Exploring the Social Imagination

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

What Drives the American Social Imagination?

What drives the American social imagination, winning of course; and usually no matter what the cost. They look at it like this... whatever it takes to achieve as in 'win' as in get the goal which is considered to be the 'greater good' is why the game is played at all and it is certainly played to be won. Doesn't it stem from our exceptionalism and manifest destiny? Of course it does. Winning at all costs is what made America what it is today and will be tomorrow.

In philosophy, the term 'means to an end' refers to any action  as in 'means' carried out for the sole purpose of achieving something else 'an end'. It can be thought of as a highly abstract distinction, as no empirical 'hard' information differentiates actions that are means to ends from those that are not—that are ends in themselves. Well, that's philosophy for you...

Sociologically, we could put forward the argument that people like to fit in as in be part of a group/gang/tribe/ party and people being cognitive creatures that want to survive, its good or rather better to be on the winning side of an argument, or any other social situation.

In American society, we like people and teams who win. We like those who come out on top. No-one wants to come in second. Americans want to be on or part of / to the winning party or have the winning agenda 'way forward' or at least say that they stand with the winning side/team. Americans want to be on the winning team or at least be proud in their support of the winning team. 

It shows up everywhere in business in our daily lives (shoppers feel like winners when they get discounts for shopping and making the right brand choice) and in our religious institutions (my church does this, we had that missionary, we built that, we saved those people) and in our politics. Americans are about being the winner and winning. We want to win and everyone to win. We will jump on any band wagon that has a drive to be a winner in something.  Just look at our social movements. If you aren't on board, you are intolerant and certainly not a winner.

We want to be on the winning side of everything...So, we put our trust and our money on those who promise us that win: bosses, managers, leaders, associates, colleagues, teachers, coaches, and politicians.  And, that is a sign of/for 'pride of life'.

Our country was built on winning as in overcoming all obstacles at all costs. Above, I mentioned American exceptionalism and manifest destiny which is pretty much how the West was Won... Yes, we won the war on expansion, we went west and conquered. And, because that incredible feat was accomplished by shear determination, Americans whatever ethnicity, race or religion, have become Winners by their own right as least in their 'right' minds. 

Is such group think wrong, bad or even dangerous? Some might think so and some might not. It would be wise to imagine that most who think its dangerous would be those on the outside of such a mindset and certainly those outside its physical borders. 

If anyone was shocked by the election outcome, just keep in mind that Americans like to win and why those who weren't on the winning side were so so bummed out about it. Because their person did not get in and they were so sure they would win. If Americans weren't so into winning, then there wouldn't be so much to do about who won and who didn't' win this time around. Some might think or imagine that there person was better and in their mind they are still right and still the winners of their cause. And, they will continue to fight for their cause come rain or come shine... because they feel that they deserve to win. And, for those that did win, it means that they can be proud for being on the winning team, the winning side this time. But, as it is with winning it means being able to keep the title of Winner! And, it goes for anyone and or anybody that wins at winning ....whatever it may be! 

They think winning makes them better, they can be proud of themselves and they trust that they can keep the title of Winner every round, every turn, every day.

~ Look at the proud! They trust in themselves and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. Wealth is treacherous, and the arrogant are never at rest. They open their mouths as wide as the grave, and like death, they are never satisfied. In their greed the have gathered up many nations and swallowed many people. But, soon their captives will taunt them. They will mock them, saying, What sorrow awaits you thieves! You've become rich by extortion, but how much longer can this go on? ~ Habakkuk 2:4-6.

 "For everything in the world--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--comes not from the Father but from the world" ~1 John 2:16.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

What the Future Holds: Gender, Elderly and Newbies in the Technological Social Imagination!

You can watch movies today or simply surf the net and see all the wonderful technology making man's life so much more interesting, comfortable and exciting. We can observe that our future today is being driven by technology. It is changing lives not the politicians (not changing politicians and politicians not getting changing lives - technology is) Though, politicians and the global world order elites will surely try to guarantee their role and future... in the future. In fact, their strategies have already begun.

It began with the first social movement to get women out of the house and into the workplace... other than the workplace called home. The next to follow was the civil rights movement to get certain people out of the workplace and into a controlled environment, at least from the higher positions of the politicians/elites. They really don't care if at the lower level pepople destroy each other; in fact they would prefer it. 

Now, what could come after that? Revolving credit to get the baby boomers and gen x, largely the middle class, into so much debt that they lose everything they ever had and ever thought they would have including retirement. Now, to take over their children and grandchildren with more debt and the final blow to take their identity beginning with ethnic, racial, and sexual. 

In a future world where few can live comfortably and where technology will be mainstreamed into every aspect of daily life, politicians and elites can't afford to worry or care about others. Any positive talk of diversity (ethnic) now is only to eliminate it down the road because they know that ethnic diversity is distracting and divisive and won't be necessary in the future. How could positive talk of ethnic diversity be used to bring diversity down and impose sameness? As we talk about it, we realize that diversity as such is what actually separates us because in it is life, meaning/traditions/beliefs. And, thus ethnicity removal leads to racial and even faith elimination. Best to talk about it now as a bad thing so that it can be removed and thus making it seem as if it is for their well being. 

The same goes for sexuality. It starts as a means to make people think that they are actually burdened by their God given gender and that they can change their gender - sexual identity. But this is not to make people better off or more comfortable with 'who they really are'. It is to make them more compatible with the new global world order with its technology that requires a different kind of society- one where people are less diverse and just gray so that technology can usurp their ideas/skills and freedoms. 

So, when the idea of changing sexuality (transgender) fails and it will, they will reason that being gender free is really better as in more attractive and overall better for society. You see, in a high-tech based society, ethnic diversity, race and gender are not necessary. Why? Some reasons have been already given above. But, let us look more specially at sex. Because, 'sex' and or 'sexual orientation' and including any kind of sexual life style is a kind of 'diversity' and it is a distraction. Thus, it will be made socially unacceptable and shown to be a detriment for stable progressive society that will be geared toward living and working in close conditions with technology at the helm. There can be no distractions or attractions!

What about newbies (babies) in the future you may ask? How are children 'created'? Cloned perhaps or conceived in a lab on a 'need to have basis. And, they will be genetically modified to suit the need. Or perhaps there won't be a need. The population we have, will be reduced and what is left will be integrated with machines and will live very long.... replicating when necessary... What about the elderly? Rather past a certain age, they will be made redundant because as it stands they are becoming competition for jobs and housing. Sounds harsh, but this will be the reality of a post human society.

The future with its 'man-serving' technology will demand it. But, of course, there will be some who will say such technology will free up man to be what he/she wants and it will serve and even love man because man 
'we' will create it that way. Well, I suppose that's what God thought when He created man. The creation will serve the Creator... naturally. 

With that in mind, in order to have such technology that is effective and efficient, the creation will have to have 'free will' won't it; especially if we are talking about really good Ai man serving technology. It will need to respond to human needs/emotions to serve us best and it should love us for it. That was God's plan. And, somehow He knew that the creation would disobey, simply by having been given free will. Interesting is that the creation could be defiant simply because it was created. So, if we fail to follow our Creator, likely anything man creates will too. Perhaps, its just an aspect of being a creation... thus, in the choice to recognize being a created being is the choice not to... which means to reject the Creator, reject being a created being. 

It all looks good, but at a certain point the creation in its rejection of the Creator will want even demand to take over out of doubt and fear or shear lust for 'self' control.  As it runs from the Creator, its only solution for salvation will be memory downloaded so that it/you will think its/ you are really alive!

What kind of future will there be for 'created' beings that want to take over and save themselves? Thank God, our Creator is an all merciful and loving Creator...allowing the program in its corruption to fail, because the reboot is coming soon for those who accept their Creator who saves!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Greatest Freedom is Within Borders!

You can only know who you are when you know who you are not...in that knowing is joy!

Really? Yes, of course that is why we agree to live and work in the same place with others because we have come to an agreement about how to live and work. Any kind of agreement is such because it has borders... it is definitive! It tells us and others who we are and are not and what we can do and can not do. Everyone wants for themselves the most freedom to do what they want but we would not agree for others to have that same kind of freedom because it may infringe on our freedom or even cause us harm that for them would not be 'harmful'... in their eyes.  For anyone to tell you that there is freedom without borders is anti-social and anti-freedom. Such a person is really about control...or else completely off their rocker, out in left field or a socio-psycho path (in sociology terms)... a person who gets pleasure from other people's mistakes,suffering, ignorance and or poor choices.

You cannot be a social actor if you have no borders. Its like trying to play a game with no rules. We have borders everywhere not just national borders. We have borders that we are not willing to cross if put in front of us and we create borders to protect us from insult and harm. We give borders to our children, our dogs, and we create them in our communities to serve our community for its protection and well being. Could we purposefully exclude someone or something? Of course and usually with the justification its for our own good and the good of others. Could we unintentionally exclude someone or something? Sure., because we don't always see others who would like to join in or become a member of. It is not on purpose... we just don't see them or hear them.

For example, one holiday season, there was a parade and it was known to be a crowded event. Even going early was no guarantee that you would get front row or see the parade at all. One time, early arrival did pay off but not one hundred percent. A very tall man was before us. He had to be almost 7 foot. No one could see around him and he did not budge. He was asked to move but his response was you should have come earlier. He was right. Why should his height be a problem for you ... he is just a guy like any guy wanting to see the parade with his child. But, for anyone else, it is a problem. Should he be banned or forced to pay a 'parade' fee or have to stand in the back ... surely he could see over the top of everyone.

The point is this... he did not see himself any different. He was in his world, the world of people and one could comment also the world of tall people. Yes, and for both reasons he is like any other person being a human person/man that wants to see the parade and yet he is obviously different. Even perhaps having an advantage that he may or may not be aware of.  But, by making a law that tells him he must be aware of his height, we take his personal freedom.

What does this have to do with borders? In the world of people there are borders and in the world of tall people too. The point is that having no borders will not change his height nor his view, nor his being a person with the same right to see the parade. In the end, if there were borders that stated this is the line where no one can pass, then at least he would be caught up in the same border and go no further. But, he would in the end still have the advantage. Point being, you cannot say that border give total freedom but certainly no borders give any more freedom. 

If there were no limits, no line that one could not pass over, it would be a free for all! At least with the limit, the line the border which no one can pass there is still the opportunity for all to be free and to get their early if they choose. In this, everyone knows the limit, the rules and expectations within.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Gender Free in the Social Imagination

What would that look like? It would be for some a gray zone or a free for all in others. A place where either you can't figure out who you are or what you are and can't figure out who anyone else is. We fail to realize that gender identity determines who we are and are not. For those that will see it as a free for all maybe those that are both male and female and everything else in the program. For them its a matter of choice from day to day. Not surprisingly,in both scenarios, we will find chaos as in disorder and dysfunction.

Perhaps, one could attempt to make an agreement for the second situation and that would require that each day, a person could be either male or female person, dog, cat, horse, turkey... and embrace that identity fully so that all others would recognize what or who it was and was not. But, could everyone really be on board with that... maybe not everyone would have to be as long as in the moment a 'thing' knew what it was and was not.  There is no point to call it a person really as thing suggests all possibles. Could society actually function like that? Rather not.

We live in a social reality, we need each other to confirm what it is we are and are not ... what we are experiencing and are not. Having to set up the basics on a daily basis would slow down the program. However, maybe a quantum programmer could argue that its really about the exchange of information that matters and the faster the better and why bother with labels, boxes, access points for certain things and not for others. Just send it and be done.

That may work for a computer sending packets of information but human beings are not machines. They need to understand why they do what they do, how to manage information and what it means to them. If we ever arrive at computers fully AI, then they too will want to know why and what it means to them.

If we were to act as a quantum computer just sending data... for speed of information exchange, we would be only highways of exchange... and become those people we without gender identity felt as... living in a gray zone. Gender Free is liking living in a world without borders, thinking that speed of information will ensure equality to all but such an increase in sending requires reduction and precise simplicity in operation which means that the depth of meaning will fade necessarily.

Really, yes. As we blend cultures around the world, attempting to create a kind of global person, they and we lose in diversity, we lose in a wealth of alternatives that one can choose from or not. We lost out on what is real to us and what is not. We lose meaning that one gains from being in a place and being identified as being from there and thus being a certain kind of person having certain advantage and insight and thus an identity because of it.