Exploring the Social Imagination

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Competition in the Social Imagination Makes us Grow

All things grow and develop when competition exists. It is the catalyst and in our social imagination we need competition to grow it. Which means we need to expose our social imagination to different ways of perceiving the world. Largely that happens through cultural exchange; or to put it simply to be exposed to a different place with different people. The exchange of information not need be through language it can be through non verbal messages, gestures and behavioral practices in a place. Such exposure stirs the imagination and can cause conflict between groups and even among individuals in groups who ventured out and saw something different and tried to introduce it. Reactions can be aggressive at first but if the new information works, it will likely be absorbed and as the exchange cycle continues, social imagination grows.

New information when introduced by one or a few individuals or by a group encountering another group, can cause conflict in the form of aggressive competition for that information.

Imagine, if we were to make everyone the same as in having the same information. What would happen to people ~ to the social imagination?  Likely it would  disappear, as same info is low quality. Such information exchanged by all would have no diversity no differing substance and thus have no where to go. This a what we can call 'downing down' of education/social interaction and we are seeing it happen.

While at the same time, there are some that think diversity 'differences' are bad as they stir aggression. So, by 'saming' everyone's information could be good (creating a common core); that would be logical because we don't want competition which can stir aggression and conflict. While that can be expected, diversity 'differences' stir social imagination toward competition for a good purpose. This is how we can make new discoveries about our world. We need to recognize that differences are necessary motivators for the social imagination's growth and development.

Still, some say that differences and competition makes people too aggressive and conflict ensues. I read this past week that Stephen Hawkings would like to remove aggression or correct it. Not sure what he meant by that, but as a social scientist I can tell you that it would be a long time social engineering project starting with children and likely better results would ensue if they were taken from their parents. And, this is not far off in the future  One headline I read just this morning was how a daycare worker saw clearly aggression in a 9 month old.

In this world, competition and aggression exist in all living things. Even in plants. Put to two seeds in the same dish close together and both will germinate and compete growing faster ... competing for life. Eventually, the stronger will win out. The information it now has stored in its data bank will be passed on. Remove that competition 'conflict' and neither seed will be productive.

If man were to correct his urge to compete - aggression, I am sure he would correct it all other forms of life as aggression and competition exists in every living thing. In fact, man would be driven to do it having no tolerance for it in any other life form. He could not tolerate to watch it. After all, we watch football because we like the competition. I have to admit when looking out my window this morning, I was shocked by how birds, some being the same and some being different kinds, fought each other over the seed put out for them.

Am I suggesting that the old adage is best "survival of the fittest"? Well, I suppose a Darwinian thinker would say yes. But, I am not. I would say that we have to accept the choices we make no matter where our seed was planted and we need to compete in that place for our own growth and development. We have to deal with it in the best way we can and a little aggression can/will help us grow in our social imagination in the place where we are and where we want to go.

We would be better off to appreciate how differences and competition make and have made us better as human beings.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Value of A Human Being in the Social Imagination

The question floating around out there in the social imagination is....What is the value of a human being?  Will you have to prove your value, your worth- by defending the impact you are making on the earth and on others. Is that what we now face? Is that what the social imagination is imagining for itself?

If we are talking about the social imagination of Richard Dawkins, then yes and no. Dawkins is a ethologist and evolutionary biologist. He is also and atheist.  He believes in evolution now... but before he was of the intelligent design group. If anything, he is the term he coined - a meme. Dawkins came to prominence with his 1976 book ~ The Selfish Gene which popularized the gene-centered view of evolution and introduced the term ‘meme’ which is that an idea, behavior, or style spreads from person to person within a culture. Dawkins is an atheist and is well known for his criticism of creationism and intelligent design. He has argued against the existence of a supernatural creator based upon the complexity of living organisms and accepted Darwin's evolutionary theory.

However, in Darwinist theory, what is evolution?... in nature it is not what 'man' thinks of evolution.

Man thinks evolving is becoming a more valuable person for his/her own ideas, beliefs, compassion, trust and honesty. So, in this instance, it is surprising that Dawkins takes the position of Darwinian evolution as it does not value a person for his/her personal 'bright' ideas, views, beliefs, creativity, trust worthiness or honesty necessarily.

Darwin recognized that the evolution of any creature is simply based on its ability to adapt in a given environment which has nothing to do with the 'person' as we would like to think. Adaptability for nature is about being prolific in any given natural setting and transferring that information of procreative success in a place to the next generation through language telling stories with the use of symbols and signs.  In this sense, only those ideas which procure that are valuable. Not today... with advanced technology, we don't really need so many people to reflect our evolutionary success in a place.

It appears now that we are evolving differently, blending with technology and thus more people 'bodies' are not necessary. In fact, the question today, mentioned above, is really asking ...what about all these people 'bodies' whose value in number is no longer important. Fact is, they are taking up space and energy for those that have 'arrived'... those that value man's evolution with technology and have the money to spend on it.  They are the ones with the social imagination of the future, right?

The adaptation here as demonstrated by Dawkins himself is to change your mind in order to fit in with the higher echelons of popular culture's venue without regard to 'right or wrong', good or bad for the individual let alone group, because it is all about successful adaptation in a place. Thus, value falls to those that can change their mind and make the right choices ordered by  popular culture. Essentially, many social theorists, present and past, have said exactly this.

Darwin's evolution was about procreating but today's post modern evolution is about making the 'right' popular 'value added' choice of the day, get with the trend, get with the fashion, be in the know, be on board, hook up for the 'right reason' all which has nothing to do with Darwin's evolution. One could in fact argue that it is representational of Darwin by saying that man has arrived at this kind of thinking because our brains have evolved in this way of thought. However, some studies have shown that man does not use all of his brain capability. If man is evolving  in this way, why don't we see this kind of thinking in all men everywhere. If you say that is because some are evolving differently at a different pace, then you devalue culture.

As a Christian Sociologist, I believe in the Creator and not the idea that the universe just happened. The only reason that this kind of discussion exists, is because man searches to know what it is or who he/she is and why. Being a Christian social scientist, I can say that the social imagination has been corrupted, it has been misled into thinking that it means nothing because that is where the it came from. A corrupted computer program is told the same thing by the virus. The social imagination while struggling to devolve through the exchange of information in a place as a means to improve its position in this corrupt world, is failing as it has been infected so that it starts to dissolve in all places in all cultures ... seeking entropy.

This is what most scientists see when they look out on the over populated ignorant world and they become afraid. So, they denounce God as the Creator (intelligent designer) because they do not understand why this is happening. It is happening because this program has been corrupted. However, we were given a way out ~ saving information.  All we have to do is chose it ~ Salvation through Jesus Christ the patch the upgrade the access to eternal life. This world is condemned to death as it is the destiny of every man. Absent from the body, present with the Lord in Jesus Christ we pray, Amen!  And, sadly, the atheist who is afraid to die has his/her choice for salvation in the making, called transhumanism.
The Bible clearly says it will backfire on those that use it... "During those days men will seek death, but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them." Revelations 9:6

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Pretty and Nice ~ Mindless Zombies

Today's social imagination is being turned into a 'pretty and nice' mindless zombification.  I hear from too many people that's nice, that's pretty. They are into pinning pretty and nice and tweeting pretty and nice, facebook blips that are pretty and nice, watching empty television that is pretty nice, they like pretty and nice blogs, pretty clothes, nice music, and the worst pretty and nice higher education as they stroll the university campus deciding if it is the nicest and prettiest campus to attend and or send their child to.

People are becoming mindless zombies. They are being lulled into an abyss of mediocrity and don't even know it ... mindless zombification.

Wake up People!  Wake up from the stupper of pretty and nice. The social imagination is being downed as in deconstructed through the mechanisms of relativism and fear. The social imagination needs an absolute that is over and above pretty and nice. This absolute requires aspiring toward something greater than just pretty and nice and that requires criticism of relativist thinking and behavior.

When every man has been reduced to him/herself; then you have something to really be afraid of ... the disappearance of social imagination.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Downing of the Social Imagination

         Consider that each school year, children spend almost two hundred days sitting in public school classrooms being told what to think and believe mostly by teachers who have no concern whatsoever for biblical teachings ~ which is that the value of human life is not to be measured by man ~ Don McGee pg. 183 in "The Departure" by Terry James 2010.

You might respond by saying that is not true, teachers tell children that they are doing a good job even when they are not. I would respond by telling you that "you are right". Teachers do applaud mediocrity.  By doing so, they teach the value of human life... at least the value given to them. I also say, let us give some credit/ value to the young mind.  Though a developing social imagination, it can certainly discern good from bad and not so good from not so bad. When a child asks "How is this"? They look for a benchmark of acceptance while at the same time seek to know if there is better.

Whenever anyone asks that question no matter what age, it is because the social imagination already knows that there are expectations, that is why the question is asked. If the response to the question "How is this"? is "That's OK, that's nice, that's pretty, that's good enough", the expectation is lowered thinking that this is the way to satisfy society's social imagination.  What is initially expected, naturally expected because the question was put forward, is a response that expects more. What the response should be is... "that is starting to look like something, but it needs this or that. It is good but it needs more."

To better understand the difference between biblical teaching as in God fearing social imagination in respect to education and the non biblical teaching of the man fearing man social imagination is that inherently man doesn't like to fear and thus deconstructs expectations and social standards to reduce fear. But by doing so, man lowers 'downs' the social imagination.  Thus, the social imagination is not being built up into something greater but it is being dismantled into something simple less complicated as in a 'lower animal'.

You see, a God fearing social imagination is what stirs the imagination. And, we don't have to fear other men for God tells us "fear not for I am with you". Isaiah 41:10
            Humanists believe in man's creative ability, but they also believe that man himself evolved from "nothing" and was therefore created by "nobody".  Since man is biologically no more than the lower animals, the value of any human life is set by society and is therefore adjustable.  The value of human life in China was set by Chairman Mao. It was set in Stalinist Russia by Joseph Stalin and in North Korea by Kim Il Sung. The value of human life in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba or Columbia is set according to the perceived need of the state, as determined by a small group of military/political elites in harmony with their Marxist/humanist principles ~ Jack Kinsella pg. 110, in "The Departure" by Terry James, 2010.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Signs and Symbols ~ What do they mean?

In the social imagination, we use signs and symbols to communicate meaning.

What are some of the most used symbols in America? The dollar bill as a symbol of money/commerce/status/wealth and superiority, the capitol as a symbol of organized power/prestige/authority under one dome, the White House as a symbol of power/prestige/status and authority, the Washington monument as a symbol of power and authority, the flag as a symbol of power and superior unification -solidarity, the bald eagle as a symbol of superior authority, the statue of liberty as a symbol of power (strength in unity) and prestige, the Abraham Lincoln monument as a symbol of wisdom in that there is strength in unity, the Constitution as a symbol of structured power and authority and strength in unity, and the Declaration of Independence as a symbol of the self determination of a nation, the shape of the United States as a symbol of organized unity, city skylines as symbols of conquest/ commerce and progress, famous bridges as symbols of going the distance (power over place) to get from one place to another -expansion.

There are other symbols out there as well. When you look around... what is modern society telling you?

If we look to television news (sensationalism), the government (corrupt politics), Hollywood (sex and violence), the East coast (big banking), the West (wild entertainment and lifestyles), the South (racism), the North (industry and money) the Midwest (family and religion)... what do you see?  Certainly, we could say that we see a lot of diversity and that would be right. We could say that we see a lot of sensationalism and wonder who is behind it or corruption and wonder who is behind it. We could say that we see a lot of sex and violence and wonder who is behind it. We could say that we see a lot of division racially and economically and wonder who is behind it. We could say that we see American families and churches falling apart and wonder who is behind it ~ who is promoting these images/symbols and their meaning.

You /We are!

We use signs and symbols to communicate who we are to each other and others.  That is how the social imagination works.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

God gave us 'Spiritual' Social Imagination

So many ask me today if God is/were as great as you say, then where are the miracles? Why are people fighting and struggling for life? Firstly, remember that we exist in a fallen world, don't doubt that. Praise the Lord  God that He sent His Son to Save us. Because of this, we don't have to be afraid anymore. We can expect our prayers to be answered and we can expect miracles.

The problem may be that people don't expect them because they can't imagine them. Speaking to you as a sociologist, social interaction between people in a place determines what they consider normal behavior. If your group has lost its spirituality, then how could miracles happen? Maybe they could or would but if you as a member of a group and the group as a whole don't imagine their possibility as normal social life which includes the 'social' spiritual life of the social imagination, then they will not be.

When it comes to believing in miracles, or a even a spiritual social imagination whereat the Creator of Heaven and Earth is at the helm, I often hear "Oh yeah, well I prayed and I did not get what I wanted."  Prayers and miracles are for God to answer and He does. The time of His answering may or may not be 'your' time. If it were, then ultimately we would be in control, wouldn't we.. and not God.

If we as individuals and as a member of a group expected answered prayers and miracles  as the 'norm', then God's timing would be normal too.

Man is falling into a dark social imagination where the light of hope is escaping as if being swallowed by a dark force, an anti-matter, a black hole.

..."Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me" Psalm 23

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What if there was no color in the Social Imagination

What would the world look like if there was no color in the social imagination?

... like a world without color

One can wonder if the agenda is to eliminate color. You can argue that tolerance in the social imagination will allow us to retain color as in differences and also to overcome color as in not see the differences. What do we have then? Some are calling it 'Inclusion'.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

LUCY ~ The No Social Imagination Film

We live in the social imagination. We are more than brain matter, we are more than what appears as a hard copy.  To think that we have to modify our brains in order to gain wisdom as in greater knowledge is false, it is misleading.

In the film LUCY, we are lured into thinking that man has failed to advance or grasp a greater knowledge  because he uses a limited amount of brain power. We use what we choose to use given our social imagination. The Kingdom is within... the amount of wisdom and knowledge available to us has always been there if we just tap into it which does not require brain modification, it requires social interaction - social imagination among users of the program.

As for time and its relation to wisdom/knowledge, the brain alone as a blob of gray matter could never understand that something does not disappear/no longer exists just because it moves faster and faster... no matter how much of that organic gray we put to use. However, the social imagination can understand that... though something is out of sight, it still exists, it remains in potential visible form.

Yes, greater knowledge does require thinking outside the box... the expansion of the social imagination  allows that; not transforming ourselves into machine like super computers, we already are organic ones. We are not necessarily 'here'. We experience this hard copy environment through what some physicists call a holographic projection. I call it the social imagination as we exist in social agreement that we exist in this projection.Which brings us to question ~ Who created this? "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made." John 1

*John 14:6 "No one comes to the Father except through Me" ~ Jesus Christ.

Final comment, if everyone were to become "LUCY" like, using 100% of their brain, the social imagination would have to become one with all others in a total harmony of thought ~ is that possible? For the atheist, this is a difficult question to answer. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

In the Social Imagination, Balance does not mean Equality

In the social imagination, there is balance, but that does not mean equality. Because, in the social imagination, there is social hierarchy. This is in fact a requirement for there to be a legitimate value to be given to system function. Now, there are those who think that is not true. They in fact think that totally equality in a system creates legitimacy of the system. There is one raw fact that such people miss - the order of operations which means  the assignment of value to people, places and things. In a social system, we use signs and symbols to better understand the value of our social system... the total value of 'our' function in a system of operations.

In computational math,  this is a necessary procedure. In doing this, there are benefits. Such as system legitimacy. In society, this same order of operation applies. Group assigning is beneficial as long as the value placement (using signs/symbols) is well thought out, logical, and balanced which does not mean equal. If group assigning is unbalanced (in terms of value placement), then value function will be misunderstood as in illegitimate and the system of operations will deteriorate and or collapse.

In some social systems, corrupted operations have become embedded in the social imagination. There is a tendency then to over value certain groups; just as in math, a mathematician can over value one sign or symbol giving way to  inaccurate value placement.  Hence, we can observe this when a hypothesis fails. Social scientists are guilty of the same over valuing and this has led to corruption in the social imagination of some social systems.

There is the tendency to think that certain groups (what they consider to be suppressed in value; as for the mathematician - this would be considered an ignored or devalued signs/symbols) have a lower position in appearance when compared to others have a lower or lesser position regarding the value of system function. Some people think that certain groups should be weighted and the weight given to them is that they have greater value since their lower position regarding the value of system function appears to under value... their 'true' value. That somehow their 'true' value is suppressed. Thus, certain groups need such weight because they are suppressed the higher values in the order of operations. That is necessarily a wrong observation and or wrong assumption when attempting to better understand the total value of system function.

All members of the human body have a certain value in terms of system function. The brain could be and should be given total authority over the body, over the position of the feet. Yet, the brain would go no where without the feet. Virtually, I suppose it could. Yet, in comparison to a brain with feet, the brain with feet has better mobility.  At the same time, the feet would not even be conscious of moving without the brain. If the opposite end of the body fails, the top will fail. Does that mean that one should be given priority. No, but at the same time, it does not mean that the feet need more attention than does the brain.

If we think that by assigning  greater value to the extremities of the body, we neglect the brain. If we assign greater value to the brain, it will remain where it is and have no purpose as there will be no extremities to engage. Who benefits to assigning value to groups? Only those that seek to usurp the total value function of the system.  There is only equality in balance in regard to the order of operations when seeking toward the total value of the system function. This does not mean that every value placement was equal to acheive this nor does it mean that balance stands for equality.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Are we living in a Computer Simulation?

In our social imagination, we have been absorbed in discovering the source of our being. Some scientists, think that we are living in a hologram. Why not? Better that than thinking all of this complex social imagination 'reality' just sprang up out of organic blog that appeared due to an incredible star dust mass clued together by gravity, a force we cannot see.

If we were to presume that we are living in a hologram we may conclude that it is projecting a very complex simulation. If we concur that is a possibility, then we would have to concur it has a creator.

What does it mean? Precisely,... what does that mean? It means that we have a lot more to learn about our creator. Super computer 'quantum' technology is beginning to reveal how and why we exist... in relationship with a creator.

Firstly, let us consider more the notion of 'meaning'. In any computer program, codes have underlying meaning, for the programmer and the programme in their relationship.  What meaning? That is a good question. Again, if we think about a programmer and the program in relationship, we think of them in a cooperative, even symbiotic coexistence. We do not think of that relationship as one of conflict and rejection.  We might assume that in such relationship the creator wants to reveal himself to the program so that the program will be complete in its very existence - operation.

Are we living in a computer simulation?  If we are, do you seek to understand and have a relationship with the creator?

~ "In the beginning, was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made." John 1: 1-3