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Portal:Society

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The Society Portal

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

World Summit on the Information Society, Geneva

A human society is a group of people related to each other through continued relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or virtual territory, same interests, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human societies are characterized by patterns of relationships (social relations) between individuals who share a distinctive culture and institutions. A given society may be described as the sum total of such relationships among its constituent members. In the social sciences, a larger society often evinces stratification and/or dominance patterns in subgroups.

In so far as it is collaborative, a society can enable its members to benefit in ways that would not otherwise be possible on an individual basis; both individual and social (common) benefits can thus be distinguished, or in many cases found to overlap. A society can also consist of like-minded people governed by their own norms and values within a dominant, larger society. This is sometimes referred to as a subculture, a term used extensively within criminology: an organized group working together having a common interests, beliefs, or profession.

More broadly, a society may be described as an economic, social, or industrial infrastructure, made up of a varied collection of individuals or subgroups. Members of a society may be from different ethnic groups. A society can be a particular ethnic group, such as the Saxons; a nation state, such as Bhutan; or a broader cultural group, such as a Western society. The word society may also refer to an organized voluntary association of people for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes. A "society" may also be a group of social organisms such as an ant colony, or any cooperative aggregate such as, for example, in some formulations of artificial intelligence.

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The finger
In Western culture, the finger (as in giving someone the finger or the bird), also known as the finger wave, the middle finger, flipping someone off, or the one finger salute is an obscene hand gesture, often meaning the phrases "fuck off" or "fuck you". It is performed by showing the back of a closed fist that has only the middle finger extended upwards, though in some locales the thumb is also extended. Extending the finger is considered a universal symbol of contempt. The gesture dates back to Ancient Greece and was also used in Ancient Rome. Historically, it represented the phallus. In recent times, the gesture has gained increased acceptance, and has been used increasingly by musical artists, athletes, and politicians. However, many still view the gesture as obscene. Many cultures use similar gestures to display their disrespect towards others of a different culture.

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Tiburtine SibylCredit: Artist: Antonio da Trento; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

A 16th-century chiaroscuro woodcut of the Tiburtine Sibyl meeting with Augustus. The mythic meeting between the Roman Emperor and the sibyl (prophetess) of Tibur (now Tivoli), of whom he inquired whether he should be worshiped as a god, was a favored motif of Christian artists. In this scene, she shows him a vision of the Christian heaven.

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The former Royal Assurance Society office at 163 North Street, Brighton

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Louis XIV of France

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Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS (/ˈtjʊərɪŋ/ TEWR-ing; 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954), was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, giving a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. During World War II, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking centre. For a time he was head of Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including the method of the bombe, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. After the war, he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he created one of the first designs for a stored-program computer, the ACE. In 1948 Turing joined Max Newman's Computing Laboratory at Manchester University, where he assisted in the development of the Manchester computers and became interested in mathematical biology. He wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis, and predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, which were first observed in the 1960s. Turing's homosexuality resulted in a criminal prosecution in 1952, when homosexual acts were still illegal in the United Kingdom. He accepted treatment with female hormones (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, just over two weeks before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined that his death was suicide; his mother and some others believed his death was accidental. On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for "the appalling way he was treated". As of May 2012 a private member's bill was before the House of Lords which would grant Turing a statutory pardon if enacted.

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Excerpts of a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt at Carnegie Hall, March 12, 1912, recorded August 12 by Thomas Edison. The time constraints of the wax cylinder medium probably required the abridgement.

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George Clooney
George Clooney, 2006

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