Summarizing your statements, we can model culture as a set of rules since pattern systems are rule systems. Then we can model outcomes using a rule based system.
Jikan wrote:Culture is a form of memory.
Jikan wrote:Masses of people can commit horrible atrocities. Culture is the body of accumulated knowledge that remembers it happened, remembers how it happened, and resolves not to let it happen again.
The resolve is lacking. Unfortunately I only know recent atrocities (Canaris's notes allegedly taken during a Hitler conference detail that Hitler asked when outlining what was to become the Holocaust, well before the Wansee Conference, "Who remembers the Armenian Genocide anymore?"): the Cambodian Killing fields, the Yugoslavian Genocide, gangs ruling countries (Somalia for example, or Columbia during the 90's, Mexican and Central American narcoterrorism), Rwanda, the civil wars in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, Darfur, now the concentration camps of North Korea. Some of these are too recent to have been reacted to. But that does not apply to older atrocities, none of which were stopped after people knew they were going on. So empirically culture has not stopped these major atrocities.
[quote="Jikan"Culture is a means of survival. [/quote]
It seems more like it's a means of reviving hatred and violent conflict at least in some cases. The Yugoslavian Wars began shortly after Tito's death with Milosevec, Tudgman and other state Ministerpresidents nationalist advocating, elements of the Yugoslavian army began to take action (it's still not clear why that happened) and ethnically based milita arose and began military action, ethnic cleansing (originally that meant mostly removing undesireable people from towns), unorganized atrocities and then organized atrocities. So the cultural aspect of this is: those people have been our enemies in the past, we have to protect ourselves. Tito had been able to keep all of this undercontrol with his nationalist communism and I am sure judicious disapperaing of individuals. Rawanda and other African societies have similar stories.
I taught hs in DC for three years 2006-2009. Unfortunately I am merely an computer programmer with an MS in computer science. I am not a professional teacher or psychologist. Daily the kids at my former hs acted out in many of my classes and essentially refused to take the subject matter seriously. Why was this? The reasons are layered. American hs students overwhemingly think they are wasting their time (this is part of what they mean when they say they are "bored"). They also expect to be entertained. Then in DC black nationalism and a belief that "white people" in general are trying to execute a plan to rest control of the city back into "white hands" is active. As a person perceived to be white, this was a problem. Then universally most of the kids found my classes to be "hard". Interestingly I was accused by the administrators to only lecture but the facts are that the students had to produce or revise software artifacts daily. The kids explicitly used their cultural inheritances from advancing as fast and as far as possible. They didn't organize meetings and work this out. They just acted in a way after a point that they had inherited culturally to keep classwork from advancing.
If you say "culture is a means of survival", I acknoweldge that that is true. But culture is also a means to death and atrocity and ignorance. Culture is an encoded means to acheiving a goal, not always positive.
Culture is how North Korean peasants know which roots to eat and which to avoid, and which wild mushrooms, in order to avoid starvation.
Culture in North Korea is also a means to keep terrorized and divided concentration camp inmates from rebelling and escaping.
I could go on.