Sometimes, glimmers of hope descend onto reality to remind us of our power and inherent ability to create a life of our very own choosing. We are reminded of our infinite potential and ability to change things, even on a global level. Yet sadly our institutions and socio-economic structures uphold a different reality; an utter systemic failure that not only creates but re-enforces injustice, rather than curbing it. One example can be perceived in the failure of our scientific institutions. All too often our cutting edge science is controlled by he who funds the study. This essentially compromises not only the findings but also the application of those results in society at large.
Yet this failure doesn’t apply solely to our scientific institutions, it extends to all areas of society. Increasingly, our social, political and economic institutions exist to serve a small class of elite much to the detriment of human progress. This failure of society has rendered us despondent as our unhealthy obsession with materialism has caused us to forget that which is divine and moral.
To counter this failure and transform it we must recognise our immense resources, tools and knowledge at our disposable and organise accordingly. We must recognise and seek revolutionary ideas to reverse this unfair status quo once and for all. But we cannot do so until we have resolved that which limits us, a limitation found within the mind. An individual and collective limiting belief that is all too prevalent in society, a belief that says we can’t change things.
But modern science is showing us a picture to the contrary. It shows us that we are powerful beyond comprehension, if only we’d just listen. One such study from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with revolutionary ramifications, is called Social Consensus through the Influence of Committed Minorities. The study found that it only takes 10% of a population to hold an opinion before it is adopted by the majority becoming the dominant belief in any given society.
“When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority,” said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer.
“Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like a flame.”
So what does this study mean? And more importantly how can we apply its significant findings to the advancement of humanity? Before we go into its positive ramifications, perhaps we should have a look at how this study is currently being used in a negative sense.
You can imagine how shocked I was to discover that the US Army had funded this study. Something so powerful in the hands of the most dangerous army in the world.
I immediately contacted Dr. Szymanski for an interview explaining that I wanted to discuss his findings for an article to raise social consciousness. I had to do something. He requested the questions and scope of the article to which I responded. He then declined. But I should have known, he made his affiliations abundantly clear in a filmed presentation when he opened by saying, “I would like to look a bit at a topic about the social network telling why institutions, companies and even governments should care about them”.
The presentation went on to look at examples of colonialism, Steve Jobs, corporate public relations and other ‘world changing’ events, all of which were political, industrial or economically related.
And I thought scientists were supposed to be objective. I assume who pays his salary influenced his decision to reject my request more than his desire to promote his findings in a more positive sense. After all, we must remember who commissioned the study. Essentially, the army owns it. But I believe science should be for all of humanity’s benefit. Not only the elite. But how can that be when the scientific institutions are structured as they are? The majority of science is dictated by those who have money and their choice to fund science is again dictated by how much they can profit or benefit from the study. The system is fundamentally flawed.
But lets for a moment ponder a positive interpretation. Let us recall that everything starts with a thought, a belief. And from that individual thought or belief manifests our individual reality, which in turn influences and creates our collective reality. We must take responsibility for the world we find ourselves in today.
But one of the greatest beliefs, which hinders our collective progress, particularly found amongst those who are actually in a position to do something to influence our current course, is the idea that there is no point in trying to change the world because they believe it simply isn’t impossible. And just like that, in their belief system, they abhor any further responsibility to do a single thing.
But we must remember that our entire lives are a testament to our thoughts, beliefs and actions. Ask yourself, why are you where you are today? Because you believed it into reality, you believed you were nothing more and nothing less than your current situation, you thought it through and then you acted. And that’s why you are where you are. Why would changing the world be any different?
Currently, the amount of people who believe that change is possible is in the minority. We’re not 10% yet but there is much hope to be had because when we do reach 10% we will surely become a force to be reckoned with.
I believe we are heading in that direction – I have to believe it because I’m ready to die for it. But we can do it much faster if you get on board. God only knows what the US military is doing with these findings. But one thing I can assure you of is that it is not for humanity’s benefit.
I’m here to say it doesn’t have to be like that. I’m here to say that we can use this study to serve humanity. We can arm ourselves with truth, love, knowledge and tools that sometimes, just sometimes reach the light of day. One acting alone can do little, but all of us together? Now that’s a beautiful thought. If you make only one-step, just one, let it be that you CAN do something. Because you must know that your belief is essential and without it, nothing can change.
Dr. Boleslaw Szymanski, Boleslaw Szymanski – On influence of committed minorities on social consensus, ASKS TV, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ-MdgupsyI
Dr. Boleslaw Szymanski, On the Influence of Committed Minorities on Social Consensus, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, http://www.cs.rpi.edu/~szymansk/papers/NATO-HFM201.12.pdf
Dr. Boleslaw Szymanski, Sceptically Speaking Interview, http://www.skepticallyspeaking.com/podcasts/Skeptically_Speaking_124_The_Theory_That_Would_Not_Die.mp3