While social alchemy has many dimensions such political, cultural, geographical and economical. aspects it is social perception that binds this mixture elements together, in many forms.
Digital Social Alchemy:
How can digital communication tool design and thoughtful long term policies enhance societies while protecting the environment upon which it exist?
The social alchemists of the 21st century and beyond must transcend solo nation State, single cultural, religious, and academic considerations. They must be aware of all these concepts as tools to better grasp where we have been and where we may go. The social alchemists must, with great humility, creativity and empathy, understand the impact of how these aspects human perception of being and behavior have influenced its relationship to the ecosystems upon we are a part of and how we share it.
The digital space so called post industrial societies share is not an end in itself. As groups go forth into outer space, explore and exploit inter space, and embrace Trans-humanism. The social designs, lessons, art and past horrors must be considered as humans explore new biospheres, exist in more shared and interdependent ecosystems and discover forms of being, they can dominant.
“As above, so below; as below, so above.”–The Kybalion
I present this notion in the context of the Transhuman movement. This idea being the people basically enhance the mind and physical being by altering themselves using technology to be beyond human. It can also be seen as one notion of human transformation. It may not be the only road to personal transformation, but it does offer ideas for tools in social alchemy?
There is a video addressed this issue in the context of interactive technology.
The video was called: SIMULACRA, DEEPFAKES, AND AUGMENTED REALITY. It address some of the dangers and benefits of Augmented AR and Virtual reality VR technologies.
- Our growing digital reality brings some interesting concerns.
- How and at what pace will digital interactive reality, particularly Augmented AR and Virtual reality VR technology, implicitly and directly impact the social dynamic of those using such resources?H
- Globally and within societies not nations , how will such tools be integrated into an existing ecosphere in a mindful, long term responsible manner?
- Who will be including first in this expansion of synthetic consciousness and at what cost to the existing society,
- Is there equitable cost to the balance of the current biosphere?
- Is there a way to temper synthetic digital reality development with the ever evolving the individual need for the illusion of self perception?
- Can these technologies influence changes in how people interact, as much as what happened with the introduction of computers, cell phones and even mass transportation into a social culture?
- Whom will have excess to these interactive tools? Will they be for the collective growth and evolution social groups, society and its environment?
Corporations, governments, religious groups and science should not be allowed to individually decide how humans digitally interact with themselves or their environments. Public policies should collectively analyze, with great humility, how digital interactive reality technology, and the ways in which people interact will influence social perception of those using these tools. As with earlier interactive technologies, these tools often will outlast nation state and ideological boundaries. The social advantages and disadvantages of such interactive social tools can be compared to elements within the history western enlightenment.
History Points in Pre-Digital Alchemy
The world wide web is not new, its just a evolved information highway.
The Silk Road 130 BCE-1453 CE : The web of information we know as the internet as many know started long ago, perhaps it was the Silk Road. Not only goods were exchanged on the Silk road, but knowledge. The text of major world religions and philosophies traveled, traded and were shared on the Silk Road. If one looks at it in terms of culture and language alone the evidence exist that it had a deep influence on future generations of human civilizations.
The Republic of Letter [17-18 century]: During the French Renaissance access to printing press and stamps to some extent were controlled by French government and monarchy. Publishing was not open to all. Intellectual discourse was filtered and French With the Advent of the Republic of letters, over time such resources became tools of the citizen of means, at least, for exchanging ideas and education.
Encyclopédie [1751 and 1772]: It can be seen as collaboration of non religious contributors in the presentation of knowledge, also not associated in any particular educational institution. Perhaps the one this they had in common was the privilege of association and often wealth.
* Baron d’Holbach was major contributor to the Encyclopédie and the Enlightenment. In his activities in the French Salon events of the era, he promoted the Encyclopédie among the diverse attends of aesthetic, political, philosophical and wealth attainment interest. Some were also contributors to the various editions of the Encyclopédie.
The main different between these very non digital network and the internet today is not so much the technology. The critical difference in terms of social alchemy is who was involved, who had access to the information and for whom were these enlightened reflection intended.
While there is a broader access to enlightened ideas and sharing, the internet must be used in the right context and by those with proper skills to be used as a extension of the Republic of Letter. Such awareness digital knowledge or skill is not an academic, university or elite skill, but a issue of perception and often need. It provides is sort of a backdoor beyond the predator social engineers who lack the wisdom or insight of the true enlightened social alchemist.
Sites for References on key or Ancient Text
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