jump to navigation

Perceptual Engineering, Capitalism at a glance, I see Paleopsychology’s underpants February 20, 2007

Posted by brittanygardner in Capitalism, Howard Bloom, ideas, Paleopsychology, Perceptual Engineering, research, William James.

If the title doesn’t hook you, nothing will.

Often, my perpetual idea appetite for ideas, (or just the habit of thinking online) will lead me to a brilliant oasis. Or at least a nice series of nodes. Regardless, here is some fodder for fellow active seekers (emphasis mine):

…There is a soul, a passion, inside of the economic machine. Our most personal desires and schemes sometimes scare us with their strangeness, with their lunacy. But some dare make them public—just as the first stone-chipper, the first stone-wall builder, the first brick-maker, and the first brick-city-planner did.

Some risk looking foolish with the tales, the songs, and the fantasies they share. Others stare with wonder—they see their own unspoken feelings, their chaotic longings, echoed in a mirror there. Then we and our allies recruit, we proselytize. We make the masses see what we have seen. We organize believers to throw themselves with idealism, passion, commitment, and deep faith, into creating something that this cosmos has never previously seen. We organize others so they can make a reality of what is now shared fantasy, shared lunacy, a communal and a corporate dream.
And we do it all to tickle and to please that wisp, that ghost, emotionality. We do it to satisfy, to excite, to cause the human spirit to ignite. That is the essence of leadership, and it’s the process to which capitalism gives flight.

-Putting Soul in the Machine – http://howardbloom.net/

I found Howard Bloom and his website after stumbling upon Paleopsychology. Sounds interesting? It is. Go Look: http://www.paleopsych.org/

Mr. Bloom has an impressive bio, should you choose to delve. (You should.)

“…More important is the impact of a communal ritual like a rock concert. The star onstage is taken over by a self he doesn’t know, one that seems to surge through him as if he were a length of empty pipe. The force of this strange passion welds the audience in an almost transcendent bond.” Bloom’s task was to first experience the exaltation, then to dissect it. “The model for this work,” he says, “came from William James*, who attempted to feel the ecstatic experience of mystics, then to probe it scientifically, a process which led to his 1902 book The Varieties of the Religious Experience.”

*William James looks interesting too. I should have a read.

…Twenty pages in The Billboard Guide to Music Publicity are devoted to Bloom and the antidote he invented, “perceptual engineering,” which he defines as “a way of finding a valid truth which the herd refuses to see, then turning the herd around and making that truth self-evident. It’s what we do in much of science–seeing the ordinary from a new perspective, then revealing what makes it tick and in the process altering society‘s views.”
http://howardbloom.net/bloombio.htm (emphasis mine)



1. ggwfung - February 20, 2007

Bloom’s Global Brain is a wonderfully prescient work. The full expression of the web is seeing fulfillment now, but how he describes it all those years ago makes you realise his deep understanding of communications technologies and social structures.

excuse me if I’ve wandered a little off the posted topic, but the man is quite under-rated.


2. howard bloom - July 26, 2008

thanks for the kind words, brittany.

Howard Bloom
The Goal–To Save The World By Changing Its Perceptions.
Author of: The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History (“mesmerizing”-The Washington Post), Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century (“reassuring and sobering”-The New Yorker), and How I Accidentally Started The Sixties (“a monumental, epic, glorious literary achievement.” Timothy Leary).
Former Core Faculty Member, The Graduate Institute; Recent Visiting Scholar-Graduate Psychology Department, New York University
Founder: International Paleopsychology Project; founder, Space Development Steering Committee; Founding Board Member: Epic of Evolution Society; Founding Board Member, The Darwin Project; Member Of Board Of Governors, National Space Society; Founder: The Big Bang Tango Media Lab; member: New York Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Psychological Society, Academy of Political Science, Human Behavior and Evolution Society, International Society for Human Ethology, Scientific Advisory Board Member, Lifeboat Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: