Author: contemplationist

Civilization, Coordination and Belonging

Let’s start from the bottom up.

The problem of civilization is the problem of coordination at scale. Robinson Crusoe has no need of civilization. He is entirely on his own. Once you have more people you need to cooperate. Hence starts the division of labor and trade based on specialization. However there’s a Dunbar limit to this cooperation before transactions cost overwhelm the cooperate-cooperate equilibrium on the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Religion and culture are social technologies evolved to reduce transactions costs over scale. This is how if you’re part of a particular faith community, you can trust someone far removed from you but within the same faith community, on average, far more than you can a random person outside of it.

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