Howard Rheingold's blog

NY Times on Martin Nowak: Cooperation is third fundamental element of evolution

By Howard Rheingold, 11 years 45 weeks ago.

This New York Times profile of Martin Nowak is not new, but it seems like a good place to start the reawakening of this blog. We've taken some time to move to a Drupal platform and are now recruiting bloggers. If you are interested in cooperation theory and want to blog, contact me via howard at rheingold dot com and I'll sign you up for our Google Group and/or grant blogging privileges here.

In recent papers, Dr. Nowak has argued that cooperation is one of the three basic principles of evolution. The other two are mutation and selection. On their own, mutation and selection can transform a species, giving rise to new traits like limbs and eyes. But cooperation is essential for life to evolve to a new level of organization. Single-celled protozoa had to cooperate to give rise to the first multicellular animals. Humans had to cooperate for complex societies to emerge.

“We see this principle everywhere in evolution where interesting things are happening,” Dr. Nowak said.

While cooperation may be central to evolution, however, it poses questions that are not easy to answer. How can competing individuals start to cooperate for the greater good? And how do they continue to cooperate in the face of exploitation? To answer these questions, Dr. Nowak plays games.

A Force More Powerful: teaching nonviolent tactics via gaming

By Howard Rheingold, 12 years 5 weeks ago.

A Force More Powerful is a computer game that teaches tactics of nonviolent conflict:

A review essay of Matt Ridley's "The Origins of Virtue"

By Howard Rheingold, 12 years 5 weeks ago.

The virtue of human universals and cooperation: A review essay of Matt Ridley's The Origins of Virtue is almost 10 years old -- a call to arms for management scholars, challenging them to shake up the "Standard Social Sciences Model" of competition-dominated "rational, self-interested actors"

Acquiring Genomes: Lynn Margulis on Symbiogenesis

By Howard Rheingold, 12 years 5 weeks ago.

According to pioneering biologist Lynn Margulis, cooperation is not a sideshow, but a primary driver of evolution:

Audio from MIT symposium on Economics of Open Content

By Howard Rheingold, 12 years 5 weeks ago.

"Best of..." video: Toward a new literacy of cooperation lectures

By Howard Rheingold, 12 years 5 weeks ago.

Blackboard wins patent on e-learning

By Howard Rheingold, 12 years 5 weeks ago.

Charles Leadbeater on mass creativity: We Think, the book

By Howard Rheingold, 12 years 5 weeks ago.

(Via JOHO)

Charles Leadbeater's new book is beyond smartmobby: We Think. And he's put it on the web for download and reader comment.

Collaborative data-sharing in genetics research

By Howard Rheingold, 12 years 5 weeks ago.

Collective action, peer production, sociable media

By Howard Rheingold, 12 years 5 weeks ago.

A long, rich, quote-spiced post by Trebor Scholz explains collective action theories in light of peer-based production methods (e.g. open source, Wikipedia) and social media (e.g. del.icio.ous). You'll learn a lot more from this than from the scattered and disingenuously titled "Digital Maoism" of a few weeks back:

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