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The advances in technology and the unprecedented levels of knowledge-sharing in the last few decades could be extrapolated to suggest that the human race as a whole will eventually converge to perhaps become a single people with a single language and culture, sharing the same system, and possibly generating very similar life experiences for each person. While there are obvious advantages to this, how would this homogeneity affect human knowledge as a whole?

Does human knowledge perhaps need disparate cultures and systems to generate unique lines of thought? Is a chaotic system of generating human knowledge better than a uniform one? (Or will our new ability to better store our collective knowledge perhaps offset any drawbacks?)

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Can you unpack this a bit more? What might you be expecting in an answer? What have you found out so far? –  Joseph Weissman Jan 21 '13 at 16:34
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the processes of scientific inquiry have been carefully crafted to transcend cultural biases and the variety of individual experience, so I don't know why you'd be inclined to think advancement of knowledge would depend on them. –  Matthew Plourde Jan 21 '13 at 21:15
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This question is too broad to generate a short answer that is typically appreciated in this site. Is it not a platitude which diversity brings creativity to the scientific's hypotheses? –  Ricardo Jan 23 '13 at 13:24
    
@JosephWeissman I've honestly been trying to see how I can "unpack" my question further and don't really see how. I could perhaps point to immigration policies and cosmopolitan societies, but I think that this is self-evident. I'm looking for opinions on my primary question on whether homogeneity will hinder the progress of human knowledge and why. I haven't really found out anything so far. –  coleopterist Jan 24 '13 at 19:44
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To me it sometimes surprising how similar human cultures were in some respects already in distant pasts (see e.g. here on Axial Age). –  Drux Jan 25 '13 at 0:10

2 Answers 2

Any system becomes a thesis which, inevitably, creates its own antithesis, thus continuing the dialectical process. So the mixing of many cultures and points of view does not lead to a meanings mushy soup but rather a richer source of new theses, which can keep the process alive. So, somewhat as the world views of women, of cultural minorities, and of differing orientations enriches a culture, so the world-wide interplay of knowledges (there's not just one) make for an exciting, if not simple, future.

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How can you/can we know that? That the dialectical process won't stop, being neutralised or congealed? I.e. what premises/theories are you referring to? Pretty much any answer gets better if you add some sources... –  iphigenie Jan 23 '13 at 14:41

Humans cannot. Transhumans can. If humans could, we would have already. Unfortunately our brains are tuned to tribes of maximally 150 individuals, and we generate more culture and sub-culture than can be spread in the same timespan.

No one knows how many subcultures there is, because they pop up faster than you can count them.

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What's your sources for your claim that "our brains are tuned to tribes of maximally 150 individuals"? And what are transhumans? –  iphigenie Jan 27 '13 at 21:31
    
@iphigenie The 150 probably comes from here. –  coleopterist Jan 28 '13 at 13:41

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