110 views
###### Tags: Kairos Articles Rercherche :::info The argument presented here is strongly speculative. See [Martin Fortier's discussion](https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wiEn1fe6nLJKkSHiADtyNWeghozgX7eLxPjhbWrXvNs/edit) of the deep history of psychedelics usage for a more empirically grounded, conservative argument, or the accessible [Vice article](https://www.vice.com/en/article/4adngq/psychedelic-drug-use-in-ancient-indigenous-cultures) on the issue. ::: # Notes on the cultural evolution of psychedelics usage ## Active vs passive inference Entheogenic substances appear to have ancient usage [^1], with a suspected importance in ritual behaviour. What exactly could be their function with regard to social organisation ? Adaptive behaviour in human cognition and biological systems alike depend on their ability to infer dynamically environmental states [^2]. This implies both information processing ability (passive inference) and ability to alter environmental states so as to fulfill expectations (active inference). Passive inferential abilities are optimised in systems that are under-deterministic, allowing for the emergence of maximal mutual information between their constituant parts. This properties imply the lack of a specific scale of interaction, as domination of local interaction would cause the system to be disorganised, and domination of global interaction would cause it to be deterministic. Consequently, balance between passive and active inference cause agents to act slightly below a metaphorical transition between order and chaos, that is called "critical" due to its scale invariant patterns [^3]. The activity of the Default Mode Network is identified in humans as the key locus of active inference processes [^4], which is suppressed by the action of serotoninergic entheogenes [^5]. It follows that the use of these substances act metaphorically to restore a primordial state of consciousness by suppressing expectations about one's own actions, or in colloquial terms "ego". As "ego" is a key driver of social expectations, the expected role of psychedelic substances in social organisation would be to lower socio-cognitive inertia. It could be either antogonistic to social complexity (if it is based on coercion) or protagonistic (if it is based on collaboration). [Financial markets as RNG :-0] --- Ce document est régi par les termes de la licence juridique [Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/) <img style="display: block; margin: 0 auto;" src="https://mirrors.creativecommons.org/presskit/buttons/88x31/png/by-sa.png" width="40%"> [^1]: Guerra-Doce, Elisa. 2015. ‘Psychoactive Substances in Prehistoric Times: Examining the Archaeological Evidence’. Time and Mind 8(1): 91–112. [^2]: Karl, Friston. 2012. ‘A Free Energy Principle for Biological Systems’. Entropy 14(11): 2100–2121. [^3]: Guénin--Carlut, Avel. 2020. ‘Cognition in Eco, Cognition in Vitro’. https://osf.io/ercz6/ (October 31, 2020). [^4]: Dohmatob, Elvis, Guillaume Dumas, and Danilo Bzdok. 2020. ‘Dark Control: The Default Mode Network as a Reinforcement Learning Agent’. Human Brain Mapping n/a(n/a). https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hbm.25019 (June 6, 2020). [^5]: Carhart-Harris, Robin Lester et al. 2014. ‘The Entropic Brain: A Theory of Conscious States Informed by Neuroimaging Research with Psychedelic Drugs’. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00020/full (November 27, 2020).