First Social Fact

The Practice of Reading and Writing


 

The fact that you are reading this, and that it was written by someone, is enough to constitute a social happening. We intensify this experience by being aware of the practice of reading (of all readers reading this now) and the practice of writing (as each letter is typed out). It is in this state of awareness that the reflexive condition becomes ‘well behaved’, and our social cohesion is confirmed and intensified. Now we can sensitively explore how our minds engage in this medium, so that we can appropriately discuss living people elsewhere.

 

Second Social Fact

The Method of Organic Sharing


Most of what we read is provided through social media feeds or from search-engine results or mass-media marketing which ruthlessly target us, resulting in recommendations which are often impersonal. This means mechanical intermediaries exist between the writer and readers in the form of algorithms or savvy marketing and writing techniques. The success of a piece of writing which may be measured by the number of readers may be down to the mechanical and marketing machinery rather than the actual experience of reading.

An organic means of sharing from person to person means that everyone reading this is responsible for the sharing of meaningful or valued content. The readership sourced in this way has a higher quality, similar to the quality of food we source organically. By reading this because someone thought of you personally, and by sharing this because you think of someone else personally as you read, constitutes the Second Social Fact. This is how we intensify quality and manifest our social power. 

Share through Sqale

“Readership sourced in this way has a higher quality, similar to the quality of food we source organically.”

 

Third Social Fact

The Purpose of Social Science is Social Cohesion


 

Through the social action of reading and the social action of sharing, we manifest a higher quality readership and social momentum. To what purpose is this momentum directed?

For normal reading, because of the obvious fact that the text is presented as a completed thing as an article or book, the process of writing is forgotten, and the fact of writing completion is reinforced. So reading tends to focus on what is to be understood from the text because it is ‘fixed in place’, to try to understand what the writer meant, to learn some fact about the state of the world. The emphasis is on the author’s object of thought, and such readers are merely an audience remaining impersonally individuated and alone. At best, such readers learn something of the world or find resonance with the author; either way the author is revered or recommended and empowered. Such readers are simultaneously disempowered and yet brought together.

Because of reflexive reading and organic sharing, we attend to writing which not only brings us communion but we transpose this experience into the social action of sharing, and as a result manifest social force collectively. The quality of what is read and written increases, while our networks of trust strengthen. The Third Social Fact is an intentional acknowledgement of our mutual purpose and its natural manifestation as a global phenomenon.