Tom Abel

Tom Abel
Tzu Chi University · Department of Human Development

PhD

About

11
Publications
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281
Citations
Citations since 2017
0 Research Items
74 Citations
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Introduction
Cultural evolution is a unifying theme for much of my work and thought. I conceptualize evolution within an expanded synthesis that includes thermodynamic self-organization. The study of cultural evolution, therefore, should be located within study of the self-organization of human-ecosystems.

Publications

Publications (11)
Article
Full-text available
The 'information cycle' is an evolutionary model of the processes of gene/culture maintenance and change. This paper reports the first naturalistic experimental study designed to collect information data that can illuminate the mechanisms of 'culture' production and sharing in information cycles. It is an analysis of conversation among university s...
Article
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Divergence is an undertheorized process in energy transformation hierarchies. Energy transformation hierarchies are generally described as a stepwise convergence of energy and materials, with characteristic properties of increasing storage size, turnover time, and spatial scale, but they may also include the action of divergence that feeds other sc...
Article
Full-text available
‘Culture’ remains a conundrum in anthropology. When recast in the mold of ‘information cycles,’ culture is transformed. New fault lines appear. Information is splintered into parallel or nested forms. Dynamics becomes cycling. Energy is essential. And culture has function in a directional universe. The ‘information cycle’ is the crowning component...
Article
Explication of the ‘information cycle’ and its energy basis is a crowning component of H.T. Odum's theorizing of general systems. This paper applies the information cycle to cultural information. Specifically, the information cycle concept is applied to one domain of information production, regular conversation. The transformities of conversation p...
Article
Full-text available
In emergy research, transformities are of fundamental importance. They are factors that are used to convert the inputs to a process into emergy. Once placed in emergy units, the inputs to any process can then be added together or compared. Furthermore, as a product of an emergy analysis, new transformities for outputs can be used in other analyses....
Article
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For an anthropologist like myself the work of H.T. Odum has great significance. For 40 years his re-search has explored the workings of open systems of all sorts found in nature, including the biosphere's systems of humanity (Odum, 1971, 1983, 1996; Odum and Odum, 1976, 2001; Odum et al., 1998). There is perhaps no more interesting systemic rela-ti...
Article
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"It is suggested that ecotourism development on the island of Bonaire can be productively understood as a perturbation of a complex human ecosystem. Inputs associated with ecotourism have fueled transformations of the island ecology and sociocultural system. The results of this study indicate that Bonaire's social and economic hierarchy is approach...
Article
Full-text available
"Conversation between anthropology and ecosystems ecology was interrupted in the early 1980s, due to several well-reasoned critiques of then-popular applications of ecosystems theory in anthropology and due, especially perhaps, to the appearance of promising alternative ecological and evolutionary paradigms and programs. Since then, ecosystems ecol...
Article
Full-text available
Darwin's theory of evolution follows from a few simple ideas. Our physiology and behavior are the result of variation, selection, and transmission over recursive bouts of reproduction. It is thought that scientific anthropology should therefore look for the ultimate causes of behavior in this core of ideas, with explanation of even the most complex...

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Project (1)
Project
This research was begun for my Culture in Cycles (2013) paper. I am now expanding that work to incorporate the recent revelations in AI, machine learning, deep learning, etc, and the related and exciting new work in neuropsychology, and the related work in Bayesian inference, predictive processing, Hebbian learning, and causal models. The synergy in psychology at this time is thrilling to those of us who have watched the sputtering or misguided efforts of AI, cognitive psychology, and linguistics over the years. My goal is to incorporate this work into the framework of 'information cycles' that I have been pursuing for some time now. The final goal will be to pull together all the information cycle work, including recent work in cycles for finance and technology manufacturing, and write it together as a book.