Exploring the Social Imagination

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Rationality... Really????

What does it mean to be rational? We think somehow that there is a given rationale for everything existing on its own somewhere out there waiting to be discovered by a rational thinker. Who is a rational thinker anyway? It is a person who waits to see what everyone else is saying and then either goes along with them or rejects what they say and provides his/her own social view depending on the advantage they speculate they will have either from agreeing or not and if not, what advantage they may gain by introducing something else... and that something that they introduce is not alien or isolated or 'new'... it too comes from the same social complexity as just described. 
Too often my colleagues fail to realize that what is rational/rational choice is simply the best of various irrational choices available to us and there are plenty. A rational choice is simply deciding which of those irrational activities or behaviors will have the best outcome. So to ask ... What are the various aspects of rationality??? one may well ask what are the various aspects of irrationality and what impact do they have on decision-making, we might well ask what are the aspects of irrationality and how do they impact making decisions in a manner calculated to yield maximal benefit. Because, that is what really happens. We go from irrationality to something which we agree to be the best of those and call it rational... essentially that is right. 
You see, we live in a social reality which is composed of information socially imagined, obtained and exchanged. All information is correct in the moment of exchange because it is all we have to go and make a choice to use it not knowing that any other alternative exists. We can of course suppose that other alternatives do exist which maybe in fact better choices but in the moment when decision is called for, we can only act on the information we have and treat it as true and correct. Even in cases, when we are quite sure we have accurate information, it can still change and believe me it does. A new report comes out, a new study was done and or miscommunication of information was revealed and thus the cause of misinformation...
You see, living in a social reality there can only be what is called agreement reality. A group of people, whether it is either a town/village community or a scientific community does not matter because what matters is how they together decide what something is and what it is not. When agreement is reached, that becomes the norm and part of social reality.
With such knowledge social engineers can manipulate reality... which is really quite easy today given the  vast and speedy social networking and telecommunication the masses are engaged in daily. 
Social engineers can also apply the Sabido Methodology. The Sabido Method is a methodology for designing and producing serialized dramas on radio and television that can win over audiences while imparting prosocial values. How does this actually happen? The Sabido Method is based on character development and plot lines that provide the audience with a range of characters that they can engage with — some good, some not so good — and follow as they evolve and change. Miguel Sabido developed this methodology when he was Vice President for Research at Televisa in Mexico in the 1970s.
Change is the key to the Sabido methodology. Characters may begin the series exhibiting the antithesis of the values being taught, but through interaction with other characters, twists and turns in the plot, and sometimes even outside intervention, come to see the value of the program’s underlying message. Sounds dangerous???
Depends on how you look at it and who you are. Initially, this was an 'innocent' user friendly method of social engineering to boost family planning in Mexico. But, today it is used for other social agendas.
What is rational about that, again depends on who benefits and it is usually elites at the top as they seek to secure their positions and retain the system that allows them to succeed continually.
Where and who are they, these elites? They are people at the top of power and money that includes: institutions of higher learning, people in government, business and those involved in international cooperation/conflict. It is there rationality that all other people are subjected to live by; and all those other people are easily convinced by those rational thinking 'elite' people that made the rules, the right rules for them to live by.
Years ago, the social reality was different and yet the same. All people then like today come under the ruling elite. The difference was that elites were somehow more moral years ago than they are today or appeared to be. That is why, that argument does not hold because we can't know for sure they hadn't intended immorality which never came to fruition. So, their social engineering agendas did not apply and hence elites look more moral. However, it is quite easy to appear just as moral or immoral even though it seems easier to be immoral.  Even if that is not making sense, the case at hand is rationality... really? You tell me what is it to be rational without being moral; it means to get the most out of any irrational situation.

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