Coming soon is Brian's new book, philosophy, website, movement and society.
Essays may continue to arrive here at hypermanipulation, but may not be as quick or plentiful as I am directing all my energies to the new work.
Please visit our new site at https://www.exint.org
Here is an introductory essay about the philosophy, book and website.
Are we living in a time of great change?
We seem to be. In 2020, we can look to the streets of any major city, we can see the desire for change is real. We're making it real by lifting our voices to an undeniable volume and taking action that can't be ignored. We revolt currently for much the same reasons as we have historically, the powers that be exert control by ways and means we find abusive or offensive.
The Authors of any Social Contract have traditionally come from religion, government, academia: Kings and philosophers, Priests and Lords. (All men, until recently...) It used to be easier to rule a society, but from the printing press to the cell phone, technology has made information available to the public and given them a voice. Today, almost anyone can project their own ideas into the contract.
When communications reach the speeds of electricity and the spread of broadcast media, we have achieved what becomes known as Hyperreality, named by Philosopher Jean Baudrillard. (And the subject matter of the Matrix movies.) Hyperreality is the non-real, image of reality that we take part in via technologies that project sensory input. Technically, the printed word is hyperreal, however the less we leave the interpretation of the information up to the imagination of the citizen, the more “hyper” the reality. So, Radio is more effective than print, using more senses, then TV is more powerful than Radio, using more senses, then the internet creates the ability for the public to not only receive, but to project, becoming themselves Authors of the Social Contract.
The Social Contract defines what it means to take part in society. It is only written in parts, such that your country has laws, perhaps a constitution. But in the social contract is also all the unwritten definitions of what it means to be a member of society. For instance, most societies use money, most educate their young in schools, most nations have an army that is respected by its citizens. Even simpler concepts are part of the contract, most of us use stop signs, most of us wear clothes. The Social Contract is dynamic and changes as the citizenry accepts and refuses changes to its definition. Where once, the Contract was handed down from authorities on high, now anyone can project ideas into the Contract, for better or for worse.
The “what is being projected” into hyperreality is not always social contract, but it almost always is. For instance, maybe in the 1960s my parents had a black and white TV and watched Leave it to Beaver, without realizing that the ideal of 1950s life that was projected in the series was a thoughtful presentation of an ideal. Philosopher Guy Debord referred to that ideal as “the Spectacle” in his book and film Society of the Spectacle. Debord claims that the Society of the Spectacle was any society, like America, that defined its social contract by or within projections into hyperreality. Sometimes that projection was pure social engineering “Join the Army!” sometimes it was more benign, “This pair of jeans will make you sexy.” But what if instead of being convinced to buy a particular pair of jeans you were being asked to deny science, or encourage racism, or compete for limited resources?
Guy Debord believed that the natural conclusion of the spectacle in hyperreality would become one of pure image. Then Jean Baudrillard, who lived until 2007 and got to see the internet become the next domain of hyperreality, believed that this transfer to pure image had already happened; The fake was realer than real, standing in for the real, accepted as real. He used American soldiers playing video games that actually kill humans as his example. Maybe he was correct, but neither men could know that we, via the ever-quickening pace of technological advancement and the willingness to embrace it, would become the Amalgam Intellect.
The Amalgam Intellect is created by way of hundreds of millions of humans being connected via technology. We have a cell phone in nearly every pocket, millions of us are online, many of us have a willingness to be virtuous in our actions and the opportunity to share every secret, expose every lie and correct every injustice, together, simultaneously, in high-definition, surround sound, merely by pointing our cameras and pressing record. This ability and the realization of it, that shift, that change, that feeling in your gut and in your heart, is a developing awareness of your personal responsibility to the true democratization of society, your role as co-author of the spectacle. Perhaps you didn't realize that the Amalgam Intellect is a real phenomenon, or that you have a part in it, or that the Social Contract is even definable, but it is and you do. (Congratulations and I'm sorry.) Helping you define that role is the goal of Existential Intentionality.
Using the Amalgam Intellect to rewrite the Social Contract is already happening, it will continue with or without our awareness and organization. For the most part we are currently mirroring and amplifying the Social Contract as it is. Existential Intentionality in Society wishes to create a movement that makes public its desire to change the social contract. Not much has changed in the last few hundred years. There are still Kings and slaves, rich and poor. There are still problems that could be solved and aren't, simply because there is no profit to be had by enacting the solution. Hyperreality has not cured or compounded the problems we face, but it has put a giant spotlight on them and broadcast them into every psyche. We are just now becoming aware of this fact.
There are really only two concerns in modern life, you and then everything else. This is the foundation upon which all social contracts are built: What is the relationship between yourself and everything else? Some matters are of more importance than others, obviously. You car loan differs from your sexuality, your wedding vows differ from your tax bracket. What if all your choices were made from a place of ignorance, or misunderstanding? What if you were hypermanipulated?
This is where I begin expressing myself in hyperreality. Since 2001 I have published a lot of philosophical social criticism, in different formats, trying to make a spectacle of myself. In 2010 I published Anti-Social Engineering the Hyper-Manipulated Self , which is about the history and use of hypermanipulation and the affect of the Authentic Self. I like every philosopher before can only project my thoughts into the future from my own time and place. However, today, because of the Amalgam Intellect, I am no longer alone filing this report and perhaps together we can be part of the change we want in the world.
Where my first book is an extremely in-depth study of the Authentic Self, hypermanipulation and their histories, my latest book Existential Intentionality: A Timeline Intervention of the Social Contract is very brief. This new book is instructional, specifically reductionist; A field guide to the Spectacle of Hyperreality and an instruction manual to the Amalgam Intellect.
A timeline intervention is the examination of an individual's personal development in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Everyone goes through similar problems as they grow up and then older. Societies age and change, develop or not, just like people. A group, just like an individual, won't change until it decides it needs to and I think, maybe in 2020, we're deciding we need to change. I would like to have a conversation about the things that should change. That's why Existential Intentionality isn't only a simple introductory book, nor our website exint.org where membership is free, it's an idea, a philosophy, a movement. It isn't going to be solved with one answer, but it might be solved with one suggestion:
Grow away from taking part in any intentionality of fear, competition, distinction, persecution. Work toward the substantiation of an intentionality of love, caring, cooperation and solidarity. When each of us changes this intentionality within ourselves and then begins projecting it into hyperreality, Society too will change.
When we examine our systems of society with the same eyes we use to examine ourselves, society comes up wanting. Society is immature, counterproductive, counter-intuitive, unnatural, unsettling, dangerous. We are at a pivotal moment in our development, all together. The true democratization of society, perhaps the species, can be achieved via the Amalgam Intellect. Existential Intentionality in Society can develop a paradigm different from the social contract to which we currently subscribe. A timeline intervention of the social contract is due, probably overdue.
Existential Intentionality in Society creates in the bearers a place of love from which you can transfer the fear the world sends your way. By way of improving your ability to develop yourself and taking part in the Amalgam Intellect, you can take part in the substantiation of the first truly democratic social contract. Membership is free. All members receive a free copy of Existential Intentionality in Society: A Timeline Intervention of the Social Contract. Goto www.exint.org and put your email in our subscription box.
See you in the Spectacle!