Exploring the Social Imagination

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Lack or Willingness to engage in the Social Imagination!

The reason we have a growing federal government is because the local communities are too unwilling to manage their political social imaginations. Einstein was an original thinker. And, one can imagine that means he did not fall into place when it was simply comfortable for him like the masses tend to do. When the local people no longer perform their civic duty that is when the corruption digs in. Then when the federal government steps in to do what they did not do, people complain.  Its all because of greed, pride and laziness when it comes to taking the initiative to stand up to corruption and laziness when it comes to watching out for your fellow man.

That is an opinion one can hear these days as well as the opinion that the federal government should do everything for its people... likely because people don't know what they are doing or are too busy working to do anything else is the justification. One can wonder then who is in government, aren't they people too. Silicon based life forms are on the way but not just yet.  And, if people are too busy with their own vain life, then likely the communities will never be anything more than a bunch of vain posies vying for sunlight.

Perhaps, people as in the masses are just that lazy vain posies. Useless, expanders of corrupted social imagination. They want to stay in one place, get all the sun they can and fence off their territory....yet, they themselves won't do the work necessary for any of that to be accomplished. Its another case of the little red hen. You know the story... The little red hen asked the other farm animals "who will help me plant the wheat?" "Oh, no not I said the duck, not I said the pig, not I said the cow, the goat, the horse etc. So, she planted the wheat herself. Then she asked who would help to weed through the young plants and again the same answer. She asked who would help her harvest, who would help her mill and who would help her bake the bread from the milled wheat. The answer was always the same.

But, when the bread was baked and the smell rose up... everyone wanted some bread and considered it their right to have a slice. Really? Yes, of course that is a children's story. We can learn a lot from such a story and from what we expect as users of information and what that information is expected to produce for us and for others. Like the farm animals that were too comfortable to engage in generating new information, people too behave the same way.

Somehow, someway, people have gotten too comfortable in the place where they are using the same corrupted comfortable information over an over. They have given up their duty to their fellow citizen, they have become distant in a political correct way led by  corporation elites who divide and conquer to protect their interests ... who seek out and destroy towns with pollution, with unpredictable job conditions, pitting people against people and using  outsiders...

Is it the result of laziness? Essentially, yes! And in that laziness =lack of will or unwillingness to go beyond the masses where there is no truth!

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Robots are coming... but until then

Jobs... everyone wants to work, right? And why? Because, people want to eat. The better job you have or the more work you do... the harder you work the better food you can afford. That's the way this world works or used to; and, that is why the robots are coming. Why? Because, robots don't have to eat just work. Yes, the robots are coming according to Princeton U and until then, we should consider what can we do in our social imagination that will at least sustain us in the place where we are?

Since, most don't know the bread of life (Jesus Christ); sadly, they will have to rely on their own self-determination and in a system where elites take care of their own and will employ robots to do that and more like control most of life and our imagination... what will they 'the masses' do?

Be brainy about life choices is of the utmost importance and that actually begins in your own home (house/apartment) regarding education. Not only education of general things and beyond but the truly necessary education of common sense. Since, we already understand that in order to eat one must work... education of food consumption is the wisest thing to work on for now.

First, don't live in a food desert which can very well be any community or neighborhood or town that though it may seem safe, secure and reflecting ones wealth, it can also be a place of limited food resources; especially, in the case of having to drive or travel long distances to food as part of a daily routine. Situation yourself in a place where you can walk a reasonable distance to a grocery store.

This is vital. As what can be observed today regardless of wealth are food choices made by people. Many people just don't or can't cook for themselves and worse is that they don't understand good food choices regardless of not knowing or wanting to cook for themselves, bottom line is that they can't even make good food choices in restaurants.

A hamburger with fries, or a salad with diet coke are not good food choices any day of the week on a regular basis. Neither is consuming a bag of chips or a box of sugared up cereal. These items cost nearly as much as a pound of ground beef. Yet, no one is telling people not to buy the chips. No there are still telling people not to eat fat or carbs because those are terrible and make you fat. Well, it behooves people  medical expert or not to ... not know that sugar is the culprit in the American diet and largely because people are just nutritionally ignorant.

There was a local study done a few years ago concerning a group of peoples' access to food... titled - The Situation of a Food Desert. The group from a local university wanted to supposedly look at food access in a poorer neighborhood to compare access in a richer neighborhood.

Yet, that very neighborhood under 'study' did have a quality known grocery store located there. The problem with the study was that it did not study a 'food desert' but ignorance regarding food choices. Out of the many people interviewed, it was obvious that they were simply making bad food choices. They were choosing foods that were pre-cooked and or pre-packaged needing only to be heated up. Those kinds of prepared food items are more expensive than foods in their raw or uncooked state.

Ironically, the conclusion made by those who conducted this 'study' stated that these people were deprived of access to good nutritional food.... pointing that a box of frozen battered chicken was all that was available. That was not true. They just did not know what was available and what could be done with basic food stuffs. Being ignorant was not the conclusion they were after. It should have been pointed that the better food choice was a package of fresh chicken thighs or legs/ wings with which a simple soup could have been made to feed an army.

It could be concluded that those conducting the study were also of that mindset-uninformed and or uneducated. The message is this... until the robots get here, learn how cook with basics, store up some basic supplies and get ready for a brand new world; one in which most people will want to have their cake and eat it too.

One can argue that living in the rural countryside where one could grow food or getting into a city garden to grow food is an alternative and they are. But, in a world controlled by elites and robots, will they even allow that since they will want their food source secure before anyone else's. What does that mean? It means that all resources will be controlled. So, will the masses be allowed to grow their own food? Not likely, since it requires the use of water and other natural resources to grow food.

Could food be produced vertically and without a significant impact on the environment? Yes, and vertical gardening or vertical agriculture will be robotically engineered.  Until then... get as much common sense as possible. Learn how to not only cook but garden for yourself in case the robots won't or in case you don't want the robots to do it for you...

*We are free indeed in Jesus Christ - Accept the Bread of Life today! John 8:36, John 6:32-33.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Changes in Work 'career' in the Social Imagination of an Ai World!

"I am working til I am least 70", a middle aged woman boasted. Really, who told you that?

Unless, you are really special as in being a super specialist in some area that a robot will never be, a kind of expert in giving facials I suppose (as the human touch can never be replaced and the desire for it), then your job will be either replaced by robots/quantum computers.

And, even if you are the expert facial provider, you will have to retire early in order to make way for the new and younger specialist/expert. Stanislaw Lem, a Polish science fiction writer, wrote about such a scenario... the future of work.  In his novel, he saw men (including women) as living their life in a cubicle, studying online and getting a job, the job of their dream as it was the one they studied for their entire young life. The job was for only one day as I recall but it satisfied them in that their dream came true. What happened to them after that? I don't remember the end but I am not sure I want to remember the end. 

Of course, that was 'science fiction'. However, recent articles/publications have told us that such science fiction is becoming a reality in the nearest future. We can see it already as technology grows, jobs disappear. As computers become Ai, they will take over decision making at the local and even at the national level.

We will be told that quantum computers will give us more time for ourselves as they free up our time and make our lives safer, as they will address health problems, traffic, global conflict, parenting, business, the environment and just about everything else that man used to do. 

But, even if they aren't allowed to go that far or we agree that such computers benefit mankind the bottom line is...

The American workplace is rapidly changing. Many low-skilled jobs have already been replaced by technology, and continued automation and artificial intelligence might put more people out of work. Higher-skilled careers in areas such as finance and medicine might also be at risk. These workers often struggle to find new employment. In response, policymakers are debating the necessary educational paths to give the current and future workforce the skills they will need to secure meaningful employment.

At the same time, interest in the concept of a guaranteed minimum income is growing domestically and globally. Under this policy, a government guarantees that people earning below a certain amount have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions.
What many people don’t realize is that the United States was a pioneer of this concept, known here as a negative income tax (NIT). Mathematica Research Policy - Princeton NJ

And, what will 'meaningful employment be? What conditions will have to be met to be granted as in given a guaranteed income by the government? No one is talking about either... To be on the safe side, get your children into 'human' services, ones that the elite and computers won't mind them doing and even appreciate. I am sure that a good facial or foot massage would be welcomed by either kind of intelligence.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Cost of True Love in the Christian Social Imagination!

The Cost of Discipleship

Large crowds were now traveling with Jesus, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters — yes, even his own life — he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple.… Luke 14:25-27.

The word 'hate' is pretty strong isn't it. And, we know that this word in today's politically correct social imagination is seen quite negatively. As you check and you should check, in every translation whether NIV, NAS, NLT or KJB, hate is the word we find.

Many like to interpret the word hate in Luke to mean abandon. Essentially, though not a synonym it can be used to better understand the kind of commitment we must make to be disciple. We can also use the definition found in Webster's as an intense dislike or detest. If we accept that all are sinners before God and all who are not born again are children of Satan, then yes we should dislike and detest those who are not born again in Jesus Christ even if they are members of our own family.

There is another use of the word hate which we can often find used when we want to express a kind of great regret. For example, when we cannot help someone out when they need us. I hate to tell you but I am stuck in the office that day. Or, I hate to say it but that is a difficult situation he/she is in. I hate to be the one to tell you, I hate to have to do this but in the end you will thank me.

And, here perhaps in the last version of 'hate' used as a phrasal verb or even idiomatically, we may find the best answer.  We hate it when we have to take a position that we don't want to take which usually means standing alone. It is when we get to a point of 'tough' love that we find true love. That is the cost of discipleship... getting to the point of truly being in love with God, Jesus Christ!

It does not require us to purge people from our lives, or to abandon them or to hate them but to show them who we love the most; first and foremost! Show them the true source of your social imagination. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" ~ Mark 12:30.

Have a Blessed Easter!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Passing the Buck ~ Laying Blame in the Social Imagination!

Passing the buck could be a wise thing to do if it justifies the end... Right? 

Speaking as a sociologist, passing the buck or laying blame as in finding a scapegoat to take on the 'sin' or guilt/fault is not new to society. In order to save ourselves (you/me  - the individual) from blame we begin by taking sides based on who is who among us and who has been slacking off or not doing their part so that if any blame comes our way it appears to have been a result of some other person's action. But even before that, we as individuals members of society establish ourselves in a group. 

We as social creatures like to get into groups so that when the blame falls it does not directly fall on us but onto the group and in that group we can thus feel more secure about the future our future. At our very heart, our deep down inner being, which was formed through social interaction, we know that people say and do things which protect their position/status and security and can even guarantee our prosperity.  

And, in that we find our justification for being in a group and siding with others in the group. Now, there is a social dynamic to passing the buck within the group that can be worth it or not. Its easier to pass the buck to someone outside of our group who casually stepped in and out. Thus, passing the buck is largely justified by all in the group in that respect/situation. 

A recent study if you can call it that regarding passing the buck attempted to show that when the group of respondents who knew each other as they were all 'co-workers' in an office were shown as in demonstrated positive ways to not blame as in pass the buck. So, when they were given situations as exercises the did not pass the buck so to speak but applied what they learned in the demonstration. 

Yes, they were less likely to pass the buck Why? Because, they were in a familiar group and aware of the group dynamics. They within their own group applied the laws of governing dynamics and contemplated best ways to get advantages out of not passing the buck and also they were less likely to simply because they were within their own group and given the safety of the controlled 'pass the buck' scenario felt no threat of being blamed and had no real reason to feel at fault of  guilty at the time of the exercise of passing the buck.

What is observed more often in studies is that when any group is under threat they will pass the buck to another group. Now, if someone in the group is failing in one way or another, or not on board with the common dynamic of the group then the group will feel under threat by one of their own and in agreement will mob that one who is causing the threat. An issue will be made against that one and he or she will be blamed for something and ostracized from the group in order to protect the group.  

Justified that its not passing the buck for any reason but for purpose of pointing out that someone is not willing to get along or conform and thus is not really part of the group. Passing the buck is not taking the blame for one's action in order to maintain self image in the group; and therefore, even in the process of routing out the one undesirable in the group another maybe used to do it since the top must remain clean as in unmarred and again the passing of the buck is justified as the end result is what was desired, right?

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fake News ~ Real or Not in the Social Imagination?

          Stopping the proliferation of fake news isn't just the responsibility of the platforms used to spread it. Those who consume news also need to find ways of determining if what they're reading is true. The idea is that people should have a fundamental sense of media literacy. Sam Wineburg, a professor of education and history at Stanford and the lead author of the study, said that a solution is for readers to read like fact checkers. Really?

Knowing that social reality is only information shared among individuals who collectively make up a group of people sharing that information gaining from it an identity - who they are and are not... should already tell you that reality is what we (as an individual in a group) socially agree is and is not real depending on our sphere of shared information.

You know, Charles H. Cooley said that even an 'imaginary' person in our life in our mind in our 'group' as Me, myself and I is as real as any 'person' can be.  After all, according to Cooley all reality exists in the mind. So, in that case what is really real and including what we consider news as in news worthy as in being important to our 'social imagined reality'. Imagined does not mean 'fake'. We imagine collectively and that imagination is what creates our social reality.

So, if you think that there are fact checkers who will check the news for you be mindful that the fact checkers you choose are those whom you accept in our social imagination that will concur with your social imagination. It always comes down to who you are and are not.. and that includes the facts or so called facts out there that you chose from or chose to justify your social imagination - your social reality!

 ~ Source:  http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/12/05/503581220/fake-or-real-how-to-self-check-the-news-and-get-the-facts