Aligning YouTube & democracy
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Aligning YouTube & Democracy

Summary
Representative democracy's robustness is dependent on emotional and cultural aspects of humanity.  The impact of YouTube's recommendation engine on the adolescent mind has undermined the genetic operators provided by culture.  Typical parental constraints on the associations allowed to adolescents are undermined and emotional links are built to the most emotive ideas, based simply on their capacity to sustain attention to YouTube.  An outline mechanism is described that reintroduces 'parental' constraints.  Legislative enforcement of the capability is required. 

Details of the theoretical complex adaptive system (CAS) requirements of genetic operations are introduced.  The minds implementation of the schematic operators is explained.  Traditional cultural constraints limiting large changes in the schema base are outlined. 

Introduction
Researchers recently reported the radicalization of Brazilian youth by YouTube, supporting the increased popularity of radical views and populist politicians.  While social media is only one contributor to the transformation of Brazilian politics, the mechanism of its contribution to the changes appears to act on core aspects of representative democracy.  We review the findings from the perspective of complex adaptive system (
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
) theory and operation. 

Representative democracy is a
This page introduces the complex adaptive system (CAS) theory frame.  The theory is positioned relative to the natural sciences.  It catalogs the laws and strategies which underpin the operation of systems that are based on the interaction of emergent agents. 
John Holland's framework for representing complexity is outlined.  Links to other key aspects of CAS theory discussed at the site are presented. 
CAS
autonomous entity are entities which:
  • Are far from equilibrium
  • Consume and save low entropy
  • Can use accessible low entropy to maintain themselves
.  It is one organizational form of the human cultural SuperOrganisms is a wealthy autonomous entity needing and controlling the richest niches in the proximate environment, that emerges from the bundled cooperation of schematically aligned agents.   The term is based on the social insect model, used by: ants, termites, and bees; and identified by Holldobler & E.O. Wilson.  For humans it is an evolved cultural strategy used when the environment is supportive.  It depends on inter-agent signalling.  In both insects and humans it allows specialization, and encourages operations and flows that are tightly controlled, limiting waste, leveraging parallel activity, supporting coherence.  Superorganisms reflect cliodynamic flows.  A superorganism has a development and operational phase.  As additional agents are coopted into the superorganism they align, participate in supply and demand activities and so contribute to the evolutionary amplification.  Damasio notes that prokaryotes, in rich environments, can similarly operate in a symbiotic fashion expressing cultural behaviors. 
, and its emergence and operation depend on aspects of the underlying CAS. 

CAS analysis of the operation of western representative democracies: US, EU; suggests they are economically is a human SuperOrganism complex adaptive system (CAS) which operates and controls trade flows within a rich niche.  Economics models economies.  Robert Gordon has described the evolution of the American economy.  Like other CAS, economic flows are maintained far from equilibrium by: demand, financial flows and constraints, supply infrastructure constraints, political and military constraints; ensuring wealth, legislative control, legal contracts and power have significant leverage through evolved amplifiers. 
aligned and experiencing a transition from
Peter Turchin describes how major pre-industrial empires developed due to effects of geographic boundaries constraining the empires and their neighbors' interactions.  Turchin shows how the asymmetries of breeding rates and resource growth rates results in dynamic cycles within cycles.  After the summary of Turchin's book complex adaptive system (CAS) theory is used to augment Turchins findings. 
cliodynamic
growth to a down cycle where wealth is schematically useful information and its equivalent, schematically useful energy, to paraphrase Beinhocker.  It is useful because an agent has schematic strategies that can utilize the information or energy to extend or leverage control of the cognitive niche.    will flow primarily to the most powerful individuals, and all other segments of the populous will experience increasing competitive stress.  This is a typical iterative aspect of CAS representing the dynamics of predators and prey, and is built into our
Computational theory of the mind and evolutionary psychology provide Steven Pinker with a framework on which to develop his psychological arguments about the mind and its relationship to the brain.  Humans captured a cognitive niche by natural selection 'building out' specialized aspects of their bodies and brains resulting in a system of mental organs we call the mind. 

He garnishes and defends the framework with findings from psychology regarding: The visual system - an example of natural selections solutions to the sensory challenges of inverse modeling of our environment; Intensions - where he highlights the challenges of hunter gatherers - making sense of the objects they perceive and predicting what they imply and natural selections powerful solutions; Emotions - which Pinker argues are essential to human prioritizing and decision making; Relationships - natural selection's strategies for coping with the most dangerous competitors, other people.  He helps us understand marriage, friendships and war. 

These conclusions allow him to understand the development and maintenance of higher callings: Art, Music, Literature, Humor, Religion, & Philosophy; and develop a position on the meaning of life. 

Complex adaptive system (CAS) modeling allows RSS to frame Pinker's arguments within humanity's current situation, induced by powerful evolved amplifiers: Globalization, Cliodynamics, The green revolution and resource bottlenecks; melding his powerful predictions of the drivers of human behavior with system wide constraints.  The implications are discussed. 

minds
by
This page reviews the implications of selection, variation and heredity in a complex adaptive system (CAS).  The mechanism and its emergence are discussed. 
evolution
.  Tension within the powerful often results, as explained by Turchin.  At present the situation is quite extreme due to the high leverage of
This page reviews the catalytic impact of infrastructure on the expression of phenotypic effects by an agent.  The infrastructure reduces the cost the agent must pay to perform the selected action.  The catalysis is enhanced by positive returns. 
infrastructure
and
This page reviews the strategy of setting up an arms race.  At its core this strategy depends on being able to alter, or take advantage of an alteration in, the genome or equivalent.  The situation is illustrated with examples from biology, high tech and politics. 
evolved amplifiers
within this network of states, inducing: green revolution refers to a set of social technologies: new methods of cultivation; initially used in Mexico during the 1950s to 1970s and then deployed globally, during the 1970s, that increased agricultural production worldwide, and acted as a political constraint on famine and Communism.  It was sponsored by Mexico, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, with leadership from Norman Borlaug and it built on the work of geneticist, Nazareno Strampelli.  The improved production leveraged the development of:
  • High yielding varieties of wheat and rice based on:
    • High rates of nitrogen metabolism (cross breading, genetic engineering) allowing high yield when combined with
    • Strong short stems to resist bending and
  • Supplied with
    • Chemical fertilizers, and agro-chemicals
    • Irrigation
  • Disease resistance based on cell level breeding and genetic engineering
, climate change, US initiated Chinese disintermediation is the shift of operations from one network provider to another lower cost connected network provider.  The first network provider leverages the cost benefits of the shift to increase its profitability but becomes disrupted.  The lower cost network provider gains revenue flows, expertise and increases its active agents.  Over time this disruptive shift will leave the higher cost network as a highly profitable shell, but the agents that performed the operations that migrated to the low cost network will be ejected from the network.  For a company that may imply the costs of layoffs.  For a state the ejected workers imply increased cost impacts and reduced revenue potential which the state are trading off for improved operating efficiency. 
of US controlled
Sven Beckert describes the historic transformation of the growing, spinning, weaving, manufacture of cotton goods and their trade over time.  He describes the rise of a first global commodity, its dependence on increasing: military power, returns for the control points in the value delivery system(VDS), availability of land and labor to work it including slaves. 

He explains how cotton offered the opportunity for industrialization further amplifying the productive capacity of the VDS and the power of the control points.  This VDS was quickly copied.  The increased capacity of the industrialized cotton complex adaptive system (CAS) required more labor to operate the machines.  Beckert describes the innovative introduction of wages and the ways found to mobilize industrial labor. 

Beckert describes the characteristics of the industrial cotton CAS which made it flexible enough to become globally interconnected.  Slavery made the production system so cost effective that all prior structures collapsed as they interconnected.  So when the US civil war blocked access to the major production nodes in the American Deep South the CAS began adapting. 

Beckert describes the global reconstruction that occurred and the resulting destruction of the traditional ways of life in the global countryside.  This colonial expansion further enriched and empowered the 'western' nation states.  Beckert explains how other countries responded by copying the colonial strategies and creating the opportunities for future armed conflict among the original colonialists and the new upstarts. 

Completing the adaptive shifts Beckert describes the advocates for industrialization in the colonized global south and how over time they joined the global cotton CAS disrupting the early western manufacturing nodes and creating the current global CAS dominated by merchants like Wal-Mart pulling goods through a network of clothing manufacturers, spinning and weaving factories, and growers competing with each other on cost. 

Following our summary of Beckert's book, RSS comments from the perspective of CAS theory.  The transformation of disconnected peasant farmers, pastoral warriors and their lands into a supply chain for a highly profitable industrial CAS required the development over time: of military force, global transportation and communication networks, perception and representation control networks, capital stores and flows, models, rules, standards and markets; along with the support at key points of: barriers, disruption, and infrastructure and evolved amplifiers.  The emergent system demonstrates the powerful constraining influence of extended phenotypic alignment. 

global trading network
,
Brynjolfsson and McAfee explore the effects of Moore's law on the economy.  They argue it has generated exponential growth.  This has been due to innovation.  It has created a huge bounty of additional wealth.  But the wealth is spread unevenly across society.  They look at the short and long term implications of the innovation bounty and spread and the possible future of technology. 

Following our summary of their arguments RSS comments from the perspective of CAS theory. 

global network of powerful devices and associated services


Any SuperOrganism must be able to survive long enough to breed successfully.  Cultural is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
SuperOrganisms depend on replication, in evolutionary psychology asserts that people today try to attain states of affairs that in our evolutionary past correlated with their ancestors' genes being propagated. 
of the participating humans and the cultural
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memes
that support the
Plans are interpreted and implemented by agents.  This page discusses the properties of agents in a complex adaptive system (CAS). 
It then presents examples of agents in different CAS.  The examples include a computer program where modeling and actions are performed by software agents.  These software agents are aggregates. 
The participation of agents in flows is introduced and some implications of this are outlined. 
agency
needed. 

Cultural is how we do and think about things, transmitted by non-genetic means as defined by Frans de Waal.  CAS theory views cultures as operating via memetic schemata evolved by memetic operators to support a cultural superorganism.  Evolutionary psychology asserts that human culture reflects adaptations generated while hunting and gathering.  Dehaene views culture as essentially human, shaped by exaptations and reading, transmitted with support of the neuronal workspace and stabilized by neuronal recycling.  Damasio notes prokaryotes and social insects have developed cultural social behaviors.  Sapolsky argues that parents must show children how to transform their genetically derived capabilities into a culturally effective toolset.  He is interested in the broad differences across cultures of: Life expectancy, GDP, Death in childbirth, Violence, Chronic bullying, Gender equality, Happiness, Response to cheating, Individualist or collectivist, Enforcing honor, Approach to hierarchy; illustrating how different a person's life will be depending on the culture where they are raised.  Culture:
  • Is deployed during pregnancy & childhood, with parental mediation.  Nutrients, immune messages and hormones all affect the prenatal brain.  Hormones: Testosterone with anti-Mullerian hormone masculinizes the brain by entering target cells and after conversion to estrogen binding to intracellular estrogen receptors; have organizational effects producing lifelong changes.  Parenting style typically produces adults who adopt the same approach.  And mothering style can alter gene regulation in the fetus in ways that transfer epigenetically to future generations!  PMS symptoms vary by culture. 
  • Is also significantly transmitted to children by their peers during play.  So parents try to control their children's peer group.  
  • Is transmitted to children by their neighborhoods, tribes, nations etc. 
  • Influences the parenting style that is considered appropriate. 
  • Can transform dominance into honor.  There are ecological correlates of adopting honor cultures.  Parents in honor cultures are typically authoritarian. 
  • Is strongly adapted across a meta-ethnic frontier according to Turchin.  
  • Across Europe was shaped by the Carolingian empire. 
  • Can provide varying levels of support for innovation.  Damasio suggests culture is influenced by feelings: 
    • As motives for intellectual creation: prompting detection and diagnosis of homeostatic deficiencies, identifying desirable states worthy of creative effort.
    • As monitors of the success and failure of cultural instruments and practices
    • As participants in the negotiation of adjustments required by the cultural process over time 
  • Produces consciousness according to Dennet. 
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memes
have been deployed by parents with the support of the education networkSuccessful deployment depends on
Plans change in complex adaptive systems (CAS) due to the action of genetic operations such as mutation, splitting and recombination.  The nature of the operations is described. 
schematic operators
, which ensure there is
Plans emerge in complex adaptive systems (CAS) to provide the instructions that agents use to perform actions.  The component architecture and structure of the plans is reviewed. 
memetic
mixing, which introduces
Richard Dawkin's explores how nature has created implementations of designs, without any need for planning or design, through the accumulation of small advantageous changes. 
small changes
into the meme pool.  Parents traditionally aim to pick their children's friends, and minimize conflicting ideas to their own.  But, as Pinker notes, this constraint is not necessarily aligned with the children's interests. 

To ensure there is genetic mixing, human development includes the special phase: adolescence in humans supports the transition from a juvenile configuration, dependent on parents and structured to learn & logistically transform, to adult optimized to the proximate environment.  And it is staged encouraging the adolescents to escape the hierarchy they grew up in and enter other groups where they may bring in: fresh ideas, risk taking; and alter the existing hierarchy: Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates & Paul Allen.  It marks the beginning of Piaget's formal operational stage of cognitive development.  The limbic, autonomic and hormone networks are already deployed and functioning effectively.  The frontal cortex has to be pruned: winning neurons move to their final highly connected positions, and are myelinated over time.  The rest dissolve.  So the frontal lobe does not obtain its adult configuration and networked integration until the mid-twenties when prefrontal cortex control becomes optimal.  The evolutionarily oldest areas of the frontal cortex mature first.  The PFC must be iteratively customized by experience to do the right thing as an adult.  Adolescents:
  • Don't detect irony effectively.  They depend on the DMPFC to do this, unlike adults who leverage the fusiform face area.  
  • Regulate emotions with the ventral striatum while the prefrontal cortex is still being setup.  Dopamine projection density and signalling increase from the ventral tegmentum catalyzing increased interest in dopamine based rewards.  Novelty seeking allows for creative exploration which was necessary to move beyond the familial pack.  Criticisms do not get incorporated into learning models by adolescents leaving their risk assessments very poor.  The target of the dopamine networks, the adolescent accumbens, responds to rewards like a gyrating top - hugely to large rewards, and negatively to small rewards.  Eventually as the frontal regions increase in contribution there are steady improvements in: working memory, flexible rule use, executive organization and task shifting.  And adolescents start to see other people's perspective. 
  • Drive the cellular transformations with post-pubescent high levels of testosterone in males, and high but fluctuating estrogen & progesterone levels in females.  Blood flow to the frontal cortex is also diverted on occasion to the groin.  
  • Peer pressure is exceptionally influential in adolescents.  Admired peer comments reduce vmPFC activity and enhance ventral striatal activity.  Adults modulate the mental impact of socially mean treatment: the initial activation of the PAG, anterior cingulate, amygdala, insula cortex; which generate feelings of pain, anger, and disgust, with the VLPFC but that does not occur in adolescents.  
  • Feel empathy intensely, supported by their rampant emotions, interest in novelty, ego.  But feeling the pain of others can induce self-oriented avoidance of the situations. 
; where risk, is an assessment of the likelihood of an independent problem occurring.  It can be assigned an accurate probability since it is independent of other variables in the system.  As such it is different from uncertainty. 
taking is expanded, allowing bands of near adult males to leave their parental host and seek new groups. 

Consciousness is no longer mysterious.  In this page we use complex adaptive system (CAS) theory to describe the high-level architecture of consciousness, linking sensory networks, low level feelings and genetically conserved and deployed neural structures into a high level scheduler.  Consciousness is evolution's solution to the complex problems of effective, emergent, multi-cellular perception based strategy.  Constrained by emergence and needing to avoid the epistemological problem of starting with a blank slate with every birth, evolution was limited in its options. 

We explain how survival value allows evolution to leverage available tools: sensors, agent relative position, models, perception & representation; to solve the problem of mobile agents responding effectively to their own state and proximate environment.  Evolution did this by providing a genetically constructed framework that can develop into a conscious CAS. 

And we discuss the implications with regard to artificial intelligence, sentient robots, augmented intelligence, and aspects of philosophy. 
Consciousness
, provides the underlying mechanism to build associations between emotionally are low level fast unconscious agents distributed across the brain and body which associate, via the amygdala and rich club hubs, important environmental signals with encoded high speed sensors, and distributed programs of action to model: predict, prioritize guidance signals, select and respond effectively, coherently and rapidly to the initial signal.  The majority of emotion centered brain regions interface to the midbrain through the hypothalamus.  The cerebellum and basal ganglia support the integration of emotion and motor functions, rewarding rhythmic movement.  The most accessible signs of emotions are the hard to control and universal facial expressions.  Emotions provide prioritization for conscious access given that an animal has only one body, but possibly many cells, with which to achieve its highest level goals.  Because of this emotions clash with group goals and are disparaged by the powerful.  Evolutionary psychology argues evolution shaped human emotions during the long period of hunter-gatherer existence in the African savanna.  Human emotions are universal and include: Anger, Appreciation of natural beauty, Disgust, Fear, Gratitude, Grief, Guilt, Happiness, Honor, Jealousy, Liking, Love, Rage, Romantic love, Lust for revenge, Passion, Sadness, Self-control, Shame, Sympathy, Surprise; and the sham emotions and distrust induced by reciprocal altruism. 
matched event streams: initially direct experiences and
E O. Wilson argues that campfire gatherings on the savanna supported the emergence of human creativity.  This resulted in man building cultures and later exploring them, and their creator, through the humanities.  Wilson identifies the transformative events, but he notes many of these are presently ignored by the humanities.  So he calls for a change of approach. 

He:
  • Explores creativity: how it emerged from the benefits of becoming an omnivore hunter gatherer, enabled by language & its catalysis of invention, through stories told in the evening around the campfire. He notes the power of fine art, but suggests music provides the most revealing signature of aesthetic surprise. 
  • Looks at the current limitations of the humanities, as they have suffered through years of neglect.  
  • Reviews the evolutionary processes of heredity and culture:
    • Ultimate causes viewed through art, & music
    • The bedrock of:
      • Ape senses and emotions,
      • Creative arts, language, dance, song typically studied by humanities, & 
      • Exponential change in science and technology.  
    • How the breakthrough from our primate past occurred, powered by eating meat, supporting: a bigger brain, expanded memory & language. 
    • Accelerating changes now driven by genetic cultural coevolution.  
    • The impact on human nature.  
  • Considers our emotional attachment to the natural world: hunting, gardens; we are destroying. 
  • Reviews our love of metaphor, archetypes, exploration, irony, and considers the potential for a third enlightenment, supported by cooperative action of humanities and science

Following our summary of his arguments RSS frames these from the perspective of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory:
  • The humanities are seen to be a functionalist framework for representing the cultural CAS while 
  • Wilson's desire to integrate the humanities and science gains support from viewing the endeavor as a network of layered CAS. 

stories
, and more recently video streams.  For children and adolescents, designed to learn about their proximate environment, highly emotive ideas, from other peers are easily associated with their prior views. 


YouTube built a recommendation engine to maximize the attention of their user-base.  The goal has been achieved, generating exponential growth in viewings.  But it has disconnected parents from their children's focus of attention while enhancing the associative impact of children's viewing interests.  The result has been to expand the schematic mixing of radical ideas in the minds of children and adults. 

This aspect of YouTube's features could be changed, by updating the recommendation algorithm to utilize user data about age, and video stream data attributes including age appropriateness, subject, genre etc. to filter what is queued to children and adolescents.  To be effective these attributes would have to be required by the application.  This would be a huge shift in use model for users and media creators using YouTube, and would likely require application enforcement and government legislation to ensure all social media services complied. 

We conclude social media infrastructure should be architected to ensure the maintenance of cultural schematic operations, including limiting the introduction of large changes in the schema base.  Handing more control over what is associated with current views to parents would likely undermine the growth business model of the companies and the draw of the media for the young viewers, but the current infrastructure is radicalizing unsuspecting youth. 




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This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
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  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
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