Saturday, 23 May 2015

Social anthrapology

Social interactions can be generalised to:

Familiarity with character-of-usual behaviour in relation to mutually enjoyed topic, producing social satisfaction.

As well as our brains searching to satisfy our quota of necessary misery, I feel that the brain, (mine included) requires some level of social satisfaction. It is a game of sorts, that we are driven to play, (so there must be some benefit, (or is there?) This can be acquired by a shared experience with a friend, but looking at the success of television, it is clear that it can be acquired from a television program, and even a consistent video-blog channel.

How many people feel that Sir David Attenborough would be a preferred relation, (a surrogate grandfather?)  Before television the same was found with the radio, and before that stories in books. We can probably extent the idea back to seanchaithe of Ireland, the bards of Wales or the troubadours of France.

So what benefit is there? By watching our group we can detect social infractions, (someone else taking unfair advantage of a situation.)

The down side, is that the constant vigilance punishes us. Judging that the driver in the car ahead of us has just failed to avail themselves of an opportunity to enter a roundabout, or that they have left their indicator on for the last ten minutes, (or worse - not indicated at all) produces anxiety, (and in many a stream of insulting expletives.)

It seems, [citation needed] that we are finding more and more links between, "stress" and ill health. (I air-quote stress because mostly I see it more as, "an individual not accepting a situation" or an opportunity to learn more about one's own capabilities. [See: How to make life harder for yourself, Roche, D.A.O'G. 1998].)

I would like to see the design of a double-blind meditation experiment, but if the practitioners are really trying to calm their mind and not think about anything, then I do not see how we construct a control group.

(Unlike homoeopathic-placebos which are being tested quite nicely by those that, "swear by them" and their not-so-blindly-hippy partners who take the little sugar-pills just to fit in - this will lead to a rather nicely testable group of people that can demonstrate how much belief or intention affect the effect of these placebos. )

I like social anthropology tests because it can take something like, the belief that some divine justice applies to everyone, even if they don't believe in it, and apply it to both the faithful and the certain.

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