The Social Imagination

Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Woman with Two Skins ~ Nigerian Folktale for Children...

Eyamba I. of Calabar was a very powerful king. He fought and conquered all the surrounding countries, killing all the old men and women, but the able-bodied men and girls he caught and brought back as slaves, and they worked on the farms until they died.

This king had two hundred wives, but none of them had borne a son to him. His subjects, seeing that he was becoming an old man, begged him to marry one of the spider's daughters, as they always had plenty of children. But when the king saw the spider's daughter he did not like her, as she was ugly, and the people said it was because her mother had had so many children at the same time.

However, in order to please his people he married the ugly girl, and placed her among his other wives, but they all complained because she was so ugly, and said she could not live with them. The king, therefore, built her a separate house for herself, where she was given food and drink the same as the other wives. Every one jeered at her on account of her ugliness; but she was not really ugly, but beautiful, as she was born with two skins, and at her birth her mother was made to promise that she should never remove the ugly skin until a certain time arrived save only during the night, and that she must put it on again before dawn.

Now the king's head wife knew this, and was very fearful lest the king should find it out and fall in love with the spider's daughter; so she went to a Ju Ju man and offered him two hundred rods to make a potion that would make the king forget altogether that the spider's daughter was his wife. This the Ju Ju man finally consented to do, after much haggling over the price, for three hundred and fifty rods; and he made up some "medicine," which the head wife mixed with the king's food. For some months this had the effect of making the king forget the spider's daughter, and he used to pass quite close to her without recognising her in any way.

When four months had elapsed and the king had not once sent for Adiaha (for that was the name of the spider's daughter), she began to get tired, and went back to her parents. Her father, the spider, then took her to another Ju Ju man, who, by making spells and casting lots, very soon discovered that it was the king's head wife who had made the Ju Ju and had enchanted the king so that he would not look at Adiaha. He therefore told the spider that Adiaha should give the king some medicine which he would prepare, which would make the king remember her.

He prepared the medicine, for which the spider had to pay a large sum of money; and that very day Adiaha made a small dish of food, into which she had placed the medicine, and presented it to the king. Directly he had eaten the dish his eyes were opened and he recognised his wife, and told her to come to him that very evening. So in the afternoon, being very joyful, she went down to the river and washed, and when she returned she put on her best cloth and went to the king's palace.

Directly it was dark and all the lights were out she pulled off her ugly skin, and the king saw how beautiful she was, and was very pleased with her; but when the cock crowed Adiaha pulled on her ugly skin again, and went back to her own house.

This she did for four nights running, always taking the ugly skin off in the dark, and leaving before daylight in the morning. In course of time, to the great surprise of all the people, and particularly of the king's two hundred wives, she gave birth to a son; but what surprised them most of all was that only one son was born, whereas her mother had always had a great many children at a time, generally about fifty.

The king's head wife became more jealous than ever when Adiaha had a son; so she went again to the Ju Ju man, and by giving him a large present induced him to give her some medicine which would make the king sick and forget his son. And the medicine would then make the king go to the Ju Ju man, who would tell him that it was his son who had made him sick, as he wanted to reign instead of his father. The Ju Ju man would also tell the king that if he wanted to recover he must throw his son away into the water.

And the king, when he had taken the medicine, went to the Ju Ju man, who told him everything as had been arranged with the head wife. But at first the king did not want to destroy his son. Then his chief subjects begged him to throw his son away, and said that perhaps in a year's time he might get another son. So the king at last agreed, and threw his son into the river, at which the mother grieved and cried bitterly.

Then the head wife went again to the Ju Ju man and got more medicine, which made the king forget Adiaha for three years, during which time she was in mourning for her son. She then returned to her father, and he got some more medicine from his Ju Ju man, which Adiaha gave to the king. And the king knew her and called her to him again, and she lived with him as before. Now the Ju Ju who had helped Adiaha's father, the spider, was a Water Ju Ju, and he was ready when the king threw his son into the water, and saved his life and took him home and kept him alive. And the boy grew up very strong.

After a time Adiaha gave birth to a daughter, and her the jealous wife also persuaded the king to throw away. It took a longer time to persuade him, but at last he agreed, and threw his daughter into the water too, and forgot Adiaha again. But the Water Ju Ju was ready again, and when he had saved the little girl, he thought the time had arrived to punish the action of the jealous wife; so he went about amongst the head young men and persuaded them to hold a wrestling match in the market-place every week.

This was done, and the Water Ju Ju told the king's son, who had become very strong, and was very like to his father in appearance, that he should go and wrestle, and that no one would be able to stand up before him. It was then arranged that there should be a grand wrestling match, to which all the strongest men in the country were invited, and the king promised to attend with his head wife.

On the day of the match the Water Ju Ju told the king's son that he need not be in the least afraid, and that his Ju Ju was so powerful, that even the strongest and best wrestlers in the country would not be able to stand up against him for even a few minutes. All the people of the country came to see the great contest, to the winner of which the king had promised to present prizes of cloth and money, and all the strongest men came.

When they saw the king's son, whom nobody knew, they laughed and said, "Who is this small boy? He can have no chance against us." But when they came to wrestle, they very soon found that they were no match for him. The boy was very strong indeed, beautifully made and good to look upon, and all the people were surprised to see how like he was to the king.

After wrestling for the greater part of the day the king's son was declared the winner, having thrown every one who had stood up against him; in fact, some of his opponents had been badly hurt, and had their arms or ribs broken owing to the tremendous strength of the boy. After the match was over the king presented him with cloth and money, and invited him to dine with him in the evening. The boy gladly accepted his father's invitation; and after he had had a good wash in the river, put on his cloth and went up to the palace, where he found the head chiefs of the country and some of the king's most favoured wives.

They then sat down to their meal, and the king had his own son, whom he did not know, sitting next to him. On the other side of the boy sat the jealous wife, who had been the cause of all the trouble. All through the dinner this woman did her best to make friends with the boy, with whom she had fallen violently in love on account of his beautiful appearance, his strength, and his being the best wrestler in the country.

The woman thought to herself, "I will have this boy as my husband, as my husband is now an old man and will surely soon die." The boy, however, who was as wise as he was strong, was quite aware of everything the jealous woman had done, and although he pretended to be very flattered at the advances of the king's head wife, he did not respond very readily, and went home as soon as he could.

When he returned to the Water Ju Ju's house he told him everything that had happened, and the Water Ju Ju said—"As you are now in high favour with the king, you must go to him tomorrow and beg a favour from him. The favour you will ask is that all the country shall be called together, and that a certain case shall be tried, and that when the case is finished, the man or woman who is found to be in the wrong shall be killed by the Egbos before all the people."

So the following morning the boy went to the king, who readily granted his request, and at once sent all round the country appointing a day for all the people to come in and hear the case tried. Then the boy went back to the Water Ju Ju, who told him to go to his mother and tell her who he was, and that when the day of the trial arrived, she was to take off her ugly skin and appear in all her beauty, for the time had come when she need no longer wear it. This the son did.

When the day of trial arrived, Adiaha sat in a corner of the square, and nobody recognised the beautiful stranger as the spider's daughter. Her son then sat down next to her, and brought his sister with him. Immediately his mother saw her she said— "This must be my daughter, whom I have long mourned as dead," and embraced her most affectionately.

The king and his head wife then arrived and sat on their stones in the middle of the square, all the people saluting them with the usual greetings. The king then addressed the people, and said that he had called them together to hear a strong palaver at the request of the young man who had been the victor of the wrestling, and who had promised that if the case went against him he would offer up his life to the Egbo.

The king also said that if, on the other hand, the case was decided in the boy's favour, then the other party would be killed, even though it were himself or one of his wives; whoever it was would have to take his or her place on the killing-stone and have their heads cut off by the Egbos. To this all the people agreed, and said they would like to hear what the young man had to say. The young man then walked round the square, and bowed to the king and the people, and asked the question, "Am I not worthy to be the son of any chief in the country?" And all the people answered "Yes!"

The boy then brought his sister out into the middle, leading her by the hand. She was a beautiful girl and well made. When every one had looked at her he said, "Is not my sister worthy to be any chief's daughter?" And the people replied that she was worthy of being any one's daughter, even the king's. Then he called his mother Adiaha, and she came out, looking very beautiful with her best cloth and beads on, and all the people cheered, as they had never seen a finer woman.

The boy then asked them, "Is this woman worthy of being the king's wife?" And a shout went up from every one present that she would be a proper wife for the king, and looked as if she would be the mother of plenty of fine healthy sons.

Then the boy pointed out the jealous woman who was sitting next to the king, and told the people his story, how that his mother, who had two skins, was the spider's daughter; how she had married the king, and how the head wife was jealous and had made a bad Ju Ju for the king, which made him forget his wife; how she had persuaded the king to throw himself and his sister into the river, which, as they all knew, had been done, but the Water Ju Ju had saved both of them, and had brought them up.

Then the boy said: "I leave the king and all of you people to judge my case. If I have done wrong, let me be killed on the stone by the Egbos; if, on the other hand, the woman has done evil, then let the Egbos deal with her as you may decide."

When the king knew that the wrestler was his son he was very glad, and told the Egbos to take the jealous woman away, and punish her in accordance with their laws. The Egbos decided that the woman was a witch; so they took her into the forest and tied her up to a stake, and gave her two hundred lashes with a whip made from hippopotamus hide, and then burnt her alive, so that she should not make any more trouble, and her ashes were thrown into the river. The king then embraced his wife and daughter, and told all the people that she, Adiaha, was his proper wife, and would be the queen for the future.

When the palaver was over, Adiaha was dressed in fine clothes and beads, and carried back in state to the palace by the king's servants.That night the king gave a big feast to all his subjects, and told them how glad he was to get back his beautiful wife whom he had never known properly before, also his son who was stronger than all men, and his fine daughter. The feast continued for a hundred and sixty-six days; and the king made a law that if any woman was found out getting medicine against her husband, she should be killed at once.

Then the king built three new compounds, and placed many slaves in them, both men and women. One compound he gave to his wife, another to his son, and the third he gave to his daughter. They all lived together quite happily for some years until the king died, when his son came to the throne and ruled in his stead.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

No Truth in the Masses in the Social Imagination...Finale!

In the search for truth in the social imagination, one always comes back to the one truth... that truth lies in the individual who is a composite of the whole, a part of the whole yet distinct and in his/her distinction cannot be the truth of the whole. This is true about the human body and human social reality - social imagination.

Even democracy cannot be true for everyone everywhere at the same time. Many times, there have been instances when you are outside of the 'majority rules'. So, is there truth for you in the masses ruling in that instance... No. Yet, many misguided 'thinker's believe that there is truth for all in all instances. Rather, that is what they want you to believe because the truth is as I just said - there is no truth in the masses. But, if certain people get you to believe that, then they will likely get to keep their 'truth' as you give up yours for the masses.

This is the agenda of social justice, the sui generis at work, the great deception at hand...

*Christ died for you not the many! This is the most incredible and beautiful of all statements in the created social imagination. Why? Because, it addresses the one who is worthy to be received, to be loved, to be saved! Each and every one in the same way yet separate, and distinct in their own right...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

In Search of Truth in the Social Imagination ~ Part II

You may never have thought of the gravity of the social imagination in terms of the weight and strength that it carries, wields and uses to shape everything man does and thinks. Yes, the gravity of the social imagination is that and much more.

You see, being a sociologist gives me a greater perspective than most other sciences especially the 'hard sciences'. They can only go by what men think they see and agree on as real even mathematically; someone always comes up with a new equation. The difference is that sociologists know this to be true (reality is what we think we see and agree on). This is what I have been saying all along when we consider what is the true social reality.

How is the gravity of the social imagination connected with the idea of the electric universe?  It is connected only in this way... for some what is real is not real for others; but, that is exactly how quantum physics started out or the view that the earth revolves around the sun. As soon as enough scientists agree, after writing their papers on it (getting their foot hold on it), the electric universe will be the new standard model and not the old traditional in the social imagination.  

This is how the gravity of the social imagination affects social reality and what is really real! You see, once something is agreed upon, we essentially collapse a wave function; and, that's the new real. This is the work of the gravity of the social imagination. The electric universe model now rubs against the Standard model of the universe.

The Standard Model of the universe is the standard model of particle physics is the theory describing three of the four known fundamental forces in the universe (the electromagnetic, weak and strong interactions), as well as classifying all known elementary particles. The Standard Model includes 12 elementary particles of spin of which half are known as fermions. According to the spin-statistics theorem each fermion 'neutrino' has a corresponding antiparticle.

But, in the electric universe model, there is no antimatter forming antiparticles. In the electric universe, the neutrino is everything all at the same time. You see, an electron and a positron are composed of the same charged sub-particles in different conformations. They come together to form a neutrino (subatomic particle) and a stable neutrino at that, emitting most of their orbital energies in the process. They do not annihilate each other. In that sense a neutrino embodies both the electron and the positron.

The big debate is whether or not the neutrino could be the first ever example of a type of particle that is its own antiparticle and not separate from its 'other self' not able to destroy its other self as the Standard Model proposes. And, this is the reason for all the 'gravity' concerning what is really real in the social imagination; a place in the mind of men where there is only agreement reality and even that can flip flop just like neutrinos. 

*Source ~

Thursday, August 24, 2017

In Search of the Truth in the Social Imagination!

Why is it that man searches for truth? And the truth about what??? The truth about life???

Is the search for the 'truth' about life driven by the fundamental anxiety- the fear of the unknown and death? Perhaps, but rather in his social imagination the quest for truth is much more than overcoming or facing fears. It is more about finding real life and peace of mind. The answer to that is built into what we hope for which is eternal life and peace as in that exists the absolute truth of our being. 

We search for truth because we want to know what comes next (the hope for what comes next) because we want to and we need to know what a man can set his/her mind on and in doing so, come to know the real truth about him/herself. 

The pursuit of such a truth has led man to make incredible discoveries in the sciences and in the arts: beautiful music, poetry, plays, and books. Man in his endeavors searches for the truth a truth not only about himself but about his creator. The great why and what for question. Which is probably the most important aspect for understanding the human being whatsoever. Every man seeks the truth his/her way and seeks for agreement within their circle of expertise and or colleagues, friends, society. 

Since, I am of the social sciences - sociology, and I am of the western social imagination, then my own quest for truth has to start there - the in the western social imagination and or mindset. I read recently that the western intellectual tradition is unique; well, couldn't we say... so it goes with any tradition. Yet, the history of western philosophy and its social imagination is unique and it must begin with an investigation of ancient Greek thought 'social imagination'. 

From Thales and the matter philosophers to the empiricism of Aristotle, the Greeks passed on to the west a spirit of rational inquiry that is very much our own intellectual property. And while we may never think of Plato or Aristotle as we carry on in our daily lives, it was their inquiry into knowledge that has served as the foundation for all subsequent inquiries... rational inquiry. 

Rational inquiry is one that follows Newton's laws of therm o-dynamics; specifically, the third law = for every action is a reaction and that an isolated force does not exist. Issac Newton was around long after Greek thought but Greek thought had made a path for him as we can read in the works of Plato and Aristotle.    

From Thales, who is often considered the first Western philosopher, to the Stoics and Skeptics, ancient Greek philosophy opened the doors to a particular way of thinking that provided the roots for the Western intellectual tradition. Here, there is often an explicit preference for the life of reason and rational thought. And, perhaps that is why Paul was guided to Greek/Gentiles with the Gospel.

Within that 'ethnos' we find proto-scientific explanations of the natural world in the Milesian thinkers, and we hear Democritus posit atoms as indivisible and invisible units as the basic stuff of all matter. With Socrates comes a sustained inquiry into ethical matters as an orientation towards human living and the best life for human beings. Plato’s student, Aristotle, was one of the most prolific of ancient authors. He wrote treatises on each of these topics, as well as on the investigation of the natural world.

Aristotle argued that the cosmos and its heavenly bodies are in perpetual motion and always has been. There could not have been a time with no motion, whatever is moved is moved by itself or by another. Rest is simply a privation of motion. Thus, if there were a time without motion, then whatever existed which had the power to cause motion in other beings would have been at rest. 

If so, then it at some point had to have been in motion since rest is the privation of motion. Motion, then, is eternal. What moves the cosmos? This must be the unmoved mover, or God, but God does not move the cosmos as an efficient cause, but as a final cause.

Isaac Newton said that there is no isolated external cause. Hence, for Newton and his furthering development of rational thought, there is a Creator that interacts with the creation and in that is where truth is found. 

Now, of course we cannot know exactly if all the Greek thinkers were considering this aspect fully; yet Plato seems to have been going in that direction of thought when he said that there is an absolute entity that in its entirety is a mystery always moving and unknowable. Aristotle a student of Plato had a slightly different view.  His view was that such an entity was an unmoved mover who as a final cause was to move. 

Both were somehow right and wrong. It was Newton that really had it right... there is a mover and that mover is not isolated or unknowable. This is rational thought at its height of glory and in that 'rational thought' western man began to make leaps and bounds in knowledge of the universe and in his social imagination. How do we know that Newton was right? 

We know from the process of information and that coded information is created to contain and move information. Can you know the source of that information in its entirety? Could a super computer know its creator in his/her entirety?  Could a complex design know exactly where and why it began? No, in its complexity there is the unlikely possibility it would find it in its entirety let alone know it had.  Its a matter of hope that in truth we live, move and have our being in Him ~ Acts 17:28.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Expectation and Reciprocation... in the Social Imagination!

People think that they can make everyone in society equal and make everything fair but who is the judge of that? Expectation and reciprocation are relative... we expect certain behavior from some people and not from others and the same for reciprocation. Whether we are talking about our friends, siblings, parents, spouses, neighbors, politicians or bankers, we expect things (abstract and real) and we expect things to be mutually reciprocated. We expect that and its not always the case to get back in the same way or amount that you think you gave.

Time is always a difficult subject or thing to expect from someone and to reciprocate. Money follows, and then love, friendship, duty, and death. Yes, we even include death; an eye for an eye... And, these days, people don't expect to die but they will and some will have to and some people are expected to die but they don't... not when they are expected to or even want to. Sound crazy? Its all in the social imagination which is good, bad and ugly.

I saw a 'post-apocalyptic'  television series; it very well written as it looked carefully at expectations and reciprocation. In the later part of the series as it appeared that maybe the situation was getting better since the military took over and a new government was forming, we realize that the only way to organize a society that is equal and fair for everyone is to codify all behavior, codify all goods and services, transactions involving ownership, marriage, births and deaths. If there wasn't a bar code for something, then a chain reaction was eminent and it had to be remedy quickly.

There was no need for self determination, self motivation, self sufficiency, or selfishness... because, it was all coded in to make it all fair. No one had to expect anything and no one had to reciprocate to anyone. Is that where we are headed? You can't make all things equal and fair without striping bare humanity with its good, bad and ugly social imagination. Its the giving and taking, the push and pull that keeps us human, that brings out the good, bad and ugly.

Expectation and reciprocation keeps us from the pit of entropy. And, yet its that pit of entropy as an expression of disorder, or the seeming randomness of a system, or of our lack of information about it that keeps us going somewhere... or at least reaching out in our social imagination to interact and expect results and for those results to be reciprocated back into something we can all make use of or sense of in our social imagination even in the smallest way.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Social Imagination Revisted ~ A Framework for Christianity!

We are in the world but not of it... and to be of it means to have lost sight of the self or given it over to a massive sea where all those that were once a 'self' are now lost in that sea. Essentially, that means that though we are part of a wider social imagination, it is the individual in it that must never lose sight of itself; it must love itself first in order to love its neighbor. For without this key attribute, it the 'self' is without meaning and if the self is without meaning the social imagination is too; and, it will eventually destroy the self in this meaningless vacuum. 

A society must never lose sight of the one in the many. One lost sheep found is as precious or greater than the masses that never strayed.The study of social imagination was my forte and is still the most important study in human history and in respect of all other sciences. Why? Because, it is the study of the collective mentality - the social imagination.
Essentially, there two functions of the social imagination. The first function has three main fundamental aspects: a definite original source (of information), components and limits. This first function directly enables the second which is the filtering process of the concept creative. This second function has no need of its own fundamental aspects as it is grounded by the first. The first function is ‘basic’ everyday routine whereby bodily movement in time and space are observed and serves an elementary plane of attention to life, paramount reality. 

The first function is for simple performance as in simple bodily movement that enables getting from here to there without, let us say, much thought. It could be seen as the default mode program; whereas, the second function is the concept/ creative is for the purpose of escaping that routine, beginning with bodily movement incorporating gesture that has meaning other than just getting from one point in space to another. 

The second function, the concept/ creative is enabled by the first function. It is where language and communication are occupied. The second function is relies on language in a specific way, it does not need to repeat generalities; it needs to articulate greater expectation, and creative performance, it is the place in human consciousness where social imagination exists and in saying that the two expressions are one and the same. 

There is an interconnected participatory feature of the first function and second function, experienced through bodily moments which cause tensions of consciousness between the first function and the second function.  The second function reacts to such tensions from the first function and is able to respond in a concept/ creative mode so that that relation with the first function acting as a background, a default program and the second function create social imagination. 

In some respect, the second function allows the collective conscious, the collective mentality, the group as having shared interest, to imagine and focus on the things that it creates out of its shared imagining. Through tensions between the first function and second function social imagination as having a concept / creative function transcends what is and is able to postulate what ought to be; thus, social consciousness moves onto another plane of accent to reality, another attention to life, a higher order of human consciousness.

In theory, social imagination can be conceived as the collective mentality of a group of people. For most social scientists this is an observational and testable entity as sociology generally looks at human actions to explain society. Thus, they are measured and quantified and thus predictable.
However, what is left of an observation but an image or residue of what was real. The collective mentality of a group is the forerunner to an observable action. Those on the inside have inside information and or knowledge as to why they did this or that and for what reasons. Anyone on the outside of that group will only see the residues of that information... traces left over. 

The meaning of human action directly stems from or out of the collective mentality. The residues of that action has little meaning for outside observers and even for those inside all that is left is meaning and that alone is retained in the collective mentality - the social imagination. 

You see, action alone does not contain meaning but is the vehicle of it, only the drivers know the direction and what for.  Action is only a pattern of physical movement; this is the purpose of the first function of social imagination. 

As stated above, essentially the social imagination exists has three aspects and two functions. The three aspects (composing the first function) are: source of information (presuming that all social reality is information that has a source), components which are social actors as Durkheim might call them... all minds or 'singular' imaginations that compose a definable group 'collective mentality' and perimeters/boundaries as in limitations due to the source and combined components. 

The two functions are: action/ physical, and the second function also has aspects. The first aspect is  also physical 'mechanical' as we might think of a processor which processes of information shared through the first function - which is the only means as in way for 'human' processors to interact. The meaning that arises from that interaction which we can call social action is the direct activity or interaction of those functions. From the point of view of phenomenology, social imagination is that which gives meaning to action - shared information in a place over a period of time. 

The second aspect of the second function is the concept/ creative function of the collective mentality, of social imagination, uses imagining and imagery in its creative mode of function. And, it is there that the social imagination can expand but not necessarily for it is still linked in to its first function with its source of information which though enables also grounds. It is this social imagination that keeps us human and it keeps us intact in the place where we are 'grounded' and fully functioning in the place where we are.

Where is the individual in all this since it is from the individual perspective that we even experience the social imagination - social reality?  This is a fair and good question. The individual though a composite is at the same time its own unique composite unlike any other in the same detail, but the same in terms of process and need of information to be fully realized or actual in the place it is. This is perhaps the basis of all western civilization (being one in many and the many for the one) social imagination as found in my own research exploring the social imagination through the topic of ideal society.

We are in the world but not of it... and to be of it means to have lost sight of the self or given it over to a massive sea where all those that were once a 'self' are now lost in that sea. Essentially, that means that though we are part of a wider social imagination, it is the individual in it that must never lose sight of itself; it must love itself first in order to love its neighbor. For without this key attribute, it the 'self' is without meaning and if the self is without meaning the social imagination is too; and, it will eventually destroy the self in this meaningless vacuum. A society must never lose sight of the one in the many. One lost sheep found is as precious or greater than the masses that never strayed.

*Source - PhD dissertation on the Social Imagination - "Imagining Ideal Society: Exploring the concept/Creative Function in the Occident Social Imagination".... Dr. E.F. Gallion

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Expectations Are Good, Bad and Ugly in The Social Imagination!

When we expect too much we become disappointed. This can happen between people that know each other very well and between people that don't know each other at all.

We live in our social imagination and that is where we will always be. It begins for us with mother for she imparts her social knowledge to her infant even before its born. Everything mother knows, trusts, and expects is transferred; including what she doesn't know, doesn't trust and doesn't expect.

In saying that, we can't imagine she could transfer what she doesn't know or trust or expect but lack of information or no information 'no data' as in blanks transfers as much as data bits filled with good, bad and ugly information does.

We come to expect certain things and behaviors from people firstly based on what mother expected or not and later as the socialization process continues, those expectations continue as well. We can expect more or less from people or nothing at all based on social encounters. When we expect less or nothing, we tend to move away from that person or group of people.

We like some and dislike others. This can appear as prejudice or discrimination. It does not mean we intentionally dislike to the point of hating someone or another group. It simply means that we like and don't like based on what we expect.  What we don't like is often due to not knowing what to expect given limited or lack of information; that along with our preferences for liking or not liking one thing or person over another is largely based on what we expect firstly from ourselves and then from those that we know which we expect will reciprocate in a like manner.

Sometimes, a person is not able to reciprocate in a like manner due to economic hardship, due to lack of cultural information or lack of social knowledge or lack of experience in a behavior that would give support for 'right' or expected amount of reciprocation.  The simplest example of this is when you are in a crowded place and overloaded with a burden of whatever kind. Someone you don't know at all bumps into you.

The first reaction is one of expectation - you look for an apology. As you do that, you instantly scan the individual in terms of obvious physical differences. When the apology does not come in the moment you expected it or even not all... judgement and discrimination kick in. You calculate in your social imagination all information on that 'type' of person, you place them in a group of information.

The next time you are in the same situation, you avoid all those 'types'; because, you know what not to expect and what to expect. Think about it. Consider all those seemingly 'innocent' from an outside observer's view that have caused you to expect more or less from someone or a group of people.

You don't ask them out to lunch or over to your house, you don't engage them in conversation, you don't deal fairly with them in the office or in public, you join in with others who mock them as you feel that they too have been disappointed and expectations are low.

Someone once told me not to expect anything from anyone and you will never be disappointed. But, what kind of society would that be, what kind of social imagination would that provide... gray! We live in a social imagination and in it there will be good, bad and ugly information and expectations or lack thereof but it is necessary for social reality, necessary for its existence. We can imagine because of those things which we know well, know a little about and don't know much about.

In that social imagination, we live, move and have our being. As Durkheim would have called it - sui generis. This is a fallen world and thus it is not perfect. And, in this imperfect 'world' this imperfect social imagination we rise and fall, we cry, and sing, we love and even hate but we live.

God intended that they would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘- We are His offspring.’ Therefore, being offspring of God, we should not think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by man’s skill and imagination.…
Acts 17:27-29.