Introducing quantitative cognitive analysis: ubiquitous reproduction, cognitive diversity and creativity

AbstractThe rise of ubiquitous computing has cemented ubiquitous reproduction (UR) as a defining feature of contemporary human environments. UR is most obvious on our televisions and smartphones but has homogenised most material aspects of our lives. Emerging technologies such as 3D printing and robotics will ensure that this trend intensifies. UR is an issue of global scale that is relatively intractable to qualitative treatment. This paper introduces a novel quantitative approach to cognitive science and to analysis of UR. The approach uses the finiteness of cognition to establish a minimal ontology with which to model cognitive diversity under UR. It demonstrates that, despite widespread valorisation of diversity, cognitive diversity must be declining at a global level. The implications of this for creativity are that the arc for creative impact is growing shorter and the need to be immediately intelligible is favouring the formulaic at the expense of the interpretable.

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