Plato – The Republic

‘In which case, the wisdom of a city founded on natural principles
depends entirely on its smallest group and element – the leading and
ruling element — and the knowledge that element possesses. The class
which can be expected to share in this branch of knowledge, which of all
branches of knowledge is the only one we can call wisdom, is by its nature,
apparently, the smallest class.’

Socrates in dialogue with Glaucon

‘Well, I think the first one to catch the eye is wisdom. And it seems to
have an unusual feature.’

‘What is that?’

‘It is truly wise, I think, this city we have described. It has good judg¬
ment, doesn’t it?’


‘Now this thing, judgment, is clearly knowledge of some sort. Good
decisions, I take it, are the result of knowledge, not ignorance.’


‘But our city contains many types of knowledge, of very different

‘Of course it does.’

‘Is it the knowledge possessed by its carpenters which entitles us to call
c our city wise, and say it possesses good judgment?’

‘Certainly not,’ he said. ‘That merely entitles us to call it good at car¬

‘So a city is not to be called wise because of its knowledge and judg¬
ment in making the best possible wooden furniture.’

‘Absolutely not.’

‘How about its knowledge of making things out of bronze, or any other
knowledge of that kind?’

‘No, nothing like that,’ he said.

‘Nor the knowledge of how to grow crops from the soil, since that’s
called farming.’

‘So I believe.’

‘Is there, then,’ I asked, ‘among any of the citizens of this city we have
d just founded, any branch of knowledge which makes decisions about the
city as a whole – deciding on the best approach to itself and to other cities
– and not about one particular element in the city?’

‘There most certainly is.’

‘What is this knowledge, and in which group is it to be found?’

‘It is the knowledge possessed by the guardians,’ he said. ‘And it is
to be found in the rulers, whom we have just been calling the perfect
guardians.’ 11

‘And what is the label you give your city on the strength of this know¬

‘I call it sound in judgment, and truly wise.’
e ‘So which do you think our city will have more of? Metalworkers, or
these true guardians?’

‘Metalworkers,’ he said. ‘Far more.’

‘Of all the groups which have a branch of knowledge of their own, and
which are identified as a group, wouldn’t the guardians be the smallest?’

‘Easily the smallest.’

‘In which case, the wisdom of a city founded on natural principles
depends entirely on its smallest group and element – the leading and
ruling element — and the knowledge that element possesses. The class
which can be expected to share in this branch of knowledge, which of all
branches of knowledge is the only one we can call wisdom, is by its nature,
apparently, the smallest class.’

‘That’s very true,’ he said.

Sir Francis Galton (*1822;†1911): Hereditary Genius

Sir Francis Galton, was an English Victorian era statistician, polymath, sociologist, psychologist, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, and psychometrician. He was knighted in 1909.

Galton produced over 340 papers and books. He also created the statistical concept of correlation and widely promoted regression toward the mean. He was the first to apply statistical methods to the study of human differences and inheritance of intelligence, and introduced the use of questionnaires and surveys for collecting data on human communities, which he needed for genealogical and biographical works and for his anthropometric studies.

He was a pioneer in eugenics, coining the term itself and the phrase “nature versus nurture”. His book Hereditary Genius (1869) was the first social scientific attempt to study genius and greatness.

As an investigator of the human mind, he founded psychometrics (the science of measuring mental faculties) and differential psychology and the lexical hypothesis of personality. He devised a method for classifying fingerprints that proved useful in forensic science. He also conducted research on the power of prayer, concluding it had none by its null effects on the longevity of those prayed for. His quest for the scientific principles of diverse phenomena extended even to the optimal method for making tea.


Hereditary Genius

A biographical summary of the pre-eminent men of Britain grouped by profession. The extensive survey draws from information including college graduation, reputation during career, fellowships, and even known relatives. Includes discussions on findings and observations as well as referenced appendices. - Summary by Leon Harvey
  • Preface
  • Introductory Chapter
  • Classification of Men According to Their Reputation
  • Classification of Men According to Their Natural Gifts
  • Comparison of the Two Classifications
  • Notation
  • The Judges of England Between 1660 and 1865
  • Statesmen
  • English Peerages. Their Influence Upon Race
  • Commanders
  • Literary Men
  • Men of Science
  • Poets
  • Musicians
  • Painters
  • Divines
  • Senior Classics of Cambridge
  • Oarsmen
  • Wrestlers of the North Country
  • Comparison of Results
  • The Comparative Worth of Different Races
  • Influences That Affect the General Ability of Nations
  • General Considerations
  • Appendix

Joseph Goebbels principles of propaganda

„We enter the Reichstag to arm ourselves with democracy’s weapons. If democracy is foolish enough to give us free railway passes and salaries, that is its problem… We are coming neither as friends or neutrals. We come as enemies! As the wolf attacks the sheep, so come we.“ — Joseph Goebbels

„The people’s community must not be a mere phrase, but a revolutionary achievement following from the radical carrying out of the basic life needs of the working class. A ruthless battle against corruption! A war against exploitation, freedom for the workers! The elimination of all economic-capitalist influences on national policy. Maintaining a rotten economic system has nothing to do with nationalism, which is an affirmation of the Fatherland.“ — Joseph Goebbels

A lesser known fact is that Goebbels stratagems were “inspired” by Edward Bernays (who authored the book entitled “Propaganda” in 1928).

Bernays stated the following in his 1965 autobiography:

They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones.

Further References

Doob, L. W.. (1950). Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda. Public Opinion Quarterly

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1086/266211
directSciHub download

Meyer, M., & Welch, D.. (2006). Propaganda and the German Cinema, 1933-1945. The History Teacher

Plain numerical DOI: 10.2307/493610
directSciHub download

Propaganda and mass persuasion: a historical encyclopedia, 1500 to the present. (2013). Choice Reviews Online

Plain numerical DOI: 10.5860/choice.41-2561
directSciHub download

Herf, J.. (2005). The “jewish War”: Goebbels and the antisemitic campaigns of the Nazi propaganda ministry. Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/hgs/dci003
directSciHub download

Welch, D.. (1993). Manufacturing a consensus: Nazi propaganda and the building of a ‘national community’ (volksgemeinschaft). Contemporary European History

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1017/S096077730000028X
directSciHub download

Google’s Whitepaper on the “fight” of disinformation

George Lakoff could write a book on the “conceptual metaphor” employed in the title of the whitepaper. George Orwell is turning in his grave (the “digital algorithmic ministry of truth”).

Here are the “three foundational pillars” of the whitepaper (expressis verbis):

  • Improve our products so they continue to make quality count;
  • Counteract malicious actors seeking to spread disinformation;
  • Give people context about the information they see.


Further References

Lakoff, G.. (2014). Metaphor and War: The Metaphor System Used to Justify War in the Gulf. Cognitive Semiotics

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1515/cogsem.2009.4.2.5
directSciHub download

Steuter, E., & Wills, D.. (2008). At war with metaphor. Nueva York: Rowman and …

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-10-4
directSciHub download

Thibodeau, P. H., Hendricks, R. K., & Boroditsky, L.. (2017). How Linguistic Metaphor Scaffolds Reasoning. Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2017.07.001
directSciHub download

Hülsse, R., & Spencer, A.. (2008). The metaphor of terror: Terrorism studies and the constructivist turn. Security Dialogue

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0967010608098210
directSciHub download

Ferrari, F.. (2007). Metaphor at work in the analysis of political discourse: Investigating a “preventive war” persuasion strategy. Discourse and Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1177/0957926507079737
directSciHub download

Thibodeau, P., Mcclelland, J. L., & Boroditsky, L.. (2009). When a bad metaphor may not be a victimless crime : The role of metaphor in social policy. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1070.0713
directSciHub download

Spencer, A.. (2012). The social construction of terrorism: Media, metaphors and policy implications. Journal of International Relations and Development

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1057/jird.2012.4
directSciHub download

At war with metaphor: media, propaganda, and racism in the war on terror. (2013). Choice Reviews Online

Plain numerical DOI: 10.5860/choice.46-3669
directSciHub download

Kövecses, Z.. (2016). Conceptual metaphor theory. In The Routledge Handbook of Metaphor and Language

Plain numerical DOI: 10.4324/9781315672953
directSciHub download

Navaro-Yashin, Y.. (2009). Affective spaces, melancholic objects: Ruination and the production of anthropological knowledge. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9655.2008.01527.x
directSciHub download

Koller, V., Hardie, A., Rayson, P., & Semino, E.. (2008). Using a semantic annotation tool for the analysis of metaphor in discourse. Metaphorik.De
Yanık, L. K.. (2009). The Metamorphosis of Metaphors of Vision: “Bridging” Turkey’s Location, Role and Identity After the End of the Cold War. Geopolitics

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1080/14650040802693515
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J. Edgar Hoover on “monstrous conspiracy and morality”

The individual comes face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind has not come to a realisation of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.


When morals decline and good men do nothing, evil flourishes. A society unwilling to learn from past is doomed. We must never forget our history.

John Edgar Hoover was an American law enforcement administrator and the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. He was appointed as the director of the Bureau of Investigation – the FBI’s predecessor – in 1924 and was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972 at the age of 77

The Impact of Science on Society – Bertrand Russell

Take first the question of food and population. At present 
the population of the globe is increasing at the rate of about 
20 millions a year. Most of this increase is in Russia and 
Southeast Asia. The population of Western Europe and 
the United States is nearly stationary. Meanwhile, the food 
supply of the world as a whole threatens to diminish, as a 
result of unwise methods of cultivation and destruction of 
forests. This is an explosive situation. Left to itself, it must 
lead to a food shortage and thence to a world war. Technique, 
however, makes other issues possible. 

Vital statistics in the West are dominated by medicine 
and birth control: the one diminishes the deaths, the other 
the births. The result is that the average age in the West 
increases: there is a smaller percentage of young people and 
a larger percentage of old people. Some people consider that 
this must have unfortunate results, but speaking as an old 
person, I am not sure. 

The danger of a world shortage of food may be averted 
for a time by improvements in the technique of agriculture. 
But, if population continues to increase at the present rate, 
such improvements cannot long suffice. There will then be 
two groups, one poor with an increasing population, the 
other rich with a stationary population. Such a situation can 
hardly fail to lead to world war. If there is not to be an 
endless succession of wars, population will have to become 
stationary throughout the world, and this will probably have 
to be done, in many countries, as a result of governmental 
measures. This will require an extension of scientific tech- 
nique into very intimate matters. There are, however, two 
other possibilities. War may become so destructive that, at 
any rate for a time, there is no danger of overpopulation; or 
the scientific nations may be defeated and anarchy may de- 
stroy scientific technique. 

Biology is likely to affect human life through the study of 
heredity. Without science, men have changed domestic 
animals and food plants enormously in advantageous ways. 
It may be assumed that they will change them much more, 
and much more quickly, by bringing the science of genetics 
to bear. Perhaps, even, it may become possible artificially to 
induce desirable mutations in genes. (Hitherto the only muta- 
tions that can be artificially caused are neutral or harmful.) 
In any case, it is pretty certain that scientific technique will 
very soon effect great improvements in the animals and 
plants that are useful to man. 

When such methods of modifying the congenital character 
of animals and plants have been pursued long enough to make 
their success obvious, it is probable that there will be a 
powerful movement for applying scientific methods to human 
propagation. There would at first be strong religious and 
emotional obstacles to the adoption of such a policy. But sup- 
pose (say) Russia were able to overcome these obstacles 
and to breed a race stronger, more intelligent, and more 
resistant to disease than any race of men that has hitherto 
existed, and suppose the other nations perceived that unless 
they followed suit they would be defeated in war, then either 
the other nations would voluntarily forgo their prejudices, or, 
after defeat, they would be compelled to forgo them. Any 
scientific technique, however beastly, is bound to spread if 
it is useful in war— until such time as men decide that they have 
had enough of war and will henceforth live in peace. As 
that day does not seem to be at hand, scientific breeding of 
human beings must be expected to come about. I shall return 
to this subject in a later chapter. 

Physiology and psychology afford fields for scientific tech- 
nique which still await development. Two great men, Pavlov 
and Freud, have laid the foundation. I do not accept the view 
that they are in any essential conflict, but what structure 
will be built on their foundations is still in doubt. 

I think the subject which will be of most importance polit- 
ically is mass psychology. Mass psychology is, scientifically 
speaking, not a very advanced study, and so far its professors 
have not been in universities: they have been advertisers, 
politicians, and, above all, dictators. This study is immensely 
useful to practical men, whether they wish to become rich 
or to acquire the government. It is, of course, as a science, 
founded upon individual psychology, but hitherto it has 
employed rule-of-thumb methods which were based upon a 
kind of intuitive common sense. Its importance has been 
enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of 
propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called 
"education." Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; 
the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part. 

What is essential in mass psychology is the art of per- 
suasion. If you compare a speech of Hitler's with a speech of 
(say) Edmund Burke, you will see what strides have been 
made in the art since the eighteenth century. What went 
wrong formerly was that people had read in books that man 
is a rational animal, and framed their arguments on this 
hypothesis. We now know that limelight and a brass band 
do more to persuade than can be done by the most elegant 
train of syllogisms. It may be hoped that in time anybody will 
be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch 
the patient young and is provided by the State with money 
and equipment. 

Encyclopædic hegemony: On the dominance of Wikipedia

Man muß das Wahre immer wiederholen, weil auch der Irrtum um uns her immer wieder gepredigt wird, und zwar nicht von einzelnen, sondern von der Masse. In Zeitungen und Enzyklopädien, auf Schulen und Universitäten, überall ist der Irrtum oben auf, und es ist ihm wohl und behaglich, im Gefühl der Majorität, die auf seiner Seite ist. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(Transl.: Truth has to be repeated constantly, because Error also is being preached all the time, and not just by a few, but by the multitude. In the Press and Encyclopaedias, in Schools and Universities, everywhere Error holds sway, feeling happy and comfortable in the knowledge of having Majority on its side.)

The following statistical tools are of great value in this context because they enable researchers to investigate Wikipedia (e.g., “Edit Wars”) in an empirical fashion (see also Aceto & Pescapé, 2015; Darer, Farnan, & Wright, 2018; Gosain, Agarwal, Shekhawat, Acharya, & Chakravarty, 2018; Wright, Darer, & Farnan, 2018):

revision_content(language = NULL, project = NULL, domain = NULL,revisions, properties = c("content", "ids", "flags", "timestamp", "user","userid", "size", "sha1", "contentmodel", "comment", "parsedcomment", "tags"),clean_response = FALSE, ...)

Source: – p.11

Ripberger, Joseph T. (2011): Capturing curiosity: using Internet search trends to measure public attentiveness. Policy Studies Journal 39(2):239-259.



Darer, A., Farnan, O., & Wright, J. (2018). Automated discovery of internet censorship by web crawling. In WebSci 2018 – Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science.

Gosain, D., Agarwal, A., Shekhawat, S., Acharya, H. B., & Chakravarty, S. (2018). Mending wall: On the implementation of censorship in India. In Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, LNICST.

Rackley, M. (2009). Internet Archive. In Encylopedia of Library and Information Science, 3rd edition (pp. 2966–2976).

Wright, J., Darer, A., & Farnan, O. (2018). On identifying anomalies in tor usage with applications in detecting internet censorship. In WebSci 2018 – Proceedings of the 10th ACM Conference on Web Science.

Full spectrum dominance (JointVision 2020)

Full-spectrum dominance also known as full-spectrum superiority, is a military entity’s achievement of control over all dimensions of the battlespace, effectively possessing an overwhelming diversity of resources in such areas as terrestrial, aerial, maritime, subterranean, extraterrestrial, psychological, and bio- or cyber-technological warfare.

For more info visit:

Social Identity Theory and the influence of music on identity-formation

Social identity is the portion of an individual’s self-concept derived from perceived membership in a relevant social group. As originally formulated by social psychologists Henri Tajfel and John Turner in the 1970s and the 1980s, social identity theory introduced the concept of a social identity as a way in which to explain intergroup behaviour.

Social identity theory (SIT) is described as a theory that predicts certain intergroup behaviours on the basis of perceived group status differences, the perceived legitimacy and stability of those status differences, and the perceived ability to move from one group to another. This contrasts with occasions where the term “social identity theory” is used to refer to general theorizing about human social selves. Moreover, and although some researchers have treated it as such, social identity theory was never intended to be a general theory of social categorization. It was awareness of the limited scope of social identity theory that led John Turner and colleagues to develop a cousin theory in the form of self-categorization theory, which built on the insights of social identity theory to produce a more general account of self and group processes. The term social identity approach, or social identity perspective, is suggested for describing the joint contributions of both social identity theory and self-categorization theory. Social identity theory suggests that an organization (or any other group-membership) can change individual behaviors if it can modify their self-identity or part of their self-concept that derives from the knowledge of, and emotional attachment to the group.
Music has significant effects on social identity. Already Aristotle and Plato argued that the “harmonics of music effect the harmony within society”. Today’s music industry (which is highly centralized) exerts powerful influences on society, especially on children and adolescents. The effects of today’s mainstream music on social identity are extremely worrisome (to say the least). The systematic (large scale) manipulation of social identities is an important tool of social engineering (cf. Adorno/Frankfurter school). Unfortunately there are almost no protective mechanisms in place which could prevent vulnerable populations from “weaponized music“. Music can be effectively utilized to destabilize society (via social identity) and it is thus a tool of psychological warfare, for instance, via systematic demoralization (violence, aggression, sexual promiscuity, ego-reinforcement, importance of money/materialistic thinking, etc.). Statistical research has demonstrated significant correlations between music and various detrimental behaviours (drug use, violence, promiscuity, etc.) and psychopathology. Music can be used to induce trance and manipulate basal unconscious processes. From a “mental hygiene” point of view the conclusion is clear: Be careful what enters your ears because it will effect your (unconscious) mind and your social identity (in analogy to the effects of unhealthy food intake and physical health). However, vice versa the flip-side holds also true: Music can be used to elevate the mind and foster moral and ethical behaviour (viz., harmony and virtues). However, this is clearly NOT happening.

Further References

Brown, R.. (2000). Social identity theory: past achievements, current problems and future challenges. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30(6), 745–778.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1002/1099-0992(200011/12)30:6<745::AID-EJSP24>3.0.CO;2-O
directSciHub download

Burke, P. J., & Stets, J. E.. (2000). Identity theory and social identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly

Plain numerical DOI: 10.3102/0013189X0629800
directSciHub download

Calhoun, C.. (1994). Social theory and the politics of identity. Social Psychology Quarterly
Castells, M., Himanen, P., Castells, M., & Himanen, P.. (2011). The Power of Identity. In The Information Society and the Welfare State

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256990.003.0006
directSciHub download

Ellemers, N., & Haslam, S. A.. (2012). Social Identity Theory. In Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology (pp. 379–398). 1 Oliver’s Yard, 55 City Road, London EC1Y 1SP United Kingdom: SAGE Publications Ltd

Plain numerical DOI: 10.4135/9781446249222.n45
directSciHub download

Hogg, M. A.. (2016). Social Identity Theory. In Understanding Peace and Conflict Through Social Identity Theory: Contemporary Global Perspectives

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-29869-6_1
directSciHub download

Hogg, M. A., Terry, D. J., & White, K. M.. (1995). A Tale of Two Theories: A Critical Comparison of Identity Theory with Social Identity Theory. Social Psychology Quarterly, 58(4), 255.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.2307/2787127
directSciHub download

Holzapfel, S. D., Bosch, P. R., Lee, C. D., Pohl, P. S., Szeto, M., Heyer, B., & Ringenbach, S. D.. (2019). Acute Effects of Assisted Cycling Therapy on Post-Stroke Motor Function: A Pilot Study. Rehabilitation Research and Practice, 2019, 1–10.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1155/2019/9028714
directSciHub download

Hornsey, M. J.. (2008). Social Identity Theory and Self-categorization Theory: A Historical Review. Social and Personality Psychology Compass

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2007.00066.x
directSciHub download

Huddy, L.. (2001). From social to political identity: A critical examination of social identity theory. Political Psychology

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1111/0162-895X.00230
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Major, B., & O’Brien, L. T.. (2005). The Social Psychology of Stigma. Annual Review of Psychology, 56(1), 393–421.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.56.091103.070137
directSciHub download

Somers, M. R.. (1994). The narrative constitution of identity: A relational and network approach. Theory and Society, 23(5), 605–649.

Plain numerical DOI: 10.1007/BF00992905
directSciHub download

Stets, J. E., & Burke, P. J.. (2006). Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory. Social Psychology Quarterly

Plain numerical DOI: 10.2307/2695870
directSciHub download

Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C.. (2004). The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behavior. In Political Psychology (pp. 276–293). Psychology Press

Plain numerical DOI: 10.4324/9780203505984-16
directSciHub download