Trying to get back in shape with writing, a bit difficult since summer is coming, my son went from babble to full conversation in a few days, and I have been dealing with tons of interesting work. Anyway, I have to thank Mark Earls for putting together his thoughts about our "true nature" as a super social species. Great reading for anyone in planning, market research, or just interested in mass behavior.
According to Earls, by detaching ourselves from the illusion of individualism and embracing the concept of humans as part of a larger organism (that some call society), we are able to better observe the true social interface that operates in several different conscious and unconscious levels of the collective imagination and drives everything from our opinions to our actions (often different).
We seem to be intensely interconnected and this has been observed by disciplines with cool names like ecobiology, sociobiology, social anthropology, social Darwinism, and the like. Our view of the world is shaped by our view of ourselves within that world, and it will change depending on who we think is observing or judging our behavior. This is why is interesting to see the spontaneous decoration of public spaces, especially restrooms at bars, which offer the perfect private/public space in which people express on top of each other expressions, creating a collage of imagery, words, and signs only comparable to the way we organize ourselves in many different levels of our communal life.
Here is a sample from a few establishments in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.