I often ask myself why I still have a facebook account when I rarely ever post any status updates

, when, in my head, I think that people are 'over-sharing.' I seem to be part of the old, slowly dwindling group who is committed to keeping as much things private as possible. With the online digital technology available now, it is so much easier to share all the little tid-bits of your existence to people. Sure, those people may actually care about what you though, watched, or did, but for the most part they also have their own existence to worry about, so that those who post often of various seemingly pointless things appear as really needy and wanting of attention. Maybe it's just me, which is true for the most part. Negative perception of human nature. Negative perception of technology, so what else is new? The only reason I could think of to still keep the account, besides the contact to real friends in real life that would be lost if I delete it, would be to have a feel for the collective consciousness.

Why do I still have my facebook account?

This animal 'collective consciousness,' I often think about. There is a line from Gene Wolfe's 'The Shadow of the Torturer' (this is the first book in a dark-fantasy series called 'The Book of the New Sun') that goes: "A crowd is not the sum of the individuals who compose it. Rather it is a species of animal, without language or real consciousness, born when they gather, dying when they depart." It is this animal that I aim to understand. For example, I am very puzzled over the popularity of noontime TV shows in this country. It is lowbrow and crass entertainment. It has several components, but mostly it is the contests for money that seem to draw the most reaction from the audience, both in the studio and those watching from their televisions. Are they celebrating money? Isn't this money-worship? With the money-televangelists spinning the wheel of fortune for the lucky winners? All the hopes and dreams of the Filipino collective consciousness are being played by these people. Popularity and respect from the masses to those who can manipulate them very well. And it is a terrifying thing to see. For what does this say about the very nature of democracy? Is this not merely a 'mob-ocracy'? The rule of the uneducated many? That is why this creature, the crowd, the mass must be understood. But for what use is knowledge and understanding if it is not to be applied? For the purpose of a functional meritocratic state, education should be the top priority. Every now and again, I have this longing for the old project of nationalism. A true, solid nationalism, bordering on the fascistic. Let's not mince ideas here. I am actually calling for a true fascist society, which I understand along the lines laid out a very ancient long time ago, by this Greek guy Plato. I won't repeat what he has already stated in the 'Republic,' but would only say that the focus on education remains paramount. The family is also a very good area for discussion. I claim for its abolition. The traditional powerful political and economic clans is what is really wrong with this country. Destroy the clan and we are on a solid way towards genuine change. But again, this must be balanced with a focus on the boring stuff, the long-term stuff, of education. So I think of myself, or rather have the delusion, that I am some sort of social scientist, trying to understand this notion called 'collective consciousness.' How could this be manipulated? How can one unchain one's self from its grasp once it has been manipulated? I am thinking of advertising. But in a more subtle and encompassing way, there are also the songs, the movies, the celebrities, the products of mass consumer popular culture that one should also unbound one's self from. There is always money involved here. It fits in there somewhere. Mind-control isn't really that hard when you all have everyone staring at the same sets of things, having the same limited set of ideas presented to them nightly, afternoonly, daily. Which are the very things that appear in the status updates on social networking sites.

At the present real moment, I still have my account. Mostly it's boring stuff. The most interesting things being discussed right now are the social debates regarding the RH Bill. What I seem to notice is that the young people, at least those with reliable internet connections and are not inhibited in expressing themselves personally online, are very concerned about politics and social issues. It's interesting to see how everyone acts - the individuals, institutions, advocacy groups, and of course, the ever-present 'masses.' Am I gaining any sort of understanding by keeping the account, beyond perceiving the social weather? There is also another idea that I would like to bring up here. In the novel 'Foundation' by Isaac Asimov, there is a discipline there called 'psycho-history.' To those already familiar with this, it is basically cliometrics taken to a great extreme so that 'psycho-historians' are able to predict great changes that would happen centuries and millennia into the future. The founder of this fictional discipline is Hari Seldon and it is because of his finding that there would be a great catastrophe in the far, far future that the two (yes, there are two) foundations were created. It's a great book and I highly recommend it, especially to students of history reading this right now. My point here is that a lot of this quantitative fictional sort of stuff could be seen in present day digital technology situations. Facebook, besides other social networking sites could be mined for data (I think they're already doing this actually) to understand this animal 'collective consciousness.' If for example, a hundred, or two hundred years into the future there would still be a facebook or a mutation of facebook, with all those data collected in storage and readily available for researchers, could a pattern emerge and could this pattern then be used to predict what would happen in the future? This seems like a great stretch of the imagination, and you are probably wasting your time reading this, and likewise mine in writing this.

Monday, January 14 2013 http://www.scribd.com/narodnikkki

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