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Social Experiments and Sects

Beyond category manipulation by advocates and opponents (Part #1)


Introduction
Excluded options
Definitional games
Learning from failure
Creating meaningful community
Enabling community
Specific possibilities

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Introduction

This note focuses on the category manipulation practiced both by those advocating and engaging in social experiments, and by those opposing such experiments. Both engage in definitional games of various kinds. The ensuing dialogue about the merit of social experimentation is therefore highly confused. This confusion is exploited by establishment forces to inhibit further experimentation. The repression of experimentation then reinforces the perspectives of those critical of the status quo.

This situation is especially regrettable given the increasing concern about the challenges of unemployment, especially among young people. The conventional response over the past decades has been characterized more by its rhetoric than by its actions. It is focused in an especially narrow manner on the notion of 'jobs' as a solution to the merging social crisis. This is a typical consequence of an economic paradigm that is now seeking its justification in globalization -- ignoring the effects on individuals, families and communities.

tification in globalization -- ignoring the effects on individuals, families and communities.