Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Doing Anti-Social Engineering: Part Three - I like Coke, I hate killing people.
First, we must change the message we're to contemplate, in whatever form it is, into a command. So if the message is “Coke is the real thing” then we simply ask, “What are the engineers trying to do?” Sell Coke. So the intention in action is delivered to you as some statement of authenticity, “coke” is “real” and due to our background understanding of coke, (we know it's a drink, we know it's a product, we know we have to buy it, etc.) We can fairly easily conclude that the prior intention of the engineers is to sell Coke. As we need to express this as a command, the command can be “buy Coke!” We can experience a Coke, if we need to make the best possible choosing and due to the fairly innocuous nature of the reality of Coke, this social engineering is of little consequence. However, “buy Coke” and “support the troops” are not any different in terms of mechanics of association, which is an important observation.
We have feelings attached to associations, as such they get attached to other feelings and associations via the building of paradigms. Sometimes we don't even notice them, such as we may describe a general “approval feeling” for both Coke and troop support. When we start breaking things down and asking “why” we begin to see the difference. Coke, we like for its flavour, presumably. (That's why I like it.) Flavour is an experience that is directly produced. You put Coke in your mouth and you are pleased. If you weren't you wouldn't do it. (This isn't always the case.) When you support the troops, what are you actually doing?
As we discussed earlier, if one says, “support the troops but not the war, one is actually saying “support the troopers.” If we are supporting the troops, it must be for the action they do. Intentionality has taught us that it is action that matters, so has the world. So if the actions of the troops are controlled by the intentions of commanding officers, which are controlled by the government, (normally,) then your troops support is war support, or whatever intention in action, (via bodily movement,) gets its conditions satisfied by the troop's actions.
So why do we really support the troops? Because they are brave? Patriotic? Because of what the troops have done in the past? Perhaps these types of reasons are more acceptable to you than others, or none. You will have your say soon enough. (Let's not forget there are a great many people who have no idea why they think the things they do.) You can try to turn the question on its head and ask, “who stands to gain by supporting the troops?” The troops themselves? Yes, I'm sure they would rather be touted as liberators than baby killers. Yet, here again, we are not thinking about “the troops” properly because we are discussing the troops' actions and these are determined for them. If the war on terror, as it is known, was as unpopular as the Vietnam war, one could expect troops support to dry up pretty quickly. So it seems that those who set the intentions of the troops have the most to gain from troop support. It is not impossible to run an unpopular war, but it's much more difficult. We support the troops only if we believe they are representing our intentions. If we are liberating Normandy, we are heroes. If we are napalming straw huts, we are monsters. The difference seems to be awareness.
So, in our awareness, in our hyper-reality, where the authenticity of our world is determined by our ability to believe in it, answer one more time, “why do we support the troops?” It must be because we support the business of war. That is what the troops do. At least, this must be the case if we are aware of the prior intention of the message. It makes perfect sense to me that this would be the case, yet it isn't. Who, in their right mind, wants war? I guess the only answer could be those who profit from it. Who profits from it? Only those who control it. It's simply ridiculous and appalling that this kind of behaviour never ceases spreading and does so without any real comprehending of the reality of the situation. Germans supported Nazi troops, Russians supported Stalin's troops, the French supported Napoleon's troops, the Greeks supported Alexander's troops, and so on.
It must be that we are programmed to support the troops. The message certainly is being delivered, constantly, day in and day out. Walk down any main street in any town in America, turn on any TV channel, open any newspaper, there will be something that reminds you of the need to be in this, or any other, war. The modern “troop support” paradigm is strong and is a perfect example of a long-term, hyper-manipulative social engineering, in at least the US and Canada. It might seem that the message itself is semi-transparent in commercials asking me to join the Navy to protect Canada's arctic, because “the Navy offers me history, community, excitement and honourable purpose,” but you and I know who's intentions are steering that boat. The fact that they don't just say, “We need sailors!” leads us to find the prior intention darker still. (Transparency...) Then, if we add in the force involved in the “support your troops” paradigm, we can all but consider this intention opaque. The very mechanism of this conceptualization is built upon a misdirection and this misdirection begins being delivered at a very young age. This has been the experience of every American since Vietnam and every Canadian, especially since September 11th, 2001, if not before. Perhaps as young or two or three, we will notice our thought on troop support being developed and this, in spite of having no actual relation to the military. It could be television, or a simple parade for which marching soldiers are awarded my childish admiration, same as a clown or a horse.
Expressions of the troop support intention come in various form. There are some that are blatant, such as a yellow ribbon stuck on your car that simply states, “Support your troops” or “Support our troops.” (Interesting that they distinguish the troops to “yours” or “ours.”) In Canada there is a well funded advertising campaign to join the military. Then there are the very public displays of the engineering as espoused in the media, by politicians and the public alike. To not support the troops is to be politically incorrect. Go to any town in the US or Canada and hold two public events, say in a large city park. One month hold a rally to support the troops and the next month hold a peace rally. See who comes out for each, count the numbers. Take note of how easy it is to secure funding, sponsors and permissions for each. I'm willing to bet there is going to a marked difference. It certainly was this way in my town, but we have our own army base.
at 4:29 PM
Further Down the Philosophy Generator
Required Reading: Everything that came before re: the PG.
Required Reading: Everything that came before re: the PG.
After the social engineering is split into either persuasion or manipulation it falls into the series of four sets of proportional measurements, (the boxes.) Taken together, the boxes are the eudaemonic scale. The first of them is the measurement of transparency vs force. We say versus because they are directly proportional. The transparency works from its high side, on the left, to its low side on the right. The force works in the opposite direction. (Ignore the little 0 and 5 on either side at the bottom, look to the size of the triangle that contains the letter t. It is larger on the left. For f it is larger on the right.)The less t, the more f and vice versa. This explains the right/left movement of the chart.
On the left side, we see an up/down arrow. As we move through these connected boxes, working toward the bottom, any results that fall left of centre are said to be ap, which we remember as assignee's prerogative. (“I have the ability to assign whatever importance to my paradigms.”) Thus, if we wish to have a high degree of ap, the first box tells us transparency trumps force. We might be somewhere in the middle in our determinations and call it “semi-transparent” or have an extreme lack of transparency and call it “opaque.” (Remember “it” is the intention, the S(e) be it Persuasion or Manipulation, or some combination of both, from your point of view.) It is the directionality of paradigm.
On the right side, we see a corresponding up/down arrow with the letters hm, which you may have guessed is for hyper-manipulation. (Programming to prepare for future deciding.) To be hm is to not be ap and vice versa. At the bottom is our old friend u, for eudaemonic or eudaemonia, which we will continue to “dumb down” to “good, right or true.” So then, having assignee's prerogative is preferable to being hyper-manipulated. It is a fundamental question of freedom. On this point, we must agree.
By “transparency”, we mean “the amount that we are aware of the true intention” of the social engineering. (Which is understood to be the prior intention, regardless of what the intention in action is.) There are two considerations when attempting to evaluate the t of any intention: Is there an Intention in Action and does it match the Prior Intention? (Are they saying “something” and does what they say match up with what they are “really asking for?”) A stop sign is a stop sign, a Coke may or may not teach the world to sing, there is no possible way that the Army can help you be all that you can be, unless it kills you.
By “force” we mean “the amount of insistence and repetition.” Such that a stop sign is extremely repetitious, widespread and exemplary, as well as being insistent to the tune of a hundred dollar fine and possible accident. One idea that is much less apparent is the quiet force of constant repetition. Force can require time to take effect as we may be eased into an idea, perhaps over the course of several decades. Force asks, “How adamant is the (e)?
Our next box is the ev\my which contain the terms, “Evaluability” and “Mystery” Evaluability is a term I have stolen from economics. For our purposes it is your awareness of the actual intention and your ability to think well about it. This may sound a little similar to transparency but ev is reliant on the measurement before it. Without knowing something of the transparency and force one would have nothing to evaluate. Each of the boxes is a subset of the one above it. This order is intentional. Evaluability isn't us asking how transparent the social engineer is being, it is us asking ourselves, “with the amount of t\f I've got and with who I am, how well am I able to evaluate the intention?” We are aware, we may or may not be correctly aware. How correctly aware are we? What do we know about this intention in the first place? Do we have experience? Are we an expert? Do we have no idea what we're thinking about? These are the things that raise our level of evaluability.
Evaluability reduces when it becomes taken for granted, moved into the background. So, in the long term, we might stop evaluating a particular paradigm as it becomes exemplary. Or we might have just decided, like our friend Dennis, that we think this way or that way because “everyone else does,” without evaluating the virtue of our choice. (This would most likely still need time.) When ev reduces, the user (that's you, the person using the Philosophy Generator,) becomes less able to think about and less able to understand the intention. This, of course, can lead to the intention being less thought about and less understood, thus increasing mystery. This is fine for things like soft drinks but when we answer important questions like Dennis, without thinking, at all, ever, we have a problem. Mystery represents the unknown. When we don't know about what it is we are dealing with, when we aren't aware there is anything to deal with, we are dealing with a mystery.
At this point in the PG we have evaluated, to the best of our ability, how much we can honestly determine about the intention. The next step is to ask “How do I feel about it?” This is where, as I promised, you get to have “your say.” (All of the PG is “your say.”) I'm not presuming that feeling is not thinking, but rather there is but one inexorable fact in the distinction: there can be thinking without feeling but there can be no feeling without thinking. We are not capable of anything if not for our ability to think. The necessity of feeling seems to be a natural byproduct of the social community. We would be remiss to not include the feelings we have, particularly in the middle of this exercise. This is what makes the Philosophy Generator what it is: It is you, telling yourself who you are. You give it the only power it has. (So be honest.) We have earned the right to feel the feelings we do through our being able to achieve this level of mental functioning. Don't forget, you and I, are not flying off the cuff right now, we are not on the battlefield or yelling at our televisions, we are dismantling thought. Anyone bothering to go to this much trouble making a decision on any particular paradigm deserves to claim that he or she truly did their best. Being well feels good.
The next box is measuring the appeal to logic versus the appeal to emotion. This box asks us to consider the degree to which the intention appeals to either what we react to or what we agree to. Emotions, as we have stated, are to be expected and respected, but we must think of them as something that happens to us. They well up inside us and overtake us, at least sometimes. What we wish to notice from within our Philosophy Generator is what we are reacting to. If you find yourself yelling angrily at a politician on the news, there's a reason. If you find yourself crying at a movie, there's a reason. You are probably not, however, crying because of a stop sign or angry because they have Pepsi instead of Coke. (I did say “probably.”) In terms of the “measurement” of emotion, simply ask, “How strongly do you feel about the (e)?”
The logical side of the equation is a little more complicated as we must consider Simplicity and Consistency. To do this we must do some choosing that is directly related to whether or not we think the intention “makes sense.” The more complex or variable we find the intention the more simplicity is reduced. Thus, even though you might not find a generalized intention, such as “Communism is wrong,” to be particularly emotional to you, it is far too complex and has too many variables to appeal to your logic and must score heavily on the ~u side. A stop sign is going to score very high on the appeal to logic side of the scale, its message is in no way convoluted or random. The Coke commercial would not score as eudaemonic in the al/ae box, unless it featured a finely dressed middle aged man, looking like someone you could trust and he said, “Listen, you all know what Coke is. We'd like you to continue buying it. Next time you feel like having a delicious carbonated beverage, why don't you make it a Coke?” Instead the commercial says “Coke is” this or that. The Coke man couldn't come out and deliver a logical message because there are hundreds of colas out there, it simply wouldn't work. This is why attachments to fun, love, sex, the things we enjoy, are the associations engineers wish to use. This is why some intentions are entirely appeals to emotion.
Notice that the al\ae box is not asking “is the intention logical” nor “is it emotional?” It is, once again, asking you “does this intention appeal to your logic? How much? And your emotion? How much?” There is a consideration of the message itself, such as we know a Coke commercial must attach itself to emotion to be effective, as does the army recruitment ad. However appeals to logic are no less commonplace. There are countless examples of arguments made: perhaps the Mayor of your town thinks you need a new bridge, he's going to make the case for its construction as reasonable as possible. He might try to throw a little emotion in there, say something like, “It will make it easier for commuters to get home to spend more time with their families.” (Especially if “families first” was the phrase of the day.) For the most part, the Mayor's argument is going to be based on facts and figures, however doubt-able they may or may not be. When you are part of a team, say the crew of a naval ship, you are not following orders on the basis of your passions, you follow them because you understand the logic in keeping them followed.
Logic, unlike emotion, is not something that happens to us. Logic does not “well up inside and take over us.” Therefore logic must explain things and reason with us. Where emotion is used to make something more than what it is, logic is used in an attempt to reveal what it is. The problem here, which we have evaluated in the boxes above to the best of our abilities, is the accurate interpretation of the actual intention. Such is it that we consider one politician's lies atrocious and another politician's lies desirable. At this point in the PG we are beginning to point to latent desires within us. By finding a particular argument logical, we express a lesser version of the same intentionality that emotions evoke.
Our final box is our final say. The dc\dr box is simply a conclusion we must come to after all our deliberations. It is the “desire to concur” versus the “desire to resist.” Consider this box a judgement free zone. Although it is true we have come to some conclusions along the way, in the end, everything is up to the individual anyway, so tell the PG what you want, despite any emotion or logic. What do you desire to do with the particular socially engineered paradigm we are considering? You can have any reasons for the desire, we don't even care to know what they are. They needn't even correspond with any of the above boxes. If you desire to believe that the moon is made of green cheese, you go right ahead! As I've said, you're entitled to believe whatever nonsense you like. The only stipulation I have for this final box, is that you remember you are desiring to concur with or resist the intention as you originally reduced it. We must not, for instance, be asking ourselves if we agree with the intention of “support the troops but not the war” if we have previously determined this to be impossible. Don't forget, the intention is in the form of a command: “Do this,” or “think this.” So the desire to concur or resist is not about the idea of the intention, but speaks to what the intention asks of us.
Now, if we ask ourselves, at this point, “Why do I desire to concur or resist any particular paradigm?” we are likely to find only a circular answer. “It is my desire to desire so.” As I stated in the “rules” this is allowed. However, I think we can do better by understanding an as of yet un-discussed aspect of eudaemonia, that which makes the intention promotive. This is not “promotion” which is obviously built into the fact that you are aware of the intention at all. The idea is promoted by the Engineers. An idea is promotive when it works for you. We will discuss this idea in detail next chapter, for now, understand that we desire to concur with any particular intention when we are able to appreciate “what is in it for us.”
Finally, at the very bottom of our now complete Philosophy Generator, we have u at the 0 side and ~u at the 5 side. Now, I never actually intended for there to be any method of quantifying the amount of u in any paradigm. When I first began thinking about this it was purely to be a methodology for the sake of method. What I originally was seeking was an understanding of how I was who I was. Perhaps how we all, become what we are. What made up, especially, the things that I found myself believing for no apparent reason. What was that reason? What if I am unable to determine if I'm right or wrong to think a certain way about certain ideas? I feel now that the PG is a solid path to answering these questions. (We will practise soon enough.) The point is, I think it's silly to want to measure your own ideas about your programming, in any mathematical way. The habit of living contemplatively is it's own reward. However, it is possible to “score” your paradigms on an eudaemonic scale, which is what the PG boxes represent. I also expect that some of you will want to do so. This typification is something we seem to require, perhaps for distinction. At any rate, I won't belittle anyone for saying “My troop support paradigm gets a 6 on the eudaemonic scale.” (Although, I probably wouldn't want to talk to you about war, unless I was seeking a debate.) One possible application of having such a distinction would be that, if used honestly, it could be a shortcut to understanding certain aspects of a person's morality. Simply make a note of where you scored each box on the scale from 0 to 5. The lower the score, the better the thinking on any particular paradigm, therefore, the better your ability to choose rightly. (Assignee's prerogative.) The higher your score, the lesser your ability to think well on any paradigm, which interferes with your ability to choose rightly. (Hyper-manipulation.)
at 4:14 PM