for a more harmonious culture

Foundational assumptions about how technology and culture function

1. Human cognition is sense-making.

Sense-making is the process by which a cognitive agent interacts with its environment and notices regularities through a perception-action feedback loop that gradually casts a web of meaning onto the environment, i.e. making sense of the environment. When two or more agents engage in sense-making together, dynamic meaning structures emerge in the moment through co-creative interaction and feedback in a process known as participatory sense-making.

2. Formalized sense-making is technology.

Once a cognitive agent makes sense of how some system in the environment works, they may choose to creatively express this knowledge using language, gesture, writing, diagrams, etc. When these sense-making processes are formalized and creatively expressed, they become technology. Technology is emergently defined as any expressed means of systematically reducing the physical or mental energy it costs to perform a task or achieve a desired outcome. Technology becomes formally acknowledged when that outcome is socially useful and the means of achieving it are reliable enough for scaled adoption.

3. Technology has both a physical and conceptual aspect.

Physical technology operates on world (e.g. machines, artifacts, electronics), and conceptual technology operates purely on the mind (e.g. theories, processes, heuristics). Every piece of physical technology has a conceptual counterpart that began in someone’s mind--first as an idea, then a theory, then a formal piece of conceptual technology scrawled out in diagrammatic form. Eventually the idea can evolve into a functional piece of physical technology in reality that is reproducable via its plans and design.

4. Individuals choose of their own free will to make a cognitive investment to produce technology.

When humans invest energy developing, creatively expressing, refining, and crafting technology (with others), it becomes solidified as a piece of cultural knowledge that will reduce the energy expenditure to accomplish the designed task for anyone that has access to that technology from that point forward. This action performs a potential service to all of humanity by contributing to cultural learning.

5. It is culturally advantageous to transmit effective technology.

Once an idea is expressed and recorded, it can be transmitted at a much lower energy cost than it took to produce. Tools can be copied and improved upon once the first version is designed and built. An original idea that is manifested into reality is like the seed of a new tree that goes on to bear new seeds in the mind of all who come in contact with the idea. Thus, humans that strive to reach their full potential are those that actively contribute to this cultural garden by finding, creating, and sharing technologies that are useful to others in the community and society as a whole. Then, ideas will spread as forests grow--emergently, dynamically, and harmoniously.