Object Oriented Populations (OOP's) is aimed at fighting the threat of Generation Exile. This superstruct seeks to change the fundamental ways people view themselves and others. The goal is to emphasize similarities and inclusivity rather than Exclusivity Attributes. The basis of the idea is: if people stop fearing and hating one another many problems will resolve themselves or become more manageable.
The idea is simple: InheritanceEdit
In programming, there's a concept of The Object. EVERYTHING derives from Object. Object is the most generic description of everything, from the most obvious physical structure, to the most abstract idea. This is the basis for the idea of Object-Oriented Populations. Substituting old ideas of inclusivity, hierarchy, and difference with the reality of commonality.
In the 20th Century, the average citizen-of-the-world identified themselves by familiar concepts: race, nationality, religion, age, income level, sexual orientation, and gender. These common attributes led to positively-associated groupings. As social organisms, humans like to group themselves; and fighting the natural tendency of the primate is not only unproductive, but insane. Instead, remodeling the way socio-political structures are conceived of by the members of those groups, and people on the outside of those groups, offers a means to dissolving the reliance on Exclusion Attributes.
What are Exclusion Attributes?Edit
The 20th Century person was an Asian, American, Christian, Thirty-something, Middle-Class, Bisexual, Woman. She suffered from- and because of- racism, nationalism, age-ism, fanaticism, class-ism, sex-ism, gender-ism, xenophobia, and any personal mental disorders (Depression, ADHD, Bipolar, etc) she may have had. Each attribute of the person that is, or can be, used by people without that same attribute is an Exclusion Attribute. EA's are everywhere: Democrat, Republican, Yankee, Limey, Pepsi-drinker, Coke-drinker, drug user, teetotaler, junkie, brunette, blond, college-educated, GED recipient, tall, short, fat, skinny, ugly, pretty, ad nauseam! The reality is, no matter what we do, EA's will not go away. Take the United States as an example.
The Civil Rights phenomenonEdit
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's worked. Except when it didn't. Even in the beginning of the 21st century, people were voluntarily segregating themselves based on the, completely fictional, idea of “race”. This was evident in many schools around the country, in many social groups, and in gang-ridden areas of California- where Black and Hispanic gangs regularly vied for control and routinely targeted members of the opposite “race”. Civil Rights succeeded in ending the “Separate But Equal” standards, but in the beginning of the 21st Century, gay, lesbian, transgendered, and similar couples were not allowed the same basic benefits as heterosexual couples, in the majority of the US. Instead of simply allowing any two consenting citizens of legal age to marry, they were offered “same-sex unions”, or other differently-named- but similar to marriage- institutions (just like inter-racial couples decades earlier). Thus, Separate But Equal lived on passed its Supreme Court execution. Additionally, women and minorities were unequally represented in the majority of industries, and unequally compensated compared to “White Males”. Civil Rights
Instead of Martin Luther King's vision of people walking hand in hand, which succeeded on many personal and individual levels, the US was basically unchanged. There were many reports, of indeterminably apocryphal natures, even into the start of the 21st Century (and especially after the events of 9/11), of harsh treatment of “white” African immigrants at African-American Students' League events on college campuses. These were Arabic and Caucasoid Africans, who were actually born and raised in Africa; and who were chastised, insulted, threatened, and/or worse, for showing up to a meeting for African-Americans. A noted professor, when commenting on brain structure differences in the genders, was fired for perception of gender bias and inflammatory public statements. Instead of coming together, many people felt the Civil Rights Movement- despites its triumphs- had served to illustrate differences, instead of facilitating togetherness.
Despite the validity, one way or another, of arguments against the Civil Rights Movement, Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity- and similar laws, acts, and legislation- the fact remained that the EA's of the past remained obvious, if slightly diminished, and effective. Certain words, or sayings, were socially appropriate for one type of person or situation, while socially inappropriate for another person or situation, for arbitrary reasons of skin color, associations, tones, etc. Despite the progress made, “Peace between the races” was still not a likely outcome in the lives of average people.
What can be done?Edit
Changing the meme of EA's is the fundamental goal of OOP's. By understanding the basic, objective, truths about what it is to be a fully realized person in the world today, we can change the way that EA's affect and effect the preconceptions, attitudes, and interactions of social groups. Tomorrow not only must be, but can be, a better place.
Most people have had the experience of reading a blog- or forum post, or chat text- by some unknown party, making assumptions about how that person must look, and later discovering that person isn't anything like the preconception. How does this happen? What does it say about the way human beings formulated, and incorporate, preconceptions and bias?
Because Artificial Intelligence remains in the realm of science-fiction, the first thing obvious about an anonymous internet poster/chatter, is that they are human. Second order inferences can be made- based on fonts, avatars, word choices, sentence structure, slang, signatures, and numerous other minutia- as to the gender of the writer; but these can often be misleading, or inconclusive. Sometimes that ambiguity is intentional, sometimes it is coincidental. The subject of the forum, the chat room, the blog, and the post further add to the idea that the writer is one way or another. Any historical interactions add more flavors to the idea of whether the writer is black, white, red, yellow, green, male, female, both, neither, calm, angry, mature, immature, educated, etc. This entire idea is often formulated subconsciously by context clues and other subtle indicators.
Nature versus nurtureEdit
We form preconceptions and biases based on our environment. If we were often exposed, as a child, to a bully we may grow to distrust people who look or act similarly to that bully; especially, if we were tormented for a long period of time. If a trusted counselor, friend, or family member tells us something about a group of people, we are likely to believe what they say- regardless of its validity- simply because we like the person who told us the information. These are simple facts of life, we all discover eventually- usually well after we've already become invested in a particular way of thinking.
The Faith FactorEdit
Especially in very religious communities, faith and credulity are touted as things to be reverent of, and strive towards. It is no coincidence that a religious practitioner under the age of 11 follows, more than 90% of the time by some estimates, the same religious practices and beliefs of their parents/guardians. Though religion and spirituality are not, necessarily, horrible things to be completely expunged from the annals of history, the tendency to teach credulity and blind acceptance in these matters, causes seepage into other areas. This further reinforces the subconscious need for acceptance that drives unquestioning belief in the edicts passed on by our cherished fellows.
Worse than the things that can be definitively pointed to as continuing stereotypes and biases unto younger generations; are those times when a flippant comment, or one made in the heat of the moment, sows distrust. Unintended uses of EA's, though not common, are probably the hardest- and most insidious- aspects of bias spreading to deal with. Often, this takes the form of an angry person using a slur in anger. This is often due to knee-jerk reactions, like cursing when a knee is banged against a piece of furniture. The unintended, unconscious, and immediately forgotten outbursts can provide the impressionable with the message that “when push comes to shove” it is okay to discriminate.
Casual- off-hand comments- made without thinking, can influence children despite lack of intent. It is this aspect of unintended consequences, that makes every word we say in the presence of the impressionable, important. Additionally, the ingrained discrimination of older generations- often dismissed due to the age of the person making the discrimination- are just as harmful today as ever. “Grandpa is too old to change,” is a platitude with dire consequences when carried forward into perpetuity. A child could easily think that it is okay to use demeaning or hateful rhetoric in anger, or in private.
Like mold, discrimination grows in the wet darkness. Socially, this darkness is occupied by the subjectively threatened, the xenophobic, and the adamantly superior. It festers, outside of the cleansing public spotlight, and undermines the young, the weak willed, and any other unfortunate- and credulous- person who gets too close.
Answers to problemsEdit
The Civil Rights Movement showed how effective common perceptions can be in removing discrimination from our public lives. One of the problems is hate, distrust, and fear can still live on in the secluded private lives of people invested in their differences. Though it would be unthinkable for most well adjusted people to say racial slurs in a public area, many still use those racial slurs in private. This is not the desired outcome, but it gives a clue towards where we should go: Memes.
Viral ideas, first named memes by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, are more than just public opinions. Technically, the public opinion to deride as racists anyone who uses derogatory words was a meme; but it wasn't a designed meme. It was, somewhat, accidental- though, its spread was purposeful. The way to change, to improve tomorrow, is to design a meme to change the conceptualization of Exclusion Attributes, modeled on the Civil Rights Movement.
The Individual Problems, and Generic SolutionsEdit
The idea of race is still a big deal. Ethnic cleansing has occurred in all parts of the world, and continues to be a problem today. Warring tribes, with little or no objective differences, seek to kill each other over perceived injustices, and past conflicts; without any understanding of the historical contexts to their fighting. If this wasn't tragic enough, the science of genetics proved conclusively that “race” doesn't really exist.
Instead, race is a function of geographical local and skin coloration. Skin colors of all types appear in different people, regardless of race. More tellingly, descriptors for “race” tend to contain geographical contexts: “African”, “Hispanic”, “Caucasian”, “Arab”, etc. Knowing only the geographical context or the skin color of someone is never enough to identify “race”. With large crowds of refugees, displaced populations, and immigrants spread throughout the, so-called, global village even knowing both the geographical information and coloration is often too little to adequately define “race”.
“Race” is an antiquated idea, from the infancy of human civilization. Alongside other dead ideas- e.g. Spontaneous Generation, or the Helio-centric Universe- the concept of “race”should be relegated to the history books. It is possible we are merely in the beginning of the end for the idea of “race”- genetics, after all is still a relatively young science, despite huge advances in recent decades- but why should we confine ourselves to such arbitrary, and inaccurate descriptions any longer?
National Pride is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it makes people happy and can bring communities together. On the other, it can lead to fear or distrust of anyone not of a person's nation. Patriotism was used by the Bush Administration, in the US, to foment an us-against-them mentality, which was used to garner support for the Iraq war debacle. Fervent nationalism is often cited as one of the reasons the Nazi Party gained power in post-WWI Germany.
National Pride can be healthy, but unchecked can become an impetus for movements that- though worthy seeming in the short-term- are cause for huge regret in later generations. The idea of national pride and patriotism needs to be changed into one of pride- to bring communities together- without the aggressive xenophobia that it can so easily become.
Discrimination based on age has two, main, forms: discrimination against the old by the young and discrimination against the young by the old. These are often subtle, subconscious, discriminations; though, sometimes they are very overt. The young feel that the repression and authority of the older are not due to experience and maturity, but unjust, unwarranted, and undeserved. The old feel the young are too immature, too unexperienced, and not dependable enough to handle things.
The young cite failing health, mental acuity, and inability to change (or change fast enough) as reasons to distrust or ignore the old. The old cite inexperience, immaturity, laziness, and lack of a longterm world view as reasons to distrust the young. What one forgets is that they were once “young,” “lazy,” “rebels”; while the other neglects to take into account that they will one day be the “stodgy old dinosaurs” in charge. Despite the fact that maturity, experience, and health are not simply byproducts of age (just as not all children are healthy or lazy, not all seniors are mature or experienced), the concept of fundamental difference simply by virtue of age remains.
Religion is a touchy subject. Faith is often seen as a virtue by the faithful; while non-theists often view faith as a negative attribute. Religion has been used to isolate, divide, and incite populations for ever. Saying this aspect of religion is a sensitive area for discussion is an understatement; and many religious peoples point to secular genocides (Nazi Germany, the former Soviet Union, etc) as a rebuttal to religion's- often cited- use as a justification for war.
Worse, in a highly developed nation like the United States, atheists are still the most distrusted minority despite the efforts of groups like the Secular Coalition of Atheists, Atheist Alliance International, and others. Atheists and atheist organizations are more prominent in public life today than even a decade ago, and atheist themed books have regularly appeared on bestseller lists; yet, in the 2016 Republican National Convention presidential candidate Ted Stevens suffered little, if any, rebuke for quoting former President George H. W. Bush by saying: “I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.”
Religious Extremism is the main reason for terrorism in the world today. It is not just the ancient fights over doctrine- between Sunnis and Shiites, Catholics and Protestants- but also the religious against the secular. Religion, despite being highly mutable from one person to the next- even inside the same sect- is still cause for fear, distrust, and intolerance. Despite the entirely personal aspects of worship, doctrinal interpretation, and spiritual convictions; religion is seen as an acceptable means of judging a person by a majority of people around the world.
Instead of the current system, extolling the principles of publicly demonstrating faith, religion should be viewed as highly individualized philosophy. New memes should be developed to educate people to understand differences in dogmas; the similarities between religions, sects of those religion, and between the atheist and religious; and to view religious belief as fundamentally private and personal.
The gap between the richest and the poorest has been increasingly steadily for decades, with no end in sight. As new technologies are developed and made available it becomes easier to denote who is a “have” and who a “have-not”. The natural tendency of humanity is to want better. Our ability to imagine- which evolutionary biologists point out is a key aspect of our intelligence- can make us want what we perceive as “better”. Notions of the ease and comfort that come with being a “higher class” inspire jealousy, and work in concert with capitalist ideas to make us covetous. Additionally, the perceived “better-ness” of what the upper classes have often carries over into the misconception that the people who have such things are “better” themselves.
Showing that ownership does not impart inherent value to the owner is essential to the disillusion of the idea of classism. The communist experiment showed that regulation to dissolve class doesn't work for various reasons. New ways of understanding should be developed to show that monetary value does not equate to social value, ever. Historical examples of famous thinkers and other people who died destitute, showing that the worth of a person has little to do with their bank statement should be highlighted.
Commonly, this is the term used to describe discrimination based on gender. However, gender-ism describes that concept more clearly. Instead, sexism is discrimination based on sexual orientation. Today, many developed countries- and more than half of the states in the US- do not allow non-heterosexual couples to marry; and the situation is worse in the developing world, where non-heterosexual couples are often beaten, publicly ridiculed, or even killed. The personal, private, lives of people are used as an excuse to make them unequally equal. George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” which describes the policies of “same-sex/civil unions” advocated in many places around the world today. This unequal equality serves to continue keeping a segment of the population from being fully integrated into society.
Understanding that the personal, and private, activities and choices made by consenting adults about with whom and how they have sex, are as inconsequential to people outside of those choices is key. Legal activities engaged in between people of legally consenting age to engage in those activities, are the purview of those people, and no one else. Establishing a fundamental difference between a person's private and public life is essential to eliminating discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Looking at a naked genetically-male figure and a naked genetically-female figure it is obvious that there are certain differences. However, stereotypes of intelligence, ability, and “what is proper” cause the potential of many people to go unrealized. Further, people who live as a different gender than they were born, though more and more acceptable- especially in light of recent global popularity of several Thai Ladyboys and other transgendered people- are often ridiculed or seen as deviants. Despite huge amounts of variation- genetically, potentially, physically, and aesthetically- in gender, “traditional” gender views are held by large portions of the world. In the US, women- despite Equal Opportunity, Feminism, and similar movements/legislation- still earn less money than men in similar jobs.
Reducing emphasis on out-dated social constructs- such as “a woman's place is in the home”- while simultaneously debunking common myths about the genders and transgendered people, will go a long way towards helping. These solutions need to be aimed at all people- regardless of gender- instead of aimed at empowering one gender or another. Solutions should incorporate real-world historical examples that refute gender stereotypes.
The real problem is xenophobia. Regardless of the groupings of an individual, many people fear those who are different from themselves. This fear is often manifested through, distrust, segregation, violence, and general suspicion. Xenophobia isn't just about fear of people from other countries. It is fear of “the other”, a usually undefined sense of anxiety towards anyone who isn't exactly like the subjective person.
Information is the destroyer of such unspecific, and unwarranted, fear. Understanding of similarities, over differences, make people more comfortable with others. Memes need to be designed to celebrate diversity, and make intolerance intolerable.
A solution to the problems with solutions!Edit
Many of the problematic EA's can be good or logical, up to a certain point. Nationalism can bring communities together, two-year-olds probably shouldn't be given Franchise, there are actually differences between the genders, class-ism is intrinsic to capitalism, etc. Generally, it is accepted that humans naturally group things- including themselves. Fighting the roots of the disillusionment in Generation Exile is, seemingly, fighting against human nature.
That's where OOP changes everything.
Object-Oriented Programming languages derive everything from the base category of Object. Object-Oriented Populations remain highly grouped, but are inclusive, defining individuals as People first. Instead of being a Heterosexual Orthodox Jewish Middle-class Hispanic Canadian Male Human, in an OOP the same person would see themselves first and foremost as an Individual Human. Fundamentally, they are a solitary human. After that, each classification tacks onto them further descriptions until the whole individual is revealed. Instead of fighting the natural tendency of all people to label themselves and others, this incorporates that tendency and changes it from being exclusive to being inclusive. Similarly to anonymous social discussion groups, the first thing known about anyone else is, like the subjective person, they are an Individual Human Person.