Gessler, Nicholas (gessler@ANTHRO.SSCNET.UCLA.EDU)
Tue, 4 Oct 1994 09:38:00 PDT

I'd like to echo Steve's request for ethnographic records of reflexive and
recursive processes. I am interested in the interaction between individuals
in a society where where the decision-making processes in each individual has
been documented. Stated another way, we can imagine a totality of
information about a collection of individuals in an environment. That
totality is qualitatively and quantitatively inaccessible in its
entirety to any one individual. Each individual tries to model aspects
of that totality, and each constructs a slightly (or vastly) different model.
In this sense, each individual contains a reflection of his society and
environment, of those he interacts with, and of himself. In this sense, each
individual also recursively updates his model of himself, his model of his
model of himself, and so on. I don't think there can be much doubt that this
is happening continually. But I don't see much reference to this phenomenon
in the literature. If anyone knows of any studies which address this in
detail, I for one would greatly appreciate hearing about them.

Nick Gessler
UCLA Anthropology