"all things in existence are physiologically connected"

Archive for September, 2012

Difference between Networked Individualism and Integrationalism

In recent week’s I’ve been asked multiple times to explain the different between the central ideal in the book titled “Networked” and Integrationalism. On my last post I mentioned the term networked individualism, which per this site and the first group of essays from Integrationalism, was an older term, but more well define recently in a the great read above. Integrationalism is not about technology specifically. Kudos to Barry Wellman and Lee Rainie, they’ve done a great job of elaborating on the very tangible dependencies of our successes and pitfalls brought on by the technological might of the last few decades.

One way that I’ve always tried to explain “what” Integrationalism “is”, was to use terms like networked-individualism….as the first text was essentially an attack on the inefficiencies and ineffectivenesses of philosophies that stem from rigid individualism as an understanding of human-kind. In the second text I elaborated more on the physical connections that actually create a recognizable network and the foundations of string field theory that allude these connections…among other things.

Networked Individualism is a grand display of how human-kind and its dependents have moved away from the sociological frameworks of “tribalism”. Wellman’s text didn’t use this term specifically, but as a sociologist he refers regularly to the transition in how human-kind is surviving (discovering, developing, and deploying its progress). The term, from a philosophical standpoint is less phenomenological and more socio-cultural. Integrationalism in its shortest, replays that we are connected physiologically, and not “other-lly” (which could take on many interpretations). Network Individualism would be a manifestation of physical connections, making the perceived notion “real”.

I’ll be sure to elaborate more on this in the coming future, as I’ve found that >250 words on a post starts to lose eyeballs.

‘You Didn’t Build That’ vs ‘We Built This’

The difference between the modern American political debates is almost null, when put into a broader philosophical context. Politics remains interesting, especially in a version of democracy because of its incremental changes over time. Transitions remain active.

Specific to Integrationalism the argument over, “how we build” and “who builds” is so necessary at this time in human history.  The debate, under different rhetoric, is actually about ownership and who should have a stake in a society, nation, culture, world that has been (even through a coined “recession”) growing.

Preceding the US major political conventions, The President remarked that business owners don’t build businesses on their own and Mitt Romney arguing that the President is against the individual success of business owners based on the rhetorical interpretation of these few words “you didn’t build that”.

This makes me of a signed copy of a book that I had the privilege to get while in Toronto at the World Future Society annual conference titled Networked. It’s centered on this ideal that authors Rainie & Wellman call networked-individualism, a very similar ideal to Integrationalism itself. They are pointing out a phenomenon more modernly recognizable than the more fundamental physiological network that I elaborate on here. Through our technological extensions of social networks and device usage, human-kind is evolving into a species that can rapidly recognize the impact of the individual on the group.

From a policy standpoint, it has been difficult for governments of the past to regulate the distribution of tangible values to its individuals, furthermore, incentivizing them to participate well in the society. In 19th century Europe and 20th century America we witnessed a boom of distribution through the jobs and a short lived protection of those through organized labor (unions). As elaborated on here and so many other places, the change in technological use which provoked an expanded (cheaper) global workforce has rendered the job-engine inadequate.

The debate on jobs and workers’ rights is misleading and per the arguments presented by the two presidential candidates last week, the debate would be more valuable with a focus on how we distribute ownership. Realizing this is difficult, we have to use our tangible networked-individualism for identifying the opportunities to compensate individuals for their value-add to the group. These are policy issues that private institutions cannot coordinate on their own.

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