2016-06-21

模倣子 Immunomemetic Convergence to Stability

Memetic Index

It's obvious that immunomenes are conservative in nature, i.e., they promote the stability of any memeplex of which they are a part.  That is their function. How do they do this?

Sometimes we see some elaborate systems appear, like, say, certain search engines filtering out all but "positive" messages about certain candidates, such as Hilary Clinton. This is similar to the point that Noam Chomsky makes in Manufacturing Consent about how the media during Vietnam, despite claims of "liberal bias", in fact disseminated something like 87% "conservative" messages, i.e., messages that were positive about the Vietnam War.

Obviously such phenomena are examples of immunomemetic operations to preserve the stability of the prevailing memeplex, but how do they evolve into existence? If we treat a megamemeplex, such as a civilization, as an organism, then the defeat of one civilization by another is a selection-for-fitness contest, but in the end one of the civilizations is destroyed or seriously overrun and influenced by the victor.

We understand this mechanism. We can also understand how the conflict between two megamemeplexes in which one is not "destroyed" but which overcomes its own disadvantage vis-a-vis the other by changing itself drastically and probably by absorbing the memes of the attacker or another civilization. An example of a deliberate implementation of this approach is the Japanese modernization in the Meiji Restoration in which Japan sent people all over the world, to Europe, and America, to learn their techniques of politics and industry and military and bring them back to Japan for practically wholesale adoption.  The Japanese were smart enough to consciously recognize (at the level of government) the challenge presented by more technologically and politically advanced rival nations, and update their own megamemeplex as quickly as possible to successfully compete with them.

But what is the natural mechanism, and what is the mechanism that takes place wholly within a given megamemeplex to evolve a complex behavior, such a media self-censoring, to preserve stability? The assumption I make is that there is such a thing as intramemetic evolutionary phenomena whereby the memeplex spins up new memetic subsystems that preserve stability, i.e., perform a new immunomemetic function, and that these happen without any external influence, e.g., pressure from foreign cultures, rival religions, etc.

Perhaps this is a false assumption, i.e., perhaps all memetic evolution must be driven by external influence.  But which external influence? There could be pressure exerted by other submemeplexes, perhaps even those whose soul function is to exert said pressure. Indeed, there could be specific submemeplexes that drive other submemeplexes, or perhaps those that drive multiple ones or which are flexible or even general and can drive anything. If such a thing exists, an apt name for it might be a "driving immunomemeplex", and it could be a "general driving immunomemeplex" or a "targetted driving immunomemeplex"(1), rather like individual "targeted immunomemes" or "omniphagic immunomemes". Again, it's unclear at this point whether there be "general" or "targetting" ones, or only one or the other (while it's probably safe to say that there are both types of individual immunomemes).

Could a rabbinical/priestly class perform this kind of function? It seems that they could, indeed their function of "packing the memespace" serves a similar function to this theoretical "driving immunomemeplex" object, which this class of meme fountain (priests, rabbis, et al) might promulgate. Indeed, one cannot pack the memespace without some process of "trimming down" the less effective memes one packs in, so some mechanism for this is required.

So the function of a driving immunomemeplex would be to "trim down" new submemeplexes, which we assume are being generated constantly and which are evolving by already well-understood principles of memetics. In other words, a given megamemeplex is, of course, continually generating new submemeplexes, and some of these enhance stability, others do not, some seem not to but in fact do so, and all of them are efficient to a greater or lesser degree, and either improve their efficiency through evolution or are overtaken by other memes. Some die out by themselves, or so we might suppose. Any way you look at it, the addition of more and more memeplexes packs the memespace and loads the memetic fabric. Even if certain memes are not in direct competition with one another, they still consume scarce resources, and if not in direct contact/competition, they cannot compete one another into extinction.

Hence, we can imagine that driving immunomemeplexes perform the function of culling memes that are not in keeping with the overall "feeling" of the megamemeplex.  They may, in fact, be the storehouse, the central repository, of the "values" or "flavors" that make up the whole megamemeplex.  Through their action, some memeplexes are culled, while others are let live, but at the same time placed under pressure to perform in  certain ways, and in cooperation with other similarly cultivated submemeplexes.

I'll try to come up with some examples later. Some obvious ones might be religions and governments, but that requires some elaboration rather than simply taking it as a given.

This raises many questions.  First, what are some examples, and how to identify them? How do these driving immunomemeplexes come into being? Do they interact with one another?  One could imagine that they exist in some kind of a hierarchy, but is that true or not? Are they in competition with one another? If they are truly at the "heart" of a megamemeplex, such as an entire society or culture, would it be possible to directly attack them and thereby substantively alter the culture...or destroy it? Over history, is it possible to see this degeneration of the central driving immunomemeplexes of civilizations which have collapsed and identify in detail, through memetic analysis, what happened and how, and use this knowledge to "repair" cultures which are dysfunctional, or to dismantle them entirely without violence, loss of life, destruction of infrastructure, etc., or to evince the "functional" mechanisms of cultures that work well and transplant those submemeplexes into the driving immunomemeplexes of problem cultures?

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(1)Possibly "attached driving immunomemeplex" or "unattached driving immunomemeplex" for those that do or do not work only on specific immunomemeplexes or sets of immunomemeplexes. It's unclear at this point that this is how driving immunomemeplexes work, e.g., free-floating in the megamemeplex or with more focused functions.

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