I’ve been toying with the idea of mastering this social stuff. But I don’t want to be an Ellsworth Toohey (Fountainhead):
The adult Toohey – who “never sees men, only forces” (Book II, Ch. 6) – is a master schemer and manipulator who, like a chess master, can devise a gambit and predict many moves in advance.
I think Toohey had a particular kind of genius, which is okay. The problem was what he placed it in the service of. He exploited his understanding of social dynamics to help create a fascist society, an association of people held together and controlled by fear and brute force. Toohey’s problem, as I see it, is twofold. First of all, of course, he wanted power over others and associated with people who wanted power over others. Secondly, he manipulated culture by championing ideas and art that degraded Value and Sense of Life in an effort towards weakening people’s defenses against the onslaught of lies and power plays.
Where I’m going with all this is the original idea of leadership isn’t a bad one. Leadership is, essentially, institutionalized inroads into manipulation of the social and material fabric of mankind for the good of it (of course one person’s good is another’s evil). Complex organisms crave hierarchical embeddedness. However, the complexity of survival necessitates specialization. This is why we have leaders and governments. These are historically couched solutions to the problems of hierarchical embeddedness. They aren’t just ossified abstractions of justice and law, but also practical defenses against the nature of man. In any case, my point is I would use my social wizardry to organize awareness with a solution-oriented bent, towards problems. Perhaps even in a useful order. And by that I mean, we must start with ourselves. Think global, act local. In my view, we need to start real local, like inside ourselves local.
I think it is important to talk about this distinction between the uses of social wizardry, due to historical use and misuse. Because, to master is to do. Create stratifications of identity, like those triple junction photovoltaic cells referred to in (Sun’s Power) to measure and even harness, first, different aspects of oneself, then, different sides of other beings.
These are the sorts of stratifications of self that I would consider:
- Journalish (Autobiographical)
- Psychlotron (Philosopherstone)
- Bootstrapps (Tutorials building: tutorial creation tool Bootstrapps, Projenda, Lapis Documens, Western Wizards, Psychlotron, etc.)
- Metablogging (Typical blogging about blogging, a nourishment for Psychlotron’s incremental improvements, also social phenomenon analysis)
- Thoughtstreams (interblog conversations)
- Western Wizards (A game blending the concepts of character sheets, Quantified Self, leveling up, universities, opensourcing education & certification, self improvement, projenda core)
- Bhooks (Narrative type stuff, short stories, book(s?), ideas for either)
Aside from my concerns over whether it really fits me to become a social wizard (is there any other kind? I’m starting to wonder), I also worry about the amount of time it would require. This is that wary-of-change aspect of myself that I mentioned in Deskipping Steps, “why now” rearing its head. And it has served me well in the past, preventing frivolous waste. But it has also held me back, discouraging light-hearted experiences with things that are as important to my development as anything.
What would I do with this social network? It’s as well to ask what it would do with me. I’d like to build it a tool. Something almost like a programming language over the social fabric. As dangerous as it would be beneficial. IOW, an interface into the conversation of mankind. IOW, an interface into the collective mind created by human information processing.
I think humanity primarily suffers from being poorly organized. There are a lot of good people all over the world. The average person is good, often enough, ignoring a few prejudices. But information is hard to come by for a lot of people. That is both changing and it is not changing. The problem for first worlders isn’t information, it’s descrimination–between what’s prejudiced and what’s not. Who’s qualified to make these decisions? Look, what I’m saying is that people all around the world are starving, stuck in wars between monsters they don’t know, or whatever. This is a poor organization for a species with our powers. So obviously we don’t really prioritize fixing these things. That to me says we are poorly organized. Because certainly we have the capability to create real will to solve these problems. We also have both the technology and the ability to develop the technology to solve these problems. So I reiterate, we are poorly organized.
We ought to self-organize.