Here we sit at the beginning of a relationship, you-the-reader and me-the-author. On one level, this is the easiest relationship in human society, which is part of how the advent of the printing press and the subsequent Protestant Revolution and Enlightenment were able to have such a broad impact on the development of the Western Academic Tradition, whose fingertips are all over the legal and political world we still enjoy today, but more we will get to that in a bit. This is about you and me. One reason our relationship is the easiest in the history of our glorious species, is that our relative informational positioning is established; that is: there is something that I know that you are interested in knowing, and the extent of our relationship is limited to that single exchange. How that makes ours the easiest and maybe the only platonic human relationship is what we are going to explore, as a launching point for further discovery.
Anything that is true about each of us is therefore a significant fact about the nature of all of us; anything that is true about all of us is therefore a significant fact about the nature of each of us.
In order to wrap our heads around the complexity of society, we are going to examine individual complexity. I am reminded of a phenomenon in the world of architecture. Contemporary buildings, like the brilliant representation by Koolhaas in our fair city, have three distinct design fields: the exterior, the interior, and the envelope. The exterior is determined by a number of physical and societal constraints, and the interior is a function of efficient utility. The envelope is where the aforementioned genius shines, though, in the freedom of expression in the relationship between the exterior constrictions and the interior functions (Polo, 2008). As an example, one of the challenging themes in contemporary architectural envelopes is to make the inside of the building feel larger than the outside would lead one to expect. It is tempting to ascribe this to the idiomatic admonition against judging a book by its cover, but that is not quite right. The evaluation always begins with the cover, but it is only after reading the book through that one can fully appreciate the relationship between the cover and the content.
People are similar to buildings in the regard that while the outside contains and, in a way, dictates the inside, what the inside actually looks and feels like is only fully accessible from the inside. The mystery of the envelope forces us to be restrained in our extrapolations from the exterior alone, not knowing either what is on the inside, or how the inside relates to the outside. This is the first difficulty in understanding a person. We exist in a unique juxtaposition of internalization and expression, further unique in our ability to apply our reflective capacity to each of those realities, and to their relationship to each other.
For future reference in this work, when I say Human, I mean the most complicated, significant, powerful, autonomous dynamic force in the universe. The financial economy offers two different perspectives on the subjective evaluation of value: the scarcity model and the utility model. In the scarcity model, a thing is valuable by how rare it is. In the utility model, a thing is valuable based upon how useful it is. The juxtaposition of the two models is illustrated in the old adage about one eyed rulers in the land of the blind. In the context of these two distinct foundations for Value, how does the human experience rate, in the eternal inertial chaos of existence?
Our societal relationship with the concept of change is multifaceted, as any interaction between a human and a concept must be, complicated beasts that we are, human and concept alike. Change, alone, is not what we want to consider, but rather progress, which is always change, while the inverse is not quite as reliable. In fact, the distinction between progress and change might lie at the center of the conversation, as people by nature are always changing, even as are families (Hawthorn, 1950), and nations (Gibbon, 2003), while not progressing. In light of this inevitable change, how do we cultivate neutrality on a moving train, as it were?
Exclusive to humanity alone is the privilege of creative autonomy.
The immediate task for an empowered culture, or subgroup sharing at least one defining ideological facet, in this pursuit of species solidarity is one well documented in human literature the world over. I recognize that not every culture is or has been empowered to choose who they considered equals, but we are trying to establish a context within which we can move forward, and the key is not the map. As has ever been the case, the internalization of another as an equal is easiest accomplished by the loving of an other, as Romeo and Juliet demonstrate in perpetuity, and reminiscent to the neighborly advice given by a guy some people nailed to a tree for trying to get people to just get along, despite their relative social or racial orientations. The necessary developmental task to concretize the ideological humanism shared by many post-modern inheritors of the Enlightenment into emotional humanism is the experience of love for individuals of diverse ideological constellations. There has been a fair amount of study on the breadth importance of love in establishing the human connection, given magnificent treatment in A General Theory of Love (2008).
I have not, perhaps, earned the label of 'oppressive' for the romantic ideological orientation. I would like to revisit the evolution of a species, and such a species as never before dreamed or imagined in the entire natural world. The history of this evolution is a story of triumph, perpetually, but in the natural antagonism of such, it is also to history of oppression, and suppression. Together we will journey through the annals of our becoming with the bent nostalgia of perusing family photograph albums after the revelation of a father's infidelity and a mother's chronic depression, at once familiar and foreign, and sad both for that foreignness and for reasons all its own.
On the surface, biological, level, this examination of speçial evolution has already been accomplished. First, Darwin defined the nature of the process (1975), subsequent naturalists documented the reality of that process, and then Diamond concretized the actuality of the process (1998). On the internal level, applying the architectural distinction between the exterior, interior, and the envelope encompassing the relationship between one and the other, this evolution has been mapped at the individual level, by a number of theorists painting broad and bold the disparate parts of the psychological elephant, given more extensive treatment in the model to follow.
The effective change a human being is capable of asserting in any given context is bounded only by the number of humans collaborating in that pursuit.
I think the real question of the Paragon-Pariah Paradox, after we have exercised some ideological plasticity to reduce some of our perceptual distortion on the concept of humanism to get to the heart of the difficulty, is how to talk about all the different kinds of equality?
Subjective equality, the great triumph of the multicultural movement, could be labeled the valid right of each autonomous individual to define their emotional interpretation of a given interaction as the basic fact governing our collaborative space, appearing as a recontextualized Voltairianism: I may disagree with what you said/did, but I will defend to the death your right to feel/think that way. The evolution from the original statement is a result of the reflexive nature of any fact about one side of human to human interactions. The same subjective autonomy is true of the other person in the equation, regardless of the ideological makeup framing their interpretation, a fact which deserves equal validity in the social equation. This human application of special relativity, respecting the ideological frame of reference as properly subject to the approval only of the individual holding it, and the uniqueness of which, again, is the basis of that individual's individuality.
The problem of multicultural relativism then appears to be trying to find equality by looking for inequality, the way before Kahneman we looked for rationality by pointing out irrationality, or the way psychology tries to find peace by studying psychopaths. That is the hope of Human Dynamics, to offer help on how to be human, by studying humans, while not dictating what manner of human one might want to become. Study the chaos, meditate on order, and then try to create the one out of the other, in both directions. Just as we use our reasonability to maximize the utility of our unreasonability, so we must leverage our inequality to the maximal utility of our equality. In this regard, we must attempt to carve the future out of our past as opposed to the interminable battle between the two. The counseling relationship again offers an example of how this transition occurs on the individual level, stressing the integration of the past into the present to provide a more stable foundation upon which to sculpt the future (Wilber, 2000).