Saintly Journal

the love and life of saintly

Culture Reengineering – Betterment of Human Condition


What is Culture?

For a rational mind, it is natural to seek precise definition of the terms and nomenclature, that form the manifold of the thought and experience.

A standard onine dctionary provides the basic notions that are implied by the word Culture:

Culture

noun

  • the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.
  • that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
  • a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture
  • development or improvement of the mind by education or training
  • the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture
  • the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture

Anthropology

  • the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.

Biology

  • the cultivation of microorganisms, as bacteria, or of tissues, for scientific study, medicinal use, etc
  • the product or growth resulting from such cultivation
  • the act or practice of cultivating the soil; tillage
  • the raising of plants or animals, especially with a view to their improvement
  • the product or growth resulting from such cultivation

verb (used with object)

  • to subject to culture; cultivate

Biology

  • to grow (microorganisms, tissues, etc.) in or on a controlled or defined medium
  • to introduce (living material) into a culture medium

From the perspective of a critical examination of culture, the definition for culture would be the logical starting point of the culture, and that definition should imply these essential notions that are presented above.

  • Individual Qualities and the collective Qualities
  • Growth, Improvement and Development
  • Belief and value systems of the individual and the collective
  • The collection of the artefacts, symbols, values, concepts and notions that are resultant of the culture and which in turn again reinforces the culture.

Necessity of the Culture Critic

The cultural artefacts are traditionally experienced rather than studied. Culture is the by product of a civilization, the effects of the intentional and extensional historic of the civilization. Yet, culture forms a vicious circle, culture tends to be the cause of the future effects. Culture has a deterministic role in the future of the civilization, the birth, growth, development and progress of the civilization are being controlled by culture. It becomes imperative for human beings to study culture appropriately, so that, we can judge (though from our limited experience and understanding), if the directions determined by culture is right or not.

Culture, the totatlity, of yesterdays, play a big part in the present. Civilization subjects the individual’s present to the culture, the totality of past, and thereby, individual is being chained to species own past. Culture would determine, where you will be educated, where and how will you be employed, it also dictates what you are going to breathe, eat and dream. And many a times, this dependence is unnecessary, devolving, detrimental and dangerous for the survival of the individual and the collective.

To make righteous choices and to build a better civilization, to carry the righteous notions of being and doing, it is imperative that we study the culture from a critical point of view, as the first step and then reengineer the culture. These two steps adds a feedback loop the culture system, thereby, making the system more intelligent. The power of sentience promotes us to become an architect of the future. Analytical thought, creative solutions, empowers humanity to play a an active role enables us to choose the directions of our evolution. And it would be for the first time in the history of evolution that an individual or a specie has taken an active part in evolving, a far better development, compared to the history of evolution, where in species and individuals are being subjected to the ‘tyrannical’ evolutionary forces. Probably this would be the first step in the evolution of the God or the emergence of the overman or the branching of homo sapiens evolving as a better species, is only what future can tell us. But the idea is simple.

Humanity has the necessary and the sufficient requriements to start playing an active role in the evolution, in choosing the directions to evolve. There is a necessity to inculcate, incorporate and internalize the notion of the righteous evolution, at all leves in the anthropologic specturm. Culture is the primary factor that program the individuals of a species it is imperative to reengineer culture so that we play an active role in evolution.

Culture as Symbols and Values:

Culture can be defined as the cummulated collection of the symbols, values, beliefs, and the resultant thought and material artifacts of a civilization. And the chronological ordering of such symbols and values, and how they changed over the course of time, can provide some insights to reengineer culture. A critical examination of these symbols, the questions of a curious and sane mind, would reveal us the the soul and the nature of culture.

Evolutionary perspective of Culture:

Cultural entities evolves very similar and parallel to the biologic life. Old symbols and values, discarded to the past, new symbols, values emerging and the cuture evolution shares the same bias that evolution favors. Symbols, ideas, notions, values, faiths that are favorable for evolution, are reinforced and those that are not favorable are inhibited. Thereby Culture evolution and biologic evolution form a closed loop, influencing each other.

Internalizing Evolution:

Growth, development, progress are natural and real – as real and natural as change. Evolution like time, seems to have a bias towards ‘growth’, ‘development’, ‘progress’. And for the first time in the natural history, a species has been presented with a power, that makes humans, the gods. At the least, the ancestors of Gods. For the first time, ithe invidual and species are permitted to participate in the cosmic design room. And this is a big turning in the evolution. All the factors that humanity is subjected to, need to be streamlined with this thought. Religion, culture, society, political systems, economic systems, value systems, belief systems, each and every aspect of the individual and the collective, need to be changed, to incorporate the ideas of playing an active role in the evolution. We can choose to change, or we can choose to let the nature take its own course, which in its natural flow, will bring the changes in all these systems.

A flatlander, would only be recognize the situation of reaching the same point as he starting from. It would be only upto his analytical mind to infer that the manifold, he is subejcted is not flat and that it is curved. We have now been given this opportunity, where in we have a certain idea of our existential manifold, and it is but natural to apply our knowledge, understanding and wisdom, in our day to day lives.

Culture Reengineering:

Civilization in the human context is diverse, numerous and dynamic. History reveals us, various civilizations, that existed and existing, and the interactions of these civilizations and cultures. And these interactions are not always, beneficial, symbiotic, cooperative, and harmonious. History also reveals us the suffering, war, death and destruction, when the cultural notions of these civilizations were in conflict.

In the modern world, and in the technological times, the borders between the civilizations are thinned down. And our condition permits us to promote symbiotic and harmonious interactions amongst civilizations and cultures. No more civilization is an island. We are not bound by the traditional constraints, that borded civilizations to their isolation. Information, people, matter, energy, resources, ideas, notions, symbols and values, travel freely across civilizations, more or less all around the planet.

We are in the Global Context:

The exponential growth of technology and science, the conception of a global civilization, can be seen emerging. No more are men bound to the borders that their ancestors drew in those yonder times, where communications happen through travelling messengers. The notions of a singular global civilization, the idea of a unified humanity and the notion of “human consciousness”, are here and are going to grow. And we need to reengineer the existing civilizational frameworks, like culture, to incorporate three basic premises, into the human subconscious mind. And there is a need to incorporate and code these ideals at the genetic level. So that the seond step of evolution starts, and the environment would be conditioned so as to promote the betterment of the indivudual and species. There is a need for spiritual reengineering of symbols and values, so that the new human being (human being 2.0) would carry the necessary and required spiritual acumen and the wisdoom, to handle the powers bestowd upon him. It is not appropriate to argue as to who provided these powers. Were they being created by a creator, or is it a probabilistic outcome, or is there any external phenomenon or other forces at work behind the curtains of the universe stage. It is pragmatic and pertinent to realize that humanity just reached the point, where humanity is presented with the power to participate in evolution in an active manner. And it is righteous to seize such a moment, adapt and enter the design rooms of the universe and be there. And it is righteous, egalitarian, humanistic and spiritual in the senses that the intentionality is the betterment of life, the quality of the human condition, at the level of an individual and at a collective species level.

It is imperative that Humanity has to have, one basic collection, to which each individual subscribe. The conception of a global civilization. The notion that I am part of the global civilzsation and that my participation and involvement is not limited by any local constraints, but be encompassing the globe, the planet. It is imperative to change the attitudes, conceptions, value systems to incorporate the three key notions:

  1. Planetary/Global Civilization
  2. Active Participation in Evolution.
  3. Choosing the Direction to Evolve.

Without the change, the existing system, would always play a detrimental role with development. For growth and betterment of life and human condition, would always be in conflict with the tradition. Without these cultural notions, science would always be in conflict with religion, truth would always be facing traditional falses and facts shall always be in conflict with the superstitions.

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4 Responses

  1. Saint says:

    These comments come from David Oker from Facebook Lifeboat Foundation Group, where I have also posted this for reviews, comments and feedback.

    Hello Saintly,
    I managed to reread and give a certain amount of comments; these cannot be all of course.
    “I’ve always been crirtical of any natural language dictionary definitions of . . . anything. For instance, Religion; religion is defined contradictorialy; as belief in a supernatural being to ethics/morals/purpose in life; philosophy. Religion seems to me to be ethics/purpose in life as dictated by belief in some supernatural being. Religion and ‘philosophy of life’ are closely related. But in this case of definitions of culture, I’m somewhat o.k.with the natural language dictionary definitions.

    Culture seems clearly to be philsophy of life and maybe having accomplished going through a discipline. Now, shouldn’t we have a culture that supports culture instead of not culture? Like christianity chose irrationality, give all your possesions to the afterlife because this contemporary life is not worth it; material things are not valuable. All the early christian fathers were gnostic christian dropouts; gnostic chrisitanity was essentially platonism mixed with mystic beliefs; the little mathematics of the various Platonic/Gnostic cults running all up and down the roman empire was too much for them; so, they made an easier religion even if virgin birth was not exactly common sense. Believe and you’re in. Sorry for this tangent; i’ll try to get back to your article here.

    “intentional and extensional” interesting language; i don’t suppose you’ve read Suzanne K. Langer’s “Introduction to Symbolic Logic”? I’m sure you havn’t; but, she uses the ideas of intentional extensional concepts in understanding concepts and their relation to logic. Her book derives symbolic logic from pure language.

    Yes, people get cultured, or conditioned; so, we should have a culture that believes in questioning everything; one of the central values of science. You’re three fundamental axioms don’t say “question everything”. I’d like to bring up Jacob Bronowski’s three ethical principles of doing science; skepticism(covered now), honesty to admit you’re wrong, and courage to try new ideas. Let me get to fundamental ideas while that got brought up.

    Natural language is a good place to start. In general, natural language is vague; definitions have concepts meaning more than one thing in different situations. Mathematical concepts are scientificaly defined concepts. I kind of like the rocket shooting example. You take a rocket and laungh it; you keep the size and fuel of the rocket the same(some of the variables/properties), and let one variable vary; say the angle of launch, and you map out where the rocket lands. Or, you could keep the angle of launch the same, and let the size or the rocket fuel vary, and map out the distribution pattern. This shows how concepts and variable/properties of a concept are disentangled and organised ‘scientifically.’ Generaly, nature comes at you in a mixed up disorganised mess. Humanity evolved from this state of mixed up with everything; but, that’s starting to get to some other stuff. Well, Getting to what philosophy should be, we should disentangle ourselves from all asumptions we’ve grown up with(culture). When I was a teen, I came up with this realisation that humanity is defined and distinguished from the other life on this planet from it’s dependence on science for survival. Seems that philsophers for thousands or years including Greek and scientific have never hit on this. Jacob Bronowski did. I think I’ve gone far enough down this road for now. Let me read on.

    The totality of the knowledge/symbols of culture needs to be studied. This is what I’ve done; i’ve read about everything and made underlying structural relation connections in my blog, Jacob Bronowski “Scientific Humanism”. People have criticized the mathematical/scientic approach to studying nature and humanity; calling it reductionism; saying, if you tear it apart, then you falsify its reality. This is partly true. One thing they don’t understand about mathematics and mathematical science is that there a thing called generalisation. When mathematicians and mathematical scientists make a more general theory, they include the previous special case theory as a special case; the more general theory includes more connections that the previosu less general theory didn’t have.

    “Evolutionary perspective of Culture” – As Jacob Bronowski says in his “Origins of Knowledge and Imagination”, humans evolved from the natural world, therefore, their language must have evolved from non-human language. He goes on to show that non-human language tends to be instructional; no description; and no words. He argues that we have words where non-human life doens’t, and that we decoded these words out of the non-human language we evolved from by a process of idealisation/generalisation(mathematical processes). I of course subscribe to this; part of what I do in my blog is to show that language and mythology are abstractions as much as mathematics is. So does Jacob Bronowski; and, he mentions things like sungods, but he doens’t know nearly as much about sungods as we know today.

    “Internalizing Evolution:” – I certainly view humanity as the universe become conscious. I’ve also noted that humans are ever to be able to take in all this massive amounts of mathematics, we’re going to have to go transhuman. I question most people’s motives to become ‘god’ like the Gnostics; seems their goal is more to be mighty powerfull over others.

    “Culture Reengineering:” – there was a previous period when it seemed the worlds cultures were all in contact; this due to Alexander the Great and the beginnings of the Roman world(the first three hundreds years after Alexander the Great were more or less the Roman republic; then, there was three hundred years or so after of Roman empire and emperors(most roman emperors were getting assasinated by those with other religious beliefs). The end result, was one group, the christians, took over the roman empire, saw they couldn’t convert the conditioned pagans, so they moved the capital to Constantinople, and sold off the Germanic barbarians to go and rape and pillage the old Italian roman remnants. Then, the dark ages.
    “We are in the Global Context” – One thing about your global consciousness, we are about to go to outer space, where diversity of viewpoints is likely. I’m not saying I don’t wish to educate those who go out to space so they don’t make the same mistakes; i’m just saying that while we’re global right now, we probably won’t be in a decade or two. Well, if the Foresight folks get their way, Chris Phoenix will get his way; we’ll be bound up to the Earth for awhile. I consider his ideas “Logan’s Run”; but, I realize that he won’t be as in charge of everyone’s psyche as he would like. My concern here is a dictatorship; but, that won’t happen. What will happen is an effort to unify all cultures; i’m tempted to say the process of writing the post-modern testament is well underway. I’ve seen many people try. I have what I consider a scientific, honest unified viewpoint of rationality/irrationality outlined, hinted at in my Jacob Bronowski “Scientific Humanism” blog.
    With the possibility of various spacefolding and wormholes recently, the idea of a Galactic empire is possible; but with billions of trillions of people potentialy, the issues Isaac Asimov points to in his Foundation seem real enough that one should try to assemble all human knowledge so that it doesn’t get destroyed. I also keep thinking that my showing how the patterns of civilization follows the patterns of mathematical development hints at a kind of Hari Seldon psycho-history.

    Sorry about the bold face typing; it turned on by itself when I copied and pasted “we are in the global context”. “

  2. Saint says:

    These are my ideas charted down here:

    When I started writing this, I have a few goals in mind. I was born Hindu Nationalist, and I am still a hindu, though the mainstream hinduism is something that abhor these days, but I tend to like my philosophical standpoints, spiritual frameworks and theosophical weltaanschung (both are contradictory and can be called as an oxymoron). But reading philosophy, and looking at the world from a critical perspective (I am sort of indebted to Marxists for introducing me to critical thought, whose ideologies, I tend to differ with most of the times ). And keeping a track of current events, developments, innovations, creatives etc. I have sort of realized the fact that human being (homo sapiens) are constanly being subjected to more and more homosapiens. Though I do not subscribe to the collectivists here, for I believe that all changes start and end with individual level and that individuality, uniqueness of individuality are sort of universal fiinalities. But the fact stays that, what I do affects you, and that makes me responsible. Every human being has to realize this. My idea and notion of societal behavior is simple. A societal contract. My idea for society is simple. A framework for development of every and each individual. And the social contracts that come out these days, should and must have, a feature to keep nationalism away from the individual and contribute to more and more awareness at the global level.

    hen I was introduced to technology, specially the cutting edge, kind, and have seen that resources are very limited to make it egalitarian. And these social contracts, should in terms, make an individual the realities of such pseudo egalitarian ideas. A few days before there was a post in LF saying that the high end technologies only benefit the rich. It is correct to say that today a few people individuals in this world can afford to have augmented health, space travel, or anything exotic like that. But the spirituality in the society is lacking. When soome one makes such a statement, the first thing, I realise, is that is how, he/she looks at it. The basic principle of Gestalt pscyhology, that you will see what you want to see. Being I guess, from the left wing, She wanted to see this class discimination, conflict in the reality, and that is how she interpreted the reality. I tend to look at it this way. 50 years before, it was said that computers are very expensive stuff and only a few privileged can access it. And it is not even 50 years, even myself, have two laptops now (one is given by my office).

    Those social contracts should make sure that their social contracts should promote the positive and optimistic behavior, and increase the participative nature of the citizens (subjects).

    Then the key to human survival is poplulation, space faring, and adaption and evolution. Either we can voluntarily do these, with planning and with less pain, or we will be subjected to these, and face more pain. Klein directive is a pretty good guiding principle. If I am at a Pandora’s box, what are my reasons for opening and not opening. We do not know, if the darkness has got light somewhere or it is only more and more darkness. And all situations that homo sapiens face either will kill them or make them better and wiser. Be it benevolent or malevolent in nature. So I will open pandora’s box. it is simple common sense, we have to open the pandora’s box.

    When survival of the species is at stake, or is increasing in the time, would only mean that humanity, should keep aside petty issues like nationalism, left, right, culture, tradition, and should contribute immediately on the global scale. And in India, I want to bring this change. My idea of reconstructing nationalism is to reconstruct it as a basis for internationalisation of its subjects. If a country cannot internationalise, frankly speaking, humanity should not allow them, their share of resources.

  3. Saint says:

    My favorite poem, also reinforces my belief:

    IT little profits that an idle king,
    By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
    Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole

    Little remains: but every hour is saved
    From that eternal silence, something more,
    A bringer of new things; and vile it were
    For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
    And this gray spirit yearning in desire
    To follow knowledge, like a sinking star,
    Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

    Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

    Ulysses
    Alfred, Lord Tennyson

    http://www.bartleby.com/42/635.html
    http://www.online-literature.com/donne/733/

  4. Saint says:

    First published in 1842, no alterations were made in it subsequently.

    This noble poem, which is said to have induced Sir Robert Peel to give Tennyson his pension, was written soon after Arthur Hallam’s death, presumably therefore in 1833. “It gave my feeling,” Tennyson said to his son, “about the need of going forward and braving the struggle of life perhaps more simply than anything in ‘In Memoriam’.” It is not the ‘Ulysses’ of Homer, nor was it suggested by the ‘Odyssey’. The germ, the spirit and the sentiment of the poem are from the twenty-sixth canto of Dante’s ‘Inferno’, where Ulysses in the Limbo of the Deceivers speaks from the flame which swathes him. I give a literal version of the passage:–

    “Neither fondness for my son nor reverence for my aged sire nor the due love which ought to have gladdened Penelope could conquer in me the ardour which I had to become experienced in the world and in human vice and worth. I put out into the deep open sea with but one ship and with that small company which had not deserted me…. I and my companions were old and tardy when we came to that narrow pass where Hercules assigned his landmarks. ‘O brothers,’ I said, ‘who through a hundred thousand dangers have reached the West deny not to this the brief vigil of your senses that remain, experience of the unpeopled world beyond the sun. Consider your origin, ye were not formed to live like Brutes but to follow virtue and knowledge…. Night already saw the other pole with all its stars and ours so low that it rose not from the ocean floor’”

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