Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Mass Minds II

"...icons grew larger as more and more members of the mass-mind turned their attention to the scene."
-John C. Wright, The Golden Age (New York, 2003), Chapter 13, The Mass Mind, section 2, p. 210.

But, in that case, the individual minds have not committed suicide by entering the mass-mind. See here. Instead, a, b, c etc can enter M and can thus share its enhanced experience and (I think) the memories of other members but can then return enriched to their original individuality.

On pp. 209-210, a false dichotomy is posited: "...comfort, rest, renunciation and peace..." (p. 209) as against "Deeds of renown without peer." (p. 210) There are other options like understanding and a peace that that is dynamic rather than passive.

We are told on p. 210 that mass-minds are the last refuge of those who in previous periods would have drowned their individuality in collectivism, mobs, mindless conformity and pious fads or frauds. Well, that is bad obviously but, until we were told that, mass-minds had not sounded like mindless mobs or pious frauds. Would such a negative mentality persist into a totally transformed sociotechnological milieu? Wright seems to ask us to imagine that everything has changed and yet that something deep inside us has not really changed. Some thoughts or motivations can occur only in certain contexts, e.g., we would probably, though not necessarily, fight over the last oxygen cylinder if we were trapped inside a space station with a diminishing air suppy but we do not fight for the air that surrounds us on the Terrestrial surface. We do not scapegoat a minority for causing social deprivation if there is no social deprivation. Imagine shared abundance and you simply eliminate material causes of conflict.

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