Using science & reason to understand human nature & society.

“Humanity is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your life unravelling it, don’t say you’ve wasted your time.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Most of humanity’s problems, such as war, poverty, and climate change, are self-inflicted. Sustainable, long-term solutions can only be found by unravelling Dostoevsky’s mystery of humanity. But this can only be done through an honest, rational, objective, and scientific understanding of human nature. I will post one article a week on a Wednesday morning (GMT). These articles will discuss human nature from the ground floor up. They include, therefore, articles on evolution and systems science. The topics that I have covered to date, and will cover in the future, are listed on the Index page. I would recommend reading them in the order listed, as each article builds on those previously published. You can also see the articles in my Quora space at rational-understanding.quora.com.  If you would like to receive articles by email, please click the subscribe button. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I will be pleased to hear from you. My email address is email@johnachalloner.com.

Most Recent Posts

How to Gain Understanding

Introduction People understand the world through pattern recognition. Recurring patterns of events attract our attention, we remember them, attach meaning to them, and later use them as an aid to predicting the world. This trait has evolved to help our survival and the propagation of our genome. Non-recurring events are of lesser interest as they…

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The Systems Approach to Communication

Communication is about the transfer of information. The latter is held in the way that matter or energy is organised. A key feature of information is that it can be replicated, whilst matter and energy cannot, i.e., organisation in one place can be copied to another. The term “replication” is used because information is established…

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Principles of Self-Maintaining Systems

Some systems, known as self-maintaining systems, are thought to have both maintenance sub-systems and adaptive mechanisms. The maintenance sub-system sustains the relationship between the other sub-systems and holds the entire system together. The adaptive mechanisms promote changes to inputs, outputs, and processes, to keep the system in equilibrium with its environment. Living things, for example,…

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Here are five simple questions for you to meditate upon:

  1. How confident are you that you know the problems of humanity?
  2. To what extent do you care about those problems?
  3. How confident are you that you understand why these problems exist?
  4. How confident are you that you know the solutions to these problems?
  5. How empowered do you feel to make a difference?

If you would like to reply to these questions (and only these questions) in a 90 second, anonymous questionnaire, click here https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/S2CQBGL.

When sufficient people have responded I will publish the results here.