Re: Re(2): Paper on chimp culture

Lawrence H. de Bivort (
Tue, 29 Jun 1999 12:14:27 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 12:14:27 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Lawrence H. de Bivort" <>
Subject: Re: Re(2): Paper on chimp culture
In-Reply-To: <>

On Tue, 29 Jun 1999, Lloyd Robertson wrote:

>IMHO there was no "first conversation" just like there was no first human
>being. Consciousness / self-awareness probably developed in small
>incremental steps as the ability to communicate developed, each feeding on
>the other. It is impossible to say, therefore, that at some point a
>specific dividing line was cross and we suddenly had conversation (the same
>argument holds for the development of consciousness).

This makes good sense to me. Our brains seem to want binary alternatives:
"before-after" "this or that" "first-second", but reality may be a bit
less definitive. In my work with change in organizations and people, it is
often hard to say just when the change was 'made,' or at what point things
were 'successful.' Multiple elements, some of them hard to measure, lead
to less than polar clarity.

Lawrence de Bivort
The Memetics Group

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