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Reality is malleable
It is dependent on where we are, have been, and how that ripples
Social processes are the ways in which our thoughts, feelings, and actions are influenced by the people around us, the groups to which we belong, our personal relationships, the teachings of our parents and culture, and the pressures we experience from others. social processes the ways in which input from the people and groups around us affect our thoughts, feelings, and actions Cognitive processes, on the other hand, are the ways in which our memories, perceptions, thoughts, emotions, and motives guide our understanding of the world and our actions. Note that emotion and motivation are intrinsic parts of every cognitive process, just as are memory and thought. Modern social psychology rejects the misleading opposition—dating back to ancient Greek philosophers—between pure, “rational” thought and irrational emotions. Cognitive processes affect every aspect of our lives, because the content of our thoughts, the goals toward which we strive, and the feelings we have about people and activities—all the ways we act and react in the social world—are based on what we believe the world is like.
I have a theory that most of my fellow humans are just coasting through life, oblivious to the inner machinations of the machine that is controlling most of the species. The machine is not monolithic. It is not efficient. It wastes a great deal of material, and that material is us.
Welcome to social and cultural psychology. These are distinct, but related facets of our collective attempts to understand how we function as societies and cultures. Also, the myriad ways that we dysfunction, collectively. I believe the world and the universe can be qualitatively and quantitatively understood. I do not believe supernatural explanations to questions about why we are here and what our purpose is help the species (or the individual) evolve in a positive, healthy way. I certainly spend a lot of my existence thinking about why we are wired to believe in magic.
I’ve concluded that it isn’t gods that made things that way. Rather, we have all been born into a scary place. The ball of rock we live on is insignificant, unless like me, you are dependent on that sphere for your continued existence. Scary stuff, and the reason we have invented stories that help us all be less scared.
Helpful to some, problematic to others. I am. One of the problematics. I hope you will join me. I hope you will refuse to hate. Refuse to resent others. Refuse to act unless you have data-driven, evidence-based reasons to do so.
The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life comes when dreams are surrendered to reality.
James A. Michener
While both social and cultural psychology explore the influence of societal factors on human behavior, their focus varies. Social psychology emphasizes how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of others, highlighting the role of interpersonal relationships, social influences, and group dynamics. On the other hand, cultural psychology delves deeper into how culture shapes and defines these thoughts, feelings, and behaviours, providing a broader understanding of the impact of tradition, social norms, and cultural context.
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It's important to note that these two branches are not mutually exclusive. Instead, they intersect and complement each other in numerous ways. Both fields recognize the impact of external influences on human behaviour, creating a dynamic and multi-layered understanding of the human psyche. While social psychology may provide insights into immediate social interactions, cultural psychology extends this understanding to include the long-lasting impact of cultural conditioning and practices. Together, they offer a comprehensive perspective on human behavior, bridging the gap between the individual mind and its societal context.
The Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - demonstrate a remarkable ability to influence and shape society, largely due to the profound imagination inherent in their teachings and scriptures. The imaginative constructs of these religions, such as metaphysical entities, divine interventions, and intricate narratives of afterlife, have provided a framework for understanding the world and our place within it. These religions have employed imagination in a way that transcends the physical realities of life, bridging the gap between the tangible world and the spiritual realm. This imaginative leap not only provides a sense of purpose and meaning to followers but also fosters a communal identity, fortifying societal bonds. Furthermore, the imaginative constructs of heaven, hell, divine justice, and eternal life serve as potent motivators for moral conduct, shaping the behavior of individuals within these religious communities. Thus, the profound imagination that went into the formation of Abrahamic religions continues to wield a substantial influence on personal and societal levels. The effects of these three bodies of dogma have both positive and negative consequences for cultures and social systems around the world.
So, the question, from my perspective is: how do we leverage the good in these bodies of dogma, and how do we minimize the bad. Americans, in my experience are fixated on the idea of freedom. What does that mean, exactly?
Religious freedom protects everyone’s right to believe, or not believe, as long as they don’t harm others.
Religious freedom is for everyone. It protects the most devout believer to the most committed atheist and everybody in between. It’s a fundamental human right that our government should not violate or misuse to discriminate or exclude.
This definition does not mean we have to tolerate extremes. The man preaching nonsense through a megaphone in the town square should probably be apprehended and screened for mental health issues. That’s because forcing his views on others is unacceptable. If there are humans out there who are pretending to have gender dysmorphia sneaking into women’s bathrooms to get their voyeuristic kinks met, that should be dealt with too.
No one magical is coming to save us. It is us, working together, or we burn out and fade into oblivion. If you don’t feel anything watching Rebecca Goes Shopping, maybe you are stuck in the cycle of lies the rich perpetuate.
Are you sick of the sound of sirens yet? Rich people are too. For very different reasons than Rebecca.
I was born into a time and place not of my choosing. So was Rebecca. We are both human. Yet I am here, cogent of what I can add to the conversation. Rebecca, on the other hand, is fighting human-promulgated demons that I have long-ago defeated. I won’t look away from the reasons why I was able to fight through.
I will not look away from the systems we have spawned, and whether they value everyone, or only an elite few. It is time to scream and fight. Demanding basic human equity. Rejecting kings, queens, royalty, and all elitism. We should all have a place at the table. Anyone who disagrees should be held to account.
Reality is completely different for the billionaire class then it is for most of the humans who live and breathe. I won’t tolerate that. Nor should you.
The root cause of this disparity: our species tolerates legal systems that codify obscene resource hoarding. It is time we fight and perish for an end to the oligarchs and the CEOs. Whatever that takes.
I am ready. Are you?
Miracles are also lies. I believe that magic cannot save us. We must save ourselves by throwing away the elitism we have tolerated for generations. Human equity and basic social safety networks cannot become a reality otherwise.
Smash the patriarchy. Defeat the elites who are not willing to contribute to the common good. Demand a seat at the bargaining table. Be resolute, and band together. #solidarity is something to be willing to fight for and about.
Rock the boat. Rock the vote. Fight for what’s best for all of us. Or we all drown together, including those infected with egoistic hubris.
Smith, Eliot R.; Mackie, Diane M.; Claypool, Heather M.. Social Psychology (p. 4). Taylor and Francis.