Social Dynamics – A Human Instruction Manual (Hard Copy)
Social Dynamics – A Human Instruction Manual is a text which playfully lays foundations for those on unstable ground, lights the way for those lost in the dark, and paves new paths for those without a notion of what road to travel. An instruction manual on how to be human covering all the most important considerations a human being needs in order to make sense of the world and live well.
“Life is a puzzle, and you are a piece of that puzzle. Living life is a matter of finding out in which ways you can fit into the bigger picture. Being familiar with the bigger picture of reality makes it easier for one to find one’s place within that reality — maps aid navigation.”
Social Dynamics — A Human Instruction Manual is a fresh new philosophical perspective on “self help” rooted in an ethos of making sense of the world through reason, logic, and semantics.
This book deals with many aspects of human life that cause innumerable people all sorts of confusion and difficulty; traversing through how one coheres understanding of themselves, to how one might conceive of, and interact with, other people on a level beyond everyday considerations — and a whole lot more besides.
The main goal of the book is to assist prospective readers in gaining a greater sense of coherence and understanding in their personal lives; ordering the chaos of circumstance, so to speak.
‘Social dynamics’ is all about figuring out how one can understand their particular place in the infinitely rich, endlessly complicated social network that the world has become. Dynamics shift over time, and develop or erode based on our inputs, how we choose to conduct ourselves, and how those choices effect subsequent sets of circumstance. Everything is in flux, and each of us is adrift in an endless sea of variables which shifts over time.
In this book, the “Self” is reconceived of as the vehicle through which an individual can effect the world outside of themselves. But, not just that: the Self one – for want of a better word – ‘has’ is both constructed and piloted by the individual in possession of it. One’s ability to effect change upon the world is contingent on how well-developed and carefully constructed the Self of the actor in question is at that moment in time. The Self is developed through the understanding of what is to be achieved (aims and goals), and the evocation of will. Will rests on a foundation of care, and the attainment of one’s goals is accommodated or stifled by the presence or lack of care.
The sub-heading ironically claims the category of an ‘instruction manual’, as the reason it was written was for the sake of assisting those dealing with unfavourable conditions in life by giving readers unique ways to think about, and hopefully overcome, problems some find all-too-common.
The main themes of the book are: love, life, time, death, truth, lie, integrity, and deceit. It is a pithy little book which is rich in subtext, metaphor, and wordplay. It is a humorous take on what it is to be human, while at the same time it is a pragmatic guide to help anyone literate to be able to make sense of this crazy world we all find ourselves a part of.
Some of the concepts explored in this book were inspired by ideas such as J.L. Austin’s notion of ‘The Performative’, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Ethics of Joy and Affirmation, as well as Aristotle’s Ethics of Virtue, understanding of love/sexuality from Plato’s Phaedrus, the conceptions of human learning and how it relates to play from the work of Jean Piaget.