Technomancy and Noomachia
The Invisible War for Reality
We all have a picture of the world in our minds. We have a description of it, a narrative that explains what the world is like. Where does this narrative come from? At first, it seems as though we are the ones who create that narrative. To a certain extent that is true, we do interpret the world ourselves. However, before we learn to create our own narratives, we are taught narratives by others.
We are taught certain mainstream narratives from an early age, what is considered "normal". We are taught that there are two genders, that we are all heterosexual, and that we are all monogamous. The whole narrative leads to the ideal of the nuclear family, which justifies the design of society in such a way that benefits a specific group of powerful people who control the status quo. These narratives help maintain the status quo, they help the powerful hold onto their power.
We are not supposed to question the mainstream narratives because those narratives support the status quo. The people who benefit from the status quo thus defend those narratives. If you don't fit with what the status quo deems "normal", you are discriminated against and marginalized. You are not allowed to be yourself. If you are authentic, you are punished. The ultimate objective is the protection of the status quo and any deviation that may threaten it is vilified.
Narratives shape our perception of reality. Perception can then be manipulated through narratives, like a spell of illusion that is cast on people. We are constantly bombarded by messages. All these messages tell us what to believe. They all shape our perception of reality. This is called "ontological design", the design of our existence.
We are taught many things from an early age. Our perception is shaped by the beliefs of our family and culture. In turn, our behavior is shaped by our perception. The end result is that we are programmed to be a certain way from an early age. Sometimes, we resist that programming. When our identity is denied and we are expected to abandon it for an identity that was chosen for us, we may resist it and fight to be who we really are. For example, we are all programmed from an early age to behave in a certain way and follow a certain aesthetic based on our biological sex. That is the concept of gender. You can either be a man or a woman, and you have to dress a certain way and behave a certain way depending on your gender. If you don't comply, you can be vilified and ostracized.
When social expectations clash with who we are, with our identity, then we have only a few choices. We may hide ourselves, becoming quiet and distant. This way we can hold on to most of our identity at the cost of social connection. We may also mask ourselves, pretending to be someone who we are not on the surface. This way we hold on to our social connection but at the expense of a stable and unified identity. Or we may choose to fight, to refuse to change ourselves for others. This way we hold on to our identity at the cost of peace. But when we fight for the freedom to be ourselves, we also oppose a dominant narrative that governs society. This is true not only for gender but for everything. We are shaped in many ways by the dominant narratives of society. We don't have to hide or mask ourselves, we can choose to fight to be ourselves.
Sometimes a dominant narrative is challenged and defeated, so another, alternative, narrative is constructed to take its place. Many of these alternative narratives are designed by powerful people to try to keep the majority of society under control. They are designed to maintain the status quo, to allow the powerful to keep the wealth and power they have taken from others. These narratives are today propagated through various channels, like social media, that give powerful people information from every individual in society, which allows them to shape many narratives that are tailored to specific individuals, often tricking people into supporting something that they normally wouldn't. This strategy is far more powerful and effective than the old strategy of creating a single dominant narrative. It makes it easier to manipulate people and to hide the manipulation as everyone gets a specialized message tailored to them. The messages may have something the same general narrative and goals, but they are specifically constructed for specific individuals. This makes it easier to make people identify with the narrative, as it is incorporated into their own history and identity. This process of using technology to shape perception and influence behavior, we can call "technomancy" (techno- (Greek τέχνη, tékhnē, “skill, art, craft”), meaning “relating to technology,” and -mancy (Greek μαντεία, manteía, “divination”), denoting “a form of divination” (Wiktionary)). Technomancy is the art of using technology to create perceptual illusions that shape other people's perceptions of the world and behaviors.
As people interact with one another, their narratives collide and create a discourse. There is a lot of intentionally caused confusion in public discourse today. People's perceptions are often manipulated and they are often deceived into agreeing with something that they wouldn't agree to otherwise. In the process, we often end up opposing and fighting even with people whom we would normally agree with. As our different perceptions clash, we end up fighting for our specific view of the world. Not necessarily the view that we have created ourselves, not necessarily our own interpretation of reality because our interpretations have been shaped by others. Ultimately, we are in the midst of a "noomachia", a war of realities. This war benefits nobody but the people in power. In order to clear up confusion and find peace, we need to reclaim our narratives and public discourse, reframing narratives in a way that is understandable to everyone. Narratives are engineered to cause divisions in society. We need to take control over the narratives of society and reframe them in a way that leads to reconciliation and unity.
What is common to all manipulative narratives and discourse is that they are designed by a few people for a few people to control all of us. The discourse, thus, doesn't recognize our identity. They deny us a say in the discourse. We are not invited to shape it. It's not a cooperative discourse that invites us to co-create reality. It's a competitive discourse that invites us to fight against one another for the power to control society. We can, then, identify manipulative discourse based on its features. For example, manipulative discourse is closed-minded, it is not interested in the truth and in gaining more knowledge, because truth and knowledge are antithetical to effective manipulation. The discourse is thus based on falsehoods that appear to be true and must not be questioned. Those falsehoods are incorporated into people's identities so that people defend the falsehoods as if they are a part of them.
Narratives are powerful spells. They shape who we are, how we behave, and how we perceive the world. They control our lives. Behind every socialized behavior is a narrative. We work to survive because we believe in the narrative that survival requires working under a specific framework, where you obey a boss and are compensated a specific amount in a specific way. Most of us don't question any of that. We go to the store and exchange currency for products because we believe in the narrative that both the product and currency are worth something that can be measured and compared. We enter into intimate relationships and become married to them because we believe in the narrative that there must be only a single person we can connect with in an intimate way and we must share all our experiences and ourselves only with them. All these narratives unconsciously shape us and remain unchallenged until some sort of autistic shaman nutcase brings them to light and we see how those narratives have shaped our lives in ways that we don't like.
Many people, including children, don't want to accept the narratives that are imposed on them, such as the gender assigned to them by society. They want to shape their own identity, not have their appearance and behaviors be shaped by other people's narratives of who they are supposed to be. It's not a matter of gender, race, sensuality, or whatever other social characteristic that we are told to possess, it's a matter of being free to be yourself, to shape your own identity without having society imposing on you who you should be, how you should look like, and how you should behave. We need to have the freedom to shape our own narratives. All of us. Not just trans kids, indigenous people, or black people. Because the true issue is not with any single one of those social characteristics but all social characteristics. The true issue is our freedom to be and shape who we are.
It is that freedom that false narratives attack. And they often attack our freedoms while claiming to fight for them. Just like they oppress children while claiming to protect them. Because those narratives want to shape us from our childhood when we are most susceptible to manipulation. So false narratives are constructed against our fight for our freedom to be ourselves.