Wednesday, December 28, 2016

模倣子 Ain't No Use in Complaining

Analysis of the act of complaining may provide useful insight into the nature of immunomemes and even point the way towards practical activism in terms of changing memetic systems, i.e., disinurement (1). Complaining may actually perform a function similar to immunomemes, or at least function in a similar manner. Complaining, as opposed to problem-solving, affords the enacter a similar kind of unassailability (2) that allows immunomemes to function, that is, by a kind of bullying. Also, a complainer has to refer to resonance memes (in the given cohort), and appropriate MIAOs.

For example, in America it is permissible, or to put it memetically, resonant (3), to complain about things like having a job, being a mother (or parent), being able to afford staying home to care for one's own children, having children attending college, having eaten too much, having spent an entire weekend watching TV, being married, having to pay taxes, etc. Obviously there are any number of other places where there isn't enough food, being able to afford to get married or even find a spouse is difficult or impossible, there is no TV or shows to watch, or watching for more than a short time would seem extravagant and/or lazy, etc., where such complaints would be seen as bizarre, offensive, etc., or in other words, would not resonate.

It's the same with immunomemes. One cannot deploy an immunomeme effectively if it does not resonate with the given memetic inventory, or put another way, people don't get it. The complaint or bullying doesn't have to be "logical" or even "relevant", so long as it resonates.

An example from the cartoon show Family Guy leaps to mind. Peter, the dysfunctional father, is teaching his daughter, Meg, how to drive. He gives her bad instructions and they go off the road and crash into a TV transmitter, taking out TV for the entire town of Quahog, where they live. An angry mob gathers, and to mollify them Peter says (about Meg) that "she got her legs shot off in Vietnam." The crowd disperses, some muttering, "...what a senseless war."

My position always has been that if it works as a comedy bit in a cohort, in a memetic environment, then it's a thing. If it works, then people get it, therefore the memetic pathways exist. This example points out that it's possible to complain about ridiculous things that have nothing to do with current circumstances, and yet people accept them, i.e., they resonate.

A complaint is either let to pass, i.e., the complainer is allowed to hold the floor and package their own memes, or it elicits some kind of sympathetic reaction, either outcome garnering a memetic reward (4) for the complainer. Thus, it may be possible to complain, effectively about anything, for example circumcision, and thereby transmit memes into the cohort that advance one's own political agenda, in this case, causing more people to question the practice. An example might be, "it pisses me off that circumcision is just a conspiracy by the jock strap companies (or the erectile dysfunction drug companies)". I have not (yet) worked out how to package these, but other things that might be complained about, i.e., packaged into a complaint format that would be unassailable and resonant, might include how the US has the highest rates of STDs and unwanted pregnancies in the Industrialized World, men fantasize about things or people other than their partners while making love, men have erection trouble, men don't like to use condoms, women are pressured to "go bareback" either with The Pill or other means (included no birth control at all), men are philanderers, women aren't having enough (good) orgasms, men watch a lot of porn, circumcision is a ten-billion-dollar industry (and a waste of that money, i.e., we could buy twenty fighter aircraft with that), women think foreskins are "ugly" or "gross", men are unsympathetic to women's suffering (sexual assault, pain of menstruation/childbirth, because men themselves are painfully sexually assaulted at birth). All of these issues and others may be laid at the doorstep of circumcision. All of these have been complained about (often by women), and/or are able to be joked about, i.e., they resonate. All that is needed is to link them to circumcision in a viable complaint, i.e., something that resonates and is unassailable. Then, if the complaint is sufficiently viable (or successful) it will be picked up and used by others to garner their own memetic rewards, even if they don't understand the nature of the complaint itself.

I'd be interested in suggestions as to how to package these issues such that they would be valid memetic complaints, i.e., they would resonate with existing memes and MIAOs, and be unassailable, i.e., the prospective assailant would be the target of immunomemes (bullying) or would get no resonance (therefore no reward). After that I don't know what happens. The theoretical development that leads to social change is that complaints turn into immunomemes, or that if a complaint becomes sufficiently widespread, i.e., it is sufficiently virulent, then the memes surrounding it become a basis for the deployment of immunomemes and for said immunomemes to "spring up". This offers a memetic reward to anyone who bullies those speaking well of the practice or trying to actually do it.

Experimentation and examination of data and examples are required. Are there bullying behaviors, i.e., active attacks on individuals deploying certain memes, which stem from memes which were originally associated (exclusively) with complaining? One could make the argument that every successful product that fills a perceived need is an example. It might even be able to be argued that a marketing campaign for any new product actually first generates the need, i.e., the complaint, which is perhaps more easily accepted and promulgated, followed by the solution, and the success of the product is due to "word of mouth" or these memes being spread. Many if not all political campaigns function in the same way, i.e., appeal to "violence", or "abortion", or non-existant "unemployment" (or the fear thereof). "Are you upset about 'gun violence'?", "Do your baby's diapers leak?" or even more obviously unreal things like "do you realize that all the squirrels in Central Park are running around with no pants on?" or "did you know that di-hydrogen oxide is directly responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars worth of loss to rust and is the cause of most drowning accidents?" People will complain about literally anything.

If complaining may be linked by some kind of evolutionary or memetic engineering process to immunomemes being formed, then we may have a workable formula for disinurement and meaningful and powerful social change. More research and data are required.

(1) The removal of a memetic system, i.e., the opposite of "injection".

(2) Position cannot be attacked or contradicted.

(3) to resonate = to elicit a response from fellow cohort members, included "no action" (passive response where the enacter is "allowed" to deploy a meme which might otherwise elicit a negative response in other contexts).

(4) also known as a "memetic orgasm", i.e., a physiological reward to the invoker (or deployer) enjoyed when a meme is successfully deployed, i.e., elicits a response, including imitation, no response (permission), or an appropriate reaction (even an oppressive one).

模倣子  Memetics Essay  - Memetic Index

1 comment:

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