Structural forgetfulness Biased recognition of problems
Problems are selected by humanity, whether in whole communities or within specialized groups (science, religion, technology, politics, education), in accordance with an editing process that excludes some kinds of issue because of their societal implications. Although those problems threatening the central values of the group are recognized by it as meriting attention, no attention is given to problems which are handled as part of the routine procedures of the institutions. More significantly, problems are ignored by scientific and political institutions when any recognition of them would call for such a radical shift in perspective that, in addition to threatening their most cherished values, would actually deconstruct the institutions based upon them.
The effects of structural forgetfulness have been noted in the relationship between genealogical structures in tribal societies and the nature of the political and judicial institutions they permit. It has been used to account for the socially constructed ignorance of historical processes and for the geographical constraints on political action in certain western societies. It has been argued that it is significant to understanding the establishment of boundaries between scientific disciplines.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
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