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A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory, typically subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. 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 of members. In the social sciences, a larger society often exhibits stratification or dominance patterns in subgroups.

Insofar 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.

More broadly, and especially within structuralist thought, a society may be illustrated as an economic, social, industrial or cultural infrastructure, made up of, yet distinct from, a varied collection of individuals. In this regard society can mean the objective relationships people have with the material world and with other people, rather than "other people" beyond the individual and their familiar social environment.

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A double decker Kowloon Motor Bus from Route 68X
"The Bus Uncle" is a Cantonese video clip of an argument between two men aboard a bus in Hong Kong on April 27, 2006. While the older man, nicknamed the Bus Uncle, scolded the person behind him, a nearby passenger used his camera phone to record the entire incident to provide evidence for the police in the event of a fight. However, the resulting six-minute video was uploaded to the HK Golden Forum, YouTube, and Google Video. The clip became YouTube's most viewed video in May 2006, attracting viewers with its rhetorical outbursts and copious use of profanity by the older man, receiving 1.7 million hits in the first 3 weeks of that month. The video became a cultural sensation in Hong Kong, inspiring vigorous debate and discussion on lifestyle, etiquette, civic awareness and media ethics within the city, eventually attracting the attention of the media around the world.

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military recruitmentCredit: Poster: Vojtech Preissig; Restoration: Lise Broer

A recruitment poster for the United States Navy from 1918. Prior to the outbreak of World War I, military recruitment in the US was conducted primarily by individual states. Upon entering the war, however, the federal government took on an increased role, using five basic appeals to these campaigns: patriotism (the most prevalent theme), job/career/education, adventure/challenge, social status, and travel.

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Su Song (simplified Chinese: 苏颂; traditional Chinese: 蘇頌; pinyin: Sū Sòng; style name: Zirong 子容) (1020–1101 AD) was a renowned Chinese polymath who specialized himself as a statesman, astronomer, cartographer, horologist, pharmacologist, mineralogist, zoologist, botanist, mechanical and architectural engineer, poet, antiquarian, and ambassador of the Song dynasty (960–1279). Su Song was the engineer of a water-driven astronomical clock tower in medieval Kaifeng, which employed the use of an early escapement mechanism. The escapement mechanism of Su's clock tower had previously been invented by Buddhist monk Yi Xing and government official Liang Lingzan in 725 AD to operate a water-powered armillary sphere, although Su's armillary sphere was the first to be provided with a mechanical clock drive. Su's clock tower also featured the oldest known endless power-transmitting chain drive, called the tian ti (天梯), or "celestial ladder", as depicted in his horological treatise.The clock tower had 133 different clock jacks to indicate and sound the hours. Su Song's treatise about the clock tower, Xinyi Xiangfayao (新 儀 . 象 法 要), has survived since its written form in 1092 and official printed publication in 1094. The book has been analyzed by many historians, such as Joseph Needham. However, the clock itself was dismantled by the invading Jurchen army in AD 1127, and although attempts were made to reassemble the clock tower, it was never successfully reinstated. Although the Xinyi Xiangfayao was his best known treatise, the polymath had other works compiled as well. He completed a large celestial atlas of several star maps, several terrestrial maps, as well as a treatise on pharmacology. The latter discussed related subjects on mineralogy, zoology, botany, and metallurgy.

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This 1860 phonautogram by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville is the earliest known recording of the human voice, though it was never intended to be played back.

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