Questions of individual Freedom and Hivemind Thought

Uncle Warren

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Mar 10, 2014
Over the years of my autistic escapades into horrible groups of furfags, bronies, and some other shit I can't possibly remember, I've kind of gained a bit of insight into the mind of individuals vs groups.

A lot of it really defines why I don't exactly put myself in any group anymore, since groupthink is a dangerous thing, and yet as social creatures we are obligated by our own instinct to keep together, whether it's in real life social circles or chat groups, forums, IRC, and the like. The problem with the latter however is that we're only simulating a connection, a fake social network whose borders are laid out by the website we access, like a tribe, or a nation. This sort of substitution is a terrible plague to some, but to myself it's an interesting phenomena.

For example, your friends online aren't really friends, they're merely people who you talk to through a social network that is designed to be the middle man. This middle man merely passes along information, whether true or false, to the receiving end. Obviously that girl you talk to is a dude, and the dude you're so good friends with could be stabbing you in the back as you read this. The strange way we put trust in people on the internet isn't as strange in understanding human thinking, but strange in logic. Why would you put trust into someone you never met before? This kind of thinking generally produced blinded groups of people who echo the same thing in their own hive mind, with outsiders quickly being thrown out as to not disturb the harmonious hymns of "This is fine."

When it comes down to hive minds themselves, trying to attack the group is impossible. It won't work. It's never worked. The saying "strength in numbers" is a statement that harbors not just truth but a warning. Trying to convey the idea that what a group does is wrong will only bring about resistance equal to or more than the original thought. Antifa and AltRight are very prominent examples of this; groups that oppose each other and grow in size every day purely because of the swelling opposition. A never ending inflation of one trying to outdo the other. It's interesting to watch if you are aware of how it works.

As for the individual, the biggest concern is whether the person is easily influenced by others. If so they're destined to become part of a mindless group that chant the same rhetoric over and over again. If not however, they become very aware of how lonely they become. The idea of someone who truly thinks for themselves is a harrowing and treacherous taboo, as even the thought of having to remove themself from any group whose motives they're likely to question are the most willing to throw them out. Isolation from the rest of the world is their only recourse, and as I said, humanity is a social creature; isolation for extended periods of time will cause problems.

So what does this person do? Could they join people like them? If so, how could a group of people who question everything keep themselves from becoming their worst enemy? It's a conflicting thought, someone who seeks individuality cannot be part of anything, lest they suffer from the cognitive dissonance of having to question the motives of others while being aligned with them, at least without consequence. With this logic in mind, one cannot be simply truly individual or free, it's a paradox, and therefore impossible.

Of course I'm freely able to address the holes, such as "I'm an individual and in a group, with others like myself!" The concept of individualism defined doesn't allow for any kind of alignment with anything, and humanity, while free to think for themselves, cannot pursue the true freedom of thought that isolates them from their most basic primal instinct, the same instinct that kept humanity alive, the same that brought civilizations to reality. That being said I like to think there's a certain aspect of humanity that allows us to indeed question others, while not succumbing ourselves to separation, whether forced or voluntary. Humans are evolved to the point where rationality allows themselves the basic freedom of thought without hindrance of the hivemind mentality, and it's this freedom that brings us to our final question.

Why does a species with the ability to think freely depend on a system where they're forced to think like their bretherin?

It's fucking autism.
 

BoingBoingBoi

bad weird
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Apr 24, 2017
Navigating the extremes between subjugation to groupthink and radically selfish individualism is a necessary part of the human condition. One thing that exacerbates this tension is the fact that modern, Western societies simultaneously pound both values into your skull from birth. "Find a cause and stand for it" is chanted alongside "Learn to love yourself before you can love others" for your entire life. Folks are told to love themselves no matter what, under any conditions, regardless of whatever anyone else says, how people judge you, how healthy or truly happy your lifestyle does or does not make you, and so on. They are also told to join groups and collectives with their same interests, and what with all the different groups that exist nowadays, there's bound to be one out there that will completely absorb and accept you, so long as you don't question any of the group's core tenants.

That mental combination of being so incredibly unique and in love with yourself on the one hand, and utterly accepted by a group of strangers who only care about you for those things for which you want to be recognized is surely euphoric for most. Is it really any surprise that the US, for example, is at once the most politically polarized and divided society, with each citizen utterly dedicated to his or her political or whatever kind of affiliation, as well as the most individualistic and selfish society?

The contradiction is always there and always has been. The only difference is that our version of it is shaped by the internet. Some can skillfully retain their individual identities while enjoying the benefits of being part of a group or community, while others rely on the group to validate themselves. Same old same old.
 

Un Platano

big blatano xDDDD
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Apr 20, 2016
Buying into an ideology ultimately can be done for self-interest when, as is often the case, people do it for the social safety that being in a group provides. Individualism and communalism in that regard aren't mutually exclusive. You might say that rejecting the group and running counter to their opinion is in self-interest, yet so is joining a group out of concern for one's own safety, physical, social, or otherwise. It's just based on differing standards of what constitutes safety.
 

bbpoison

kiwifarms.net
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Human life was valuable only in one sense. Suddenly any person was a unit of labor in the factory system, roughly equivalent to all others, and was therefore a transferable resource. And transferable resources must be free to move about, in response to market forces. That's "freedom." Now that only a few people create wealth -- the scientists, engineers, artists, and so on -- we require an arrangement of the few over the inert mass the rest of us have become. I believe the evolution is always in that direction.