Just as we live in the natural world and benefit from understanding how it operates, so too do we live in a society of other humans with its own sets of rules and interactions. This module is thus the counterpart to Scientific Understanding that focuses on helping people understand the civil community in which they play a part, with the goal of enlightening everyone from students to policymakers. At Oculus, this facet is broken down into four modules:
History – While cultures shift, change, merge, and diverge over time, the best data we have on the behavior of societies is the history of what has come before. As such, a true grasp of civics starts with an understanding of civilizations throughout history, both those from the distant past and those that we are a part of today.
Economics – The flow of wealth and processes surrounding that are integral to society. This module serves to describe this economic activity and its effects, presenting ideas both conventional and unconventional, including a discussion of laws of economic balance.
Government, Policy, & Politics – One need simply look at the news to see that most citizens have political views based on tribalism and the personalities of candidates rather than a well-considered assessment of policies and how those policies mesh with their individual values. This module seeks to take a step back from the vitriol and provide an objective view of how government works, the characteristics and effects of various policies, and the political responses of the electorate. Whether you are at a think tank seeking to develop novel policy plans or simply looking to be more informed in your political conversations, this module has a solution for you!
Geopolitics – Just as people interact through the principles of social dynamics, so do societies interact at a larger scale through the principles of geopolitics. This fascinating module explores the factors and motivations behind war, peace, trade, and diplomacy. If you want to develop a deeper understanding of the workings below the surface of current events, this module is for you!