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Notes on video lecture:
The Human Brain's Outsourcing of Mathematics
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
mathematics, geniuses, taxes, fruits, binary, physics, mathematical, imagined, large, information, foragers, head, food, neurons, limitations, clay, brain, sophisticated
throughout history, in order to build a large kingdom or city or modern state, humans needed (1) enough         , (2) an                  order, and (3) techniques for storing large amounts of                       
up until the agricultural revolution, all information needed was stored in the human           
but as societies grew larger and larger, two things happened
1. amounts of necessary information also grew which had to be stored
e.g. a town of 5,000 requires much more information processing than a band of 50 people
2. the human brain was ill-adapted for the kind of information that needed to be stored
monotonous mathematical data, or numbers
                 had little use for numbers, they needed to more remember shapes, qualities and behavior patterns of thousands of species, and habits and relations of several dozen band members
foragers had little need for            numbers, e.g. didn't need to remember the number of              on each tree in the forest
if someone like Hammurabi (1792 BC - 1750 BC) wanted to maintain an empire, he needed to collect collect            from hundreds of thousands of people, you need to collect data about payments that were made, income and possession of people, about debts and fines, about discounts and exemptions
human brains have a very hard time dealing with this this amount of numbers and mathematical complexity
this mental limitation severely constrained the size of collectives after the agricultural revolution
once societies got to a certain size, humans hadn't developed the mathematical concepts yet to deal with this large number of people
before this, human social networks remained relatively small
Sumerians (4500 BC - 2400 BC)
present-day Southern Iraq
they were the first people to solve this                          challenge
around 4000 BC, larger kingdoms began to grow
between 3500 BC and 3000 BC some unknown Sumerian                  invented a new system for storing and processing information outside the brain, and this new system was custom-built to manage large amounts of mathematical data, in this way the Sumerians freed their social order from the                        of the human brain and opened the way for the appearance of larger cities and kingdoms and empires. This data-processing system that the Sumerians invented was called "writing".
instead of using                in the brain, they used material signs of all kinds and shapes.
writing was invented not in order to write poetry or philosophy or history, since all of this could be done in your brain, but one thing you cannot do in your brain is to store and process a large set of mathematical data, this is the original purpose for which writing was created
so if you are looking for the first words of wisdom from our Sumerian ancestors 5000 years ago, you are in for a disappointment
one of the first texts in history on a          tablet:
"29,086 measures of barley where received over the course of 37 months"
the first author in history was an accountant
most early writings were: the payment of taxes, the accumulation and ownership of property
after the appearance of writing, we begin to hear history through the voices of its protagonists
as time went by, writing became more                            was used for other purposes: laws, poetry, philosophy, sacred scriptures
however, even long after the invention of writing, for the most part even today the most basic function of writing is to store administrative information and mathematical data which cannot be stored and processed in the human brain
it was this administrative use of writing that was essential to the functioning of large societies
in fact, the dominant language of the world today is not English or Mandarin, but                       , the language of numbers: all states, companies, states or institutions, no matter if they primarily speak English, German, Spanish or Mandarin, all use the language of numbers to record and process data
every piece of information that can be translated into numbers is stored, spread and processed with amazing speed and efficiency, a person who wishes to influence the decisions of countries, companies and international organizations, must not only learn to speak English or Mandarin, but more importantly the language of numbers
there are entire fields of knowledge such as               , chemistry and engineering that have already lost almost all connection with the spoken human spoken language and are maintained almost solely in mathematical script
e.g. this is the equation for calculating the acceleration of mass i under the influence of gravity according to the theory of relativity
when most people see such an equation, they usually panic and freeze like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle, but this reaction is quite natural and is not a result of lack of intelligence or lack of curiosity, it is simply that, with rare exceptions, human brains are incapable of thinking through concepts like relativity or quantum mechanics.
physicists manage to engage with these ideas and theories by setting aside the traditional human way of thinking and learn instead to think with the help of external data processing systems such as mathematical writing and computers
crucial parts of the thought process in physics take place not in the head of the physicist but on blackboards, or paper, or in computers, because you can't do it in your         , it's not built for it
more recently, mathematical writing has given rise to an even more revolutionary writing system, the              script which consists of only two signs: zero and one.
scientists are working on intelligent systems which are based on numbers only, and so, the move from the human mind to written number systems to computer systems, to a new kind of intelligence
The Context of History and Our Extended Human Family
How Walking Upright Led to Better Social and Cooperative Skills
The Importance of Fire and Cooking
Why Did Other Human Species Become Extinct?
The Cognitive Revolution and the Beginning of Human History
The Language of Homo Sapiens
How Fictive Language Enabled Larger Social Groups
The Power of Imagined Realities
How the Ability to Tell Stories Enabled Humans to Cooperate in Massive Groups
The Cognitive Revolution and the Variety of Human Communities
Spiritual Beliefs of Early Humans
Politics and Warfare of Pre-Agricultural Societies
45,000 Years Ago: Human's Decimation of Australia's Large Mammals
14,000 BC: Human Migration to the Americas
Agriculture: The Good and the Bad
10,000 BC: Agricultural Revolution
The Origins of Agriculture
The Code of Hammurabi and Other Imagined Realities
Inter-Subjective Reality and Romantic Consumerism
The Human Brain's Outsourcing of Mathematics
Unjust and Imagined Hierarchies
Imagined Hierarchies in History
Culturally Defined Gender
Three Theories of Gender Domination
The Direction of Humankind: Global Unity
The Essence of Money
The History of Money
The Historical Definition of Empire
The Relationship between Science, European Imperialism and Capitalism
Science, Capitalism and European Imperialism
Columbus: Last Man of the Middle Ages, Vespucci: First Man of the Modern Age
European Empires, Science, and Capitalism
How Capitalism is Based on Trust in the Future
On the Interdependence of Science and Capitalism
How Capitalism Enabled Small European Countries to Explore and Conquer the World
The Relationship Between Capitalism, the Slave Trade, and Free Market Forces
Industrialization, Energy and Raw Materials
The Second Agricultural Revolution and its Effect on Animal Treatment
The Ethics of Capitalism and Consumerism
On Limitless Energy Resources and the Hegemony of Modern Time Schedules
State/Market vs. Family/Community
Humankind's Rigid and Violent Past, and Flexible and Peaceful Present
Reasons for Our Current Unprecedented Era of International Peace
Three Theories on the History of Happiness
Psychological and Biological Happiness
Measuring Human Happiness
The Future of Cyborgs and Robots
What Do We Want to Want?