Emergent behavior is one of those things that people struggle to grasp, because it seems to violate the expected cause and effect relationship. Most people operate on the assumption that whatever we are seeing is caused by something that can also be seen or at least described. Of course, most people like to think there is some human actor behind everything, operating from the normal human motivations. It is always tempting to reduce things to the personal as it is relatable.
There are lots of examples in nature of emergent behavior. Cross-breeding of plants can result in a characteristic that does not exist in the two plants that have been crossbred by a curious gardener. Domestic animal breeders, from time to time, will bump into this. The Ocicat is a great example crossbreeding two animals and getting a result that has qualities not present in the parents. Insects colonies are a great example of emergent behavior.
Something similar can happen with human behavior. Put the right group of people in the right situation and you get behavior that seems to spring from nowhere. Some historians have argued this is what happened in Germany in the period after the Great War when the Nazi rose to power. The panic over witches and witchcraft in early New England is another cited example. All of a sudden, people began to act in ways that were not typical of their past behavior.
This is, in part, what we are experiencing today. The people in charge have unleashed forces they do not understand for short term gain. The massive wave of irregularities in the election are one result. The bizarre, superstitious behavior of the Covidians is another manifestation. These people have been swept up in a frenzy and have become untethered from the normal restraints. “Through any means necessary” has become a rallying cry for direct action against the imagined enemy.
This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. I am now on Deezer, for our European haters and Stitcher for the weirdos. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.
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This Week’s Show
- 00:00: Opening
- 02:00: Me Talking A Lot
- 57:00: Closing
Full Show On Spreaker
Full Show On YouTube