Thursday, May 28, 2020

Social Lasing model: Can it explain the sweeping power of recent social movements?

A laser is a device that emits a beam of coherent light through an optical amplification process. Components of a typical laser:
  1. Gain medium
  2. Laser pumping energy 
  3. High reflector 
  4. Output coupler 
  5. Laser beam

Optical amplification occurs via the stimulated emission of electromagnetic radiation from excited atoms or another medium. The principle is increasingly applied to explain social changes from color revolutions to such democratically structured protest actions, such as Brexit. The potential combination of information technology and social media to induce social instability is immensely relevant. 
The social laser
We live in the information age. Online Echo Chambers (social resonator) can amplify social mood and intentions to produce coherent information waves of high amplitudes (i.e., huge motivational energy). In real lasers, the optical resonator is an arrangement of mirrors that forms a standing wave cavity resonator for light waves. The Internet-based posting of news and communications works as a multiplier mirror. In this, the mass-media plays the role of laser’s resonator, the optical cavity. The stimulated amplification of coherent social actions can be either destructive or inspire better decision-making. The bandwagon effect in human behavior explains the increasing probability of personal reaction as the power of the excitatory field increases. The homogeneous character of social actions (coherence) and the short time needed for their generation and relaxation can be described by social laser theory. Social energy might be understood as a form of motivation. 

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Picture credit: Tatoute / CC BY-SA (

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