In my previous post I addressed a dilemma: The concept of a nation state no longer has the same ideological appeal and the family is rapidly decaying. Now what?
There’s lots of people who bemoan the present situation and advocate a return to ‘traditional values.’ It is silly, however, to think that it is possible to go back. Every society is a product of the conditions of its times. The conditions that influence societies have changed.
What does not occur to most people: that these seemingly dark times will give rise to something better than we had before.
In short people need belonging and meaning. If the state and family can no longer reliably fulfill these needs, people will do whatever is necessary to find another way.
In an age of mass communication, people will inevitably find ways to group together by every conceivable interest and similarity. In any given group of people, there will be those who are the most compatible relative to all others. For all of human history, we’ve only been able to choose from a handful of people we could meet face to face. Now, we can find those persons who most correlate with us and join with them.
Over time, we have an entirely new social unit, a sort of tribe of ‘best possible persons.’ Throughout human history, the social units of family, clan, tribe, nation have all been based on accident of birth. Our new society will see the emergence of social units based on shared interests, shared values and objectives, as well as ideal chemistry in interpersonal interactions. Since groups function as more than the sum of their parts these highly cohesive groups would be quite powerful. As such they would have the potential to replace existing structures.
People need not form such association deliberately, nor is extraordinary to believe that such a thing will happen. In our face to face lives, we readily notice that professions and bars both attract very specific kinds of persons. When people are forced to reach out through mass communication to find gathering places, the exact same phenomenon will manifest, naturally on a massive scale. Because it will be on a massive scale, people will have much higher odds of finding those with whom they have extremely close correlation of interests and values.
For example: Let’s think of a biker bar. They all like Harleys. Now lets assume there’s a million bikers. The larger quantity of bikers triggers increasingly greater subtelty in distinguishing characteristics. Soon we have a bar for bikers who like Harleys and whose favorite movie is ‘Love, Actually’ and then another bar opens for bikers who love Harley Davidson, ‘Love, Actually’ , and Barney the Purple dinosaur… And so on.
If we envision a venn diagram of all our traits, values, and preferences then we would suppose that the larger the sample size, the larger the probability of people falling in the central region where all characteristics overlap. Mass communication allows a very large sample size. At this point it has not yet become easy for anyone to find the ‘best possible people’ amidst this chaotic crowd. However, even now on the net, one can go through a lengthy process of moving up through progressively more specific biker bars until one finally finds themselves in the company of the best possible people.