Showing posts with label SSG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SSG. Show all posts

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Social Support Groups

Human society is ultimately organized into tribes once local and generally related.  Disruptions such as war, famine, predatory tribes, and recently industrialization have dispersed tribes but religion and ethnicity have maintained tribes as a primary source of social support and traditional values.  A more recent disruption has been the availability of of higher education and the teaching of rational thinking to a broad range of people both economically and religiously.  The religions are trying to keep their teachings in their higher education institutions, but staying competitive means teaching STEM and philosphical reasoning which are inimicable to blind belief and ethnic solidarity.  Therefore tribes are stratifying more on educational attainments and less on traditional values.  These stratifications create new tribal groups for which the concept of Social Support Group or SSG is more general and descriptive as it may include traditional tribal values as well as educational stratification.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Success and SSGs

Which College doesn't matter.
Success depends on what not where you study.
The whole point of the university is not future success, but to find and form a group of like minded people that will be your social support group after you leave. The advantage of the elite schools is that they select for a highly intelligent, high achieving, diverse student body which increases your chances of finding a partner, and forming that critical ERSSG.  It is possible to find an ERSSG if you are so inclined at many universities, ERSSGs are small even at the elite schools, it is just easier if everybody is a potential candidate and the ER is a given for any SSG formed.     

It is important to choose a school with the type of people you will want to hang with. Wonky, geeky, nerdy, waspy, athletic, or whatever fits your social needs. If you fit their profile the chances are reasonably good that you will get in. If yo' daddy's rich and yo' ma is good lookin', a wonky school and political success is in your future.  If you wasted your childhood in a basement lab or science fairs, there are many tech schools to choose from. 

If you have the personality dysfunction necessary for the "success" as measured in the referenced articles, it doesn't much matter where you go to get the business skills you need. A willingness to exploit your employees, burn the world, or buy government subsidies is all it takes for financial "success."

If one already has a partner and SSG as many do when they finish their K-12 education, which college, if any, is necessary to acquire the necessary skills for success as defined by the SSG will be unimportant.  What you learn not where is all that is necessary.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Moral Conflicts.

There are always two communities involved in any moral decision.  One is the "face group community:" my tribe, my church, my village, my SSGThe other is the larger society one may consider oneself to be a part of: my city, my state, my religion, my nation, my fellow humans. 
I find it is almost impossible to violate face group moral standards.  If my church says God Hates Fags, I will drive to military funerals and try to protest with my handmade sign.  If my village says dark skinned people in hoodies are unwelcome it is moral to shoot them. 

It is when face group morality conflicts with the larger society that moral decisions may take us away from personal survival or community survival.   In both of the cases cited above the larger community may take issue with the local morality and prosecute the shooter, or prevent the protest.  Even to the extent of destroying the face group community or forcing the face group to adopt the morality of the larger society. 

The major moral issues that can shread a community occur when the larger community, the religion, or the nation, tries to impose its moral standards on other religions, or nations. Usually it takes a God to create "the other" that is not considered "one of us" and therefore undeserving of moral consideration, but there have been exceptions.  These lead to the ultimate moral violation where both individual and community welfare are violated: war between the larger societies.  Face group morality is irrelevant. Choose to go to war or the Gulag. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Moral Development at Different Levels of Society

It is important to understand that moral behavior is not necessarily "good" behavior.  Morality is simply the selection of behavior that agrees with the infant's genetic sense of good and bad.  

If a very young child is abandoned and survives, moral actions are those that promote survival.  Society may judge those actions to be dysfunctional and control them but that has nothing to do with moral development.  See Bloom et. al. 

A child brought up by members or a member of an identifiable social group will associate behavior that promotes the welfare of the group with "good" and that which is contrary to the welfare of the group as bad.  The morality so developed may or may not be judged moral by a larger society, but ultimately it seems that compliance with face-group standards is the natural morality of humans.  

Moving up the chain to associations of face groups, either religious or secular, commandments, laws and rules of behavior are established to define minimum standards of behavior that promote the welfare of the larger group.  These commandments, laws and rules are not to be confused with morality, as frequently these commandments, laws and rules will conflict with the genetic sense of what is good and what is bad as it relates to the face group.  The face group at that point may withdraw to the extent possible from the larger group.  See the Amish and other Anabaptist groups who live by their own moral standards ignoring the laws of the larger society except where there is unavoidable conflict. Or they may be forced to withdraw from the larger group as the Native Americans were.  Again, nothing to do with the morality of the larger society, simply rules to make the larger society work. One could make a strong case that the laws of society are by definition immoral as they force compliance with activities that may be against the morals of individuals within the larger society.

Once one gets to the Nation or Religious entity morality is simply treason or heresy. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Geometry and Truth


Abstractions don't work in reality. Hence neither do Euclidean plane figures, Euclidean solid figures, pi, or numbers. They're all mental constructs with no real counterpart.

True.  Nonetheless they work just fine to navigate and calculate your way around in local two/three dimensional space. The transept in 3 dimensions is 90o to the 2 dimensional plane reality.  (Even though it really isn't.  Your 100 story building will stand just fine using that mental concept.) 

In the same way truth, beauty, love, empathy and even God work just fine in the real social space of tribal humans.  Until global social space must be considered. There other concepts of human living come into play. 

Jesus came close to how to live in the global space with "Love thy neighbor" [with all thy heart, and mind] no matter which tribe or culture hesh is a part of.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SSG Heirarchy

There is no real hierarchy.  At whatever level the threat is presented the moral human will react to minimize or eliminate the threat.   Ideally the God/secular leader will never threaten the community, but the history of both religious and secular nations is local revolution against the oppressive/corrupt leadership.  The Lutherans against the Church, the Americans against the King, etc.  Occasionally, actually frequently these days the face group will withdraw from the denomination or city to create a de-facto separate community with a different moral paradigm.  Gated communities on one side of the aisle and rainbow congregations on the other.  In most cases the larger moral entity will ignore the smaller, but revolutions are made of active repression of different moral paradigms.

The Fundamental SSG


The facegroup, the tribe, parish, village appears to be the fundamental social unit.  Perhaps because the indoctrination of the conscience is strongly influenced by this group.  Also this is the group where reciprocity and trust is up close and personal.  Mrs. Grundy is always watching and gossiping, so no facegroup activity is unnoticed.

And yet, morally, people will go against this fundamental social unit at times.  Therefore, morality is something outside of these social units.

I have yet to hear of a serious breach of facegroup morality that was not met with disfellowshipping, shunning, expulsion, incarceration,  or worse.  Think about gays in most communities especially religious ones or dark skinned people in hoodies in a gated community.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Two Degrees of ERSSG.

In Jonathan's Salon the other night we were discussing the apparent fact that in the ERSSG in New York, SF Bay Area, Austin and LA there always seems to be a link no more than one person removed from everyone else.  The link may be mostly electronic, in the sense of someone on whose blog or facebook thread one feels free to post, and expects a reasonable comment.  But the how do you know? question has at most two links between. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

University Communities

SSGS - beliefnet

As an atheist I of course think the university communities are a viable alternative to the religious SSGs. The fact that membership in a university is elected and the values are adopted as adult choices (with some infantile exceptions) is a powerful unifying force to replace God.

A university community is much more than the students, and the student's involvement does not end with graduation. Like runs with like, and even before Facebook, social groups were generally formed based on educational achievement, not necessarily a particular university. As an example in the SF Bay Area graduates of the three major universities, one religious, one private and one public tend to gravitate to the same events and form networks around them.

Some professors and other professional university staff may view their position as a job independent of the community with values derived elsewhere, but in my experience these are the exception rather than the rule. The non-professional staff tends to choose the university in part because of the campus values, and comply with them. The campus cops and bus drivers seem to have a different attitude from their off campus compatriots.

Even campus churches seem to have a different set of social values although God may still have an important role.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Evolution in a Knowledge Based Society

Is Religious Misogyny Viable in a Modern economy - Beliefnet

Darwin is no more relevant to modern evolutionary theory than the Bible is to modern morality.

Evolutionary theory suggests that whatever sexual dimorphism in behavior and breeding functions that works for the species studied in the ecological niche they find themselves in will result in an evolutionary advantage. However when the niche changes a species than cannot adapt may well become extinct.

In a survival desert marauding niche, with high infant mortality and high male mortality in war a female human as a brood mare, socializer of children and society made evolutionary sense.

In a modern society with sophisticated medicine and technology the evolutionary pressure seems to be for maximizing intellectual innovation, and eliminating half of the population from that activity seems like an evolutionary dead end. Out breeding resources is another evolutionary dead end. We are seeing in countries like China and India and some parts of the USA that women are critical participants in the economy, and fit in the 2.1 replacement children as time permits. Or not at all in many cases.

Nobody is trying to turn them into men. They still are the producers of the next generation, but if men want to participate genetically in the next generation, the rules have changed considerably. It is no longer useful to fuck anything with a vagina, she probably is infertile until she finds someone that will be a good parenting partner. Which these days means recognizing her intellectual contributions to the society and the economy.

One of the reasons misogynistic religions are so down on homosexuality is that the good parenting partner may well be female, and the requirements for getting sperm into that mix can be interesting to say the least. It happens, frequently naturally, but never by accident.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

ChooseYour Parents Well

The origin of self in relation to truth - Beliefnet

Why it is so important to pick your culture very carefully: A child will be necessarily be imprinted with the memes of his parents and their Social Support Group. It is called socialization and is critical if the child is to survive to puberty. This is in fact nature's plan. It in critical for a human to be a part of a tribe. A lone human is a dead human in the natural world. Nature has provided an escape hatch in the adolescent rebellion phase of any normally intelligent child. And if the child is exposed to other tribes as many modern children are in school, the rebellious child may find a better (or worse) tribe to associate with.

Obviously as a child this is a pipe dream, but as an adult anticipating reproducing the SSG that you will provide for you child will determine whether the child is warped into some form of aberration or becomes a useful, productive contributor to the larger society.

Religions can be acceptable SSGs but again it is important to choose, if you can, a religion that is aware of and trying to be a part of the larger society. Many are not, and treat the larger society as hostile and dangerous, even to the point of home schooling or religious schooling to keep the child warped into the aberrant group.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Internet as SSG.

Rationally Speaking: Massimo’s Picks:

Nice article on the internet, thanks. The revolution that is being missed is the fact that until the net social groups were chosen for individuals. You belonged to a family, a church, a university, a company, a political party, a country etc. With the net your social group is whoever you want it to be. Many of the most important people in my social group I have never met and probably never will. Yet they shape my thinking and I shape theirs. In particular the ERSSG seems to be heavily dependent on the internet for its cohesion and ethos. The articles people link on facebook, the blogs they cite and write are all critical to the functioning of the ERSSG.

The group seems to expand on the net as well. Two middle aged high school buddies hooked up on facebook. No surprise there. The comments of a "friend" of one of them appealed to the other and that person requested friend status for the second degree friend. The second degree friend suggested to others that the person was a good addition to the local ERSSG.

As we are seeing around the world, a social group determined to change their world with the net has no problem doing so simply by creating a group dedicated to doing so and gathering enough like minded people into it to make it happen. I see the momentum building on the net for supporting the unions in Wisconsin. Hmm. If they can do it to Mubarak and Qaddafi how will Walker hold up?

Addendum: Listening to Finlandia on the KDFC stream, the thought occurred to me that perhaps music performed much the social grouping function as the net does now. As everyone can type, everyone can sing. The Marseilles, maybe Yankee Doodle, and a few others that provided the unifying identifier for the revolutionaries.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Social Elites

Nails in the Religious Coffin: Sex, Drugs, and Contraception - Beliefnet

We are the world's sweet chosen few.
The rest of you be damned.
There's room enough in Hell for you.
We won't have heaven crammed.

If you don't teach your children that little ditty, or at least smile when they recite it. You had better find a new Social Support Group (SSG). It is necessary for the socialization of children that they think their group is the elite group in society. When they reach the teen rebellion years a few might question that concept. They may have friends whose elite seems more attractive or better than theirs and try to change their 'colors.' Or an attractive potential mate may make changing 'colors' a part of the deal. I use 'colors' as a designator for any elite, religious or secular. It seems to be a human trait to choose colors in clothing to identify the elite group to which they belong. In fact this may be main purpose of clothing. Certainly bundling up in cold climates is necessary, but even in tropical areas a sarong or breechclout is socially necessary.

This is how societies evolve, or in the memorable words of Niven-Pournelle "Think of it as Evolution In Action."

As an additional point of fact, should my SSG decide that it was superior in an objective sense to any other SSG - to the point of endorsing the sentiments of that song - it's personal utility to me would decrease dramatically.

Noted and agreed. But to use the personal utility sense of superior for you and those in the SSG would you not agree that is superior to other SSGs so that at least an ironic use of the ditty might be possible. (As intended in the original, irony in print is very problematical, I probably should not attempt it but it is just too useful.)

My Educated, Rational SSG is certainly not objectively superior to the uneducated faith SSGs that do not see the irony in the ditty. Nor is it objectively superior to many other SSGs in the community. In fact in many ways it is objectively inferior to, for example, the investment banker SSG. They make a whole lot more money than we do. And one cannot consider raping the poor and middle class to be objectively bad. Nonetheless, I will do my best to indoctrinate those that are important to me into the mores of the ERSSG so that perhaps in the evolutionary sorting out of SSGs it will survive.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Self Realization and Religion

Your Zodiac sign - Beliefnet

The essence of religion is the belief that life cannot be managed by oneself. Indoctrination begins at birth and continues to puberty and beyond if possible. At puberty a few find this indoctrination onerous and search out other paradigms.

For women especially the indoctrination that life consists of the missionary position under the husband is easily rejected, but the self management of ones life is harder, as there are fewer opportunities for most women. The insignificant self worth for women taught by most religions makes pleasing men via beauty contests, provocative dress, cosmetics, etc. one outlet. Astrology provides a gender neutral way to get guidance in life management while breaking free from that little vuvuzela in the fancy dress in the over decorated balcony. I see astrology as training wheels for self-management of ones life as the choices still need to be made from the options provided. I also find the predominance of women in Wicca is another way to break the stranglehold of misogynistic religion for women without giving up the direction from other.

In atheistic communities this is less of a problem as young women as well as young men are expected to learn self-realization early in life through participation in sports, the arts, and science fairs. Sometimes the young men long for religion as the young women excel in all areas as they mature earlier than the young men.

In atheistic communities the choice for women is not the 'Turning Point' of career vs marriage, but which career to choose among several options. I know of several young women who are combining science at Eg. Harvard with music at N E Conservatory. or Music and Physics at Cal or U of Miich. (My world is music pardon the bias.) Somehow the missionary position isn't anywhere in the immediate future.

This is not to say that reproduction is out of the picture, in fact a dual career in the arts and academia/business research is seen as an ideal basis for family support. For both men and women I might add. Many atheist men view parenting as a critical part of building a legacy that they would be willing to die for. No need for pie in the sky, the echo of the meaning and purpose that has been taught from ones children and their friends and seeing them take it and grow with it makes the end of life a welcome coda. I need no heaven after I die. It is right here. Now.