Social Engineering, Boon or Bane?

There is considerable documentation on the implementation of social engineering in the U.S. school system.  The academic shift from the transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next to social engineering parallels the descent of U.S. academic achievement from number 1 in the world 45 years ago to 27th today.

Now, social engineering is invading the business community.  Or perhaps the two have been intertwined for much longer.

Before I continue, I want to ask you a question:  How many times have you arrived home from work and said to yourself, “I accomplished nothing today and when I wasn’t doing nothing I was screwing up.  Boy, that felt good!!”

Anyone?  Ever?

“R. D. Ingthorsson states that a human being is a biological creature from birth but is from then on shaped as a person through social influences (upbringing/socialisation) and is in that sense a social construction, a product of society.”[1]

There is a great deal of information on social engineering in the workplace, in the school system, in government and in criminality.  The idea is to create an ideal social construct for maximum prosperity and happiness in society or, in the case of the criminal, for oneself.

Now, to short circuit a great deal of time and study, let’s look at what engineering entails.  In order to design and manufacture a product, an engineer must have mastery over the materials with which the product is made, the technology supporting the product and the underlying  physics and theory.

The social engineer, like the mechanical engineer, believes he has and is entitled to mastery over his raw materials, technology and theory, i.e., of fellow human beings, you.  He thinks he knows what is best for you better than you do.

Doesn’t this sound like the same character flaw that afflicts racists, sexists and other-o-phobes;  believing he/she is better than the other guy.  I confess I tried to study psychology.  I couldn’t get past the sheer meanness of Pavlov’s dog experiments.  It appears that I have more respect for dogs than social engineers have for human beings.  I don’t know about you, but I find that chilling.

Look at your life.  Were your finest moments when you were coerced, manipulated or cajoled into behaving against your inner nature?  Were they moments when you were swept along with the momentum of the crowd?

Or, were they moments that sprang unbidden from the heart and inspired you to action, true to your nature?  Were they rather moments when you stood apart fearlessly defending an undeniable truth, large or small, regardless of group opinion?

Social engineers and others who feel entitled to define and control you would say these experiences are just anecdotal.  It is a convenient term to dismiss your personal knowledge and experience, to dismiss you.

What if, flaws and all, you’re a finer person than the other guy thinks you are?  What if you are stronger, kinder and wiser than the social engineer can even imagine?  Do you want to live down to his expectations or up to yours?

In your interactions with other people, do you want to control them, to place yourself above them?  Or, would you rather inspire them to unleash their talent, ability and potential?

I know it’s much easier to be the lab rat of someone who has vastly superior education, credibility and authority and the very best of intentions.  I just don’t know if it’s much fun being someone else’s deliberately engineered social construction or if there’s anything real to gain from it.  I rather fear that instead, your finest talents and abilities are crushed in the pursuit of predictable and perpetual mediocrity, the epitome of every bell curve.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_engineering_(political_science)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s