Social Complexities

Consider two planets orbiting each other in space. The position of each mass can be predicted at any future point in time through the law of gravity. A useful trick to this equation is through relativity: consider yourself in the reference frame of one of the planets, Planet A. In this reference frame, Planet A is [relatively] stationary, and the other planet is orbiting around it. This trick of moving to the reference frame of Planet A makes for a very interpretable perspective of the system.

However, if there is a third planet of considerable mass, then there is no simple equation to model the system through time. This is called the 3 body problem. The closest we can get is through differential equations that give approximations. This results in a model that is not interpretable.

This is how I view certain social complexities. If there is only myself and one other person, then when I naturally assume the reference frame of myself, it makes for easy interpretation of the other person. However, adding additional people to a situation makes it such that any reference frame is never stationary, and therefor becomes too complex to follow completely. It becomes an approximation. Constrained in some sense.

The limited cognitive resources creates a constraint. The constraint creates an approximation. The approximation limits interactions. Consider an example of musical selection. In situation #1 you are at a bar. A bar is the lowest common denominator, and the musical selection should reflect this (as a generic business model). Therefor, you’ll hear things like the top 40 pop songs. On the other extreme, consider a musically opinionated artist of sorts, listening to an album alone. For this album to be appropriate, it doesn’t have to appeal to anyone, even the listener. This represents two extremes of what is sought by a DJ via the goals of the expected listener. The difference in dialogue between different sizes of social groups is in some ways analogous with differences in conversations. The larger the group, the more constrained you are by an averaged expectation. The smaller the group, the closer it caters towards the individual people themselves. It may be appropriate to say that the difference of quality between these two group sizes is an inverted perspective of the limitations of a Reference Class. It may be more appropriate to say that overly habitual intellectualizing creates distractions as barriers.

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