society and reproduction
An environment consists of beings, as well as matter. On being heard, conversations between them begin. As these grow, they gather together societies of mutual interest and dependency in which individuals receive more from their work than they would otherwise. The surplus, of the extra, social capital, has led to the world we know today, a world that has been social since soon after life began here three or four billion years ago.
The sociality of virus, microbe, and animal, blended together and evolving, inside and around us, has given rise to what we have come to know of as 'us'. Only about half our cells are human, the rest are bacteria - without which we would struggle to be. Our body is the environment of these beings - and they live in it as dismissive of our needs as we have been of the needs of ours.
From elemental sociality, individual, multi-cellular life-forms evolved; our own form evolved colonially, and as groups of individuals has developed from extended families into tribes, nations, and pan-continental empires. It seems our technology sets us apart, yet are we essentially so different to other beings. Though a powerful narcissism looks for clear water to separate us, we too act as elements of societies and environments. Sport, music and art express and develop cultural cohesion. Reproducing, protecting young, hunting and warring - in ancient and modern forms - at their core are social acts. All these behaviours are resourced from social capital, and serve to produce it. While individuals die, societies and species survive and evolve.
Before we can stand we fight to be free - it's something we line up and die for - yet alone we become restless and bored. It is in the groups that our culture holds together that we feel at home. Its customs and artifacts, buildings and stories, enfold, and manifest who we are. Born expecting a society in which we would be understood, we have learned to see, to hear, and to feel within the cultural environment that surrounded us, growing and developing our behaviours, consciously and unconsciously, to be interpreted by those around us.
The environment of each being is the series of spaces that it knows by experience, one constructed by perception as much as by physics and biology. Our experience of the environment is framed by the information encoded in our culture and from within the frame this sets our perception develops. We live as a part of an environment not apart from it, and however we might shape it we are shaped by it. It is often said that finches adapted to their environment however in practice it's the environment that selects the beings that fit it.
As well as passing on codes of biology, reproduction passes on an inheritance of codes that are cultural. These are expressed as narratives through the cultures of our family, tribe, interests, and nation. Nested within one another like Russian dolls, these aggregate individuals into groups, informing their thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. Whether within their native societies or alien ones, on being heard these cultural narratives reproduce, growing and evolving, competing and cooperating with one another as individuals do.
The boundaries of individuals soften in a social crowd. Differences are unconsciously resolved, and individuals merge into a common culture with a lifespan many times those of its individuals. As such a culture grows, its collective mass increasingly behaves like a single entity, responding to the threats and opportunities it perceives, changing its 'mind' and replacing its 'leaders' - not only through a formal democracy. With their narratives of belief and of justice, comforting, exciting, and terrifying, cultures hold together the societies on which individuals depend, shepherding them to labour and to war, to repress, and to revolt.
As their group size grows, cultures develop specialized roles for their individuals and complex strategies to harness social capital. In our societies, limited companies have released this capital from the restraints of risk and responsibility that natural individuals are subject to. Serviced by people, these have been granted by law the powers and rights of an individual - to own property, to enter into contracts, and to employ others. They were the first virtual beings, their elementary, artificial intelligence created by a simple algorithm of cupidity. Conceived to direct our industry, they now drive our economies and nations.
For more than 30,000 years, while our world and brains have shrunk, virtuality has grown from handprints on cave walls to printing presses and HTML. Boxed-up by religious doctrines, our elementary extended-families were hacked back by wars and rendered nuclear. As societies infantilized, procedures and training replaced learning and education. Coralling now cellular populations, in an age of scientism virtual cultures have substituted territories for maps. Disconnected from reality, inside their virtual world new royalty has evolved, ushering in civil world war while they fight for its control.
..the network of social connections that exist between people, together with their shared values and norms of behaviour, that enable and encourage mutually advantageous social cooperation.
after: Collins English Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014. S.v. "social capital." Retrieved 6 Oct 2021 from: The Free Dictionary
algorithms of cupidity
While it seems reasonable the directors that companies employ protect the value of investments made in their companies, if shareholders, or the companies themselves, suffer 'loss or damage' their directors can be held personally accountable. While maximizing profit is not the only duty of trust that company directors have, it is the one that carries the greatest risk potential for them personally - assuming they act reasonably in other matters. This ensures that it is the 'prime directive' of their organization.
see: "Understanding a company director's fiduciary duties and consequences of failing these", by Begbies Traynor Group plc - insolvency practitioners and forensic accountants.