The Social Imagination

Exploring the Social Imagination

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Contrariness in the Social Imagination, really?

Contrary behavior means deliberately doing the opposite of what others routinely or conventionally do.  The question is why do that? Is it a form of deviant behavior? Is it a strategy to win favor for one's own agenda? Does it serve a social purpose? Yes and no. Before, we answer those questions, let us look at a society in which contrary behavior was a kind of 'norm' or served a purpose for the society.

Contrary was a member of a Native North American tribal group who adopted behavior that was deliberately the opposite of other tribal members. The Contraries were found among the historical Amerindian tribes of the Great Plains. They were a small number of individuals loosely organized into a cult that was devoted to the practice of contrary behavior.

The Contraries are related, in part, to the clown organizations of the Plains Indians, as well as to Plains military societies that contained reverse warriors. The Lakota word heyoka, which translates as clown or opposites, serves as a collective title for these institutionalized forms of contrary behavior of the Plains Indians. When Lakota Indians first saw European clowns, they identified them with their own term for clowns, heyoka.

The Contraries of the Plains Indians were individuals committed to an extraordinary life-style in which they did the opposite of what others normally do. They thus turned all social conventions into their opposites. This behavior was not just tolerated but we must imagine encouraged in some and not in others.
Maybe there were some who in the group/tribe who exhibited contrary behavior (deviated from the norm) and it was encouraged as a means of sustainability rather than to allow it to be destructive for the social group.

Especially, when we consider that the social role of the Plains Indian clowns was ceremonial since they performed primarily during rituals, dances and feasts. Unlike the clowns, the special role of the Contraries was not restricted to brief performances, rituals or the warpath. It was their everyday life. The Contraries of the Plains Indians were known to be not only unique but also historically unprecedented.

We can and should ask if we can observe this 'contrariness' in today's post-modern Judeo-Christian Roman/Greek political society? And, if we can observe it, why does it exist or is tolerated?  Aren't we here in the 21st century mostly critical thinkers, free of religion? If yes, who would be contrary to that and why? Likely, we leave that up to the psychologist or psyche-analyst.  Let's first consider what is critical thinking, as the kind of thinking common among us.

The critical habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade all its mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators; hence they are slow to believe. They can hold things as possible or probable in all degrees, without certainty and without pain. They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens. ~ William Graham Sumner 1906                                                                                                                                                                 
We can probably agree that critical society is a community of people who value critical thinking and value those who practice it.  It is a society continually improving and its most distinguishing feature or characteristic is its emphasis on thinking as the key to the emancipation of the mind, to the creation of just practices, to the preservation and development of the species.

Unfortunately there are no critical societies in the world.  Nor have there ever been.  The idea represents an ideal not yet achieved, a possibility not yet actualized.  There is no culture on earth where critical thought is characteristic of everyday personal and social life.

On the contrary, the world is filled with superficiality, prejudice, bias, distortions, lies, deception, manipulation, short sightedness, close-mindedness, righteousness, hypocrisy, on and on, in every culture in every country throughout the world.  These problems in thinking lead to untold negative implications - fear, anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, pain, suffering, injustices of every imaginable kind.

Perhaps, social media and news media, can be thought of as the implementation of the contrarian social weapon. When you hear/read the news no matter what your preferred source is... isn't it a kind of coping mechanism in that you hope that whatever you hear and read is contrary to your feelings and or opinions and this helps you to cope when they are and especially are not.

Perhaps, the Plains Indians Contrarians were used as social pitfall weapons to combat: fear, anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, pain, suffering, and injustices of every imaginable kind. You should ask where is the agreement reality in that? Well, if you agree I can be contrary, and I agree you can... there it is. The purpose served in the vast landscape of the social imagination simply because 'critical thought' does not exist in the social imagination. How could we be critical of the social imagination? Exactly.

However, in agreement we can be... and must be; in that there is no criticism. We can agree only because there is an absolute point of our departure (being) in the social imagination whether we agree on it or not does not matter as much as the fact that there is such without our having to agree on it. In this way, there can be no contrary agreement.

*Sources ~ Wikipedia [search Contrary]

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Problem of Imagining a Multiverse in the Social Imagination...

Professor Paul Davies logic against the multiverse...“If you take seriously the theory of all possible universes, including all possible variations,” Davies said, “at least some of them must have intelligent civilizations with enough computing power to simulate entire fake worlds. Simulated universes are much cheaper to make than the real thing, and so the number of fake universes would proliferate and vastly outnumber the real ones. And assuming we’re just typical observers, then we’re overwhelmingly likely to find ourselves in a fake universe, not a real one.”

So far it’s the normal argument. 

Then Davies makes his move. He claims that because the theoretical existence of multiple universes is based on the laws of physics in our universe, if this universe is simulated, then its laws of physics are also simulated, which would mean that this universe’s physics is a fake.

Therefore, Davies reasoned, "We cannot use the argument that the physics in our universe lead to multiple universes, because it would also lead to fake universes with fake physics" That undermines the whole argument that fundamental physicals generates multiple universes, because the reasoning collapses in circularity. Davies concluded, “While multiple universes seem almost inevitable given our understanding of the Big Bang, using them to explain all existence is a dangerous, slippery slope, leading to apparently absurd conclusions.”

Davies’ reductio ad absurdum is a devastating one: the multiverse undercuts the basis of physics itself. And Davies is not alone. Physicist Paul Steinhardt, who helped create the theory of inflation but later came to reject it, declared last September: “Our universe has a simple, natural structure. The multiverse idea is baroque, unnatural, untestable and, in the end, dangerous to science and society.” Steinhardt believes that the multiverse hypothesis leads science away from its task of providing a unique explanation for the properties of nature.

The problem I see with the multiverse is akin to Prof. Davies. There has to be an absolute fixed truth about our own before we could imagine there are many others. In a universe of ordered randomness, it is still ordered and ordered by someone or something. Which means that there has to be an original absolute truth or 'pattern/model'. So which is it?  There has to be an original, an absolute truth for the source of our agreement reality.

This stands true even for the atheist because why would a person who does not believe in a creator want to spend the rest of his/her life wondering if they are in the real 'world/universe' or not.  Even if they answered yes to that. They would be led down a slippery slope because how would they ever know the truth of someone else's universe if they don't know the truth of their own. 

To imagine the multiverse or let's say 'believe it' is destructive to the stability of any society. It would lead to a chaotic state of mind- collective mind. We would find ourselves in a society that constantly doubts what it is and why it is and which universe it really is in. Or assuming it is the fake one and if only we could get out of it and get to the real one. 

You see, we are back to the basis for social reality which is agreement reality. If we doubt that we are living in the absolute truth which is our universe, an absolutely created universe, we fall... and enter into a corrupted social imagination 'universe/world'.

"For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." COL 1:16-17. 

People who like the idea of the multiverse are really searching for the truth of their own which is (even has to be) the absolute truth.  In Him, we live, move and have our being! ~ Acts 17:28.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Want to Learn Manipulation of the Social Imagination ~ Study Marketing!

Just watch television and see how it happens right before your very eyes...

Agreement reality is the only reality and marketers/advertisers know this. That is why there are ad campaigns. Whether the product is a manufactured over the counter, a vacation destination, the latest technology or a political candidate, it won't be a hit until there is agreement that it truly deserves to be a hit as worthwhile or worth the money.

There are advertising campaigns for industry sectors and political agendas as well. Why? Because, markets and people either have to move or be made to move in order to acquire power, prestige as in social status; and certainly to make money.  Having studied 'real' sociology and not social work, this kind of manipulation has to start from higher up vantage point as in top down social engineering or steering. Why? Because, though there are effective grass roots projects, they tend to be designated toward an egalitarian end and not a tiered structure.

In the social imagination, as we now know (having read past blogs on this site) is a social reality and the only reality we will and or can ever know. For anything to be 'real' it has to be agreed upon in the social imagination. We know now that happens in the locus of the mind (based on Cooliean sociological thought) through exchange of information and what is agreed upon is usually what is found to be common among us as 'truth' even if that 'truth' is the farthest from the truth as in the game of telephone. Why, or how could that happen if we know the truth.

Well, we don't know the truth. We know only that which has been shared starting from an absolute source and passed on down the line. The closest to the source of absolute truth has the truest information. As information is passed on it gets corrupted because this is a fallen world, its in a state of entropy. But, since we run away from entropy, we cling to whatever appears to be the truth at the moment it is received and that applies to science as well.

When someone studies marketing, they learn to manipulate the truth at hand, what is being considered the 'norm' truth or applied truth in place, the one most people are currently using. They can even use that as a base to create a 'new' truth which means only that they take what is being used and make it sound bad so that their new truth will be embraced as the truth. It sounds so deceptive and it is. It sounds so hopeless and it is in this fallen world. And, why we find ourselves at odds with agreeing on what is the absolute truth.

Doubt is the biggest problem when confronted with the absolute truth. So even if we know it/have it, we can still be led to believe something else just because we doubt what is the absolute truth. This also works to the advantage of the marketer who has had a glimpse of the absolute truth or even if not just by knowing that doubt plays a major role in any social imagination when it comes to the absolute truth can and will capitalize on doubt.

What is the best solution? Who wants to be manipulated, right? Don't we all want to believe the marketing that is out there... that it is right and true and or leads us to the truth? Yes, of course and this is how they 'get' you. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fake News is Just Disagreement Between Information Sources in the Social Imagination...

Yes, that is certainly one way to look at it....

If you have been following along you as a reader should have some grasp of the social imagination and that we live in an information reality which is concreted or 'made' real through agreement. If it is not clear yet, there can only be one source of absolute truth and all others have deviations from it; just like in the game of telephone. The closer you are to the original 'absolute' source of information, the more real and true it is. And, if you are next in line to it, you pretty much have the truth.

In a fallen world such as this, in a state of entropy, there are many out there who are far from the source of the absolute truth, and thus agree on 'fake' or false information. Hence, one can understand how and why there is 'fake news'.  This is also the cause of great argument and conflict worldwide.

Now, even if you don't want to believe me and many will not want to, I can assure you that I am more right than wrong. Why? Well, most people have been dumbed down so much that they will believe anything they are led to think is true. Largely, because those who run the insitutions like it that way. They realize that they may not have the absolute truth and so they pretend that they do to retain their positions of power and prestige. That is why you see only certain opinions allowed and or what they consider facts, and historical interpretations.

There is a national and worldwide crisis at hand; you can read about but better to observe it first hand if you know what I mean... with all the fake news out there. Only problem is that we cannot be everywhere at once and there is a lot that should be paid attention. So, we tend to locate news sources which we 'trust' but its those that we tend to agree with. How can you be sure that what you read has any truth whatsoever? Depends on who you think is the source of the absolute truth and who agrees with you on that and defends it.

If you are outside of the idea that there is a source of absolute truth, you have a real problem. In fact, your world will seem like a vicious circle of inquiry, doubt and fear in the end; which takes you back to or gets you to inquire again, doubt again and fear. And, that is how it is for those who are in the world, there is nothing new under the sun. Get it?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Mixed Reality ... Where is Agreement in that???

The latest Microsoft commercial tells us that through technology (Ai) we have the power, we are the hammer swinger, the painter i.e. and today we can use technology to change the world... "What can you do with it".  We have mixed reality, Ai is empowering you/us... "what will you do with it"?

Now that is the big question. It implies freedom but how could it be when we don't agree on what is freedom... you or me or someone else on the other side of the planet. We think we can agree on just about everything but that is naive thinking if thinking at all; actually its irrational.

So, what is being promoted in the 'info' mercial? Isn't it freedom to be who you want to be and do what you have always wanted to do? No. Its not that at all. So, what is it? Its the precursor to virtual reality no doubt about that but what does that really me for you, me... them? That's a question no one seems to be asking.

Firstly, let's remind ourselves that technology does not go away; if its not very good to begin with its improved, if it is good to begin with its still improved upon, advanced! So, if we are talking about mixed reality in 2018, what kind of 'mixed' reality will be in 2021? And, could we imagine that by 2025, it will be called fully 'integrated'? And, what will fully integrated mean and with what? Ai, robots, machines...yeah.

Now, is that going to be good or bad for mankind? Well, if you are pretty much into mankind as in being a human being, a created being not made, then its going to be really bad. And, even if you aren't into that and you can't wait to become an integrated being, it won't be as good as you think but then you really won't be thinking for yourself as you think... you may not even think at all as a human being by today's standards. Oh, some will think that sounds really cool but they don't realize that they only image it from the perspective of being a human. Outside of being a human being at present we have no imagination for that.

Since, we looked at agreement reality in the last post, lets try to imagine agreement reality in a mixed reality and agreement reality in a fully integrated reality. Of course, we have to begin at the beginning and that means remind ourselves that we live in an information reality and in that respect there are various agreement realities out there what we might called different cultures and or philosophies.

Do we need to have agreement reality in either a mixed reality or fully integrated reality; mixed or integrated with (humans/robots/Ai)? Yes, especially if we consider that the world is shrinking every minute, shrinking into a global reality. Who is going to orchestrate the agreement as it will likely have to be imposed from the top down? Will it be by the United Nations or a global world order government or Ai? Probably, Ai... otherwise, there will be either too many agreement realities out there or none at all. The idea is to come to one world social imagination where there is no longer any disagreement and or conflict.

Yes, artificial intelligence will be 'getting us to agree with it' which may be by force of one kind or another.  Oh, you may argue that Ai is a kind of higher form of 'a man'. And, I might agree with that if you know what I am talking about - ' a man'.  But, really, we know that technology as it 'grows up' starts to have a mind of its own. And, therefore, I may be right to agree that it is a higher form of 'a man' but not man as we know him now.

But, of course, the other end or side of this mixing and integrating is supposed to become our utopia, right? Who will know? Those that get mixed in or fully integrated won't even be human anymore. So, its more than likely that they won't even think for themselves let alone disagree. What will be of 'our' humanity, mankind? No thing that we can imagine today in the social imagination,

Check for yourself ~

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.