Sunday, February 12, 2017

模倣子 Ideomemetic Systems and Psychoses

Introduction
In my first discussion on tautolomemes (1) I touch on the fairly obvious idea that each individual in fact has their [sic] own set of transition matrices. Another obvious extension of this is that each individual would have a sub-inventory for each memetic cohort of which they [sic] are a member. Of late I have been re-examining some ideas I had about ideo-memetic systems, how they act as an interface between the inner emotional economy and the outside world, and how the "consciousness" (2) is the environment, or rather, the expression of the operation of this ideo-memetic system. Furthermore, the failure of this internal system to "synchronize" or pass information back and forth (4) between the inner economy (3) and the outside world represents a psychic break.

Complexity and Normalcy
We can imagine an extra layer of transition matrices, i.e., an ideo-memetic system, which is unique to the given individual. One implication is that there be ideo-MIAOplexes which may be composed of MIAOs and MIAOplexes which make up the set of ideo-memes available to the conscious mind and the combination (MIAO bonding or MIAOplex formation) which prunes down the set of available memes to an ideo-memetic sub-system. People suffering from psychoses or organic brain disorders may have to construct some extremely complex MIAOs to "explain" their brain economy to the conscious. This could manifest as paranoia, exaggerated anxiety associated with largely unreal associations (aliens, the FBI, et al are out to get me, etc.). Even religions or other such supernatural belief systems involve an inner collection of complex rules and objects to allow the individual to make contact to outer reality, e.g., feeling shame, fear, etc., around things which are not naturally such, attributing events to non-existant factors such as magic or the action of "dieties", and so on, thereby allowing memetic transitions to be made internally.

Okay, so individuals are expected to react in a certain way in order to be a member of a given cohort, i.e., respond in a certain way to given memes. Presumably most people settle into an "easy" set of responses, i.e., the computation of which memes to deploy in response to incoming memes having very little need for translation, i.e., a simple network (5). However, a person with mental challenges or coming from an alien culture and trying to adapt, for example, may have to develop a fairly complex ideo-memetic system in order to interface with the mainstream.

One theory is that the inner economy cannot be arbitrarily changed, perhaps not at all, perhaps only with difficulty.

Does this have implications for memetic engineering? Is it possible to understand the ideomemetic systems of sub-cohorts, and make it easier (or more difficult...!) for them to interface with the mainstream, without having to modify the memetic profile of the mainstream itself, i.e., without having to memetically "reprogram" the majority?

Matrix Analysis
A given memetic system has a defined set of transition matrices, each of which represents a memetic state, which are the columns in these transition matrices, with the rows representing the memes which are available for deployment in that given state (describing the graph of possible transitions to other states). The collection of all of these matrices describes the graph of all memetic pathways of a memeplex (6), i.e., the transition matrix of a given state corresponds to a vertex on a directed graph of the whole memeplex.

Okay, this we know, but how do ideomemeplexes fit in, i.e., how do we represent them graphically (and formulaically)? An individual trying to interface with a memeplex must meet the requirement of enacting some acceptable meme in response to an incoming meme from outside. This is clearly a matrix operation itself.

This may be an exciting realization, since it may answer some tough questions about selection/optimization and also in issues of education and corrections/reform. How do individuals decide which memes to deploy? How do people learn how to interact with a given megamemeplex, i.e., a culture? If everybody has their [sic] own ideomemeplex, then their memetic inventory vis-a-vis the external megamemeplex differs from person to person, which potentially resolves troubling race conditions (7) which crop up in the simple graph theoretical model of memeplexes and state transitions.

Summary
Ideomemeplexes, in my original conception, provide an elegant model of and explanation for psychic breaks, or how individuals lose touch with reality, or indeed, how they manage to maintain it in the teeth of the ponderous contradictions and inconsistencies present in most naturally-evolved megamemeplexes (cultures, societies, religions, business organizations, governments, etc.). This also has implications for the practice of teaching and learning, and also the genesis of some antisocial behaviors and how to correct them.

Furthermore, ideomemeplexes, far from being limited to the modeling of psychoses and mental illness (or fanaticism, such as religions, etc.) and otherwise unnecessary to explain the macromemtic behavior of "normal" individuals, may provide a fundamental solution to the race conditions and optimization problems inherent in the simple matrix model of memetic states in memeplexes. This solution may be thought of as deriving from the "extra network layer" (11) provided by the ideomemetic matrix, i.e., the network is more flexible and "intelligent".

The details of the ideomemetic system of an individual very well may be accessible for study via standard "memetic hacking" techniques, i.e., interviews conducted in a private and "safe" setting. Further, despite the name, ideomemetic systems may be largely shared by large groups, e.g., alcoholics in Alcoholics Anonymous share a large set of memes in the form of "slogans" and "stories" and of course religious fanatics share the tenets of whatever cult they're a member of, and in both cases these memes and MIAOs are altogether alien to outsiders.

This may actually be a bad example, or perhaps a very interesting one. The more compatible a submemeplectic context (such as an AA meeting or a religious service of a given cult) is compatible with the individual's own ideomemeplex, the more comfortable the individual will tend to be with the environment, i.e., they [sic] will require less energy to make the required memetic transactions. This may have direct bearing on the study of the formation and dynamics of subcultures, e.g., hipster, nerd, religions, etc., and how this may actually relate to brain physiology.

Afterword
It occurs to me that my earlier idea of doing a memetic analysis on the media (8), similar to Noam Chomsky's analysis of messages during the Vietnam War Era in Manufacturing Consent, might work well starting from a high-level analysis of MIAOs, possibly identifying MIAOplexes, and the memes associated with those MIAOs, i.e., appearing in proximity thereto. This suggests a theory of MIAOplex Formation or MIAO bonding. This could potentially evince actual transition matrices (9), and even lead to the "automatic story writing" machines envisaged by George Orwell in 1984. Once a memetic model of a story setting were constructed, and the ideomemetic matrices of characters (some of which may be novel), it might be possible to "run the simulation" forward, possible with selected starting conditions, and "write" a new story in the same style, or a "fanfic". Again, we may be approaching Asimov's "psychohistory" (10) from The Foundation Trilogy.
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(1) "state-the-obvious" memes, or memes where no challenge may be reasonably mounted to the contents. Other such memes include complainomemes, and "pretending not to understand" memes. These kinds of memes are "unassailable", and thus provide a reliable memetic reward ("payoff" or "memetic orgasm").

(2) whatever the hell that means...!

(3) the inner economy is effectively the low-level wiring of the brain from which the "consciousness", or the platform able to support memetic transitions emerges. This "platform" may be subject to instabilities due to mental illness, extreme stress, etc.

(4) rather like gearing ratios in a mechanical systems, or "impedence matching" in electrical ones. Failure to match power input and output can result in total energy loss or destructive explosions. My memetic description of the breakdown of the conscious "mind" and the ideo-memetic system "running" on it to be able to convert back and forth between the outside world stimuli and the internal economy (3) of the brain is what constitutes a "psychotic break".

(5) This could be a major area of study and research. The formation of memetic systems could be partly driven by the predispositions of the minds making up the memetic fabric upon which the memeplex operates, i.e., whatever memetic pathways and transitions are most "efficient", whatever this means.

(6) which is in principle infinite in extent in both dimensions, but in practice limited to a finite number of states and memes since most memes' influence is too weak in any given state, and the probability of reaching most other states is very small.

(7) If everybody in a memetic deployment decision juncture has an identical memetic inventory and an identical probability vector for each (combined with a decision time vector), then it becomes a race as to who deploys first, and also it will always be the same meme (the one with the highest probability), which is clearly not the case, and is therefor vexing for the graph theory of memeplexes. That is, the system is woefully "divergent", so to speak. The reality we hope to model is more along the lines of  the same (usually powerful) people tending to deploy, and usually from the same subset of memes, everybody deploying memes from the allowed set but with differing distributions, and it being almost always being clear which person is going to deploy at a given juncture, i.e., no "jinx events" or collisions. Ideomemetic systems may solve the conundrum.

(8) I had originally thought of using a few scripts of Sex and the City.

(9) One theoretical question mark is the "MIAO granularity" of MIAOplexes, i.e., do memetic inventories shift around based on which MIAOs in a MIAOplex are in play at the given deployment juncture? In short, is there any way to build the transition matrices other than textual analysis of which memes are present in conjunction with which MIAO(s), and the sequences in which they appear? This presents a completeness problem which may not converge well even for extensive texts, and may have provability issues. However, one could start with the set of all combinations of MIAOs crossed with the set of all memes (12), prune all rows and columns which are "ridiculous," and then one is left with the set of all memetic transitions which actually appear in the text, plus additional transitions which are "plausible" and which may have significant predictive value. More on this later...

(10) Isaac Asimov's character, Hari Seldon, was a professor who had developed a theory called "psychohistory" which allowed one to predict with great accuracy the future behavior of large numbers of people (the larger, the more accurate). Among other things, he predicted (correctly) the decline and fall of the Galactic Empire of which he was a citizen, and was able to take action, namely creation of "The Foundation" prior to the collapse.

(11) Known as the "hidden layer" in network theory.

(12) I want to explore a theory of MIAO bonding, or MIAOplex Formation, which promises to enormously simplify the construction of transition matrices as well as the enumeration of the memes making up the inventory of a memeplex. The idea is that all memes in a memeplex are attached to some MIAO or other, or rather, that any meme is attached to (at least) one MIAO, and that the combination of MIAOs which may be identified as part of memeplex "contribute" their memes to that memeplex's memetic inventory. Thus, by identifying (all of) the MIAOs in a memeplex (13), one can elaborate the memetic inventory of the memeplex (16).

(13) More precisely, the MIAOs recognized by the cohort determined to be inured of the memeplex under study. This might seem like circular logic, but I don't believe it is. Rather than analyzing memes, one focuses on MIAOs, many of which may be well-studied elsewhere, e.g., co-opted from other memeplexes (14)(15).

(14) For example, the Christian co-opting of the German Weinnachtesbaum (Christmas Tree), the Mormons co-option of the Catholic Jesus, American borrowing of the English language and Common Law from the British, creative leitmotifs in art forms such as film, television, painting, sculpture, the Japanese borrowing of Chinese (and American) culture and writing systems.

(15) Other similar concepts to Co-option are trans-pairing and accretion. I still need to elaborate all of these and define them rigorously (in terms of matrix operations, etc.), but they are all ways in which memes attach to MIAOs.

(16) One question is whether this process, i.e., MIAO bonding, brings in all of the memes of all of the MIAOs, or only those which are shared among them, or something more complex. The second one seems problematic. Perhaps there is some further process where memes are removed (or even added) which we might term meme paring (as opposed to "pairing").
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模倣子 Memetic Essays - Memetic Index

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