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Group Identity & Social Organisms

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posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 10:36 AM
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Too much for a brain to handle




This sums it up nicely.

And it actually also admits that the more stupid we are, the less flexibility we have as far as "who we are".



For example, we might expect a science teacher to be a stuffy male boffin, but be faced with a buxom lass.


Followed by a laugh-out-loud moment.




posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
OK, since everyone seems to be filling in the blank:

What would happen if we quit defining ourselves as anything and just stick with "I am" or "I am me", period?


THis was precisely the first thought that came to mind. I am me. I am not you.



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
OK, since everyone seems to be filling in the blank:

What would happen if we quit defining ourselves as anything and just stick with "I am" or "I am me", period?

Wouldnt that mean we´d be more flexible to take on any given role according to situation?


Like a previous poster said, this would only lead to confusion and social amnesia. Labels are only as constrictive as the wearer allows them to be.


Today I can be a business person, tommorow I can be a hippie, the day after tommorow I can be a good boy, and then a bad boy.


I think one example is accurate and one is not. Everyone has good days and bad days (behavior wise). Everyone is naughty sometimes and nice other times. I think it's human nature to be both. But someone who is a business person is the antithesis of a hippie, so I don't think you could be both. Hippie = shedding money, schedules, bills, working. Business person = embracing all those things. Both have to be done over a significant period of time, so you couldn't just switch back and forth as in good/bad. Good/Bad are ways you behave and Business Person/Hippie are what you do with your life. So I think sometimes we can be both ends of the spectrum and in other cases we have to choose one because the two sides are mutually exclusive.


Would it be a bad thing if we couldnt categorize people anymore and everyday delivers something unexpected to us?

Or in other words: Wouldnt people then become un-controllable?


I think it would be a bad thing because then no one would be able to identify with each other. No one could form relationships because we'd be unable to tell who we agree or disagree with if everyone switched sides or changed their mind twice a week. You couldn't marry someone who was a monogamist on monday and a pansexual on friday
.

Most people will always be controllable, no matter what social fences you tear down, I believe. This would only make them more susceptible to every new fad that comes along.



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 11:12 AM
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One of the social ironies I see is that so many people see themselves as individuals but if you scrape away some of the ego you see a tribal member even if it is just the immediate family. However usually it extends to the extended family, clan, group, hood, etc.

en.wikipedia.org...

www.answers.com...

It is very hard to excape the defence mechanism of acceptance/protection via group dynamics.

Malthusian theory still holds up after all these years imo, but still open for debate.

desip.igc.org...



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 11:51 AM
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What if the hippie person owns a burger joint on the beach? He is still a business person.
What if he was once a business person, who decided to chuck it all and is now a hippie?



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by seagrass
 


If you own a business you're not a hippie; you used to be. If you quite business altogether and live in a van down by the river you're not a business person; you used to be.

Hippies by definition don't do work because they're against consumerism, against sales, against money. So if you own a business which sells something to anyone and earns income, it is impossible for you to be a hippie.



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 12:04 PM
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oh, because I would call someone a hippie if they were dressed like one. Tye-die man! Peace signs, and birkenstocks. Dreadlocks, and silly weed.



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
"I am a ________ " (fill in the blank).



I am an eccentric - or so I've been told

and, if I really look at it - as objectively as I can - I have to agree

but, I really don't agree - I see myself as being pretty regular - ordinary

so, if I can see their point - is it really my perception of myself, or "theirs"

and if I don't agree - does that make me as regular as I believe myself to be?

Questions for Research:

1.
support system - gives you a place to be - continuity

2.
doomed to accept the success or the failure of the group - and the consequences

3.
free - but alone

4.
I think it is fun - and a good idea in general - to be "the other" once in a while - never ending source of insight into being in other people's shoes - it's a good way to come up with rational approaches to irrational problems

I've always enjoyed debates where you have to be prepared to argue against yourself

And most importantly:

5.
where to start...



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by seagrass
oh, because I would call someone a hippie if they were dressed like one. Tye-die man! Peace signs, and birkenstocks. Dreadlocks, and silly weed.


Haha, this is exactly what Skyfloating was talking about. You don't have to dress like a hippie to be one, and you can dress like a hippie yet drive away in your H2 to your McMansion. I know what you mean though, whenever I see these people I assume they're hippies as well.

You forgot hairy armpits and no deodorant!



posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by sc2099

Originally posted by seagrass
oh, because I would call someone a hippie if they were dressed like one. Tye-die man! Peace signs, and birkenstocks. Dreadlocks, and silly weed.


Haha, this is exactly what Skyfloating was talking about. You don't have to dress like a hippie to be one, and you can dress like a hippie yet drive away in your H2 to your McMansion. I know what you mean though, whenever I see these people I assume they're hippies as well.

You forgot hairy armpits and no deodorant!
hippie~wikiHippies are not just a political ideology, they are a sub-culture. I know lots of hippies that own business', make crafts, sell drugs, whatever. The way they dress signals to others that "I am a hippie" complete with what ever level they choose to take it. It is a lifestyle, usually communal, and they group together to sell their ideas as well as their "stuff". Many grow or produce items for sale, including drugs and vegetables, crafts and animal products, or even their style of clothing and their music. Some even have working farms. They have to make money somehow, even free love.



[edit on 21-8-2008 by seagrass]



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by sc2099
reply to post by seagrass
 


If you own a business you're not a hippie; you used to be. If you quite business altogether and live in a van down by the river you're not a business person; you used to be.

Hippies by definition don't do work because they're against consumerism, against sales, against money. So if you own a business which sells something to anyone and earns income, it is impossible for you to be a hippie.



I´d contradict what you just said if I go to the park tonight and sleep there, right in the grass, perhaps playing the bongo before bedtime. In the morning I go take a shower and get a business-suit on and go about work.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 06:26 AM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 

The time permitted for this test is eleven minutes. Officious detail is to be avoided. Spare a thought for the harried, overworked official marking your answer-scripts.

1. What are the benefits of belonging to a social organism? Why do we strive to be part of something and impose artificial definitions on our otherwise unlimited being?


The benefits of belonging to a social organism are similar to, though probably not identical to, the benefits of belonging to a social species, which is what I think you really mean. A 'social organism' is something like a sponge, or a coral reef.

The benefits of belonging to a social species are basically those of mutual cooperation to improve indivduals' chances of survival and reproduction, thus helping ensure the survival and reproduction of the genes they carry. This is the key benefit of all the rituals and institutions of social species. It is why, for instance, even philatelic societies have an instinct of self-preservation.

We strive to conform because conformism has high survival advantages for humans. This is natural for a social species. Innovation is important too, but it's dangerous. Better leave it to the muties.


2. What are the disadvantages of taking in a fixed identity too strongly? (Apart from the predictability I pointed out)?

I assume this question refers to humans, unlike the earlier, more general one. The disadvantages arise when conflict arises between the fixed, group identity and the individual's persona or unconscious personal drives. Tension arises, which promises to be resolved three ways: (i) by rejecting the socially approved identity with all the survival advantages it confers and becoming an outcast; (ii) by doing violence to the self by embracing the alien identity all the more closely, (iii) by recognizing the contrast, accepting the incongruence and finding ways to deal with the dissonance and the guilt.


3. Who are we beyond the artificial labels and stereotypes?

One answer would be: whatever we can make ourselves believe we are.


4. In which way could it be fun to change ones group-identification once in awhile?

That is not the way forward. The best way is to create your own identity. You can pick and choose bits and pieces from whatever group identity you want and use them as ingredients, but the meat in the pudding should be yourself.

Most people are quite good at this, you know.

5. Which subcultures, social organisms, groups, cults seem to be artificially engineered for the purpose of controlling humans?

Are you kidding? They all are. Every single social institution created by humanity is engineered, as you put it, for that purpose. Even Cruft's Dog Show. No, really.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:30 AM
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skyfloating, now I want you to put on a dog show in that park before you go to work!



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:38 AM
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4. In which way could it be fun to change ones group-identification once in awhile?
That is not the way forward. The best way is to create your own identity. You can pick and choose bits and pieces from whatever group identity you want and use them as ingredients, but the meat in the pudding should be yourself. Most people are quite good at this, you know.
I would think that the desire or motivation to try on different identities/personalities/traits would be natural to some, therefore you would be being yourself already. I believe it can be the way forward as you weed out what doesn't work, and what does. Flexibility in personality could be a survival instinct. Being able to fit in anywhere at anytime would be ideal, if you could go from social group to social group without fear and guilt, but more importantly without violence from other groups who recognize that you aren't completely "with" them.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:51 AM
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Originally posted by sc2099

Originally posted by seagrass
oh, because I would call someone a hippie if they were dressed like one. Tye-die man! Peace signs, and birkenstocks. Dreadlocks, and silly weed.


Haha, this is exactly what Skyfloating was talking about. You don't have to dress like a hippie to be one, and you can dress like a hippie yet drive away in your H2 to your McMansion. I know what you mean though, whenever I see these people I assume they're hippies as well.

You forgot hairy armpits and no deodorant!
Well, a lot of people aren't wearing deodorant now that we know it has aluminum in it....

I have some neighbors that live the "hippie way". They live in a remodeled barn. They have leather furniture, a garden, hairy armpits, and lots of nature/natural decorating. One day she was walking along the road in front of my house with her two small boys. I was working in the yard, and walked out to her to ask her if she needed a ride somewhere. (I thought maybe her car had broken down)
She introduced herself, and told me "no, we live in the barn, we were just walking down to pick up a roadkill dog, I want to show my boys....." It was stuffed into a grocery bag.
I didn't quite know how to take that. Then I found out her husband is a Doctor. I guess this was a home school anatomy lesson......



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:54 AM
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It just seems to me that the labels dont reflect truth.

It seems to me that we "are" a specific label only in the moment we label it, and that in truth we are evolution. In fact, it seems to me that we label ourselves what we want to be, more often than our label actually reflect the truth about ourselves. If our outward appearance tends to mirror those label, I would say that is another level of the illusion, not an indicator of the truth of that label. I dress very differently when I am at the symphony and am a "symphony goer" than when I am working in the trades and am "a plumber."

We are always changing, evolving.

It seems to me that we construct the labels to hang onto so that we dont have to accept that we are this flux, this constant evolution. Death frightens us. Even if it is the "death within life" that occurs when we change our minds, admit we were wrong, or that how we used to see ourselves doesnt accurately reflect us in THIS moment. We dont like the idea that "we" are nothing substantial, but instead are a constant movement. Some people hold on to one moment in their lives that they felt reflected the best of them, and never change the label. The 40 year old high school football star, the aging beauty queen or actress.

I am no longer the person I was ten years ago, a month ago, an hour ago. My thinking has moved on, I have added and subtracted things into my physical body, my cells are moving about, dying, being born.

I think the desire to label ourselves as "a" thing, (or "an," I was thinking about grammar, lol) is a fear based response, out of a desire to make ourselves more solid, more permanent than actual experience and facts would dictate.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

3. Who are we beyond the artificial labels and stereotypes?

One answer would be: whatever we can make ourselves believe we are.



I would have to disagree. We really arent what we believe we are. We are what we are.

We have all met people who self label and our first response to them mentally is "Uhhhh ok." The "Good Christian" preaching hate, the "nice" person who screams at everyone on the freeway, the "intellectual" who memorizes rather than thinks, the "peace lover" who hates the anyone who disagrees with their vision, the man or woman who thinks they are incredibly charming and comes off sleezy, the guy who is a "thug" who really is very sensitive.

It just seems to me that our self labeling has very little to do with the truth of us, and more about the illusion we wish to present about ourselves. We are what we are, the label only says what we wish we were, or what we hope others will see us as. Most of us see through the illusions others present to us. We simply choose not to "out" other people because we know if we do, there is a good chance they will retaliate by stating the truth about US in return. We might want to state the truth about others, and we do, secretly behind their backs. What we dont want to hear is the truth about ourselves.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 05:31 PM
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I am everything that exists. There is no point at which I end and you begin. The artificial concept of seperation allows us to view differing aspects of ourselves, critically, represented in others. Free from this, there is only love, understanding, tolerance and being. Much love.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 05:56 PM
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I should have answered the questions as posed, not just offer my own rambling opinion, for the sake of research if no other.



Questions for Research:

1. What are the benefits of belonging to a social organism? Why do we strive to be part of something and impose artificial definitions on our otherwise unlimited being?

Safety in numbers. Being allowed access to the cultural "benefits" that range from, "we know how to make fire and use language" to "we have penicillin and genetic engineering."

2. What are the disadvantages of taking in a fixed identity too strongly? (Apart from the predictability I pointed out)?

You deviate from the truth of yourself as an evolution. This can cause you pain if you remember and identify with all your bad actions, as you never move past them. Or it can cause you pain if you identify with your positive accomplishments, as you then grieve the past and have difficulty finding joy in your present.

Those are personal identities. If you mean a fixed social group, then a danger of too strong an identification is that you lose the ability to define yourself. If your group becomes dogmatic, suicidal, homicidal, and you are too strongly identified with the group, well then you must be that as well.

3. Who are we beyond the artificial labels and stereotypes?

We are always what we are. The labels are meaningless in regard to our Selves, they are mental games we play to make ourselves look a certain way to others and in our minds. It doesnt matter to what level this "identity" is taken, if you wear the clothes, read the books, etc., all of that is mental and choices the mind makes for the body. The Self that is not the mind, is what it is, regardless what the mind does and makes the body do.

4. In which way could it be fun to change ones group-identification once in awhile?

I really dont know. I just dont think about myself in that way. I dont think of myself as a member of a group. I am not a woman, I am a me that is female. I dont identify with the group of "women." Nor even the class of "humans." Even though I share many traits with both groups, I still feel like "me." In my way of thinking, I can pick or choose "behaviors" from any group with impunity, and if I find out it wasnt for me, set it down with as little concern.

And most importantly:

5. Which subcultures, social organisms, groups, cults seem to be artificially engineered for the purpose of controlling humans?

Without YOUR definition of artificially engineered being made clear, I dont quite know what to make of that question. If deliberately human structured is the "artificial thing" then all of them are. However, humans evolved on this planet along with the rest of nature, so how "artificial" can anything we do be?

If you are referring to the difference between a social structure that evolved unintended, rather than one that was thought up, planned, and then handed to a group of people that are unaware of the "plan" then most of them are "artificial." Most of what we currently see as "social structure" has been planned for us. Even fashion trends, and how "hot" cellphones are. However all the plans that are plotted are not successful, they have to be "acceptable" on some level to the masses who have to buy in, and so in that way, it isnt the plotting itself (the artificial aspect) that makes then successful, but the acceptability (the natural and unplannable bit) that makes them succeed. The best plotters take into account our natural tendencies, but then that leaves us with a mixture of nature and artifice. Not wholly one nor the other.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating

Originally posted by sc2099
reply to post by seagrass
 


If you own a business you're not a hippie; you used to be. If you quite business altogether and live in a van down by the river you're not a business person; you used to be.

Hippies by definition don't do work because they're against consumerism, against sales, against money. So if you own a business which sells something to anyone and earns income, it is impossible for you to be a hippie.



I´d contradict what you just said if I go to the park tonight and sleep there, right in the grass, perhaps playing the bongo before bedtime. In the morning I go take a shower and get a business-suit on and go about work.



What you do in your spare time doesn't make you a hippie, IMO. Either you are, or you aren't. If you have a job or own a business or work at all, then you cannot be a hippie no matter how much roughing it in the park you do.

All of this IMHO.






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