Micro –> Macro –> Micro, etc.
Kevin has a few threads regarding the effect that micro behaviors have when aggregated to macro behaviors:
- Society According to Kevin
- I May Have Been Wrong About Macroeconomics
- But I Was Probably Right About Climate Models
It occurred to me as I was reading this Huffington Post article that there is a reverse-emergent dynamic that occurs when countries (often through their leaders) send signals to other countries through word and action. That is, if the actions of a group can be seen as emerging from the sum total of actions of its constituents, then it’s also true that the actions of the constituents are influenced by the information received at the group level. Obama, speaking for the U.S., says to an Arab nation “we will treat you with dignity and respect if you treat us that way”, and this has an effect on individuals in that nation as to how they will behave individually.
In the past I’ve characterized the downward influence (from level 2 to level 1) as constraining autonomy, to which Kevin objects. While I’m not sure that we’ve come to consensus on this particular sticky wicket, there’s clearly a connection between the superfoo thread and the macro/micro threads.