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  1. #1
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    Default Hi-Tech Society: Race to the Bottom?

    Hi-Tech Society: Race to the Bottom?

    Will our hi-tech hand-held gadgets lead us to becoming a less sophisticated society?

    It appears to me that such gadgets seem to dramatically increase the interaction within the adolescent peer group. I suspect that this interaction tends to create a greater group-think than before. It appears to me that adolescence is reached younger and lasts longer than before; I would say that generally this age of adolescence period is from 12 to the mid-twenties.

    Scientists are studying and trying to develop an ability to emulate the actions of animal swarms. The birds and the bees can do it; why cannot humans emulate their behavior to our advantage?

    The collective behavior of animal swarms displays advantageous collective actions without the guidance of organized leadership. Ants, as individuals, are not clever—as a collective ants, bees, birds, caribou, etc. are amazingly clever—there seems to exist something one might label as swarm intelligence—simple creatures following simple rules equal swarm intelligence.

    Computer engineers attempt to emulate swarm intelligence to solve complex human problems.

    Compare animal swarm intelligence with group psychology.

    What is the nature of the ‘group mind’, i.e. the mental changes such individuals undergo as a result of becoming part of a group?

    A bond develops much like cells which constitute a living body—group mind is more of an unconscious than a conscious force—there are motives for action that elude conscious attention—distinctiveness and individuality become group behavior based upon unconscious motives—there develops a sentiment of invincible power, anonymous and irresponsible attitudes--repressions of unconscious forces under normal situations are ignored—conscience which results from social anxiety disappear.

    Contagion sets in—hypnotic order becomes prevalent—individuals sacrifice personal interest for the group interest.

    Suggestibility, of which contagion is a symptom, leads to the lose of conscious personality—the individual follows suggestions for actions totally contradictory to person conscience—hypnotic like fascination sets in—will and discernment vanishes—direction is taken from the leader in an hypnotic like manner—the conscious personality disappears.

    “Moreover, by the mere fact that he forms part of an organized group, a man descends several rungs in the ladder of civilization.” Isolated, he may be a cultivated individual; in a crowd, he is a barbarian—a creature acting by instinct. “He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings.”

    There is a lowering of intellectual ability “pointing to its similarity with the mental life of primitive people and of children…A group is credulous and easily influenced”—the improbable seldom exists—they think in images—feelings are very simple and exaggerated—the group knows neither doubt nor uncertainty—extremes are prevalent, antipathy becomes hate and suspicion becomes certainty.

    Force is king—force is respected and obeyed without question—kindness is weakness—tradition is triumphant—words have a magical power—supernatural powers are easily accepted—groups never thirst for truth, they demand illusions—the unreal receives precedence over the real—the group is an obedient herd—prestige is a source for domination, however it “is also dependent upon success, and is lost in the event of failure”.


    Perhaps human groups cannot develop in a similar manner as does swarm intelligence but the existence of such successful ways of handling complex problems indicates that some critical thinking regarding human group behavior is certainly in order.

    Questions for discussion:

    Do you think it is possible for humans to significantly improve performance within a group?

    Do you think that we can find a way to make group behavior more sophisticated?

    Sources for ideas and quotes in this OP come from Swarm Theory--an article in the July 2007 edition of “National Geographic” and from Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego by Freud.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    I don't know if swarm intelligence would be such a good thing. But I respect your perspective on the matter.

    Do you think it is possible for humans to significantly improve performance within a group?
    Yeah, if they share the same motivations, values, and goals for the project.
    Edit: Although if the project requires knowledge of different motivations, values, and goals people have like marketing then clearly they need different motivations, values, and goals to have the most performance.

    Do you think that we can find a way to make group behavior more sophisticated?
    Define sophisticated.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post




    I don't know if swarm intelligence would be such a good thing. But I respect your perspective on the matter.



    Yeah, if they share the same motivations, values, and goals for the project.
    Edit: Although if the project requires knowledge of different motivations, values, and goals people have like marketing then clearly they need different motivations, values, and goals to have the most performance.



    Define sophisticated.


    We were born smart enough but we weren’t born intellectually sophisticated enough to handle this high tech world we have invented.

    What is the difference between “being smart” and “being sophisticated”? I would say that we can use the handyman and his tool box as a good analogy for comprehending this difference. The number and quality of the instruments in a handyman’s tool box is a measure of his smartness and his experience using those tools is a measure of his sophistication.

    If a handyman has only a hammer then every job is a job that will get hammered on. If that handyman has a great tool box but has experience only with a hammer then that handyman will look for things that can be hammered into place.

    Critical Thinking is the best antidote for ideology.

    Webster says a prism is “a medium that distorts, slants, or colors whatever is viewed through it”.

    It appears to me that Marx was the first great thinker to have coined the word “ideology”. Ideology is a distinctive form of reasoning about the individual and about the individual in society. Ideology is a systematically biased mode of thinking. Ideologies vary extensively in so far as the idioms used, the extent of bias, the degree of sophistication, the manner in which bias permeates various aspects of theory, and so on.

    While ideologies vary widely in certain aspects all ideologies share some common characteristics. An identifiable logical structure is shared by all. This structure includes: 1) a moral dimension, 2) it is biased toward a specific group and is biased against those out side this group, 3) an ideology cannot not directly defend it self because it rests on assumptions that have never been critically examined or even formulated, and 4) Marx believes these assumptions to be “nothing more than the intellectual ‘transcripts’ of the conditions of existence of the social group whose point of view it reflects”.

    Like viewing the world through a prism, the ideologue experiences the world in a distorted manner. “What a man does not transcend in reality, he cannot effectively transcend in thought either. The limits of his existence are the limits of his thoughts. His basic assumptions are therefore ultimately nothing but his conditions of existence ‘reproduced’ in thought.”

    Quotes from Marx’s Theory of Ideology Bhikhu Parekh

  4. #4
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Oh, I think understand what you mean now. But that also means I don't really disagree or agree with you.

    May I ask a question instead?

    Let's say you have a large cube of clay and you cut that clay up into smaller cubes of clay of equal size. The large cube of clay is a unit of one box. The smaller cube of clay is also a unit of one cube. The difference then is in the magnitude of the cubes. The large cube is of a greater magnitude than the smaller cube.

    Now let's assume we can mold a cube into whatever we want using a chisel, but any pieces leftover from the molding can not be reused.

    Now by cutting the large cube of clay into smaller cubes you have more than one unit of a cube and can create more structures, but they will be of a smaller size than the structure you can create from the large cube.

    Though, of course, you could always put the structures of the smaller cubes together to create a structure of equivalent size of the large cube of clay.

    So the smaller cubes are greater in number and have more versatility in what they can be molded into and how they can be combined compared to the large cube. But the smaller cube's scope is limited to itself. Then how can they create what the larger cube can?

    So essentially, the way I see this is that a true sophisticated hive mind has to be both the large cube and the smaller cubes. The smaller cubes need to have their own consciousness to be their own cube, but need to be linked by an unconsciousness of the large cube to know when to mold with the other cubes and create something larger. I see humanity as a hive mind in this way, but greatly lacking the large cube unconscious link. The smaller cubes sometimes link together and form a geometric link for something greater, but it's never seems to be the size of the large cube, just a larger volume shape than the smaller cubes, and is always in opposition to any other volume shapes created.

    So are you saying that technology has moved too fast, not allowing the large cube to form an unconscious link? And that having this large cube mind to form is what you would consider a sophisticated, or complete, hive mind?

    *I don't know, I just pulled this out of my ass ;P*

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    Does peer group networking, facilitated by hand-held gadgets, enhance the probability for the following kind of group behavior?

    The following quotes come from the Washington Post article:

    Kids Gone Wild, Parents Gone Missing by By Richard Cohen
    Tuesday, April 6,

    “It is either significant or merely interesting that William Golding dedicated his classic, "Lord of the Flies," to his mother and father. It is precisely the absence of parents, or any adult actually, that enables the boys of the island to descend into savagery, and it is the sudden appearance of an adult at the end that restores what we would now call law and order. This tale, way before its time, was a precursor to South Hadley High School in Massachusetts and the suicide of Phoebe Prince. It was the only way she could get off the island.”

    “After a lengthy investigation, District Attorney Elizabeth D. Scheibel had nine students arrested on criminal charges. At the same time, she alleged that while the teenagers had tormented Phoebe to the point where she hanged herself, teachers and administrators were somehow complicit because they knew -- or should have known -- that Phoebe was being bullied by a coterie of aspiring fascists. Phoebe was a newcomer from Ireland and thus, as anyone with the slightest novelist bent would know, the stranger with no champions, no defenders and, in her mind, no way out.”

    washingtonpost.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    I'm afraid that when Lord of the Flies gets referenced it throws everything into a philosophical arrangement. I can only make a philosophical judgment in relation to it. Is that what you are interested in? If so, I will do it. Although it would be nice if someone else would join the discussion. I feel like I'm hogging your time when you could be getting other perspectives and wider knowledge and discussion.

    "This tale, way before its time, was a precursor to South Hadley High School in Massachusetts and the suicide of Phoebe Prince. It was the only way she could get off the island.
    ...Hmmm...

    Does peer group networking, facilitated by hand-held gadgets, enhance the probability for the following kind of group behavior?
    ...
    Since you have only been asking questions and I have been answering most of them, would you care to answer your own question? I have been enjoying this so far as I hope you are.

  7. #7

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    The borg are all skinny arent they?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Little_Sticks's Avatar
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    Only the skinny ones

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little_Sticks View Post
    I'm afraid that when Lord of the Flies gets referenced it throws everything into a philosophical arrangement. I can only make a philosophical judgment in relation to it. Is that what you are interested in? If so, I will do it. Although it would be nice if someone else would join the discussion. I feel like I'm hogging your time when you could be getting other perspectives and wider knowledge and discussion.



    ...Hmmm...



    Since you have only been asking questions and I have been answering most of them, would you care to answer your own question? I have been enjoying this so far as I hope you are.
    I have been posting on Internet discussion forums for more than four years. Most responders are, I conclude, between the ages of 13 to 25. These responses lead me to conclude that our educational system has failed us. Our educational system has taught young people what to think and not how to think. If young people are not able to remove them self from this very negative influence then the future looks very dim.

  10. #10
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    if our society starts to go more into tech-hell shit, im going to move out, no doubt.

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