the range of utilized channels (‘conspiratorial whispering’). Social insects communicating within well-defended colonies offer examples of such highly informative ‘whispering’.

...Cost-cutting comes up against constraints. Where whole local populations are concerned, interests rarely converge except in relation to a narrow range of challenges such as external threats. The problem is that conventional signals depend on trust, whereas those animals intelligent enough to use such signals will also be clever enough to exploit that trust competitively. This may help explain why, despite their cognitive capacities, chimpanzees have no natural use for conventional signals.

... Suppose certain unusually intelligent chimps in a wild population develop a repertoire of volitional vocal signals, each with a conventional meaning. Enterprising animals will soon be using these in tactically deceiving each other. Emission costs will be low, making even small gains worthwhile, putting pressure on all to deceive where possible. On that basis, ingroup trust will rapidly be exhausted, to the point where no-one is listening any more; the system will now be useless for any purpose, honest or dishonest. Since potential conflicts of interest exist throughout the animal world, even between close kin, resistance to deception has always selected against conventional signals — with the one puzzling exception of humans.

...Without the establishment among humans of a new kind of honesty as a default — habitual honesty in volitional signalling — speech could not have got off the ground. In the human case, then, precisely the most unreliable kinds of signals — namely, the volitional, intentional ones — must have become adapted for honest use. Somehow, in the course of human evolution, what were once frequency-dependent tactical deceptions must have become increasingly routine while becoming simultaneously harnessed to a reversed social function — the group-wide sharing of good information. Imagine a population in which volitional signals are becoming commonplace, thanks initially to skills in deception. How can a new honest strategy invade the deceptive one and become evolutionarily stable? An immediate problem is that any increase in the proportion of
trusting listeners increases the rewards to a liar, increasing the frequency of lying. Yet until hearers can safely assume honesty, their stance will be indifference to volitional signals. Then, even lying will be a waste of time.

...In other words, there is a threshold of honest use of conventional signals, below which any strategy based on such signalling remains unstable. To achieve stability, the honest strategy has to predominate decisively over deception; yet the evolutionary route to such honesty seems to pass inescapably across a point at which deception is so rampant that trust in volitional signals collapses. How can this conundrum be solved?

...There are those who argue that the main function of speech was and remains lying. Such claims may appear persuasive, yet this view poses as many problems as it solves. Speech is not only a convention-based, radically arbitrary means of communication; it is also (by comparison with primate calls) minimally redundant, low in amplitude and heavily demanding of listeners. Darwinians view these as the tell-tale design-hallmarks of ‘conspiratorial whispering’ — indicating a system designed for communicating good information to trusting listeners at speed. This implies that speech has been co-operative from its inception. In accounting for the necessary honesty, it is tempting to draw on Darwinian reciprocal altruism theory: if you lie to me, I’ll never again listen to you — so be honest. But even accepting this, we need to explain why the dynamic did not lead to volitional, conventional signaling among those apes which appear cognitively capable of reciprocal altruism.


The suggested resolution of the conundrum is collective self-deception.

...Myths, dramatic performances, art and indeed all expressions of human symbolic culture may in this light be understood as ‘collusion in deception’ — collaboration in the maintenance of fictions which have social support. A community will place ultimate confidence only in those fictions which are emblematic of itself. If all collude, then on another level the deceptive signal may constitute a performative, constructing its own truth.

...A symbolic community is always on some level a secret society, its knowledge inseparable from others’ ignorance and hence its own power in relation to them. An ability to handle fictional representations, then, is the essence of human symbolic competence Distinguishing between surface and deeper meanings poses a major cognitive challenge. The power of words is nothing other than the delegated power of the spokesperson, and his speech… is no more than a testimony, and one among others, of the guarantee of delegation which is vested in him.’ The words of some derided ‘nobody’ have no weight. Utterances have force only through collusion with a wider system of ritual or ceremonial.

...Deployed to certify statements as reliable, they reflect communal resistance to deception. In the final analysis, people are on speaking terms only with those who ‘share the same gods’. The magic of words is the collusion of a ritual ingroup. Withdraw the collusion and nothing happens — the speaker’s words are empty sound. Unlike Machiavellian primates, whose creative fictions prompt countermeasures from those around them, human conversationalists routinely encourage that very resort to imaginative story-telling which in primates is socially resisted.

...All this is far removed from primate-style ‘Machiavellian’ politics. Chimpanzees may play, but their playful fictions are not collectively shared. Given such isolation on the imaginative level, intangibles such as ‘promises’ stand no chance of emerging as publicly available fictional representations — no chimp ever swore on oath. Note, moreover, that for a chimp to freely broadcast relevant information would be maladaptive: opponents would simply take advantage and status would be lost. Chimps, not surprisingly, are as concerned to conceal relevant information as to reveal it.

...Machiavellian primate politics prompts mistrustful listeners to resist all signals except those whose veracity can be instantly and directly corroborated. This immediately excludes (a) volitional conventional signals; (b) displaced reference; (c) signals literally false but metaphorically true; (d) signals meaningful not in themselves, but only in combinatorial contexts. Primate-style resistance to deception, in other words, obstructs the emergence of the characteristics of speech not just on certain fronts but on all fronts simultaneously.


The same relates to Teletubbies. It would be their own misguided insistence on veracity that will prevent them from becoming intelligent, being stuck forever in the BBC playground. This is something one cannot fail to observe even today (the comments to this blog included). Knight puts it well:

...Suppose that whenever I opened my mouth to begin speaking, I found myself instantly challenged, my audience demanding on-the-spot corroboration of the very first sounds, refusing to listen further until satisfied. Denied the chance to express one transparent fiction, modify it by another, modify that in turn and so on, I could hardly display any skills I might have for handling such sequences. Faced with refusal to suspend disbelief even momentarily, I could hardly venture to refer to phenomena beyond the current context of here-and-now perceptible reality. How could I express a fantasy, elaborate a narrative or specify with precision a complex thought, if listeners demanded literal corroboration of each signal as I emitted it, refusing to wait until the end before deciding on a response? Finally, it is difficult to see how my utterance could display duality of patterning if listeners demanded literal veracity on the syllable-by-syllable level, obscuring and resisting the possibilities of meaning or patterning on any higher level.

...My freedom to speak presupposes that you, the listener, are trusting enough to offer me, at least initially, the benefit of any doubt, demanding and expecting more information before checking out what I have signalled so far. I need you to be willing to internalize literal fictions, evaluating meanings not instantaneously, item by item, but only as I construct larger patterns on a higher, ‘combinatorial’ level. By primate standards, such collusion with my deceits would appear disastrously maladaptive.


People erroneously believe that their insistence on literal truth distinguishes them in intelligence. The exact opposite is true, in things small as much as in things large. No intelligence would have existed among those not willing to believe imaginations of the others, and the willingness to contemplate fabrications is the true hallmark of human reason. You can instantly recognize a fool in someone endlessly demanding definitions, proofs and corroborations of every word and/or idea uttered by any one but himself. There is no fundamental difference between such a person and a chimp, and this person restages the same pattern of behavior that kept us in the company of apes long after we had everything needed to depart. If you want truth and only truth, go and live in the zoo with other strivers for intellectual honesty. A human can see truth shining in even the most unlikely fabrication and recognize a lie in the middle of what appears to be rock solid truth. This is what makes us human.

Our language is not designed for speaking truth, it has no built-in features for trustworthiness and reliability, and it does not even aim at them. It aims at imagining and reimagining worlds.

Words do best because they constrain human imaginations the least. That is the real reason we are not Teletubbies.

Blessed is the one who spoke and the world came into being.

בָּרוּךְ שֶׁאָמַר וְהָיָה הָעולָם.
בָּרוּךְ הוּא

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From:ptitza
Date:February 4th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
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>>> to contemplate fabrications is the true hallmark of human reason.

А вот есть утки, которые притворяются, что ранены и раненым же голосом вопят, чтобы отвлечь хищника не себя. Или вот чтобы далеко не ходить (извиняюсь за каламбур), мой попугай в минуты нежности или когда хочет, чтобы я его почесала, мурлычет "Mama loves you..." Он умеет говорит и другие слова или просто пищит, когда хочет обратить на себя внимание. Но это - наши с ним слова признания. Так вот что интересно: когда он злится и хочет меня куснуть, то тоже говорит "Mama loves you", но таким злым голосом, прям шипит от злости, и я не подхожу, конечно. То есть, понятно, что он использует эти позывные, как приманку, типа, "иди сюда, милая Красная Шапочка", только не умеет так же хорошо врать, как человек или утка. Простодушный такой попугай.

Я не к тому, чтобы возразить, конечно. Просто у животных тоже есть эта способность - contemplate fabrications.
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From:shkrobius
Date:February 4th, 2013 12:40 am (UTC)
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Любовь такое дело, что не приврать невозможно...

Там подразумевается общее фантазирование. Я жужжу, изображая самолетик, а Вы делаете вид, что мне верите, и ходите между стульями, изображая стюардессу, хотя мы оба прекрасно знаем, что мы не самолетики и не стюардессы. Это не важно, важно, что у нас есть основа для взаимного доверия.
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From:ptitza
Date:February 4th, 2013 12:45 am (UTC)
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А, это я не сообразила. Здорово. Смена ролей, по-видимому, тоже сюда относится. Что бы такое придумать, чтобы поменяться ролями с попугаем и проверить эту гипотезу?.. :)
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From:chaource
Date:February 4th, 2013 09:48 am (UTC)
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I am quite confused by your post about "teletubbies"... Surely when you write your next paper for Science or Nature, you don't give them a series of convenient shared fictions but try to describe the actual scientific findings?
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From:shkrobius
Date:February 4th, 2013 02:53 pm (UTC)
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There is no such thing as "actual scientific findings." There are so many observations and results that are yet to be placed into this shared fiction. By themselves they mean nothing.
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From:chaource
Date:February 4th, 2013 04:34 pm (UTC)
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OK, no "actual findings", but "observations and results". So, do you mean that your papers contain no observations and no results but only some fabricated fictional stories?
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From:shkrobius
Date:February 5th, 2013 04:01 am (UTC)
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You make it sound like it is something awful. There is nothing else to do with the results but to make a story out of them. I cannot see what molecules are doing, so I have to fabricate a story. Nothing in science is not a fabricated story based on imagination.
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From:chaource
Date:February 5th, 2013 07:52 am (UTC)
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No, you make it sound like something awful. Your entire text made "storytelling" sound like "intentional deception". You repeatedly describe storytelling as an activity with a purpose

to fabricate imaginative, elaborate lies

This is what makes your text so confusing to me.

Edited at 2013-02-05 08:04 am (UTC)
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From:shkrobius
Date:February 5th, 2013 03:29 pm (UTC)
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This is calling a spade a spade. I hope you are not suggesting that science is producing 100% truth. But everything other than truth is a lie. You suspend your disbelief in many part of the narrative to make it tick. It simply would not work otherwise. This is precisely the issue of trust and faith I am writing about. This ability is necessary, because otherwise you will never get anywhere near the complex truth. Planets do not have elliptical orbits, but unless you assume they do (make belief) you cannot discover celestial mechanics. I am sure you can give many of such examples yourself. No theory is logically consistent, immediately experimentally confirmed in all of its details and postulates, etc. I think you consider this in too negative light, whereas it is all very simple: there can be no progress towards truth without willingness to embrace what can well be a fabricated lie.
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From:michaellogin
Date:February 4th, 2013 05:28 pm (UTC)
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Chimps can sign effortlessly, while for verbal language one needs to evolve specialized vocal apparatus. Ну, это, кмк, совсем тупиковый путь - строить гипотезы о возникновении языка, исходя из сравнения "эффекторов". Чтобы говорить, знаками ли, звуками, надо иметь что-то, что требует выражения, т.е. абстрактное содержание, даже привязанное к сиюминутной цели. А для этого не столько связки надо иметь, сколько мозги, способные создавать "абстрактные концепты", т.е. производить поиск подобий по всем направлениям текущего опыта, создавать ментальные образования, символизирующие эти подобия и хранить их в памяти. А уж снаружи - чем Бог послал, можно выражать. И тут, увы, не обойтись без "human hands were occupied by stone tools", недаром когнитивные способности так связаны с тактильной перцепцией (см. опыты Рамачандрана nature-wonder.livejournal.com/154011.html )
There are solutions for both high and low processing power; we use neither. Our communication is deliberately confusing. Language is a tool to obfuscate, deceive, and block understanding. Но это сравнение горячего с зелёным??? В первой части речь шла исключительно об информатике - каким образом оптимальней хранить\передавать инфу, избегая ошибок при копировании. При таком подходе содержание послания не играет абсолютно никакой роли - это просто набор знаков, который нужно передать\скопировать. Во второй части речь идёт о смысле\истинности высказывания, что есть предмет семантики. Здесь, напротив, содержание сообщения не зависит от формы, в которой сообщение получено. Т.е. сравнивается несравнимое.
Animal communication is the means by which one individual, the actor, exploits the muscle power of another, the reactor. В чём смысл этой фразы??? Первые шаги эксплуатации??? тень Маркса скрипит зубами от зависти??? Коммуникация - это средство для эксплуатации(использования) мускульной силы одной особи другой??? :о)
Where animals have conflicting interests, they will seek to exploit and deceive rather than share good information... Дальнейшее только ещё раз доказывает, что язык может развиться только у социальных животных, живущих группами, а не у "индивидуалов". Генезис языка имеет смысл рассматривать только на уровне социума, причём в ситуации конфронтации с такими же социумами. А Найт рисует какую-то гоббсовскую картинку "войны всех против всех" в животном мире. Именно правдивая информация и вера даёт эволюционное преимущество группам, точно так же, как ложь даёт преимущество индивиду - да вот только забывает, что индивид не висит в воздухе, а находится тоже в группе, и чтобы его стратегия была успешной, эта группа должна быть уже очень большой, чтобы его ложь могла затеряться в общей правде, а в маленькой группе - это самоубийственная стратегия. То же касается и всей группы в целом - если все захотят надуть всех, такая группа не жилец перед лицом группы, практикующей правду. Доверие\недоверие - это условные рефлексы на генетической основе, формируемые и разрушаемые подкреплением, а что может быть лучшим подкреплением, чем победа над конкурирующей группой??? И группа иерархична!!! - т.е. ложь омеги сейчас же будет наказана альфой, что послужит хорошим примером для промежуточных особей. С этой т.зрения можно сказать - ложь, это право\ресурс элиты (что собственно мы и видим в политике). Т.е. мой вью - Найт нарисовал совершенно абстрактную картинку каких-то одноуровневых индивидуалов, соревнующихся между собой, кто кого раньше надует. Ясно, что ничего подобного никогда не существовало в реальности - только иерархически организованные сравнительно небольшие группы, воюющие между собой, что мы и видим у шимпанзе. Врать в таком социуме - себе дороже.
Про воображаемое надо подумать - но что-то сильно напоминает по посылу Бенедикта Андерсона и его "Воображаемые сообщества".
upd Предчувствия его не обманули :о) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Knight_(anthropologist)
libcom.org/files/images/news/mister-mayhem-415x248_0.jpg

Edited at 2013-02-04 05:55 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:shkrobius
Date:February 5th, 2013 04:13 am (UTC)
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And human mouths were occupied with chewing...

The point is that language is so vague that no need for accurate reception even presented itself.

Exploits means uses for ones gain in this context.

To formulate a lie, you already need language, whereas the question is how it could have originated. I do not think you quite understood Knight's reasoning.
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From:michaellogin
Date:February 5th, 2013 03:58 pm (UTC)
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1
I do not think you quite understood Knight's reasoning Так это и невозможно из вашего поста, если не понять общий контекст Найта. Я тут, кроме вышеизложенного, прочитал ещё его "Sex and the human revolution" libcom.org/library/sex-human-revolution-chris-knight - ну, такое никого не оставит равнодушным :о) Помнится, в нашем разговоре о прямохождении вы сказали, что доводы Энгельса несколько устарели - так вот, для Найта энгельсовы тезисы (и ещё Троцкий вдобавок) живее всех живых и от этой печки он и пляшет. Основные пункты Найта:
1) Революция, а не эволюция, вся история состоит из катастрофических переходов, между которыми происходит накопление колич.противоречий, разрешающееся во взрыве и переходе на новый кач.уровень. Hegel’s logic is the logic of evolution
2)Он отвергает тезис, что чем более социализирован вид, тем больше шансов у него для появления языка. Указывает на пчел, как на вид, способный к непрямой референции и делает из этого вывод, что для развития языка объем мозга неважен (у пчелы его щитай, что нет)
3)So the question is, what could those contradictions have been? As soon as you look at ape social organisation it becomes pretty obvious. You get major conflicts over resources and over sex
4) Engels: “the determining fact in history is, in the final instance, the production and reproduction of the immediate essentials of life." So, according to Engels, we have to keep both these two forms of labour in mind: reproduction and labour in the more narrow sense.
5) In the chimpanzee community, when a female is fertile, the males get very excited by this and try to grab hold of her. Terrible violence breaks out.
6)...the male versus female conflict as some sort of premonition, analogous to another kind of conflict: namely, class conflict. ...the first form of class oppression is the oppression of the female by the male in monogamous marriage.
7) лекарство против этого - классовая борьба пролета in one particular case - namely, that of our ancestors - it led to a revolution,...established not just the equality and solidarity of women, but in some respects the primacy of women embodied in the matrilineal clan.
8)И вот ключевая точка:
а)you will come to the conclusion that the form of society, the form of kinship, which emerged out of the human revolution stood the logic of primate dominance on its head. In other words what came out of the revolution was the opposite of what was going on before..Well, the logic of primate society is dominance.
б)Dominance is defined as the ability to displace a rival from a valued spot. That may be a hunting or breeding spot. If you can elbow out those occupying that place you have dominance, and monkey and ape social life is base on that.
в)that wherever you have dominance you will get counter-dominance. In other words, if you are a monkey and someone is pushing you out of the way, you are not going to be too happy about it and you will push back.
г) ну, что остаётся делать обиженным - только одно, объединиться!!! Пролетарии всех стр This means there is something dominant, but it is the collectivе. Only the collective is allowed to use violence. This is the only approved form of violence in the hunter-gatherer community, and it is used to counter individual violence. So counter-dominance culminates in reverse dominance, where everyone is striving, in a kind of competitive system, to prove how useful they are to the collective.
Вуаля - в 4 шага мы прибываем к коллегиальному управлению и групповой меритократии(?). Но и это ещё не всё!!!
9)animal societies have, to be sure, a certain value in drawing conclusions regarding human societies, but only in a negative sense - это слова Энгельса, которые Найт очень ценит - то, что мы видим в приматах, не подобие, а именно то, от чего мы ушли, наша противоположность!!! instead of doing what the Darwinians do when looking at ape society to find intimations of human society - we must look for the negation of human society, since human society emerged out of the consistent negation of what was there previously
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From:michaellogin
Date:February 5th, 2013 03:58 pm (UTC)
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2
10)Ну и как отличиться больше всего от обезьянов??? Правильно, - ввести неслыханные доселе виды семейных отношений - “group marriage”. Group marriage is about a legal contract. It does not mean everyone is partying and having sex with everyone else. It means that the group of men would legally call the collective of women their wives.
11) Из этой цитаты слова не выкинешь: If you believe Trotsky and Engels that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, that science is knowledge that gives us power, the theory that having more than one father is good for the baby is true. They have measured it. They have got the statistics and found that a child with just one dad has less likelihood of surviving to adulthood than a child that has two.
12) Вот такая была она, человеческая революция и случилась она somewhere around 70,000 or 80,000 years ago. So now we think the human revolution could go back much earlier.
13) НО!!! следы этой революции должны были сохраниться!!! и цвет этих следов, как и положено - красный!!!
I made a prediction which was that the evidence for the revolution, wherever it was found, would take the form of cosmetics, of red ochre. Why red ochre? It is about solidarity. ..in the chimpanzee social system, as soon as the female shows indications that she may be fertile all the males go on a rampage, fighting for access to her. In the course of human evolution ovulation has been concealed. ..Because in the case of the human female there was no desire to save time on sex, to have it quickly in order to get pregnant and get on with other things. Instead they aimed to spend time on sex, because if the male is spending time on sex maybe he will do other useful things as well. The more you can ‘waste time’ on sex, the more energy can be extracted from the male....The human female is living in larger and larger groups, with lots of social complexity. Needing to give birth to burdensome babies requires two things: first to get support in childcare from other females, but also to make the males earn their keep. Instead of having sex and going off the females aimed to get something out of them in terms of investment. And the more the female concealed ovulation, the more it forced the male to hang around if he was to have any chance of making her pregnant. So concealed ovulation made a lot of sense.
But there is one signal that gives the game away and threatens complete disaster, and that is menstruation. Males looking for a female among the group who can be got pregnant will target anyone who shows signs of being on her menstrual cycle. That will be at the expense of other females, resulting in complete chaos. So somehow, very late in evolution, that problem had to be dealt with....And it was dealt with through the use of cosmetics. If every time the female menstruates the other females supervise and bond with her, and everyone paints up with brilliant red cosmetics as if all the females are fertile - if you want one of us, you have got to have all of us - that potential vice, where only the females undergoing menstruation are sought after, could be avoided.
14) Ну и финальный аккорд: Using the same logic, when we win a communist revolution, we will be as different from the way we are now under capitalism as the first fully human creatures were from the animal they had been before they managed to win the human revolution.

Вот в такой контекст надо поместить предложенную версию возникновения языка.
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From:michaellogin
Date:February 5th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
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3
Теперь собственно по теме:
1. Полностью игнорируется возможность "кары за ложь" со стороны сильного (которому и не надо обманывать - он своё возьмёт силой, обманывает слабый)
2. Отношения рассматриваются только на индивидуальном уровне (актор-приёмник), без учёта воздействия примера\результата их действий на всё сообщество.
3. Проблематичность оценки пользы\вреда как для индивида, так и для сообщества в целом, если только не брать очевидных случаев голода\ранения\смерти. "Не рой другому яму" должна выполняться не только среди людей, что делает калькуляцию затруднительной, если игнорировать результат, да и тот - всегда промежуточен.
4. Только мимоходом затрагивается тема внешней угрозы со стороны конкурирующих групп того же вида, а это был, возможно, постоянный фон, модус вивенди первобытных людей. А война быстро учит ценить правду и сплоченность.
5. Примеры с обманом у обезьян неубедительные - если они продлжают существовать в природе, значит какой-то толк от них есть, хоть для них и требуются визуальные подтверждения.
6. Если бы все следовали стратегии лжи, из этого можно было бы извлечь не меньше пользы - просто действуя противоположным образом, сигнал поменял бы значение на противоположное (т.е. любая регулярность может быть использована). Не объясняется, почему в одних случаях говорится правда, а в других - ложь. Эрго, происходит оценка ситуации??? Но это неизбежно ведёт к структурированию, т.к. особи в стае не могут меняться слишком быстро.
7. Теория Найта совершенно игнорирует необходимые изменения в организме: увеличение размеров мозга и усовершенствование гортани и связок для речи - а такие изменения не происходят "революционным" способом, т.к. непонятно, накопление каких "противоречий" могло бы привести к такому резкому переходу
8. Размер мозга - критическая причина, пчела потому и не развивает свой язык дальше, что "извилин маловато". Увеличение мозга делает возможным создание абстрактных концептов и хранение их в памяти - именно то содержание, выражение\репрезентация которого и делает звуки речью.
9. Найт пристрастен - случаи обмана он объявляет намеренными, а случаи правды - случайными совпадениями.
10.Вообще не рассматривается вариант, при котором приёмник, понявший, что его обманули, не копирует тактику лгуна, а продолжает "говорить правду", но включает обманщика в чёрный список. В принципе, честный может даже говорить правду лгуну, но не верить ему. Это очевидно требует дополнительных ресурсов памяти - т.е. объёма мозга.
11.Относительно мифа - ну это просто бред какой-то. Миф не есть сговор, миф есть самая что ни на есть правдивая реальность для человека. Именно то, что он щитает неподвластным никакому сомнению - и есть его миф. И для этого не надо было сильно напрягаться - для первобытного человека (так же как для ребёнка в его онтогенезе) не было никакой жёсткой границы между "внешним" и "внутренним" мирами, возможно, у них было даже общее психическое поле, вроде того, что создаёт любая толпа.
12.И откуда такой скачок сразу к символическому??? Тут ещё язык не завязался, а уже мифологию Найт приплетает в качестве идентификатора свой\чужой. Да человеку того уровня достаточно было обычного природного идентификатора - запаха, чтобы отличить своего от чужого.
13.А уж про доверие к оратору - тут ещё двух слов не связали, а предлагается целый нарратив, который по определению требует абстрактых понятий, не верифицируемых на месте. Найт совершает то, за что критикует других - он, забываясь, принимает язык как дар, который неожиданно (согласно его концепции революций) возникает, как договоренность между участниками ритуала. Непонятно, что, собственно, мешает умным индивидам продолжать обманывать, нарушая все клятвы и присяги???
Ну, в общем, сил у меня больше нет анализировать это. Слов нет, - Найт изобретательный парень и многие вопросы, которые он ставит, вполне релевантны и интересны. Проблема в том, что он уже заранее знает ответ, и знает, что есть добро и что есть зло. Это тот же случай, что и Сократ у Платона, когда всё рассуждение ведёт не туда, куда ведёт логика и честность, а туда, где добро и справедливость. А такими намерениями вымощена дорога известно куда...

Edited at 2013-02-05 06:29 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:Bradley K. Sherman
Date:February 5th, 2013 03:34 pm (UTC)
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I missed the explanation of why you can't lie with signs. There is even a word for it: mimicry.

--bks
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From:shkrobius
Date:February 11th, 2013 12:47 am (UTC)
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You can lie, but it is hard to fib. It is in the degree of vestment into building imaginary worlds.
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