Daily Archives: October 14, 2009

Open source software in the real world

Let’s look at open source software using a real-world example. To me, the FreeDOS Project will always be the first example I look to, so I’ll use that. It should speak to the commitment of the open source software community that FreeDOS continues under active (if slow) development 15 years after it was conceived. How has FreeDOS held the interest of its users? Because FreeDOS embodies the important qualities that an open source project must possess in order for it to succeed.

Jim Hall’s second installment…

Cultural Evolution from Mosquitos to Worm Grunting


A very good day of grunting worms. Credit: Ken Catania
So-called Gene-Culture Co-Evolution can be very obvious and direct or it can be very subtle and complex. In almost all cases, the details defy the usual presumptions people make about the utility of culture, the nature of human-managed knowledge, race, and technology. I would like to examine two cases of gene-culture interaction: One of the earliest post-Darwinian Synthesis examples addressing malaria and sickle-cell disease, and the most recently published example, the worm-grunters of Florida, which it turns out is best explained by direct reference to the man (Darwin) himself.

Strictly speaking the worm grunters of Florida is not an example of gene-culture interaction, as far as I know. But this case study serves as a starting point for a discussion of how traits that “make sense” arise even though the rise of said traits does not necessarily “make sense.”

Continue reading Cultural Evolution from Mosquitos to Worm Grunting