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Thread: The Mathematization of Culture

  1. #21
    Minister of Propagandhi Array ajblaise's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Same guy as always, Ernst Jünger.
    A fascist. How appropriate.

  2. #22


    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    A fascist. How appropriate.
    Depends on how one defines "fascist"(and I know you paint with an absurdly wide brush). He was never a member of the Nazi party, and early on became a critic of them. One of his books was censored because of its attack upon the Nazi regime. He was involved with the '44 plot to kill Hitler. It was only because Hitler had respect for him as a WWI veteran that saved him from being either executed or sent to a concentration camp(as Goebbels wanted).

    He was a very complex man and went through many phases in his long life. He was given considerable honour and respect in post-war Europe, Germany and France in particular.

    I never made it secret that I prefer his later Humanist writings over his earlier more nihilistic ones.

  3. #23
    Member Array Cady's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    So this thread got me thinking about T's vs F's in a professional environment and the spread of T's vs F's in the general public.

    According to a 1998 sampling of 16,000 people suggest that roughly 40% of the population are predominantly thinkers and roughly 60% are predominantly feelers. Of course typecasting isn't completely accurate, but it can be useful for giving us a general overview of the population's spread across types.
    link here (scroll down, the chart's on the right)

    Another group focussing on the application of type data drew up a chart hosted on the MBTI foundation website. The chart tested 4808 supervisors, administrators and managers in an attempt to see the representation of types in leadership positions. In this chart roughly 73% of the managers, supervisors, and administrators polled tested as Thinker types and roughly 27% tested as Feeler types.
    link here
    Leadership representation vs Population representation nets almost a 2 fold preference for Thinker types in these positions.

    Now the question returns to does T inherently mean rational and F inherently mean emotional? I could argue that some TP's are more prone to think in the realm of possibilities, theories and the hypothetical. We can be more head-in-the-clouds than down-to-earth. It also seems like there are some very rational F's, so the type comparison may be moot to this whole discussion anyways. I suppose it comes down to the definition of what makes a rational.

    Thinking about T's vs F's made me think about P's vs J's. At a glance the MBTI foundation chart seems to indicate J's have a clear dominance of P's and when population distribution is taken into account TJ's indeed have a huge increase in representation when it comes to these types of positions. To me that makes a lot of sense, as TJ's tend to get results while being a shade more regulation abiding than TP's.

    Anyways I just wanted to show an opposite side to the rational being the tools of the emotional because that's not something I've witnessed often in a professional environment.
    Sleep late for a better tomorrow.

    Extraverted - 58%
    INtuitive - 73%
    Thinking - 71%
    Perceiving - 66%

  4. #24
    Senior Member Array RenaiReborn's Avatar
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    May 2009


    I was referred to this thread by an acquaintance of mine, and find that I have quite a few views which I shall try to express in a semi-linear fashion. I apologize in advance for any appearance it may have of disorientation, as I have been unable to sleep very much lately. If I have been unclear or have not elaborated enough, please inquire.

    This "mathematization of culture" does not only coincide with the communications revolution, but also with the themes in modern literature and art. Modern literature and art have progressively become increasingly apathetic, in a sense, and devoid of "emotion". The 'feelings' expressed by writers and artists are being continually evaluated for factual basis. While I agree with Provoker's original post for the most part, I do question whether or not the aforementioned scenario is inevitable.

    I do not believe that it is inevitable. I do think that the mathematization is necessary for humanity to extend what lifespan it may have left, but I do not agree that it must be the center around which the humanities must be oriented. While math can 'enhance' aesthetics, and while math may have an aesthetic value all its own, more of a push towards the mathematical muse, if you will, may create more inner turmoil within the already constantly conflicted humans in the world.

    The constant 'evolution' which people seem to be pushing for concerns me to no end. Despite the gain of intellectual knowledge, in this case defined by mathematical algorithms, etc., society in general has begun to lose values which are able to transmute facts into intelligence or wisdom. Math, science, literature, arts- they should not revolve around one another, but instead contribute to each other in a 'symbiotic' relationship, if you will.

    Also, if emotions are lowered to the level of an item that can be easily quantified and labeled, then it is an indicator that emotions are now only a tool to be used in the grand scheme of "logic". This in itself demeans the tool of the trade.

    Polarization is likely to occur- that is a moot point. Also, I found the 'generalism' brought up interesting. I have often discussed with my friends how there are many people capable of being doctors, but the doctors churned out of medical school are often so inured to facts and prevention of transference, and are often so specialized in their particular field, that to ask one doctor to be capable of handling another 'specialty' has become nearly a taboo.

    Children do not read 'spontaneously', but do begin to recognize patterns and sounds. If children are able to do such with language phonemes at a young age, then a young child being able to 'absorb' mathematics (albeit not in the manner you most likely expect) is completely possible.

    I don't know if I have contributed anything valuable at this point- I need either more coffee, or sleep. I think I'll choose sleep.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Array Kangol's Avatar
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    May 2009


    This thread made me think about books like "The World is Flat" and that show "Mad Money", which I never actually read or watched but indicated to me how pop-culture economics has become, and how information laden with opinion and packaged as truths are so readily tossed into the public, even when they've got opposing sides with their own opinions and information.

    It seems tied into, at least in America's case, the fascination with nutrition, health, and medicine, with people obsessive over their intakes and treatments. It seems tied to politics, with huge numbers being used regularly in arguments over who's right. It seems tied to shopping, with price quotes available from multitudes of retailers and coupons every week. It seems tied to video games, which have become more invested in technical specs and computational power over time.

    All this does indicate a sense that humans, or at least Americans and others in this situation, are becoming addicted to information. Humans have always been addicted to information, but we are able to indulge in them with the technology we've had time to develop.

    That said, I don't think we should view it as a mathematization of culture, unless you can also call our situation "an instantization of culture" or "a fracturization of culture", because we are becoming a more professionally specialized and dependent on quick information and quick results. It's an opinion I think is true, but it is misleading and devoid of significance; we as humans have operated on the notion that life can be made easier, safer, or more efficient through reason and invention.

    Thus I think:
    1) The significance in the change of our culture isn't a reflection of a change in human nature, but a change in the situation we are in. It's the situation that will continue to change, but there is nothing useful to be said about inevitability; as the people of mere decades ago could not predict where we are today, we in all likelihood cannot predict the situation of decades from now. Situations are never entirely in our control, and as humans, we can attempt to adapt to it.

    2) In relation to the statistics given earlier about personality types, I think it is safe to say that a good deal of people like to think they are being rational by merely computing or reciting numbers and arguments others have given, and it seems likely that those who actually are rational can understand the significance of the information available, and make use of it to affect the direction of culture's future. And as evidenced by a few modern geniuses I've read from, rational people can appreciate the significance of things considered separate from logic: family, love, forgiveness, etc. Perhaps because they themselves have not compartmentalized the facts of life into separate aspects, but instead recognize that true rationality looks at all relevant aspects and incorporates them into a structured philosophy upon which life ought to be lived.

    If only the few geniuses were louder than the Gossip Girls and Alan Keyes, we may be headed to brighter days.

  6. #26
    in-game Array Gamine's Avatar
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    Nov 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Kangol View Post
    This thread made me think about books like "The World is Flat" and that show "Mad Money", which I never actually read or watched....

    Mad Money looks like pure BS, but "The World is Flat" is a great read, it took years for the author to be given even a bit of the credit he deserves.

    As to the OP, the mathematization of our lives serves a clear purpose. It is a way to set objectives and measure them. I'll point you to Lord Kelvin "If you cannot measures it, you cannot improve it." This quote was the inspiration for early management tools, and these have in turn spawned various versions and life cycles of control.

    With this perspective, it shows the need for humanity to have consequences in a tangible manner of sometimes intangible situations for the end goal of being capable of understanding, controlling, changing, creating or destroying them. Having measures or spectrums with opposing and well defined limits is just rationalization.

    Especially in set cultures that require monetary values. Especially since there are so many people that operate with the mindset of a competitive plan or choice.

    Now to judge it, is it positive or negative for us? I personally do not think it matters whether the tool itself is faulty, but our choices and actions that define its value. Some points already brought up within this thread are very positive, and I would like to include the slow introduction of accounting principles into international standards that would require the measurement of pollution to be counted as a loss to a company. This would result in encouraging the company to produce less waste, consume materials that are more sustainable and/or joining with other companies who can use the wastes for their own operations, creating a better closed loop production system.

    How about this for a usage strategy of turning everything into numbers: think critically, be realistic about the real human side behind every explanation.
    "Beware Those Who Are ALWAYS READING BOOKS" - Bukowski

  7. #27
    Mr. Blue Array entropie's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    3w2 so


    Quote Originally Posted by KristenSnowdeal View Post
    I was referred to this thread by an acquaintance of mine, and find that I have quite a few views which I shall try to express in a semi-linear fashion.
    I am not listening
    Johari / Nohari

    "How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. "I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect."
    ~ Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Gray

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