2016-12-30

模倣子 Droning on and Complaining

What are the similarities between complaining memes and immunomemes? Do complaining memes have similar properties to immunomemes? Another memetic subclass is "stating the obvious". The issue, the question is: "what do complaining and stating-the-obvious memes do?".

Review of Known Principles
Memetic systems are ultimately conservative in nature, so we want to see the function of complaint memes (1) and of state-the-obvious memes (2) to be one of reenforcing the stability of the memetic system of which they are a part.

Second, we expect complainomemes and tautolomemes to resonate with MIAOs and other memes in the system. This is of course true, since otherwise, by the definition of the function of a meme, they cannot exist. A meme is an instance of imitation, so the individual deploying it is imitating some other who deployed it earlier. Or, if it is a novel meme, then it must be imitated by others, otherwise it does not have virulence or is not successful. I also define a successful meme as one that causes other memes to fire, to be enacted/deployed, and in some cases this can be other individuals outwardly not reacting (3).

Hence, we see things like other individuals either not reacting to someone who states the obvious or who complains about some acceptable topic (in America, for instance, one's job, eating too much, being fat, politics, the weather, etc.), or reacting sympathetically. Obviously, if the complaino/tautolomemes did not resonate, the deployer would be either alienated, i.e., no reaction and no change in memetic state of the cohort (4), or would be targeted by immunomemes (5).

Anyway, we don't see deployment of immunomemes in reaction to successful complainomemes and tautolomemes. Finally, as memes, we expect that others be motivated to imitate these memes in order to garner their own memetic rewards. Presumably, there are such memes which are more virulent, more readily copied, and also that some produce more reaction, stronger memetic orgasms, than others. This could explain why people complain about the same banal subjects, seemingly constantly and never tiring of them, and also why people complain about dramatic things that don't really exist (some might give the examples of "fake sexual assault claims", "gun violence", or "dangers of vaccines", and so forth). It may also be true that people (in the US for instance) don't complain about things like Global Warming and male infant circumcision because there are no complainomemes or tautolomemes associated with these issues (they have not been elevated to the status of MIAOs) or that those few that do exist are insufficiently virulent and do not propagate or are competed out by other memes. To get more people talking and thinking about these issues, creating such MIAOs and memes, and attaching them to existing memetic infrastructure, should be a very good approach.

That would get people talking about these issues, and would perhaps pave the way, or prepare the ground, for a large number of people to be receptive to taking action or do receiving information or at least more sophisticated memes about them.

Complaints, Blather, and the Memetic Engineer
So what do we do about this? What do these things do? It seems clear that it should be possible to create memes for complaining, or for making pedestrian statements that others agree with, or would feel uncomfortable disagreeing with, in fact, I've done things quite similar to this in experimental settings. It's not difficult. The dream of marketing and political consulting is to create lasting change, or the evince actual action, and not just people yacking about trivia. Also, one objective of memetic engineering is to launch something that is self-perpetuating, i.e., it does not require an ongoing expensive advertising campaign or a permanent army of workers to keep the behavior going. Obviously, since we have the example of society and culture, this sort of thing exists. By the same token, there are probably things which are propped up by continual expenditure on the part of governments and other organizations. There will always be sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, probably due to base urges, but there are lots of other behaviors, too, that have more mysterious, memetic, origins.

Effect on Memetic State of Complaining and Stating the Obvious
It's possible that talking a bunch of rubbish draws the memetic state of the cohort back to more "low energy" position. It's also possible that deployment is possible from any memetic state. Rather than a tool for change, complaining and droning on actually re-enforce and establish conservative norms in a memetic system. We could imagine these memes driving the state of the cohort to a more highly-connected zone of the memespace, i.e., where there are plenty of connections between "central" memes, MIAOs, and circuits between them.

In this sense, this may be the same kind of function performed by an immunomeme, i.e., to bring the system back to a conservative state, a state where core memetic circuits are being run. Also, just like meaningless "complaining" or stating of widely accepted truisms (which may not even be true at all), immunomenes do not have to make sense, or even, apparently, have anything to do with the situation in which they are applied (see Family Guy reference).

So it may be possible that there are some general principles that apply to all three of these types of memes: immunomemes, complainomemes, and tautolomemes. It's clear that the function of immunomemes is to protect the system, although it's as yet unclear (to me) exactly how they perform this function in terms of general theoretical principles. It also seems that complainomemes and tautolomemes could even perform a similar function.

It could also be true that such memes provide a reliable "fix" in terms of memetic reward ("orgasm"), although often a probably very "small" one (6). That may or may not be related to a conservative function that these memes may perform.
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(1) In search of a name for "complain meme". "bitchomeme"? "plaintimeme"? "complainomeme"? 文句模倣子、文句子

(2) Tautolomeme? 当たり前子

(3) Not reacting when a reaction would otherwise be appropriate, e.g., in response to otherwise inappropriate behavior such as nudity in a nudist camp, or racist remarks among a group of fellow racists. Note that lack of outward reaction may not preclude a change of memetic state.

(4) More work is still needed on what happens in alienation, in this case, is there no change in memetic state as a result of meme deployment by alienated individuals.

(5) It's still to be elucidated a description of how immunomemes function. How do they effect memetic state transitions, and are those states pre-existing, for instance? What happens to the individual targeted by an immunomeme? Presumably they garner a memetic reward ("memetic orgasm") but do they also suffer a loss in "status", and can this be categorized memetically, or is it an extra-memetic phenomenon (related to alienation, perhaps)?

(6) It's as yet unclear how to rate the "strength" of a memetic orgasm, and what kinds of memes produce stronger or weaker ones.
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模倣子 Essay - Memetic Index

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