Information management techniques and other species
Ann Blair (from Harvard University), in her review of "Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages" (by Alex Wright):
Wright draws from sociobiology the suggestion that evolution has favoured the development of particular human cognitive behaviours in managing information, such as the drive to classify and the emotional attachment to symbols. He turns for confirmation to anthropologist Donald Brown's notion of human universals and notes the particular importance of the ice age that began some 40,000 years ago in forcing humans to interact more closely, thus stimulating the development of drawing and symbolic objects. Wright argues that this "ice age information explosion brought humanity to the brink of literacy". (...) The historical perspective of Glut is admirable: Wright neither assumes a linear progress nor makes unwarranted claims about the novelty or the indebtedness of current technologies to earlier ones. He doesn't try to predict what the lasting impacts of the Web will be, but notes that the Internet facilitates the formation of small, self-organized communities that have the potential to undermine large hierarchical structures. In this way, he suggests that human culture may no longer be moving unidirectionally as was once thought, towards coalescence into larger entities, but rather multidirectionally.
Why do I blog this? it echoes with old memories of undegrad biology courses, this is interesting to me in terms of "traces of interactions" that can be collected and processed. These traces, intentional or not, explicity disclosed or not, are the basis of new types of interactions that can help building regulation systems, games, information management dashboards, etc. There should be some interesting things to draw out of that book regarding the evolutions of this over time and species.