The Social Imagination

Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

How Important is Agreement Reality in the Social Imagination?

How is one able to conclude that anything is real? Perhaps, by mathematical, scientific or  even by philosophical discussion? Some have said and still say that which is real is only through the known experience of the senses. 

However, we can and do experience abstract concepts such as freedom, love and justice; though rather they are a 'state of mind' experiences than they are physical as in tangible sensory experiences; but nonetheless, a sensory experience of another kind and one than cannot be seen. 

If we view social reality as an information reality and we should because there isn't any other reality; we can then say that nothing comes into our 'social' information reality (living in our mind as the social imagination) unless there is an absolute source for it and agreement that it did enter/is experienced. The fact that we can agree on anything as information that entered in as a truth especially as an 'the' absolute truth is truly supernatural; existing outside of our social imagination and perhaps of another information reality of a higher entity in a higher dimension. 

In terms of agreement reality and the social imagination, what matters is what compels us to understand that which enters in... Yes, that is what matters most - what compels. Einstein said there is no such as nothing or 'no' thing.

Hence, things, understood as 'information', cannot come into our social reality (social imagination) unless there is a source for such things 'information' that allows true information to enter in and or delivers information and in that we agree that it did enter in. The fact that we can agree on anything as a truth especially an 'the' absolute truth is truly supernatural.

Man exists in the locus of his/her mind and in that there must be agreement reality orchestrated in his/her social imagination. There is no social reality in the social imagination without agreement in/of it. Let me say like this, we exist in agreement reality via the social imagination, wherein we find/have a medium for agreement.

Now, there a lot of groups/nations that agree on this or that as their truth. And, for each in their place of being in the social imagination experience a truth. Ones' truth is always a truth as long as there is agreement.  In fact, you cannot be human unless you experience truth through agreement reality in the social imagination at least on some level about something... I think therefore I am and the sun is a star! But, is any agreement reality built on an 'the' absolute truth?

Does it matter that all man/people agree on the same things or just some things and disagree on some things or everything? That's a good question. What matters is what compels them to agree and what they end up agreeing on. But, in agreement comes also the idea (or doubt) of whether or not that which was agreed upon was not just true in a place but whether or not it the absolute truth - true for all things in all time.

Soren Kierkegaard said that there is no absolute truth in the masses of mere men because real absolute truth exists only in the One created it. As with the game of telephone, who started the information chain holds the absolute truth of it and it weakens as it passing on down the line. 

For those who are committed to the absolute truth, they are often open receivers of it. And, though we can agree that man is a social imagination, a social composite of many, if there were no absolute source to begin with for his/her social imagination, there would be no real truth to his/her social reality. For there cannot be absolutely true information agreed on without an absolutely true source for it. Only the true source can reveal the truth of it. Only the Creator of true information can share true information as true.

Can there be false information and agreed upon false truths? Yes, it happens because man exists in agreement reality. he was designed to agree and has no reality without it. We live in a social information reality; one in which we must agree on the truth of it. Created from by an absolute source and created to agree on that. To exist, we must be in agreement. So, when in doubt entered in, we agreed anyway. We were compelled to agree and perhaps out of being compelled to agree not just on any information but the absolute truth of it, we agreed on something that was not.

Information reality is our reality and we are compelled to agree for that is our existence. To agree is the truth of who we are. Being so compelled allowed error/doubt to enter in and we were compelled to agree on something even false information. Agreeing to agree always causes problems. Just as it does in the game of telephone. It happened at the fall. Man doubted the truth and its true source and then in a fear of not being real had to agree so Eve agreed and Adam agreed with Eve and a false information was agreed upon. Its seems we have been looping ever since. The reboot is coming!

2 Corinthians 6:16-17 ~ "And what agreement has the temple of God with idols" [false gods/false information]? None! For we/"you are the temple of the living God". As God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their/your God, And they/you shall be My people.” Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch"/use/spread "what is unclean" 'information', "And I will receive you.”

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Why Tribalism Won't/Cannot go Away in the Social Imagination...

Tribalism won't go away because it cannot just go away or be made to go away as in socially engineered away or banished.  Why is that? Because, it is the very fabric of the human community. Really? Yes, really.

Tribalism is in the standards we set for our group, it is the social contract we write for our group and in the kinds of institutions we establish and in the neighborhoods we create/live in...even the virtual ones. It is in the church we go to and the schools we send our kids to.

What is being pointed out here is that 'tribalism' is not all bad; as in all groups there is always going to be the good, bad and ugly. Its what human tribes do. So, rich tribes do bad things as much as poor tribes, and or an organized community tribe, or after school tribe or sport tribe... so, they all do what makes them either or safe/secure, and successful, comfortable and sustainable in place as a social group.

Tribalism is in our macro life as much as and or more so in our micro life... the everyday.  Women who have coffee clutches/clubs/talk shows and men who have polo or cricket teams or golf comrades and kids soccer and baseball teams...all are tribal. *see previous blog for tribal definition.

Why is that? Well, as human beings we want to let others know who we are and are not.  Everyone's tribe uses labels/banners/colors/sayings... and FYI democrats do it as much as Republicans. Those who identify as Christians and Atheists and Muslims and Wicca's all have their protocol and or doctrine and symbols that declare who they are and are not which includes their world view and or position/identification in the world and what for.

Facebook has tribes too some of which are closed groups/tribes...

So, could 'tribalism' ever go away in the social imagination? No, not really. It might take on different forms and legislature but it won't/can't just go away; less human beings go away. And, being a 'human being', I would definitely never advocate that.

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Revenge of Tribalism ~ Is it really in the Social Imagination?

What is tribalism? Its the state or fact of being organized as a tribe or tribes; well, that pretty much means organized as a group or community through like minded ideas/traditions/customs in a place and what's wrong with that? Nothing. Why is that? Because, its naturally built into the human condition. Its sole purpose is one of social stability in terms of identity, one that is grounded, one that has a world view unlike any other. And, that is good. Yet, some think that is derogatory. Why is that? Because, such behavior and attitudes stem from strong loyalty to one's own tribe or social group. Is that so wrong? No, not at all.

Everyone has rules: cities/towns/ counties, countries as well as clubs or unions with defined borders of performance, restrictions, contracts, laws, and or institutional frameworks that keep everyone in line or at least in check or in sync and guided by/within certain perimeters of civil obedience that grants as much freedom to one tribe as it does to another. Our Founding Fathers did their best to guarantee exactly that.

What made their final documents so different from other 'group' attempts was that they were really after freedom for all kinds of tribes not freedom from tribes. They as a group of 'Founding Father's' were a tribe of ruling elite which they did not want to give up.

So, has tribalism gone away or had it ever taken a detour in our American history/society? No, not at all. Yet, there are some that mistakenly think the Founding Father's were anti-tribe and really wanted it engineered out, not true.  And, probably some think that they engineered it in to protect only certain groups. Which may be true. For sure, they were a kind of tribe among other tribes and they knew it.

Now, some think that tribalism has had its revenge. Really? That use of grammar is the past perfect. Which means that there was a revenge and its over but somehow affects us yet today. Don't think that is the case. If ever there was a time of revenge, its now. The top down engineers have been working hard and we are finally starting to see the many tribes that make up America buck the top down engineers who think that such a human feature can be destroyed or crushed or banished. It only keeps coming back and it will.

Of course, some will argue that we have seen tribalism decline over the years; and so, it may appear that way. However, any appearance of decline was largely imagined, debated and applauded in the confines or safe zones of the university lecture halls, or in the imaginations of 'well-intended' virtue signaling elites and community organizers, or antagonist leftist groups with their ax to grind.

Most of them like to argue its decline at dinner parties/rallies/conferences as it sounds noble. But, the intention has never been to allow tribalism to actually decline. Because, when it does, some will lose ground and the ones that never want that to happen are the ruling elite. So, out of such fear of losing ground, their tribal hunting grounds so to speak, they increase their holdings of it and overall while at the same time remain the dissident voice, the virtue signaler.

That is what brings this discussion to the front today.  Ben Shapiro writes that we can observe certain persons blowing their horn against tribalism; while, at the same time, defend and retain their positions of power. Why? Because, they are a tribe too and saw that America 'naturally' had begun to move beyond its historic racism which was a 'tribal' feature they did not want to go away. Why? Because, that feature more than any other was a control mechanism for their own tribalism.

As I understand what Shapiro points, the Left hijacked the conversation around race and divvied Americans up into subgroups of ethnic haves and have-nots. And, out of that we saw/see city governments became playgrounds for racial factions taking control of government and expanding their power. Student groups divided along racial and sexual lines and the social fabric frayed.

As it frays, many have scrambled to save remnants and or create a new place mat with left over threads to maintain their comfort zones. They are being criticized for that. But, even those who think they are on the same band wagon as the elites, are also scrambling. You see, those who 'virtue signal' don't really 'hate' tribalism or dislike it because they are just as much part of a tribe as is anyone else. So, they too scramble to save their 'tribe's' thread (s) as does anyone.

Unless, I am mistaken, this is tribalism's revenge and its not over. What no one is actually talking about though is what if tribalism is truly subdued or vaulted up, then what? And, how would that even come about? One can only imagine a radical change in the social imagination which would probably mean a machine housed or controlling program (in the human mind) to ban tribalism... and one with firewalls miles high.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Fake News in the Social Imagination...

Is that even possible? No... why not?

Because, all information has information in it. And, the information we 'use' is information that we either as one or a group 'feel/think' we can gain and or benefit from and that is called by sociologists - agreement reality.

It is interesting for sociologist to look at what is being considered fake news. So, what information can you find online that describes today's fake news?  One can read online that it considered to be a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media. 

Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to damage an agency, entity, or person, and or gain financially or politically, often using sensationalist, dishonest, or construed as in fabricated headlines to increase readership, online sharing, and Internet click revenue. Mmm, isn't that prevalent in most news networks including ones that some think or call ' real' news? Yes!

Wasn't fake news and isn't fake news used in political campaigning? Yes. Isn't fake news and or 'fake' 'information' used in advertising? Yes. Isn't fake news, about a person spread as rumors, used by most people in this fallen world? Yes. And, why is that? It is to gain an upper-hand, or gain social status.

Well, revenue is generated from this activity, regardless of the veracity of the published stories. Of course, some will argue that fake news intentionally misleads and so advertising doesn't when it claims that its product is so much better than another? 

They, the manufacturer of the product may not come right out and say that but they use images and satire or parody to make the viewer or reader think that theirs is best, even their politician. Like laundry... information is clean or unclean but its still information to be used and people use it to their advantage, both kinds.

You see, we are all subject to 'fake' news/information. We have only so much information available to us at a given time and we act on that as if it is true and for the most part it is true to us in the moment we use it. For instance, if we say that so and so did not do what they were supposed to do and we told the boss about it only later to find out that they actually did but it was someone else who did not do what they were supposed to do and they just passed the blame. 

Well then, shouldn't we 'fess' up and say "Oh, I am sorry, I didn't know that" or "I was only going by what I was told or thought was right"? We should and sometimes we do but sadly more than likely we will just do it again and again...right?

There are plenty of theories and scientific persuasions that we have repeated as good or right information only to be told later that studies disprove it. Was that sharing fake news? Well, ... if you share that which has been disproved, then it is now fake news. For example, we have been told that Pluto used to be a planet.

It happens in our everyday that we share information that is relatively true or not true. Is it fake information? Well, it is and it isn't. Especially, if its only true or untrue for you. I told my students that if they have a certain kind of dog and bring it to the campus, I will not touch it even if they tell me its a nice dog and won't bite. I will not touch it because as a child I had a very bad experience with that kind of dog. 

So, no matter how many times you tell me your dog is nice, if it is that kind of dog (the one from my past) I will not touch it and I will not nor ever like it. Am I acting on 'fake news/information'? Well, I might be if your dog (that kind of dog from my past experience) is really a nice dog just like you are telling me yours is. And, I guess I certainly would be acting on or spreading fake news if I told other people that you have that kind of dog and I say it with a tone that makes others think that you are some kind of person to have that kind of dog, right?

All in all, whether you or me,  I am / you would be acting on information that I/you consider to be true given my/your socio-historical past experience... with that kind of dog; and, even if I read or was handed 'black/white' print that such a dog has been given a 'bad rap' over the years, I will still consider my information true based on my real experience, at least real in my experience with it.

Now, here is where the problem lies as it does with all social pitfalls (social interaction that has corrupt information yet is still exchanged). Where is the problem? I just told you in parenthesis. And, thus those at the time with power and wealth who want to keep that position will use such 'fake news' or information to train you up for their future and their children's future. 

They will even call out 'fake news' when it seems like information being shared will bring them down and or change their social status. So, think twice even three times about 'fake news' and if you are really being told the truth. Who gains from telling either the truth or a lie and their motive. In that respect, if there is any... is 'fake news' information really fake? No, all information clean and unclean, right or wrong is still information and both kinds are used in a fallen world such as this. And, believe me were warned about this.

Is there any truth out there? The only truth we can ever count on is the Word of God!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Violence in the Social Imagination is a Reaction to the Fallen World...

This is a fallen world, it's in a state of decay or what is called in science 'entropy'. It is kind of word that most people don't like to hear because it means the universe or let's say the world as we know it is winding down ....  

All processes manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system. This is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics ~ Henry Morris.

Some have changed the word entropy to mean a measure of disorder and that there is no total decay. I can agree with that in that entropy of social reality is a disorder of information and that it could be re-organized. Well, that is what God has a plan to do. But, man... you can be sure cannot and will not ever be able to reorganize disorder in the universe. 

This world is passing away. We see death and destruction all around us yet no one really wants to talk about it as a real aspect of existence; no, rather we only discuss it as if it is avoidable. If you eat right, exercise, take vitamins, avoid too much caffeine and alcohol, have regular checkups, drive safely, hang out with the right people etc. If you do these things, you will live forever in this world. 

But, people do grow old, do get sick and die. Our reaction to this is denial, rejection and our way to cope is our own useless attempt of mastery over it as Max Weber recognized. We want to escape it, or master it and when we can't we want to blame someone else, and we even want revenge. We want to lash out in anger and hatred because we feel hopeless and end up isolating ourselves becoming lonely.

Alfred Schutz realized that this hopelessness and anger/hatred and tendency to isolate ourselves is rooted in the fear of death which he called the fundamental anxiety. This is what drives men and women to do the things they do sometimes out of such fear and isolation... to do bad things, ugly things or what we could call - evil. 

Because, we do experience entropy and in it evil...out of the same hopelessness and fear of death, we attempt to escape it, run away from it or master it. That is why we try to come up with ideas, politics, contracts, laws, and all kinds of schemes in order to try to escape entropy 'disorder' (which is decay of information) or to distance ourselves from it. When they don't seem to be working, we fall into a dark or 'darker' state of mind - darker social imagination.

Take a look around isn't it obvious. Don't we see and or hear about horrific violent crimes or conflicts at home, down the street, in our schools/towns/states and abroad. Whether it's on television or in the movies, on the internet, in games, on t-shirts, in music, sports, or in real life, violence is in our face on a daily basis. Why is that? Man is afraid that there is nothing else ...

Now, we do from time to time justify certain violence, and often abhor it too.  But, we never actually try to 'face up' to it and admit that we are much instigators and perpetrators of it as we are victims of it. Oh really you say. You never did anything to anyone! You never personally hurt anyone, right? Didn't you grow up with 2 parents in a nice home in a good neighborhood? Didn't you get exactly what you wanted for your birthday or Christmas, and didn't you get a blue/red ribbon while someone else did not. 

Didn't you have access to and eat healthy food and drink clean water or breathe clean air while someone else did not. Didn't your dad get a promotion while someone else did not. Didn't your mom stay home to raise/nurture you while someone else's had to work... leaving the key under the flowerpot near the back steps? 

Didn't your grandpa become a major in the military service while someone else died executing his orders? Didn't you go on vacation to Disney World, or go to the Olympics either as a competitor or spectator and someone else did not?  Didn't you get that great job, expensive car, pat on the back or nod from the boss, or find a loophole that enabled your upward mobility while someone else did not? Oh, sure maybe they weren't as competent as you or they just were to slow on the uptake, not in the right place at the right time.

You say that just because you had a better upbringing, or opportunities, or a better education, you are not responsible  for other people's problems, bad choices, illness/depression, crimes, or deaths. Really? Aren't we all part of the fallen world/the social imagination!

Take some time now... look up the word decadence, which means simply "decline" (fall into disorder) in an abstract sense. Now, in a social sense, we can observe decay in social standards, morals, dignity, religious faith, or skill at governing. By extension, it refers also to a decline in  ethics, and an increase thus in self-indulgent behavior as we claw to escape social entropy. 

Is there a way out of this decay/decadence for the social imagination? How can we escape or in the  very least somehow move forward into a future forgoing decay, forgoing or eliminating violence??? Pray to the Creator that His Kingdom Come!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Problem with Legal Experts in the American Social Imagination...

John Brigham of the University of Amherst, wrote a book called - Civil Liberties and American Democracy. It was published in 1984 by the Congressional Quarterly, Inc. In the final chapter, Democracy, he writes about threats to constitutional democracy with regard to the future of civil liberties in America. 

I have blogged about this before, pointing Brigham's book. There are a few threats that we should be aware of: the threat coming from the elites, from the people, and from experts - lawyers and judges. Before getting into the meat of what Brigham writes, let's consider the legal system today in the social imagination. It looks like a kind of circus. 

Why is that? Likely, its because legal experts have become the law unto themselves and by doing so, they do not actually defend the law of the people who are held together by that law (s). They defend themselves and their positions. Thus, they end up destroying the law (for the people and by the people) by establishing and or creating a theater of law out of the court system for personal gain, for their own advantages. 

Moreover, they write laws that they favor and favors them. They interpret the law and the laws are not about the people. Laws benefit lawyers and the more complicated the laws are the more they favor the lawyers. Its a myth that lawyers are favorable or noble people. Look at the Nazi party, many were 'legal' experts with law backgrounds.

In Brigham's book, on page 259, he writes that ultimately, the most sinister threat to constitutional democracy is the domination of civil liberties by legal experts, the professionalization of the capacity to deal with fundamental rights.  All one has to do is review the history of law and legal experts in this country and you will likely observe what Brigham did and one can still witness. 

Which is that the power of the judicial in this country has morphed beyond the people's social imagination; as it is no longer based on their idea of it but rather on the idea that the ultimate reading of the Constitution should be left to a legal elite has transformed constitutional law into a form of judge-made (lawyer defended) professionally crafted legal discourse. Now, many would agree with that... especially the legal experts.

The law, especially constitutional law, is no longer serving the people but serving 'deals' to be made for political and personal gain. Deals made have come to characterize the criminal process. No longer do we have the tradition of due process promised to every citizen whereby they could respect the institution of law and government because of the high level of respect that they themselves would receive; and hence, the basis for legitimacy has shifted to claims of legal expertise -the Intercessor.