31 December 2007

Social Objects

Hugh MacLeod's post on Social Objects is fantastic. It perfectly describes how human beings start conversations and getting to know, based on things (objects) we mutually cathect.

And speaking of Social Objects, it's no secret that one of my favorites is Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game. In the Ender series, OSC posits that we're connected to other people and things in this universe by way of philotic twines: invisible yet tangible connections based on the mutual love we share for each other or for - dare I say it? - social objects. (Read more at Wikipedia under the heading "Philotic Web".)

Rachel Bellow's comment on Hugh's post really spoke to me:

". . . Social objects are the particular manifestation of shared meaning, right? So that suggests there's a drive underlying all these manifestations....that the social object is not, in itself, the drive. The need for meaning...specifically shared meaning...is a deep human impulse that will, invariably, manifest in some form or another. If not this social object, another. Social networks like Facebook are simply evidence of that quest. Aren't they simply forums where the quest for shared meaning can coalesce and result in manifestation (social objects)?

People tend to be conscious of the social object more than they are of the underlying impulse that led them to it. The search for meaning--a purpose that radiates beyond the limited confines of the self--lies at the center of all human interaction. It seems to me that identifying the nature of that impulse, what sort of meaning is in play at any given time, is really important....and helps us create brilliant social objects to express it, specifically. I imagine that what attracts you to Saul Bellow is the way he expresses his own constant, agonizing quest for meaning...a way of expressing that angst that is similar to your own, that allows you to join him, rather than simply watch with admiration. And so the woman who likes Bellow too must want to soak in that particular bath of meaning as well...which is what attracts you to her. It's the underlying taste for that particular form of meaning that being an SB fan indicates, and to which you respond. Henderson the Rain King isn't the point. Neither is Saul Bellow.

What is the point is that you and this woman share a taste for that particular worldview. That shared taste promises more social object creation between you two in the future. What I'm saying is that I think it's worth understanding at all times what form of meaning a social object is indicating....so that future social objects can can be created in its wake."

Summed up, as C.S. Lewis would put it: "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You, too? Thought I was the only one."

Rock on, Hugh. Rock on, OSC. And rock on, Rachel. I grok yer concepts muchly.

P.S.: whitenoise? Your FAQ about why you're here and what mark you'll leave? For me, I think it centers around this social object thang. To find meaning and those who share it with you. What's more, to create a social object that resonates meaning with others.

From Hugh MacLeod's gapingvoid.com

25 December 2007

Merry Ho Ho

If Happy Bunny says it with a holiday hat on, then it's officially a holiday greeting and not just a Cheek theme. k?

Merry Ho Ho to all y'all.

24 December 2007

Christmas Back Home

Am spending the week at Carolina Mom's, as is bro Buckwheat. May not be "home" in terms of where I grew up, but it's indeed one of my homes. As home(s) is(are) where the heart is.

From Randall Munroe's xkcd.com

The Human Condition: AirPlaneSeatReclineology

Can't believe I beat whitenoise to this:

From Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

Buckwheat featured in Dilbert today!

Ineffingcredible. My brother Buckwheat's likeness is featured in today's Dilbert strip. Go on. Tell me it doesn't look like him. I dare ya.

(He's the forehead guy, if there's any doubt.)

18 December 2007


From Toothpaste Before Dinner

I'm misplacing myself, these days. Looking forward to downtime next week.

17 December 2007

Bite Me, Part One

From Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

I have the *perfect* holiday t-shirt. Snap to follow soon. Spanks to Pid for drawing this comic jewel to my immediate attention.

12 December 2007

A** Muppet

Are you feeling the love, whitenoise?

From Partially Clips

06 December 2007

You're the Man

Spanks to MontanaMan for bringing this jewel to my attention. Posting it here is NOT an endorsement that this is the kind of man Cheek seeks.

04 December 2007

Love's Illusions

Well, whitenoise, here's what Hugh MacLeod's had to say on the subject: (From Hugh MacLeod's Gaping Void)

03 December 2007

Be Patriotic. Do Your Part.

Wednesday is Repeal Day, people. Do your part. International participation welcome.

02 December 2007

Dating is hard in any season

Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine

It's hard to ever feel sympathy for Rat, but this made me approximate it.