Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Sociometry Beyond Human Cognitive Ability

Originally posted on October 8, 2017

Jacob L. Moreno perceived correctly that our social life operates not only in a matrix of relationships, but that these are most complex indeed. Relationships are established not at the level of thinking, but rather feeling, bonding, mysterious connections that include hormone releasing chemicals in the blood and their impact on brain nerve cells.

Relationships also reflect thinking about thinking, feeling and intuiting and thinking about thinking about thinking, and so forth. I’m saying that human relations are incredibly complex, unable to be formulated exactly by human minds. Knowing that someone likes you may not make you like her, but it will soften your dislike significantly.

In his article Sociometry In Relation To Other Social Sciences, (1951: p.24) which is a chapter in Moreno’s edited compilation of his papers, Sociometry: Experi-mental Method and the Science of Society J. L. Moreno postulates that the psyche surrounds the body and is itself surrounded by and interwoven into the social and cultural atoms. The problem is that this latter “surrounding dynamic” goes beyond the  human capacity to measure it!

It’s very interactional and full of immeasurable factors! People don’t like to admit that the weight complexity cannot—can not—be measured exactly by humans! That this metaphor is more than three, and indeed more than six dimensional, is evidently not considered, but the way the cultural “atom” is as I say multi-dimen-sional. Moreno correctly recognizes embedded-ness, but not multi-dimensional-ity. Moreno notes that “the person is therefore linked to other persons.”  However, it’s time we realize that Moreno was not warmed up to the idea that we are all very multi-dimensional.

I have proposed a theory that recognizes (1) that thinking about thinking is qualitatively different fro thinking; and further contemplations are even more distant. They also contain more response than feeling, and the thinking parts often only provide further complexifications of multi-dimensional theory. It offers only intuitions but lacks words that describe multi-dimensional existence.

We are, for example, tied up, to a greater or lesser extent, with thousands of social atoms— many of which we are on the periphery, but yet count as a supporter or detractor. Many social atoms we are much more influential, but yet not very. Some social networks we are moderately influential, and a few we’re rather important

What makes words problematic is that descriptions of relationships are similarly multi-dimensional: They may be comedic and/or tragic, at time most relevant and at other times, irrelevant, and so forth. They can be opposite qualities at the 8th dimension or two disparate qualities at the 6th and 7th dimensional levels. The different people involved may perceive the relationship differently.

Recognizing that reality is more complex than our words can describe is humbling, and humanity is not inclined to be humble because it’s more in so many ways than animals. (It’s less in many ways, less fast, less sensitive to certain wavelengths of light or sound, etc.) Humanity needs some humbling.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *