Social Engineering

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Originally posted by Nereid
I'm looking forward to your analysis, and particularly the role played in such engineering by competition regulators, be they direct (e.g. "Competition Commission", FAA), or indirect (e.g. legal institutions).
"Competition Commission" and the FAA are, I am assuming, comprised of people. People have weaknesses, (likes and dislikes). These are played upon by the "competitors". Whomever threatens best or offers the most money wins whatever appointment or ruling they desire, in most instances.

There are few left of the old guard. You know, the GI who would throw himself on the grenade to save the platoon. There are some but somehow I don't imagine them to be behind a desk luxurating in the climate controlled offices of a presumably unassuming government. When your boss is 350 million tax payers its easy to slip between the cracks unnoticed in your ineptitude and lack of courage.

Thank you and "I'll be back".
 
  • #27
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Originally posted by Unkaspam
"Competition Commission" and the FAA are, I am assuming, comprised of people. People have weaknesses, (likes and dislikes). These are played upon by the "competitors". Whomever threatens best or offers the most money wins whatever appointment or ruling they desire, in most instances.

There are few left of the old guard. You know, the GI who would throw himself on the grenade to save the platoon. There are some but somehow I don't imagine them to be behind a desk luxurating in the climate controlled offices of a presumably unassuming government. When your boss is 350 million tax payers its easy to slip between the cracks unnoticed in your ineptitude and lack of courage.

Thank you and "I'll be back".
Having said this I'd like to give my pick of the choices given with regard to what group or organization preforms the most amount of social engineering on society (consciously or unconsciously):

Who controls the food?

Who controls the energy?

Who controls the movement of goods?

Who controls the media?

Who influences government the most?

Who has no single center of power to be held responsible for erronious actions?

Who uses society as a means to one end ($ and power).

Corporations (and associates)

And that's my choice for the most influencial group of society in terms of engineering society. There have been numerous examples over the past 100 years of this phenomenon. The ramifications of a society engineered to suit the needs of the corporate elite are stunning. But, then, tell me something in life that isn't stunning!
 
  • #28
Nereid
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This is really quite interesting ... if I understand correctly, the Marxists (aka 'communists') had a real shot at providing an alternative to 'the corporation', but totally flubbed it 'cause they couldn't provide the food, energy (etc) which people wanted (esp when they looked at what 'corporations' could provide). Worse, their answer - in practical terms - parties, seemed no better than their much despised foil (Orwell did a great job of highlighting this in Animal Farm).

Now here's an interesting corollary: since most corporations are 'public', and owned by shareholders, to what extent can your answer be restated as 'the shareholders of such corporations'?
 
  • #29
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Originally posted by Nereid
This is really quite interesting ... if I understand correctly, the Marxists (aka 'communists') had a real shot at providing an alternative to 'the corporation', but totally flubbed it 'cause they couldn't provide the food, energy (etc) which people wanted (esp when they looked at what 'corporations' could provide). Worse, their answer - in practical terms - parties, seemed no better than their much despised foil (Orwell did a great job of highlighting this in Animal Farm).

Now here's an interesting corollary: since most corporations are 'public', and owned by shareholders, to what extent can your answer be restated as 'the shareholders of such corporations'?
Just as in politics where a group sells its ideology to a percentage of a population, a corporation will sell its ideology and methodology to a certain percentage of consumers of shares.

In politics if you know how to tweek the percentile with buzz words and promises you gain more votes than if you are unorganized with little or no future vision of where to take your potential voter.

With a publicly traded corporation you have buzz ideologies, performance reports (both real and fluffed up) and the "rumors" on the street that speak for your company and the validity of its shares (or not).

In instances like Enron, BreeX, World Com and Northern Telecom. there were shareholders who made a poor choice in that their bets went sour due to in appropriate use of funds and perhaps other, undisclosed, reasons. This, to me, identifys the corporation as the entity in control of the shareholder, rather than it being the other way around. Except in the case of major shareholders (over 49%) who automatically own the corporation and who, sometimes, take responsibility for any inefficancies (deceptions or poor decisions)in corporate methodology.

In politics, at least in Democratic politics, it is the voter who hires a party to manage, distribute, collect and allocate taxes in the best interest of the voters (and non-voters alike). In the ideal democracy it is not the donations of time or money that bend a party's ear and concerns but it is the over all perceived urgencies and long term goals exhibited by the populace of the given nation that determine where a tax dollar should be and will be spent.

In answer here I'd say the corporation is ultimately responsible to its shareholders to socially engineer the attentions and spending habits of a population - thusly directing a goodly portion of society's cash toward the corporate coffers, winning more support not only from these funds but also from a fresh load of shareholders for the corporation.

Let's look at one example of social engineering brought about by a corporation either unconsciously or consciously. Microsoft has benefited greatly by making it easier to use a computer. Society has been drastically modified or engineered by this corporation.

I can't say Bill Gate's attempts to model corporate donation to research into diseases and living conditions around the world has caught as much attention as Janet Jackson's mammary gland. But, his investments and inventions have made it possible to learn about that particular bit of anatomy anywhere in the world. And people are lapping it up.
 
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  • #30
Nereid
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clarifications please

Unkaspam,

You will likely be covering this anyway, so this could be just a wasted post ...

to what extent are you looking at corporations as individual players vs some kind of a gestalt?

at some level, are the corporations - individually or collectively - acting with deliberate will? how much of an overt plan (objectives, tactics, actions) is there? is it possible to elucidate the processes by which the corporates' (corporate's) agenda(s) come together?

Nereid
 
  • #31
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Originally posted by Nereid
Unkaspam,

You will likely be covering this anyway, so this could be just a wasted post ...

to what extent are you looking at corporations as individual players vs some kind of a gestalt?

at some level, are the corporations - individually or collectively - acting with deliberate will? how much of an overt plan (objectives, tactics, actions) is there? is it possible to elucidate the processes by which the corporates' (corporate's) agenda(s) come together?

Nereid
Here I would remind myself that corporations and governmental departments are comprised of individual people, in any given example.

Every day will be different for the people of any corporation. Someone at corporate head office may expect North Korea to start a war (after financing their military) so they can sell more steel and bandages. But, someone in shipping may have a burst appendex. This might delay the surruptitious courier with the message of war by so much time that the message misses the plane.

Thusly, a delayed courier runs into further mishap and the whole plot is picked up by a Washington Post reporter, somehow. From there, things are often made "perfectly clear", and the result is the delay of a coup by Fancy Megacorp.

Of course there are dreams of laying waste to the small farm and building a combine that will reap all of North America in one passing sweep. Then there are the GMO crops that will reap themselves.

These corporate methodologies hold great promise of wonderous profit. But they leave little room for society - as we know it. In fact, no society of humans has survived the continuous erosion and rampant decimation of ethics for any longer than, say, 100 years.
 

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