This is the new website for an old idea: individual lives depend on those around them. New: this can now be probed in depth without your knowledge or consent. See below or read this scary post for further in formation.
Your social environment includes the people around you, where you live, and what you do. It includes your family, your friends, other people you love as well as your neighbors, teachers, mentors, boss and coworkers. If you go to school, it includes your fellow students in each class you take. If you work for a living, it includes what you do as well as who you work with. It should include a spouse, or at least a lover. It may include children. Your social environment are the people and places around you, and what you do. In short, it is your life. Most especially it includes interpersonal relationships such as those between the sexes. The most important single improvement in your social environment is the addition of a truly compatible lover or spouse. Please see the relationships website for more information about that.
We cannot choose our parents and siblings, and we have only limited choice over our children, but most other aspects of our social environment are voluntary. They involve an element of choice. Making those choices can be difficult. The more of us who make the right ones, the better the whole world becomes.
The website about making society work takes a macroscopic view of society, considering mainly the big picture. This site takes a microscopic view, looking at the individual people who make up society. It is part of a larger project to make society work, but instead of being for any kind of social activist or philanthropist it is directed at people who simply want to make their own lives better. If you do so, you will also be helping improve society as a whole, but your reasons need not be altruistic.
Both sites are concerned with social technology but in entirely different ways. The macroscopic site looks at big social institutions, whereas this site concerns each of us.
The social technology to be discussed here almost exists. Google or Facebook could implement it in weeks or months. Who knows, perhaps they are already working on it. There are existing services for matching individuals for romantic purposes or finding them jobs, and many of these services are based on a crude form of social technology, but they suffer from many serious problems.
For one thing, the quality of a match between two people or a match between a person and a job depends on the number of candidates. Anything which tends to reduce the number of people using the service reduces its quality. Therefore, these services must be free, just as Google and Facebook are free. Ultimately they make their money from advertising, and are quite clever in how they do that, but what they do for their users is free.
Another issue is the quantity and quality of the information available. Existing services which match people for romantic reasons or for employment use a very limited amount of information, and it is not reliable. A lot of reliable information can be obtained using sophisticated methods, though privacy and security must be preserved.
New: The Very Large Collection of Social Data using Recursive Exhaustion now makes it possible to expand the number of candidates for any role in your social environment to the entire population of the world. It also means that a vast amount of high quality information can (and will) be collected about everybody. Read that post again: this is scary!
Briefly, in the not-too-distant future, we will all have the tools to give us a much better control over our own social environment. As more and more people use these tools to improve their own lives, society itself will change for the better.
The social environment of most people is somewhat constrained by circumstance. Those who go to school at any level are placed into an educational environment which includes a social aspect. Being in the same class as another person will introduce that person into your social environment. That may or may not be a good thing. An educational environment is usually out of the control of the individual students, and thus falls into the category of engineered social environments. Your job may also be in an engineered social environment, especially if you work for a large company. Most highly engineered is the constrained environment of a prison or other correctional institution. Through the application of advanced social technology these can in fact be correctional, drastically improving the incarcerated individuals and making recidivism rare.
Whether it is the case of you acting to improve your own social environment with tools provided by social technologists or administrators of various commercial and governmental entities using related tools for the engineering of specific social environments, the most important this is to obtain and use the tools. Some already exist and can be successfully applied, but most of them need to be created. Some are under development, while the need for others have been ignored. Readers of this website are encouraged to demand the tools they need. Those are described elsewhere on this network of websites.