Andrew Buskell is organising an excellent two-day (13-14 December) conference in Cambridge, New Directions in Evolutionary Social Sciences, exploring current developments and debates in cultural evolution.
I’ve just uploaded on SocArXiv a new preprint, A cultural evolution approach to digital media, where I suggest (surprise!) that cultural evolution provides some interesting tools to analyse digital media.
I just published, together with Claudio Tennie and Alex Mesoudi, a new paper in Royal Society Open Science: Social learning solves the problem of narrow-peaked search landscapes: experimental evidence in humans.
Almost three years ago I programmed a simple twitterbot (see here), namely a Python script that was posting every hour, when available, news or blog posts related to cultural evolution – hence the name @CultEvoBot. While the goal of the endeavour was mainly to see how difficult was to build something like that (it was easy!), and to use potentially what I learnt for other projects (I never did, but who knows!), @CultEvoBot was relatively useful and posted links to interesting sources, the majority of the time.
One of the articles of my holiday-accumulated reading list was, given my current interest in the effects of digital media on cultural transmission and evolution (see here), Katherine Viner’s How technology disrupted the truth, a long read of the Guardian. The piece got extensive – and almost exclusively positive – attention (there are, when I write, 1,589 comments and around 64,000 shares). In fact, I found it quite hideous, and I believe it also embodies a widespread common-sense attitude towards digital technologies, and social media in particular, so I decided to write here some comments.