Chapter fourteen of Global Brain
by Howard Bloom
. 1st ed. copyright 2000, John Wiley & Sons.
In this chapter, Bloom explores the concept of complex adaptive systems and the deeds of one early social architect, Lycurgus.
Primatological studies conducted in the 1960's often showed conflicting results. All the data from one group showed that a troupe of baboons behaved in one way, while another set of data showed that a troupe of baboons behaved in a completely different way. The reason for this is quite simple: the studies looked at different troupes of baboons! A troupe of baboons is a complex adaptive system, and thus while some baboons, such as the Hamadryas are rather democratic, others, such as the cynocephalus are despotic and militaristic (131).
This holds true with another form of primate, Homo sapiens. Just look at Sparta vs. Athens.
Sparta was not so much as city, as a bunch of small towns inside a common defensive wall, and the group's central philosophies were supposedly given rise to by Lycurgus, a legendary law-giver. Lycurgus' Sparta regulated just about everything from where a person could sit during meal times, to the whens, wheres, and hows of sexual intercourse.
Back to chapter 13: Greece, Miletus, and Thales: The Birth of the Boundary Breakers
On to chapter 15: The Pluralism Hypothesis: Athens' Underside
Up to the Index.