It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Society 2.0

page: 1

log in


posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 12:28 AM

I have a dream, or the germination of a great idea.

I am not the first person to have this dream; many before me have had it, but the political will has been absent; and it is absent because the profundity of this dream takes at the very least a sizable minority to make it real.

One of the things that frustrates scientifically oriented, philosophically sophisticated people is the way we educate our youth. There are simple, indisputable facts which emerge when the mind becomes "more aware"; aware of what, you naturally wonder? Of the minds own existence, I think. Mental maturity is what I'm referring to. For example, many religious people are fanatics, radicals and "fundamentalists". What is meant when we say this? Fundamentally speaking, although probably not acknowledged by most people who use this language: it is impossible, and therefore illegitimate, to claim absolute knowledge; within this categorical assertion exists the fact that any belief system that claims "revelation" as its source, must, fundamentally, under any critical analysis, be deemed 'conventional', which is to say, it emerges just as any other belief system does.

When you look at contemporary science it is absolutely clear and obvious to any judicious student that evolutionary forces have shaped human bodies and human minds. This - in that it is empirical and therefore "evident to all" - is vital knowledge: and yet there exists a force within contemporary politics that treats evolution as 'merely an opinion'; similar to and even epistemologically inferior to, creationism: that is, the ridiculous nonsensical childish notion that the Biblical creation narrative is literally true - and not, as understood by damn near every student of comparative religion, an expression of mankinds propensity for metaphor in explaining it's existential condition as a creature with the capacity to "know that it knows".

Metaphors have their purpose and in saying this I am not trying to belittle what the Bible was able to do; I am also including ALL mythological texts which form the backbone of the worlds great religions. What I am saying is that it represented the views of people thousands of years ago; views that were germinated in a specific culture; with a specific knowledge pool. And what ultimately emerged from these various traditions was an epistemological NARCISSISM; a perspective of the world that forgot the "condition of ignorance" from which all explanatory thought originates, and truly believed in the categories it POSITED; the act of creation, of building an arbitrary (though personally meaningful) metaphysics was forgotten. And today, millennia later, we are dealing with an epistemological narcissism with Christian conservatives who refuse to accept empirical evidence for how life originated and evolves; ignores evidence from developmental psychology, relational psychoanalysis, neuroscience and dynamics systems theory that completely undermines their outdated, arbitrary worldview; and exposes it for the naive farce that it was.

What emerges from an objective analysis of the various religious texts is that their forgers were entirely ignorant of the larger picture: and this is the world we live in today. Our categories of knowledge involve not just what exists in our own culture, but ALL cultures; as a believer in the Bible, you are forced to play mind games with yourself; unconsciously of course, evolutionary forces which influence cognition and the range of attention keep you focused on your "cognitive truth" - and by doing so dissociates important information about the nature of reality. This is what were seeing: if we simply apply the insights and discoveries of psychology over the last 50 years, we can explain Christian fundamentalists and Islamic fundamentalists (amongst other fundamentalists, such as "free market" fundamentalists who truly trust their own beliefs about the "hidden hand") as individuals still hampered in their own cognitive development by an ancient and severely rigid belief system which from their youth they have come to treat as "sacred"; when something is seen as sacred, to go outside what is sanctioned and legal, in other words, to question and critically analyze what is "sacred" feels utterly wrong and unbearably painful. As self research shows, when someone tries to convince someone of something his self cannot find meaning in, it is incoherent; biased beforehand by the brains affective centers as "untrue" - and untrue not because they are not objectively valid; but untrue because the self has become intertwined with its beliefs; to challenge the belief is to simultaneously disturb the coherency of the self; the body and brain is therefore highly protective against beliefs/views that threaten the affective (emotional) stability of the organism; because for evolution, the MIND-SELF is ruled by the same evolutionary precepts that rule the body: survivability.

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 12:29 AM
In other words, conservative political views are unequivocally atavistic - and I am saying this as someone who once identified himself as an orthodox conservative. So what changed?

My self. Lost in the political dialogue is the intrapersonal forces which shape our thinking and feeling. Attachment research in particular has proved essential to how we think about how we should go about fixing our societies. But wait! No doubt, if you are one of these conservatives I am pejoratively speaking about, I've already lost you, haven't I? Long ago, you dissociated; now you feel the 'tension' - if you're still reading - of my current narrative. This is precisely my point! Our thinking is structurally connected; we are not in any way shape of form "rational actors"; we are SOCIAL first, and this point is proven by the fact that I lost you - as George Lakoffs research shows - we think in stereotyped categories; and we think in this way because SOCIAL existence is conflated with PERSONAL existence; the myth that we are "singular selves", if not paid attention to, leads to profoundly narcissistic delusions and thus a rigging of our political system. On the other hand, if we pay attention to dynamic systems theory and the fact of our non-linear dependence upon one another, the conservative myth of "self made man" can be deconstructed and seen for the bull# narcissistic self-congratulations that it is.

EVERYTHING is social. For people alive today, and for whatever "station" you find yourself in society, thank you forebearers; thank the people you formed relationships with in your life; and mostly, thank Fate: because it is sheer luck and nothing more that you became the self that you are.

Our society is severely traumatized - and since we are so "outer focused" we overlook how that is. In fact, the outer external focus is itself evidence of the traumatic dissociation: to look inwards is not only 'not interesting' to the attention, but it is disturbing; it makes us "anxious" because by turning the attention inwards towards the minds own thinking and feeling exposes us to the dissociative structure of it all; the mind dissociated what was traumatic because it interfered with "successful" adaptive functioning. And when I say "adaptive" and successful, it appears that I am speaking of the individual. The paradox is, even though evolution operates on the individual, the fact is, dynamics work both "upwards" and "Downwards"; from the level of instinctive awareness evolutionary forces (environmental stressors) shape the developing personality. But with maturation a higher cortical capacity emerges which enables dissociation from "acts of mind"; a popular expression for this ability is "mindfulness", which is the ability to analyze and relate with ones own experiences without judgement or identification. From this vantage point, the self can attain a greater level of lucidity. And from this perspective, it can bear witness to the larger dynamics which operate between people.

Why is this important? Why should you care? Society 1.0, although a fabulous wealth generator, is leading us too civilizational suicide. In terms of what I've written above, you could say that the people who "own the most" have the biggest "selves"; they are the ones most narcissistically anchored to the dynamics of the present system, and, as such, will not be able to objectively assess the disaster that they're helping to create.

Evolutionary forces which operate unconsciously, are like Daniel Kahnemans "system 1"; they operate from single level psychology; the concerns are with the myopic facts of the individual: his physical needs and emotional-self needs. This level is thoroughly selfish.

Yet, here we are, a species that has conquered the earth. A mismatch. Were conquering the earth using unbridled system 1 instincts, but we've reached global proportions. An individualistic psychology does not mesh well when it reaches such power within a global system. In other words, survival mandates that we "upgrade" our awareness; that we pay attention to the system dynamics that operate between people - the social forces forces that shape our individual psychologies. Only when we do that, will we be equipped to properly address the juggernaut of climate change. Barring mental transformation, we our dooming ourselves and future generations to worlds of suffering. To increasingly hotter days and the stress and emotional fragility that brings; and possibly to a belated "geoengineering response", which will turn our bright and blue skies - which are so intricately felt within our psychologies in metaphorical ways - into milky white skies, the visual effect of seeding the stratosphere with suphides. And the emotional effect of that, again, is nightmarish.

Will we just mindlessly walk into that nightmare as we listen to our crappy pop trash, talk video games, anime and cosplay? Or will we mature ourselves out of this by implementing changes at the educational level - to move out of the defunct "industrial model" of social organization into the ecological model, where relationships are acknowledged as the most relevant factor in how we understand individual realities?

I hope that we can transition out of this "world" and into society 2.0. But it will take a lot of mindfulness.

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 12:40 AM
If you had to sum that up in 5 sentences or less, could you?

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 12:40 AM

originally posted by: nrd101
If you had to sum that up in 5 sentences or less, could you?

I don't mean to be mean, but the wall of text is intimidating

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 12:43 AM
Words. There are too many.

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 01:58 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

But with maturation a higher cortical capacity emerges

Tee hee. You said masturbation. Oh, that's maturation.
Never mind.

Seriously though how many of us can understand this all as true. Most of this information gleaned from studies over the last few decades is hardly finding any purchase with society in general. How many more decades will it take to become the basis for a new paradigm. More than we have I suspect.

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 03:06 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

S & F for a most excellent thread, OP! It was a veritable breath of fresh air to read, and you have many salient points within. A new paradigm is truly needed, and can only be reached once the narcissism of the current day is left behind as the sociological misfit and barrier to advancement, that it is. Future successes and achievements can no longer be made from mindsets of the past, and the sooner we recognize this at our core, the better.

I too believe our solution is to make changes at the educational level - but also because we are losing essential voices that would generate the very ideas towards a new paradigm - simply because they cannot afford the current requirements to advance their studies and are increasingly relegated to mere "survival" in our current model. These voices are intrinsic to our future, and, if we allow them to be lost, we are resigning our entire future to the voices and choices of a very limited few. The few, whose scope is truly so narrow (as evidenced today) as to only support their own dominant narcissism.

originally posted by: TerryMcGuire
How many more decades will it take to become the basis for a new paradigm.

Indeed - and apparently our current Twitter epidemic of thought in two lines or less, is certainly not helping matters any. We must balance the positives of technological advances, and recognize the negatives - what we are losing due to it, via our intelligence, communication skills, critical thinking etc. To recreate a thirst for knoweldge - it MUST be made accessible to all.

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 07:05 AM
Well. well. That just looks like just the ticket for the elite people of the world to lock themselves into when the SHTF. Stuff all you plebeians we will live in Eden.

posted on Oct, 19 2014 @ 06:24 PM
a reply to: MoonBlossom

Mindfulness is being studied in about 250 different universities worldwide, right now.

Mindfulness in schools initiatives - of which I am a part of in the province of Ontario - are proliferating, in states, provinces, cities and countries worldwide.

Clearly, if there are obvious problems - climate change - and so few people able to understand the need for a response, the problem is obviously the mind; which is to say, the entire system which helps 'bring into being' the minds which can't mount an effective response to the problem. Let alone even acknowledge the existence of one. From a scientific perspective - people in the know are witnessing a catastrophic disjunction between what science has learned about mental processes, from cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, traumatology, relational psychoanalysis, social and affective neuroscience and psychoanalytical systems theory - and contemporary society.

To say this another way, the "objectivist" evil of Ayn Rands philosophy - and the overt proponents of it in the "tea party movement", are delusionally dissociated from actual empirical reality. It is by no means a coincidence that the Koch brothers fund it; just as they fund the menacingly titled "human paleoclimate change" exhibit at the smithsonian museum in Washington D.C.

To put this more directly: evolution needs to be taught in schools, so kids will understand the complementarity between environment and organism in shaping development; with this emphasis comes practices that develop socio-emotional functioning like mindfulness; as well as teaching methods based in humanities "environment of evolutionary adaptedness" - that is, a classroom that functions like a tribe, with the teacher as the "wise elder"; and also small classrooms, as human beings aren't designed for social relatedness in groups larger than 15 (this has been shown in study after study).

All of this - if we care at all about our planet, our mental and emotional health and the general well-being of our societies - implies the need for greater public investments in education - because the private sphere will never be led to do anything that doesn't hold the promise for $$$$.

In a sense, today's generation is lost. Someone narcissistically identified with his beliefs - unaware of it and unable to find a perch from which to witness his own narcissistic entrapment - it is essentially impossible to convince him that he is wrong. As said, his self - his very ability to "feel" himself, is socially invested in his views on things. From childhood upwards, his neurobiology not only supports a particular affective direction (a way of relating) but with that direction is a group of people who confirm and support his views - that is, provides constant "recognition" of his self.

Recognition is what underlies self experience. In children who are neglected or severely abused - they never develop a self because an important "other" - a mother or some significant other, never helped draw her consciousness inward to observe and eventually learn to "know" and "love" (recognize) her own subjective experience.

The converse of this situation underlies the narcissistic ignorance that prevents cognitive development: if you're personal self experience is 'bound up' with your views - and these views are shared and mutually held by others - the recognition inherent in this dynamic, which you and the others all depend upon for self-confirmation, prevent growth.

Because of this, any attempt to convince naysayers of the need for social-reform from an industrial model to an ecological model - and the implications therein, in terms of the enhanced role of government, greater regulation of markets, etc will inexorably result in dissociation: an unconscious "negation" of what you just said, and concomitantly a renewed focus on "what makes sense to you" - because in the cognitive dissonance of hearing contrary and unsettling views, the unconscious is already preempting integration by focusing consciousness on that self-narrative which upholds cognitive stability.

Thus, education. Raise the next generation to think more clearly and lucidly so that a larger number will be able to address these challenges in ways that our present generation seems structurally unable to do. Sad, but this is just how it is. Evolution is a powerful tool though; it explains the coupling between environment and organism; evolution, contrary to the insipid and myopic "social darwinian" angle, is all about ecological relationships; between organism and environment; and with human beings, with individual minds and the social-cultural 'environments' they are brought up within.

To gain knowledge of this is to gain SANITY. And to gain sanity is to finally be able to guide ourselves - all of us together - to a future where we can live peaceably with one another; and, I think, focus ourselves on spiritual and scientific pursuits.

posted on Oct, 30 2014 @ 10:00 AM
a reply to: Astrocyte

Sadly this can not happen without a world based political control. Why?
It is due to our DNA programed greed,lust and ego. We are wired to over reach and it is within our nature.

Oh how far shall we fall before we work together

new topics

top topics


log in