Cultural Overflow: Network Carrying Capacity

There is little doubt that our cultural systems are communications networks, albeit of considerably higher dimensionality than (even) the digital telecommunications systems with which we are all now so necessarily well-acquainted. In a spirit of relatively non-specific philosophical reflection, questions quite naturally arise as to the carrying capacity of these cultural networks and of what occurs when they approach or exceed such a threshold.

It is also worth reflecting that we never simply experience a traffic jam, we precisely inhabit and embody that problem just as much as we possess a stake and responsibility in seeking solutions to resolve it. Proliferating disinformation, uncertainty, partisan disagreement, political turbulence, conflict and – ultimately – war may just be the dissipatively dissonant destiny of any cultural communications system that has far exceeded its information carrying capacity.

Complexity has outpaced us all and the primary remediative engagement across pretty much all human organisational (and downstream technological) systems is to amplify complexity, generate more information, further refine technologies and add yet more radiatively speciating cultural artefacts, entities and systems that in gestalt collectively function as both energy and engine in this recursively self-accelerating vortex.

Image: stable diffusion.

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