Ideas on cyberspace and psyche follow, with reference to social networks, science, psychodrama and sociometry. I conclude with a quote from Moreno that led to this reflection.
Technologically mediated social networks are evolving at run-away speed. Email, blogs, IM and now twitter and real-time developments in Facebook and WordPress, Google Wave, are together creating an environment that is tumultuous, disruptive but so ubiquitous it is hard to see.
In that way it is like the psyche. Like the unconscious. We seem to be individuals with autonomy and choice, but our hidden selves in our unconscious mind and our life in the hidden influences of social networks, public opinion, culture and fashion means our autonomy is not what it seems.
Jung, I think, links the personal and the social through the collective unconscious. Similarly Moreno visualises the psyche as a network of relationships.
Anyway, however others see it, I think of the psyche as “out there”, a network of ideas and knowledge with its own life and a network of relationships, attractions and repulsion with its own life.
Getting a handle on this purely virtual phenomena, (like Teilhard de Chardin’s Noosphere) is unlike understanding the physical world. We can enter this sphere and get glimpses of it directly through conscious experience, but as there is no actual “thing”, what is there described in words (or images), with their own fluid meanings. Love and hate are between people and things. They are in a space that is separate from the psychical entities. Metaphor is a way to describe the virtual phenomena. “The rising tide of public discontent” or God. Then the immediate question arises… is God real or a metaphor? This is where the notion of Metaxy comes in. There is something, the metaphor fits, or does not fit this something, some descriptions fit with the virtuality better than others, but they are not the same as labels in the physical world. Testing for the truth of a metaphor has its own place in the methods of science. Truth is possible, psychodrama is often referred to as the “theatre of truth”.
All of the above popped out as an introduction to a quote I found from Moreno. But I have digressed. You may see a link. I like to study the the role of such phenomena as the real-time-web, social networks, to grasp the evolution of the psyche.
I am seeking a psychodrama of the internets.
ROBOTS/HOW TO LIVE WITH THEM
… The countermeasure lies in a cold appraisal of the situation, a systematic study of the causations underlying the invention of mechanical devices, the origin of the robot in human nature and beyond it, a careful calculation of the “socio-atomic organization of mankind”. In other words, we should bring the problem into full scientific consciousness and develop parallel with sociometry a zootechnique, a science of the technical animals.
J.L. Moreno, Who Shall Survive? p. 601