Social environment

Human Environment

The victorious humanist viewpoint has entrenched in the mass consciousness the flattering presumption of a “unique individual” and a “rich inner world” that has to be reckoned with. However, one of the problems of understanding humanistic theses is finding solutions within oneself, or asking oneself questions, the answers to which, by definition, cannot be “within the person”. For the neural net to respond adequately, it must be appropriately set up or trained. It would not be very smart to ask a kindergartner about the benefits of religion or a middle school student about tax reform. Man comes into this world as tabula rasa (a term taken from a Latin phrase that translates as “smooth or erased tablet”), so in order to “listen to yourself” and “discover something in yourself” other than animal instincts, you should first put something into yourself and then keep your knowledge up to date. The more complex the question you ask yourself, the more needs to be invested in yourself.

A kid always wants sweet food, praise, and entertainment. It is not healthy when interests don’t change much with age. The phrase “I don’t know what I want”, boredom or depression, the eternal “search for self” are all very likely the result of insufficient consumption of quality information, which broadens the horizons and contributes to the formation of new thoughts and ideas. The breadth and scope of interests determine the caliber of the individual. Some people might not know what they want and as a result might be wasting their time, while others have big ideas and don’t have enough time to deal with all of them. It is unlikely that such a big difference between the two individuals depends on genes.

The formation of a personality takes place throughout life, and in a significant way, it is influenced by the social environment, which, among other things, triggers the programs laid down by nature. We said that a doer (active person) changes the world by creating systems. But, on the other hand, the surrounding world or social environment directly participates in the development of a person’s personality: it sets their interests and outlook, forms “pictures of the world” (world views, perspective on reality), and mastery. The social environment also helps to put the mind in order, distracting the individual from internal imagined problems and anxieties.

The social environment provides a person with opportunities to live an interesting life, deriving joys and developing skills. A person can use the positive influence of the social environment on their development and eliminate its negative influences, or a person can go with the flow, following dogmas and social stereotypes.

Dogmas, mythology, and stereotypes have played a positive historical role, introducing whatever meaning to life and instilling in people a mental calmness about the chaos of reality. But the negative consequences of unscientific pictures of the world are that they are built on an unquestioning faith that requires no verification or scientific analysis, or on a simplification that is easy to absorb and subsequently to imitate. Dogmas and stereotypes, while comforting to the mind, have poor predictive power about reality, although they have power over immature minds.

The social environment is the culture and country of residence, social circle, educational environment, etc. Advertising, TV, social networks, parents and friends, teachers and colleagues all play a part in shaping a person’s personality. A jungle, a medieval city, the American countryside, or a European metropolis will create completely different people. These will be people with different interests, world pictures, skills, needs, and desires (dissatisfactions). The knowledge of civilization comes to a human being from the social environment. A person consumes this knowledge consciously and unconsciously. The environment shapes one’s personality to such an extent that it is virtually impossible to separate one’s own interests from those imposed from outside. For example, a person can write out their own interests or needs, but they can hardly cope with the task of separating their “true” interests from those that came from the social environment. Happiness, love, companionship, security are what every person wants, and this is inherent in nature. But man is not born with an interest in the cosmos, mathematics, or poetry. A person may have a predisposition and natural ability, but the interests are manifested or reinforced by the social environment. It is important for us to understand how to deal with our biological nature and how the social environment shapes our interests so that by satisfying them at the same time we can change the world for the better.

On the one hand, the social environment is designed to protect the individual from the excessive diversity of the world. Culture helps to narrow one’s attention to social norms and also limit options to not bring chaos into one’s consciousness. For example, marketers have observed that a large selection of goods has a negative impact on purchase decisions compared to an assortment of a few mainstream models. Culture determines the options for life strategies, says what is good and what is bad, what a person should strive for, and what methods to use.

On the other hand, the social environment has its disadvantages. In the environment that surrounds humans, providers of different moral standards are competing for a person’s attention. A person can fall into someone’s skillfully set networks by means of attention-grabbing. Recent research on brain function says something about the absence of “free will” or “free choice”. A person, of course, makes a choice independently, but this choice is conditioned by those “world pictures” that have been previously laid in the human brain. For example, from a biological point of view, a certain impulse goes through the neural net, and a person decides to choose a certain toothpaste. If a person does not deliberately turn on slow thinking, then automatic fast thinking will work, which will make a predetermined choice. This choice will most likely be related to experience, but that experience itself was derived from the information about toothpastes that had previously entered the human brain. Advertising played no small part in downloading this information into the person’s brain.

Advances in neuroscience began to be used en masse in marketing, propaganda, and other spheres of life. It is quite difficult to prevent someone from putting their model of the world in your head. Especially if you don’t know that it is happening. The brain is constantly consuming information, and one cannot constantly think about where to direct their attention. This requires engaging costly (meaning expensive energy-wise) slow thinking. This is what the tricks of the content providers who are capturing a person’s attention are designed to do. According to the theories of neuromarketing, it’s just a matter of taking the “caught” consumer through the stages of the life cycle to the active action they (marketers, advertisers) need in the form of a purchase, a vote cast, time given, etc. To do this, certain pictures of the world are planted in the consumer’s brain.

It is difficult to escape the influence of the social environment because in order to do so one must always be attentive, which is impossible. Therefore it is necessary for a person to consciously shape their social environment in advance. The kind of social environment that will have a positive impact on the outlook, mastery, and would keep consciousness in order. For this purpose, it is necessary to reconsider the circle of information sources and/or to develop tactics of interaction with them. Examples could be spending less time binging TV and watching social networks, but instead joining a community that sets ethical goals, to develop internal resistance to stress at work by means of management of consciousness.

An important practice is systematic reading of useful literature. During the day, a person in one way or another consumes a lot of information, and this information is not always high quality, so it is necessary to reserve time for reading a few pages of quality books on a planned basis. Only this planned approach can combat the negative influence of the social environment.

Thus, it is important for a person to be able to work with their environment, use information properly, and manage their attention. Quality information is a set of good pictures of the world that have a high probability of prediction. We can obtain these theories (good quality world views, perspectives on reality) by consciously broadening our horizons and learning practices.

Attention is the greatest resource of our time

With the development of technology, the attention of each person has become the main resource that content providers and companies compete for. There is a lot of money paid for attention in the form of clicks on the Internet. It seems like it was just yesterday that “BMW” and “Mercedes” were competing for their consumers, but today, automakers are competing for consumer’s attention with the suppliers of home appliances, the grocery stores (Giant, Whole Foods, etc.), and even with politicians.

Aisystant is also competing for attention. We are getting attention because we want to educate people about the importance of strengthening intelligence. But the person whose attention we are fighting for is also a voter, a purchaser of different products, different technology, and cars. Тhat person has a limited resource of attention that they can spend on anything. If a person does not purposefully manage their time and attention, they become easy prey for providers of accessible and beautiful content.

Every content provider seeks to capture the attention of the consumer in order to put a certain “picture of the world” (worldview, perspective on reality), which at the right time will be in demand. For example, at the moment when the question of buying a car arises, the person will operate with those pictures of the world, that are already placed in his head. Even before buying a car, the consumer forms criteria, patterns, and behaviors. The car manufacturer, like a school, trains its consumer, understands well the consumer’s current level of development, and incorporated world pictures. But in order to begin training and to put the necessary knowledge into the consumer’s head, it is first necessary to win the competition for attention from other content providers.


If a person does not control their attention, then the attention is controlled by the social environment, which supplies templates understandable to a person. The cult of consumption, formed in the public consciousness, provides a simple and understandable template for making decisions in everyday life. The media and the Internet are full of simple pictures of the world, which, once studied, a consumer suddenly considers themselves an expert on world politics, economics, viruses, learning, or space. When you are younger, your mother can tell you what to wear to school, and as you get older, what to wear to work. A blogger or psychologist is also ready to give instructions for all occasions. No need to think every time, quick thinking in time finds a pre-loaded simple picture of the world, or one can ask a friend to give a template (understandable) answer. This is how a person becomes dependent on the social environment. If a person finds themselves faced with an unsolvable problem, they cannot find a way out on their own, because they draw information from the same sources that led them to addiction. Without realizing it, a person automatically uses other people’s pictures of the world but is unable to create pictures of the world on their own unique life circumstances or work projects. So when a person like that is faced with complexity, they have nothing to replace the simple models that don’t work.

It is not difficult to become addicted to the social environment, even with the knowledge of such addiction. The brain constantly desires and consumes information, and out of all the information provided it chooses the one that relates to survival (therefore, the viewer responds better to incidents and cataclysms), or the one that is most attractive and easiest to obtain. These algorithms, laid down by nature, are used by content providers, who know how to beautifully present “vital” material with simple pictures of the world. It is impossible not to get hooked on this, and it is difficult to break the established autopilot behavior (scrolling through the feed in your spare time, turning on the TV when you come home, etc).

How do you become an owner of your own attention? A person can learn to control their attention: to focus it, hold it, and replenish it. We can learn to do it at different intervals — from minutes to hours to life as a whole. Managed attention will not allow you to be manipulated by the outside world, but will help with the selection of necessary knowledge and pictures of the world. A person’s attention must extend to what information a person consumes and from what sources, what emotions a person experiences and what roles a person plays, what habits a person has and how to improve them, how a person learns and how he rests, what goals a person sets and how he achieves them.