glyph 304: evolving knowledge, decision making, information theory, economics, discovery processes


"The Ecology of Decisions", by Phil Salin

co-evolution of tools and decision skill

This essay was taken from the Phil Salin website,, April 5, 2006.

Salin writes:

The main purpose of this work is to re-examine the way we perceive decisions and think about conscious choice. In order to teach people how to make better decisions, or be more "intelligent" at allocating scarce resources, I argue, we need to have a better model of how decisions work as real processes, and what "intelligence" really is.

Section I, "Understanding Decisions" discusses traditional ways of studying decision making, and proposes a more descriptive approach.

Section II, "The Wealth of Kitchens" is an exercise in educating one's perceptions as to what decisions really are, and how they really work as a process.

Section III, "The Oikonomikos of Information" summarizes the main theoretical conclusions which follow from Section II.


We are observing here an iterative, multiply-overlaid evolutionary process of "competition as a discovery procedure."

The Ecology of Decision, or "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Kitchens" — Explains decisions and intelligence as shaped by the evolving knowledge embodied in our tools.
entered before July 9, 2006

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