The Transformational Relationship between Simulated-Proximity & Material-Distality
The simulation of human conflict on social media is contributing to the further erosion and fragmentation of cohesive culture and sustainable civilization. This simulation is not the human conflict, in the traditional sense, which has developed over thousands of years around physical proximity, or distality, and material aggression.
Human conflict in the past has been based on the fundamental tribal fault lines found in varying levels throughout culture and individual lineages. The survivability of the human individual was a structural part of the material success of such tribal and lineage systems. The more distality which existed between large groups ensured a reduced material threat and increased survivability.
The reverse was also true. The more proximity which existed between small groups ensured a reduced material threat and increased survivability.
As long as the right balance between proximity and distality could be maintained the recurrence interval of conflict between groups could be minimized. Conflict between individuals within a group could be managed by the application of laws and tribal rules. The human systems of governance and socioeconomics developed along this path of cultural-evolution.
A broader application of laws and regulations developed between large groups to address issues such as territorial encroachment and a tightening distality. This macro-micro dance between large and small demographics and semi-mass/mass populations has been the core characteristic of the governance frameworks which have developed.
Historical references to war and human conflict show that peaks take place during periods of reduced and/or imbalanced proximity and decreased distality. Conflict low points take place during periods of increased and/or balanced proximity and functional distality. Regions which had become overstocked would find themselves faced with eventual and inevitable conflict.
The systems of governance and cultural-evolution which sprung from this dynamic has experienced partial success. The opposite could be argued with equal emphasis. The failure of these systems have led to some of the worlds largest wars in just the last century alone. But the justification for measuring success can be found in the increased quality of life for hundreds of millions, and billions, on this planet.
A part of this expansion of quality of life comes at a cost which is not correlated with the inevitable outcome of the relationship between proximity and distality within human conflict. It was determined that the random recurrence interval factor which would cause conflict and war to materialize unbeknownst to those within specific groups and demographics could be managed and reduced.
Reductions in frequency to human conflict and war could be realized with the application of a periodic non-random recurrence interval. This would take the form of intentional conflict and wars for the specific purpose of avoiding the sporadic and randomness of the recurrence interval.
As the world began to become a smaller place in the post industrial revolution years the need to manage human conflict became more prominent as proximity increased and distality decreased. The modern world functions on this paradigm and as stated above, the governance structures developed as an outgrowth of this cultural and socioeconomic need.
The modern world is transitioning through the information revolution where these previous forms and methods of mass management are being challenged. A reverse dynamic is taking place with the merging of technology and information. This new dynamic is engineering a simulation of proximity and material decreased distality.
Mass populations are being pushed into closer proximity but technology and information are pushing them further into a simulated distality. The dual function of proximate and distal simulacra is transforming the balance which has been managed and engineered for hundreds of years.
Though we are materially closer than we have ever been in human history, the distance between each individual has become a simulation of proximity. The confusing nature of this changing dynamic can be found in this dual function. Depending on the introvert and extrovert nature of the individual, both proximate and distal orientations can take on simulated characteristics.
As true as this has been, the online social media communities which have developed are crossing the boundaries between both the real and simulated worlds. Conflict on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, are taking on new dynamics as the cultural war spills into the simulation.
Cultural wars can best be defined as the pressure which builds within large macro groups as the group attempts to organically fragment itself into micro contradictory polarities. This differs somewhat from the wars between civilizations in that the macro wars with itself as opposed to waring with an outside macro.
The methods of conflict resolution which have developed, being our governance structures and managed wars, are becoming inadequate at addressing the transformational characteristics of the simulation.
The world is now changing at the fastest rate in all of recorded human history. These changes are spreading information like light from the sun. The overflow of data and knowledge are leading indicators to the transformation which is taking place. For the first time individuals in mass no longer need to depend on the larger group as a source of relevance and sustainability.
The characteristics of increased distality are less instrumental in defining the boundaries of this transitioning conflict as the fight is taking place inside the simulation of false proximity. Ideological differences are causing families to divide and friends to unfriend. There are no clear battle lines as the simulated proximate characteristics are ever in a state of transformation.
This revolution of human conflict is in its earliest stages. The methods of governance and management which worked in the past will no longer work in the future. The unrestricted access and availability of information and understanding is leading to the empowerment of the individual. This empowerment is now what needs to be addressed in a positive method of personal responsibility and application of personal accountable ideals.
No longer will individual humans be able to shift blame upwards to faceless governance structures. No more than these faceless governance structures can push downward the responsibility to fight and die in managed wars based on the archaic dynamic between proximity and distality.
The nature of human conflict is changing and one of its earliest battlefields is the simulated world of social media. The growing databases of information, and how those databases and information interact and integrate, will be the foundational corner stones from which the intelligence of tomorrow develops. This intelligence is the extension of the human being because the principled development of technological simulations is a direct extension of the human being extending himself.
The symbolic merging of man and technology has begun. The profound impact this will have on the conflicts of man, and how those conflicts are managed, will fast become the number one challenge which is faced by those of influential and consequential mind. Simulated proximity will allow for the expansion of increased material and geographic distality. The recurrence interval of conflict and wars will shorten for the simple reason that the nature of that conflict and those wars will be transformed into something which we are not yet able to recognize. But if we look close, we might just get a glimpse. – JC
JC Collins can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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