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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Human Complex Systems


Population Size and Technological Accumulation


Comparing the effect of statistical distributions on the outcome of the “treadmill” model relating average skill level achieved through imitation to demogaphic factors is premature as the model incorporates an invalid assumption. The model incorrectly assumes that the imitation bias remains constant with increasing average skill level and is contradicted by data on hunter-gatherer and oceanic fishing groups showing that for these groups there is no relationship between the interacting population size and tool complexity.

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