In a previous post we coined the term idiotics to mean “the idiosyncratic agglomeration of the semiotics of a single individual.”
An individual’s idiotics indicates the agglomeration of public and private semiotics that comprise the unique signaling system of their mind; this signaling system is what we normally call a person’s mind.
Each individual brain has an idiotics that is unique to it. The signaling system that employs and organizes this unique idiotics works internally within the individual and externally as a system that signals to other people.
Problems in signaling—both internal and external problems—occur when the signaling systems of two (or more) people are not in good accord. That is, when two (or more) people misunderstand the signals they are sending to each other or the signals being sent to them. Obviously, mistakes in signaling can and frequently do compound, or snowball, leading to very large errors.
To control for error, human beings have probably evolved master semiotics that provide general ways for people to comprehend (pretty badly or well-enough, depending on your perspective) the signaling of other people.
Let’s call these general semiotic categories that allow for crude comprehension between people sociotics.
Sociotics is a compound of the words sociology and semiotics. It means the “public semiotics,” or socially agreed upon and accepted semiotics, of just about any group you can think of.
Most sociotics is emotional. A good deal of it is very emotional. The beliefs of a religion, the stories of an ethnic group, the values of a community can be extremely emotional.
In this respect, a great deal of sociotics binds very deeply with human emotion to form an intoxicating blend of meaning and feeling.
Most people do not see any choice but to adopt a sociotics. Without one, they feel lost, empty, undefined. Even the sociotics of science can be very emotional, to say nothing of the sociotics of political, gender, or ethnic identities.
FIML partners will surely find that their idiotics have strong sociotic components. Rather than accept their inherited and often mindless and emotional sociotics, partners would do well to analyze them and transfer their emotional allegiance away from them and toward rational bonding with each other based on FIML principles.
FIML has much greater power to organize the sociotics and idiotics of FIML partners than does any other traditional communication system. This is so because FIML practice provides a means for partners to understand each other without resorting to thoughtless extrinsic sociotic categories for mutual definition. FIML practice helps partners form wholesome bonds with each other without becoming entangled in the emotional and irrational sociotics of large groups.
Another way to say this is FIML is a sort of “operating system” for the mind/brain, while sociotics are broadly shared public references that are fairly static and not too complex.
Ideally, good scientific practice is also an operating system rather than a static sociotic. The scientific method deeply informs FIML practice, but since FIML is an interpersonal operating system, it cannot be the same as science. FIML can be investigated by the scientific method and it can be confirmed or falsified by the scientific method, but this is not strictly (in the sense of formal science) the job of FIML partners. FIML partners, however, if they are doing FIML correctly, are engaged in a practice that is fundamentally rational and objective and that removes mistakes from partners’ signaling systems, including sociotic mistakes.