Taking Social Theories to the People

Taking Social Theories to the People

New theories in the natural sciences are quickly integrated into our society because these theories often lead to new business practices that put money into our pockets. Such is not the case with new discoveries in the human sciences.

New theories in the human sciences often take generations to trickle down to Tom and Jane because Tom and Jane pick up these new ideas normally through a process of social osmosis. Such new theories are not generally taught in our schools.

Our educational system prepares us to become good producers and consumers. However, in the name of efficiency, our educational system leaves us ignorant of many domains of knowledge that are vital to our comprehension of matters that seriously affect the political health of our culture and of the world. Cognitive science is just one example of such a domain.

Popularizer is a word I heard historian William Norton Smith use when discussing American Presidents on C-Span. He did not elaborate significantly but it was apparent to me that he used the word to describe individuals who make popular the theories of authors who write about significant concepts that are seldom disseminated throughout the public educational system.

Mr. Smith and I agree that it is essential that someone carry to the people these vital concepts that I mention. I think of myself as being a popularizer. I try to introduce to my readers new and important ideas recently introduced to the world by the human sciences.

Do you have any desire to be a popularizer?

Isn’t the Internet discussion forum an ideal medium for popularizers to perform their function?

Interesting insight. Yes, I agree. There are a lot of concepts that would benefit from mass dissemination - but as you said, the very people or institutions with the power to disseminate may not necessarily want these particular ideas to be popular.

However, the internet, not only the discussion forums but in its entirety is… well, too messy. There is a lot of background noise, and just as there are many noteworthy ideas to popularize, these ideas are not only competing with established ideas but also with equally new and disturbing ideas (neo-nationalism.) I think it’s why media aggregation websites like Digg or flickr are flourishing. In its own way, it pans the internet waters for gold.

Our society has a place for populizers. They’re called public relations specialists, marketing experts, or advertisers. I have to disagree with the internet being a good forum. It is the best forum for people who do not have means to post on billboards, newspapers, magazines, or the means to run TV commercials. Those are the most effective means, but they’re in high demand and people dedicate their lives to keeping people like you and I away from those mediums and to keep them exclusive to only a few people who have the cash. Those people are called cops, judges, security guards, and lawyers.

Oberst,

You want to know the best way to advertise cheap!? T-Shirts! You can make a professional T-Shirt cheap and get a ton of attention for your cause.

Winning elections is one thing… My bet is that nothing changes any society like the past… People have an irrational conception of the past, and when people reform their societies they do so trying to capture an ideal past as the way to a better future…I am certain this was a big part of the American Revolution, played a part in the French Revolution, and will certainly be a part of the next American Revolution…

Coberst there are the humanity studies for the socially conscience. Education in the skills that will allow you to engage in the current production/consumer societies of the western culture will feed you, the humanities will not support the majority in the afore mentioned society. Have you considered that the ability to consider the alternatives to our current social framework comes about because of that framework, it gives us food, clothing, and shelter, therby allowing us time to dream and ponder.