Friday, March 31, 2017

漫画 An Old Friend

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Mermaid CLIII

Sunday, March 26, 2017

模倣子 Cheaters, Masochists, Sociopaths, and Proselytizers

Memetic Index

The bugaboos of race conditions, jinx event resolution, and deployment decisions yet cry out for some kind of effective model. We observe that there is a (small) set of memes which are available to, in the memetic inventory of, a cohort, which we get from memetic analysis of same. Messages and actions are easily observed (1) and inventoried. We can also identify memetic states which define subsets of the inventory allowed to be deployed at any given moment and to which state the cohort transitions as a result of any given deployment (2). However, the principles governing when these memes are deployed and by whom remain unclear.

There may be something to do with individual status and power (3), which brings up the idea of memetic nexuses. There is also what I like to call the Main Character Effect (4).

Memetic Nexuses and Status
The basic concept of a memetic nexus is that of a star network where an individual, who is often associated with a MIAOplex (5) and to which some sub-cohort of individuals are "subscribed" (6), generates "messages" (memes) which the subscribers receive in only one or two "jumps." This contrasts with the regular propagation/infection of a meme, where it propagates from one individual to the next at random as individuals and takes time to penetrate the cohort and the propagation depends upon the virulence (20) of the meme. In the case of memetic nexuses, the meme propagates simultaneously and instantaneously to the entire subscribed cohort, and thus may be considered to have very high virulence vis-à-vis said sub-cohort.

Ideomemeplexes and Morality
Obviously, different people interact with a given memeplex in different ways. Some people are aware of the memeplex and yet try to defeat it and get around it (avoid taxes, get doughnuts for free, etc.) for anti-social benefits, those who make seemingly self-harming decisions, and those who are oblivious to the existence of the system but use its iconography and memes freely (and wrongly) for their own purposes or just because they don't know any better or don't care (8). There are also proselytizers who mention and explain the system to others. Obviously religions tend to have these sorts of people, but they may even spring up in a simple engineered system such as Blue Shirt Tuesday.

One possible theory is that each individual participating (9) in a memeplex has an internal system of transition matrices and so on that render a decision to deploy certain memes at certain times.

Ideomemeplexes in Blue Shirt Tuesday
First off, let's imagine a cast of characters who participate in the Blue Shirt Tuesday memeplex with different "strategies" (10) in mind.

CharacterModus Operandi
SanjayOblivious manager who acts as if doughnuts are for everybody.
AmyOblivious low-level staffer who does not pay attention to the rules (including when she is praised for following them) and eats doughnuts at will, regardless of shirt color.
Priscilla "Pris"Tells others about the BST system, tends to announce when she's going to get a doughnut, praises those who participate, shames cheaters.
RogerSeeks negative attention from coworkers (when positive attention unavailable) by taking doughnuts when not wearing a blue shirt in view of others.
Steveparticipant and doughnut eater, doesn't shame cheaters.
TonyA "rebel" who avoids participation by making a point of not wearing a blue shirt on Tuesdays.
AdrianAppreciates the memeplex, makes a point of not wearing a blue shirt on Tuesdays to avoid the temptation of having a doughnut..
MeghanKnows the rules, but sneaks doughnuts when others aren't looking when she's not wearing a blue shirt (which is often).
BethWears the shirt, eats the doughnuts, praises participants, shames (low-status) cheaters.

Again, let's elaborate the exomemetic inventory (12) of the system. We'll add a few things from the previous explanation of the system, e.g., an explain! meme, an announce! meme, a recuse! meme (where one forgot to wear a blue shirt), a confess! meme (where one admits to having eaten a doughnut blue-shirtlessly, to thus avoid shaming), and a pardon! meme (when one admits to blue-shirtless consumption). These are all signal memes that help inject and promulgate the system, by the way, and which were absent in my earlier, simplified, elaboration. I'm considering also adding a wear-blue-shirt! meme, and obviously a wear-blue-shirt! meme. Let's assume that cheaters who are caught are given a PARIAH (MIAO) status and are subjected to explain! and shame! memes for the rest of the day. I also want to add the cheat! meme as a kind of "virtual meme" to indicate that the cheater deliberately cheated and can make a state transition back to the NoBlue state once they have succeeded, as opposed to remaining in the NoBlueAte state, i.e., all of the memetic inventory of that state again become unavailable.

One issue we need to deal with, and this may be one of our first applications of the ideomemetic model feature, is how the individual decides what color of shirt to wear in the morning. Here are the states, the MIAOplexes linked to them and the memes available to each, along with the memetic pathways. By the way, though I didn't necessarily use this convention before, when a meme is not followed by a new state, the system (13) stays in the same state.

Morning [ ] wear-blue!Blue, wear-blue!NoBlue
Blue [ BLUE, DONUT ] eat!BlueAte, announce!, explain!
NoBlue [ BLUE, DONUT ] eat!NoBlueAte, recuse!, explain!
BlueAte [ BLUE, DONUT ] praise!, shame!, explain!, announce!
NoBlueAte [ BLUE, DONUT ] shame!Pariah, confess!, pardon!, explain!, cheat!NoBlue
Pariah [ PARIAH, BLUE, DONUT ] shame!, explain!, confess!, pardon!NoBlueAte

So the state diagram (19) for this memeplex should look like this:
The Case of Sanjay
Sanjay is high-status (15), which means that he's indifferent to which state, Blue or NoBlue, he goes into from Morning -- he wears what he likes. He then decides to eat! a doughnut or two, which puts him into either the BlueAte or the NoBlueAte state. Again, since he is high-status, none of the "negative" memes (14) affect him, i.e., none of the low-level schlubs are going to tell him that he's breaking the rules, at least not those who know he is the boss. He is an exploiter. Somebody may or may not be able to explain! the system. He might be interested in praise! but really the only meme that may be enacted is shame! The reality is that it may be a kind of null! meme enacted by the cohort as a result of Sanjay's actions, i.e., the only meme made available is to do nothing. Sanjay may be said to be apathetic (16). He could almost be said to be existing in a state of alienation, or memetic destitution, and that his act of eating the doughnut "wantonly" is an act of violence. Unlike the thief or the cheater, Sanjay experiences no residual memetic debt as a result of eating his doughnut "for free." He does not see the doughnut as a bribe to take part in the memetic system (17). To him, it is simply a doughnut (18), a libidinal experience, devoid of any "excessive meaning (17)." Sanjay's ideomemeplex is perhaps not so interesting, at least vis-à-vis the BST memeplex.

The Case of Amy
Amy is like Sanjay, except that other cohort members have the full repertory of bullying immunomemes to deploy against her. She has some kind of internal economy which does not "update" or "compensate" for the negative feedback. Rather like Meghan and Roger (see below), her ideomemeplex fails to "mesh" with the "moral" blueprint of the memeplex and the pathways that don't lead to bullying. The difference with Amy is that her internal economy doesn't exhibit learning, and I still need a model for how bullying leads to learning, i.e., how the ideomemeplex updates itself.

The Case of Meghan
Meghan is a cheater, which makes her interesting, since she runs the rules in ways others do not. As with Sanjay, we can posit some kind of "random shirt color generator" which sometimes leaves her wearing blue, but usually not. On the rare case she does, her ideomemeplex is perhaps not so important. She has the exomemes in front of her and she can deploy them and enjoy her doughnut.

However, when she fails to wear blue, she still has eat! in front of her, along with recuse! and explain!, which she will not deploy. This is where her ideomemetic system becomes paramount. Since she is a "member" of the memeplex, she seeks to garner memetic rewards, and perhaps also libidinal ones. The lure of the free doughnut is perhaps stronger with her than with others who, when they forget their blue shirt, recuse! themselves and don't eat!.

When Meghan enacts eat! blue-shirtlessly, is she really enacting a meme, or, since it's unobserved (presumably) is she more like Sanjay...or Amy? This is where her ideomemetic configuration may come into play. An anti-social person is somehow able to eschew (external) memetic rewards and yet somehow function, and in many ways exactly like a pro-social person. This is where the theory of ideomemetic systems come in, i.e., they may be able to explain how an anti-social person circumvents the rules, fails to garner memetic rewards from their [sic] fellows, and yet remains a part of a memeplex and be subject to macromemetic forces.

A "moral" person gets to enact all sorts of memes before, during, and after they eat a doughnut with their blue shirt on. They get to eat!, as well as announce! what they're doing, and explain! it to others. These are all positive, pro-social memes which they may enact freely. On top of that, they may garner praise! or even just be able to enjoy free food without having to endure shame! for it. In other words, they are totally free of residual memetic debt. Within the memetic system, talking about it, getting free food and praise from others are all expected -- one acts according to the system, and one receives exactly the anticipated reward.  One acts, and others react exactly within expected parameters. The memetic loop is closed.

For Meghan the cheater, however, she hopes that others will not deploy any of the memes that they are able to deploy. She hopes to close her own memetic loops. She's kind of a thrill-seeker, which brings us to Roger, who may be another kind of thrill-seeker.

The Case of Roger
Roger wants to get into trouble. And the thing is, he knows perfectly well how to do it. If he forgets to wear his blue shirt, then, unlike Meghan, who wants to eat doughnuts without following the rules, Roger seems to view it (11) as a chance to get a more intense reaction from the cohort. Roger is a kind of masochist. He knows that if he takes a doughnut sans blue shirt, he will get a shame! meme, especially from certain coworkers. He and Meghan are really both following the rules, just that he wants to get caught, and he can easily play things that way, i.e., he can force other cohort members to react in the way he wants, by presenting them bullying opportunities which offer them such rewards that they cannot refuse. We can see how this behavior allows Roger to avoid alienation (21).

The Case of Steve
Steve seems like a "good citizen," but he doesn't deploy immunomemes (shaming, explaining, etc.), and thus erodes these immunomemes, or causes them to atrophy. He doesn't seek to garner memetic rewards by deploying them, and thus the cohort are denied chances to resonate by letting him do it, or by deploying their own immunomemes and counting on rewards from him. Thus we see that, like the cheaters and sociopaths, Steve undermines the system by cherry-picking which immunomemes he will deploy, eschewing the grabbing of certain memetic rewards. The use of memes makes them stronger, since they are seen as a source of memetic rewards. Underenacted memes wither in favor of other, more virulent memes, and the functioning of the system changes accordingly.

The Case of Tony
In contrast to Steve, Tony, the rebel, who never eats the doughnuts, is actually a "better" cohort member. This is the principle of memetic fabric polarization. Tony does not eat the doughnuts not because he is unaware of them or is trying to "opt out" of the system, so he is not deploying a null! meme, or even trying to, but is really deploying a kind of eat! meme, along with all of the other memes, re-enforcing them all.

The Case of Adrian
Like Tony, Adrian is effectively deploying an eat! meme, and so strongly supports all aspects of the system, despite not actually eating any doughnuts. Both of them fail to wear blue shirts, i.e., deploy wear-blue!, but also announce! and explain! and thereby garner memetic rewards from all of those deployments, which is the hallmark of thorough participation in a memeplex.

The Cases of Pris and Beth
These two are the classic "good citizens" in that they wear their blue shirts (the desired behavior) and eat their doughnuts as a reward. They are the ones the system was "designed for," so to speak. Insofar as they deploy memes like explain! and announce!, they are re-enforcing all pathways of the system, and strengthening it, which is, by the way, the same thing that Tony and Adrian are doing, except that they are not wearing blue shirts, which is the desired output of the system. All four of them demonstrate to potential cohort members how it is possible to reliably garner memetic rewards from the memeplex.

An Ideomemetic Perspective on Anti-Social Behavior
We can begin to see how Sanjay effectively ignores the existence of any of the states or memes of the BST memeplex. Obviously, those who participate "legally" in the memeplex, following the rules, keep the memeplex alive and functioning, i.e., it does what it's designed to do, so to speak, just like any legal or economic system (should be). The masochists and cheaters are examples that we want to focus on, since they are not following the spirit of the system, at least not on the face of it. Amy, the open cheater, weakens the system by not responding to immunomemes deployed against her, undermining the effectiveness of those immunomemes and the ability of the cohort to stabilize the system. We can see a couple of things about "criminal justice." One is that the immunomemeplex should enforce the rules (22), and when this fails, and only then, should laws and the state intervene, and in this case there should be a clear idea of how the system "should work." Failing that, the memeplex simply becomes more confused and unstable.

The way it looks to me is that Meghan and Roger, on top of the system of memes and states in the exomemetic expression of the memeplex, each have their own system that somehow deprioritizes to zero "positive" memes that "moral" cohort members would consider deploying and prioritizes "negative" ones that "moral" members would not consider. Ironcially, Steve, who seems a good citizen, weakens the system in a similar way by not deploying certain immunomemes, which is really the same thing, i.e., deploying or not deploying memes, not taking advantage of memetic rewards, when possible. Partial implementation of a memeplex leads to atrophy of the disused pathways. It's up to the memetic designer to notice this and make the needed memes more appealing, and get cohort members to deploy them.

It's tempting to imagine an entire ideomemeplex underlying the exomemeplex with its own states that map or do not map onto the exomemetic ones. Or that the anticipated rewards or fear of humiliating meme deployments by others are deprecated somehow. For example, the criminal (like Meghan) sees only the reward of their anti-social behavior, and not the harm done others. The decision process is skewed when deciding to enter a state that has a lot of potential for bullying immunomemes to be enacted by others.

I've done a bit to lay the groundwork for a future essay to explore how ideomemetic systems might set up the priorities used for deployment of memes, including those that produce "negative" results for the enactor, namely, getting themselves bullied. I still don't have a model for deployment decisions, but I think I'm getting closer.

It seems that the "cheater" risks entering a state where immunomenes are prevalent by prioritizing down those immunomemes (risk of humiliation, arrest by the police, violent reprisals, punishment, etc.) and focusing on memetic pathways through the risky state toward some kind of memetic (or libidinal?) reward, possibly supplied by a criminal sub-cohort of which they are a member. It could be some kind of "daredevil complex" or other such -- more investigation is required.

Masochists, on the other hand, seem to plot pathways into trouble. This can be a way of "forcing" others to respond by handing them an irresistible smorgasbord of bullying immunomemes to deploy. The path of the righteous man may be easier since the cohort has to spend less effort in terms of deployment of immunomemes as he goes about his day. The same goes for the cheater, at least until enough memetic pathways are added to allow the cohort to start to be able to catch her.

The sociopath is actually interesting since he provides what is probably an example of apathy, memetic destitution (21), and also how these relate directly to violence. All this in spite of the fact that his ideomemetic economy is probably quite plain with respect to the exomemeplex in question. I also do not yet have a model of learning in response to bullying, which is probably a mechanism associated with the ideomemeplex, for which I still need a model. The evolution of a memeplex is another matter, based on a kind of consensus of the cohort. Memetic pathways atrophy from disuse, which alters the global memeplectic behavior. The role of residual memetic debt on learning and cheating is as yet unclear, as is how a cheater garners memetic rewards in spite of the fact that they deliberately avoid many of the possible memetic interactions with others, and thus opportunities to close memetic loops.

Another issue is how cheaters, masochists, and sociopaths weaken the memeplex by weakening the immunomemes which "should" stop them. This happens because the anticipated memetic reward of deployment of those immunomemes is lessened and made less reliable. Ironically, "good citizens" who never run afoul of immunomemes can nonetheless weaken the system by failing to deploy immunomemes themselves. In this sense, society begins to "care less" about immoral behavior, and thus it increases, and the memetic system "fails" in its effectiveness to deliver a "desired collective behavior." This is an interesting problem for memetic engineering.

(1) c.f., Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, where Chomsky analyses the messages in the media during the Vietnam war to conclude that the "liberal media" was in fact a myth and that the overwhelming bulk of messages were conservative in nature and supportive of the war and President Nixon.

(2) These are transition matrices, and each state has them.

(3) I do not yet have a way of characterizing this, and even still, questions of tie-breakers between individuals of comparable status remains.

(4) In movies and on television shows, there are main characters and supporting characters, and I have observed that the main characters never get interrupted, are always listened to, and often can abuse or insult minor/supporting characters with impunity. It's as yet unclear how to represent this sort of thing in a memetic model.

(5) For example, the President of the United States, the office and the office-holder (though certainly the former if not the latter) constitute a permanent memetic icon (MIAO), i.e., even if the President changes, the office remains. By contrast, some memetic nexuses may coalesce around an individual or institution which may be more transitory, i.e., if the individual disappears, the nexus may also disappear (7). Like the POTUS, managers in a company are automatic memetic nexuses, since their staffs all receive their messages with a very short jump and high priority, and they may be similarly connected to other parts of the company.

(6) Messages from the memetic nexus are simultaneously consumed by everybody in the cohort, with only a very small number of jumps. For example, the POTUS delivers a message to the press, that is, all of the press outlets, worldwide, and that message is in turn promulgated to a large fraction of the world population all at once. By contrast, a child in a family or a low-level worker in a corporation may only pass their messages up to a parent or immediate supervisor, and thus such an individual has very few subscribers and is therefore not a memetic nexus. Radio pundits with high ratings, well-known artists, and such are also memetic nexuses to varying degrees.

(7) The tenacity of memetic nexuses is a body of theory in progress. Can an individual leave their nexus while leaving it intact and so forth. Johnny Carson's replacement by Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show is an interesting example. The churches of disgraced televangelists are others.

(8) Cultural and racial insensitivity could be examples of this. Exploitation of people or resources without consideration for how their social microcosms function. The Washington Redskins American football team and the protests against its name and logo may be an example of exploitation or coöption of iconography out of insensitivity or desire to appeal to other out-group members with similar distorted views toward the oppressed group. We can say that the "sociopathic" coöpters are not subject to the immunomemeplex of the system they exploit, and so are not influenced by them or brought under control by the system, i.e., they are free to do as they will.

(9) Or, in the case of "sociopath" coöpting exploiters, not participating, at least not fully.

(10) this is a shorthand for "consistently getting certain results," since the whole theory of macromemetics disavows the concept of "intent." (11)

(11) c.f., Jean-Paul Sartre's Existentialism, in particular Les Mains Sales.

(12) the memes which may be observed externally, as opposed to endomemes, which may only be inferred. By the way, a subset of the actual endomemes of an endomemeplex which are instantiated in a particular individual are the ideomemeplex for that individual.

(13) It's still unclear how to represent from whose point of view (POV) the state is. That is, the whole memeplex, i.e., the entire cohort, cannot be in the NoBlueAte state, and probably not permanently. It's as if each individual or collection of individuals, when together, are in a memetic state, i.e., they have a sub-inventory of memes they may enact (which brings us to our race conditions and jinx events), while at the same time multiple states may exist simultaneously, e.g., when a bunch of folks are standing around the doughnuts, there is the opportunity to deploy the eat! meme, and when blue-shirtless folk do it, the shame! meme becomes available, and if a PARIAH enters the room, the shame! meme is also available, in addition to the confess!, pardon! memes. The explain! meme is almost always available.

(14) which are effectively immunomenes in this scenario, and in general for this memeplex, actually.

(15) and more importantly, not affected by the memeplex, i.e., he does not expect to receive memetic responses for his actions, and he is not seeking memetic rewards...from anybody. He is going for a purely libidinal reward, i.e., the sweet, sweet taste of jelly-filled bliss.

(16) Apathy is an important and apparently rather slippery concept in my study of macromemetics.

(17) Again the example of the Washington Redskins leaps to mind, i.e., the appropriation of iconography, MIAOs, and memes beyond the horizon of any memeplectic or ideological or historical context or meaning.

(18) See The Pervert's Guide to Ideology with Slavoj Zizek, particularly the section on the German band Rammstein. In our example, Sanjay's doughnut is "liberated" of any ideological meaning, i.e., to him it does not represent participation in any ideology (memeplex), rather like the pre-Nazi swastika, for example.

(19) For more examples of diagrams, see comics The Blue-Horned People, Schrödinger's Catachresis, and Running SCAREd, as well as my recent essay on memetic states.

(20) "virulence" is also termed the "success" of the meme.

(21) alienation is where the individual suffers from memetic destitution, or a lack of memes they are able to deploy so as to get responses from the cohort.

(22) A good example is Ordinance 2002-13, which bans toplessness by women and provides stiff penalties. Obviously, many if not most women feel embarrassed being naked in public, largely because of their own personal sense of "modesty," but also due to negative public reaction in many situations. The public shaming, immunomemetic force, is much more effective, is always active everywhere, reflects public "values" more effectively (including the capacity to adapt over time), and is much less "expensive" to the state than deploying police, jail space, and other resources. It also has none of the "sledgehammer" impact on women and the people close to them, destroying lives, reputations, relationships, and ability to earn income, etc. See The 2nd Coming manga for discussion of the ill effects of laws like Ordinance 2002-13.

模倣子 Memetics Essay

Mermaid CXIIVL

Saturday, March 25, 2017

漫画 Casting Pearls before Swine

←Manga Index—This whole vignette

模倣子 What do Memetic States Look Like?

Memetic Index 

I have noticed, and it has come up in discussions, that a good example of a collection of memetic states is needed, and that I don't really seem to have one yet. I need an "elevator pitch" for the concept of memetic states and how they relate to MIAOs and the memes that influence them. I think I probably need to incorporate the concepts of ideomemetic systems and MIAOplexes in this example.

I need some kind of scenario, a collection of MIAOs, some memes (including immunomemes), and a collection of transition matrices, including (example) ideomemetic transition matrices for various hypothetical individuals that make up the cohort of the memetic fabric (or subsection of fabric) under consideration.

I'm interested in considering the Blue Shirt Tuesday Doughnut scenario. It's simple, and I have done actual experimentation on this very memeplex, with results  that have led directly to a number of memetic theories. I could also contrast this with the Koffee Klatch scenario, especially if I wanted to bring in the concept of residual memetic debt, which seems to be very useful in illumination various "cheating" behaviors (1). The Prime Pizza Thursday scenario is another good example of how lack of residual memetic debt seems to curtail cheating, and offers solid experimental proof (2). The doughnut scenario especially illuminated the concept of memetic polarization.

I hope to put forward my diagrams for memetic systems as well. I have been using them in my comics (6), but I need to make them more rigorous, and bring them more into line with the actual transition matrices they try to represent.

Example of Notation with Blue Shirt Tuesday
As I mentioned, the Blue Shirt Tuesday memeplex had as objective to measure the level of difficulty involved in infecting a chosen cohort with a novel memetic system that was self-enforcing through enactment of simple, very clear immunomemes. The experiment consisted of offering a libidinal bribe for participation in the memeplex in the form of free doughnuts on every Tuesday, on condition that "participants" be wearing a blue shirt. Questions were:
  1. Would people participate, i.e., eat the doughnuts?
  2. Would there be cheating?
  3. Would people self-police, i.e., bully or socially shame those who tried to take doughnuts without wearing a blue shirt?
All of these proved to be true, to a surprising degree, and the memeplex took hold very quickly (5), and became universally known throughout the cohort, although not all members actually ate the doughnuts (3). This let to the discovery of memetic fabric polarization, among other things.

One thing which was probably significant about the Blue Shirt Tuesday Memeplex is that the "rules" for bullying opportunities, or more technically, the immunomemes which could be deployed and the contexts (memetic states) in which the could be deployed were very clear and simple. This is probably a significant contrast with the Koffee Klatch Memeplex (see below) and an important lesson for any would-be memetic designer, i.e., if the immunomemeplex is not designed to be clear and simple, and specifically focused on managing the desired behavior, in this case, shaming people out of eating doughnuts when their shirt is not blue, then the system will not converge to the desired mode of operation. The bullies must know:
  1. exactly which immunomemes are at their disposal
  2. under which circumstances (states) they may deploy them
  3. the immunomemes must be unassailable (4)
If any of these properties are not present, adequate social shaming to enforce the desired function of the memeplex may not be possible.

Anyway, with that, on to the notation.
This is a notation system I am trying to finalize, and one which I have been using in one form or another in my comics (6) for a number of years now. The "clouds" represent memetic states, the "balls" are MIAOs, and the arrows (and other symbols) represent memes. I am experimenting with the idea that MIAOs, or rather, MIAOplexes, determine the memetic inventory of a given state. Note the "capitalization" scheme I'm using:
  1. MIAO (all caps)
  2. State (capitalized, actually CamelCase)
  3. meme! (lowercase with exclamation mark)
  4. unmeme! (strike-through or overbar for a meme not enacted) 

I'll try to express the above system in these terms. There are several things that need to be expressed:

  1. the description of each state in terms of the MIAOs which are in play
  2. the memes which are available in each state
  3. which memes may be deployed in response to which memes (bullying opportunities)
  4. state transitions predicated by meme deployment (if any) (7)
So we can try to describe the system like this:

State [ SALIENT MIAOs ] available memes!, meme! => response opportunities!

Out [ ] enter!
In [BLUE, DONUT] exit!, eat! => shame! praise! shame!

So here we see that the eat! meme offers the response/bullying opportunities of shaming the eater (if they don't have a blue shirt), praising them for taking a doughnut while wearing a blue shirt, i.e., participating in the memeplex, or just not doing anything (10). I have a notational issue to do with which memes are allowed to be triggered by eat!, i.e., is this predicated solely on the MIAOs in play, or do I need a special chart? I think I need more states, and to go back to the idea of a state providing a memetic inventory at each step, which means there would be an "In with blue shirt" state and an "In without blue shirt" state, and the eat! action meme would provide different opportunities in each.

MIAO LIST: attached memes!

DONUT: eat!
BLUE, DONUT: eat! shame! shame! praise! enter! exit!

I have another problem here, too. There are some memes which are arguably inherently associated with given MIAOs, but other memes which are not, or which are perhaps only relevant to a given state or states, e.g., enter! and exit!, in other words, there is a kind of synergistic effect, where a MIAOplex may have memes associated with it which the individual MIAOs comprising it do not.

Let's try to restate the memetic state description to address some of these issues, before we remake the visual diagram. Let's try leaving out the Out state since it doesn't really add anything.

Blue [ BLUE, DONUT ] eat! => praise! shame!
NoBlue [ BLUE, DONUT ] eat! => shame!

Nota Bene: there are no real "state transitions" in this case, or in any of the other memeplexes I'm going to discuss here.  This is something of a shortfall, since memes causing the cohort to change states is an important theoretical factor I'm working on. Anyway, baby steps. Another issue is that although having more states clears things up a lot, there is still the issue of how to decide whether a cohort member deploys praise! or shame! in the Blue state. Since deployment does not, in principle (11), lead to a state transition, there are no race conditions ("Jinx situations")

The idea of MIAOs and anti-MIAOs may seem a bit odd. In this case we're really talking about a blue shirt versus a shirt of any other color. There are a lot of strange dichotomies that people accept. For example, vanilla and chocolate, apples and oranges, etc., are, in the US anyway, thought to be opposite, or are so used rhetorically at least. So, does the following equation hold true? CHOCOLATE = VANILLA.

Weakness of the Koffee Klatch
I've discussed elsewhere the Prime Pizza Thursday and Koffee Klatch memeplexes. I think that PPT is quite similar to BST in that the immunomemes and their deployment contexts are quite clear, and the experimental evidence is that they work very efficiently as artificial memeplexes. However, Koffee Klatch failed, and I'm curious if there's a good way to analyze this notationally, or was the system "flawed" in some kind of esoteric way about which I don't have enough information to examine further?

There were at least a couple of things that we wanted cohort members to do:
  1. contribute money to the kitty
  2. bring coffee
  3. don't drink without contributing in some way

This failed across the board, since nobody brought coffee, nobody contributed, and the coffee always seemed to disappear immediately with the only two members barely even getting any. Clearly a flop! Why did the system fail to prevent all this, and fail to support its ostensible objectives?

The memes we wanted to see were along the lines of contribute!, drink!, bring-coffee!, shame!, praise! for starters. There was a meme which we didn't want to see, which was cheat!, and ended up being the only one the cohort exhibited. In fact, there may not have been a cohort, per se, and that may have been a big part of the problem (13).

Were there actual MIAOs associated with the memeplex? This may also be a huge issue. We named the Koffee Klatch after a beloved former coworker, but many people may not have known the reference. Unlike with blue shirts, doughnuts, prime numbers, and pizza, there was no coherent MIAO to tie these memes together. This lack may be rather hard to quantify, however, but maybe a kind of memetic transactional analysis will be possible.

What we want is something like this:

CoffeeStation [ MEMBER ] contribute!Contributed, drink!Drank
CoffeeStation [ MEMBER ] contribute!Contributed, drink!Cheat
Drank [ ]
Cheat [ ] shame!Shame
Contributed [ ] praise!, shame!
Shame [ ]

So a big problem is that there are no clear bullying opportunities or bullying behaviors for people to do if they perceive somebody cheating. Plus, there is no "marking" of members and non-members,  i.e., the MEMBER MIAO is not distinguishable, unlike with the BST memeplex, or when somebody drops a chit in for PPT. It's hard to be certain, but it's clear that there is little for people to work with when it comes to enforcing this system through social bullying.  People want clearly-defined bullying opportunities, and what they are allowed to do to express them (14).

A Stronger Blue Shirt Tuesday
As I note in (11), there are no state transitions in BST, but there could easily be if there were "punishments" associated with cheating. Using my new notation, let's imagine:

Blue [ BLUE, DONUT ] eat!BlueAte       state transition
BlueAte [ BLUE, DONUT ] praise!, shame! (12)
NoBlue [ BLUE, DONUT ] eat!NoBlueAte
NoBlueAte [ BLUE, DONUT ] shame!Shame
Shame [ BLUE, DONUT ] spank!, dunce-cap!DunceCap, ostracize!Ostracize
DunceCap [ DUNCE, DUNCECAP ] shame!
Ostracize [ PARIAH ] talk!, acknowledge!
Note that the decision to shame (or anything else) is always optional, hence shaming leads us into the state of choosing from a list of possible shaming memes. This seems like extra steps, but it could also accommodate the situation where one person initiates the shaming, i.e., calls somebody out on it, and then others actually attack, rather like inciting of a mob, which seems to be the way that things really work, even with a single individual, i.e., an individual gives themself [sic] permission to bully, and then acts on it themself [sic]. One question is what happens to the system state after a spank! meme deployment? Do we just go back to NoBlue? Likewise Ostracize and DunceCap are somehow "created" as states, but the cohort may transition to another state when the pariah or dunce leaves the immediate vicinity. The concept of state transition remains, at least somewhat, rather loosey-goosey, and whether this is a problem of resolution or of inadequate modeling remains to be seen.

There are still a lot of questions. I have a notational system which basically represents the states, MIAOs, memes, and state transitions of a simple memeplex. One problem is how to represent memetic loops, that is, we assume that enactment of a meme is in anticipation of a response or reward (negative or positive), and so is there a kind of "return" to the original meme at the end of whatever "chain" of memes? Also, how does this system tie into ideo/endomemeplexes, resolve race conditions or "Jinx events"? These simple examples don't really have these, but it's out there. Another issue is how do MIAOs and MIAOplexes relate to the system. They are important, but how to they influence the memetic inventory of a state, how crucial are they to the definition of a state (if at all), and so forth. Also, while this new notation clearly still points toward a series of matrices to describe the system, which matrices exactly do we need? Another issue is "terminal nodes" or terminal meme deployments, such as spank! and praise! above. They lead nowhere. Also, there are "available states" which are created, but which may only exist when a "punished/awarded person" appears on the scene. Do we have "temporary MIAOs" for them, or what?

Residual memetic debt still does not seem to be clearly represented in this system. It could be related to ideomemeplexes, i.e., a concept of the individual expectation of memetic reward. This could drive deployment decisions, including things like masochism, or the ability of some to consider negative the memetic outcomes which others might consider positive, e.g., being a scapegoat. Of course, BST probably does not have RMD, which is part of the success of its design, while Koffee Klatch very likely does (it's where I got the idea for RMD in the first place). So if perceived reward differs from real reward, this could be a motivation for cheating. Cheating is still a problem (1) in need of general explanation.

(1) "Cheating" behaviors tend to be of great interest in many areas of psychological and sociological research. Some explanations for same might be considered to be "wanting."

(2) The number of chits collected seemed to equal the number of pizza slices quite closely, indicating a high degree of non-cheating participation.

(3) See other essay for description of some of the behaviors around this memeplex.

(4) unassailability is a basic property of immunomemes, meaning that there is little or no risk to the deployer of same of being counterattacked. The need for unassailability may be less if they deployer has high status, or is a memetic nexus (which may be one and the same thing -- I'm still working on this idea).

(5) It's possible that I'm overstating this somewhat -- I don't have exact notes on the early days of the experiment. I did not personally enforce the rules of the memeplex. I recall that early on I was asked by some people whether it was okay to have a doughnut without wearing a blue shirt, or whether their [sic] shirt were blue "enough," and I replied that they could do what they wanted.

(6) See Schrödinger's Catechresis and Running SCAREd for examples.

(7) I have written before that a defining property of a meme is that it causes a state transition. I am taking a closer look at this idea. (8)

(8) I am thinking that it may be more useful to think in terms of closing memetic loops and providing bullying opportunities (or response/resonance opportunities). I need to work out whether there be any notational support for the closing of memetic loops idea. That tends to presuppose a set of one or more "expected" or "hoped-for" responses (9).

(9) a "hoped-for" response by a meme deployer may depend upon an internal economy which might be able to be described in terms of an ideomemeplex (endomemeplex), which should allow for things like one person seeking as desirable something that another person might find painful or otherwise repugnant, or one person's tendency to be a scapegoat or whipping boy, while others have the sense to avoid such situations, and so forth.

(10) As I've written elsewhere, not responding to a person's actions is often a reward in itself. Taking food for free often carries a burden of guilt, so "getting away with" taking it in full view of everybody and having no one object is a reward, a social approval. It's rather like a favorite example of taking all of one's clothes off when at a nudist colony. Normally an anti-social act, but in the special context it elicits no response, which is really an act of approval and is actually a strong memetic reaction.

(11) One could argue that once an individual is shamed for taking a doughnut illegally, the cohort moves into a new state of HavingShamedSomebody. This is perhaps not so interesting unless it allows or disallows a new set of memes, i.e., it changes what people are allowed to do. If one imagined a "crueler" version of the shaming scenario, where there were multiple possible meme choices when somebody cheats, and each went to a different state, i.e., ostracize the cheater for the rest of the day, administer a spanking, make cheater wear a silly hat, the first of which might involve the cohort being in an "ostracize" state for the rest of the day, the hat one would involve bullying the cheater into keeping the hat on, and so forth. How would this sort of thing complicate the diagram? Would there be a different state for each cheater and the punishment they got, or would they overlap? I might want to try this one out. Also, there could be a system of "rewards" where a person got special treatment all day.

(12) You could make the argument for a HavingEaten state, and that that state is where the non-shaming and praising memes become available. This would perhaps be a more consistent view, and would bring us back to the "every meme is a state transition" concept, which is probably much more amenable to matrix representation.

(13) I should mention that the PPT and BST memeplexes were not "advertised" at all. I just put the food out with the simple rules, and they took off over the weeks and months (years?) I was doing them. Koffee Klatch was right next to the existing coffee area, and so may have lacked novelty. Also, unlike the other two, Koffee Klatch may not have developed an actual cohort, i.e., people who knew it existed and saw themselves as members of the club/memeplex. It may well be a sign of the "good design" of PPT and BST that they didn't have to be advertised or explained, i.e., people just naturally started participating. This may be a touchstone of any well-designed memetic system -- more food for thought.

(14) This is perhaps an important message for American politics today. Yes, people and society are racist and misogynist, but the real problem is that they are given permission to express that hatred, those negative behaviors, and worse still, given examples and vocabulary for how to do it. Then it becomes a question of exercising well-known behaviors in a system with a long history of racism and misogyny. As Trevor Noah termed it, there have long been a bunch of racists who have kept it inside, who have held back from expressing themselves, who have now started to do it, and he encouraged them to "keep it inside." The term "emboldening" misses the mark in my view, as expressing racism and misogyny is not an act of boldness so much as sheeplike or robotic behavior while following the "wrong shepherd" or acting out of habit. Political leaders, especially those with a strong political mandate, are in a unique position to create the kinds of social rewards which can engender entirely new systems of behavior, rather than appealing to old archetypes, steeped in old ideas of racism and misogyny.

模倣子  Memetic Essay

Mermaid CXIVL

Thursday, March 23, 2017

模倣子 Practical Memetic Engineering

Memetic Index

I first started when I was out jogging around town, and I would pick up bits of rubbish and chuck them in the bin while I was going, and I thought about how if everybody in town picked up one bit of rubbish per day, the town would probably be clean all the time. And I wondered, "How can I infect everybody in town with this 'Unlitterbug Meme' (1)?"

Oh, and by the way, I have been working on a notational system (5) for characterizing memetic systems, and I hope to introduce the basics of it in terms of a few simple systems which I designed and implemented in a controlled setting, and from which I got a treasure trove of useful data and insights. I may also be able to characterize these systems in terms of transition matrices, which is another modeling system I have been working on.

Non-Imitation is the Sincerest form of Apathy
The problem of apathy has come up a lot in my experiments.  I am still working on characterizing it. I realized that the Unlitterbug Meme was not going to prosper from people imitating me running around doing it, especially since I ran around early in the morning when few others were around. That's when I came up with the idea of attaching a libidinal reward. I thought about how if some disaster happens, like a busload of orphans going off a cliff (2), it gets people's attention and one can then fix memes in their minds.

This is kind of a leap, and I don't know why I thought of it, i.e., that emotional, physiological stimulus can lead to memetic infection. I think it was from Slavoj Zizek in A Pervert's Guide to Ideology, and something to do with his idea of "liberation" of libidinal elements associated with ideology (3), except I wanted to take it in the reverse direction, I wanted to use libidinal elements (4) to stimulate the infection with given memes or memetic systems of my own design.

Getting Down to Brass Tacks
I have noticed, and it has come up in discussions, that a good example of a collection of memetic states is needed, and that I don't really seem to have one yet. I need an "elevator pitch" for the concept of memetic states and how they relate to MIAOs and the memes that influence them. I think I probably need to incorporate the concepts of ideomemetic systems and MIAOplexes in this example.

I need some kind of scenario, a collection of MIAOs, some memes (including immunomemes), and a collection of transition matrices, including (example) ideomemetic transition matrices for various hypothetical individuals that make up the cohort of the memetic fabric (or subsection of fabric) under consideration.

Memetic Guinea Pigs in a Memetic Petri Dish
I performed a number of real-life experiments which I will discuss, and then attempt to apply the notational system I am working to perfect...or at least to elaborate. I'll try to put up some pictures of the symbolic system I've devised, in addition to the LISP-like notational system I've been working on over the past few days.

I'm interested in considering the Blue Shirt Tuesday Doughnut scenario. It's simple, and I have done actual experimentation on this very memeplex, with results  that have led directly to a number of memetic theories. I could also contrast this with the Koffee Klatch scenario, especially if I wanted to bring in the concept of residual memetic debt, which seems to be very usual in illumination various "cheating" behaviors (1). The Prime Pizza Thursday scenario is another good example of how lack of residual memetic debt seems to curtail cheating, and offers solid experimental proof (2). The doughnut scenario especially illuminated the concept of memetic polarization.

I hope to put forward my diagrams for memetic systems as well. I have been using them in my comics, but I need to make them more rigorous, and bring them more into line with the actual transition matrices they try to represent. I think this will be the stuff of another essay, when I try to analyze the following memetic systems using my notational systems.

Blue Shirt Tuesday Doughnuts
Obviously, it's a bit gauche to try to hand out money (as I did with the Unlitterbug Meme (6)) to a bunch of engineers as a form of libidinal reward/inducement, so then I hit upon the idea of bringing doughnuts every Tuesday, with a sign reading that one had to be wearing a blue shirt in order to have a free doughnut (7). That was the extent of it. By the way, this was on the heels of both my failure to infect the city of Porcadis (Moscow) with the Unlitterbug Meme (6), but also not getting my department to all start wearing blue shirts on Tuesday (8) just by imitating my wearing one myself.

One objective was to see how easy it was to create a self-policing memetic system in a given memetic cohort, on a given memetic fabric, i.e., a small division of corporate staff in a shared building. It turned out to be very easy. It took hold and there was practically no cheating. I thus discovered the concept of memetic polarization, i.e., how much of the memetic fabric is infected with a given memeplex, or "anti-infected" with it. I had long known/suspected that the way to design an effective memeplex is to make sure that there is a separate set of memes for the "rebels," so they can "feel" that they are thumbing their noses at the system, but in fact they are participating just as much as anybody. In fact, on a few Tuesdays, somebody brought an "anti-blue-shirt-Tuesday" box of doughnuts, saying that anybody could have them, blue shirt or no. Another fun fact was that some people reported that they deliberately did not wear a blue shirt on Tuesday in order to rebel against the system (as I mentioned before -- non-participation is the same as participation), and other non-wearers said they didn't want to be tempted and get fat from eating too many doughnuts. Few seemed to wear random shirt colors because they didn't care one way or another -- which would equal a high degree of polarization of the memetic fabric.

Prime Pizza Thursday
Whenever a Thursday fell on a prime number, I brought free pizzas and put out an "idea box" along with pens and bits of paper where people were invited to write a prime number and "an idea" on a piece of paper and throw it into the box in exchange for a free slice of pizza. Again, there was no discernible cheating. I would then type up all of the responses and send them out to the whole building. The responses were all anonymous, of course -- only the submitters themselves knew what they had submitted.

Again, this was an effort to get people to do something, and have it be more measurable, i.e., did I get a number of responses proportional to the amount of pizza -- I did. I also wanted to see if libidinal rewards could overcome apathy, and see to what extent people would open up given this reward and the promise of anonymity. There were many ridiculous or frivolous responses, some impractical suggestions and ideas (put a beer garden on the roof, etc.), but also some relevant questions and work-related suggestions.

I made myself into a memetic nexus, and all participants got the memetic reward of everybody in the building being told their idea (meme) at the same time the next day. This may not have been an insignificant motivation. Anyway, given libidinal reward, responses could be elicited. Also, it was expected that 90% would be crap, but that there might be 10% good stuff and/or consensus in there and you have to put up with the crap to get it. The crap makes everybody comfortable.

Koffee Klatch
The idea was that me and a buddy decided to revive an old "Coffee Club" from before. We put out a "Koffee Klatch Kontribution Kitty," and I seeded it with a couple of bucks, and we took an unused coffee pot and clearly labeled it, got real cream to go with it, and started brewing gourmet coffee, much better than the office fare provided. I insisted that we not announce it, or try to prevent cheaters.

We immediately saw that I'd make a pot in the morning, have one cup, my buddy didn't even have time to have one cup, but well before noon the coffee was mostly gone. Of course, no money was added to the kitty. This was a distinct departure from the cheat-preventing Blue Shirt Tuesday and Prime Pizza Thursday. What was the difference? My idea was that there was residual memetic debt (10), and also the idea that the system of opportunities for bullying (immunomemeplex) was ill-conceived compared to these other two systems. Actually, it didn't really have one. People are not really "moral," but they love the chance to bully others for not being moral. Also, the certainty of being bullied provides a disincentive (or an incentive...!) to disobey the rules.

Anyway, more experimentation on this kind of system is required. Please try it and let me know if you get more data. For example, a Koffee Klatch that has clearer rules and behaviors to do with cheating, and with "club membership." In Blue Shirt and Prime Pizza, there is a sense of being a member of the memeplex -- there are memes that enforce that, where as in Koffee Klatch, membership can remain secret, and so affords little or no bullying opportunity.

What Causes Cheating?
I got the idea from the Blue Shirt Tuesday, Prime Pizza Thursday, and Koffee Klatch experiments that cheating may be influenced (or even caused...?) by what I termed Residual Mememtic Debt. I point to how with the doughnuts and the pizza, the contract is clear: wear a blue shirt, get a free doughnut; write down a prime number and an idea, free pizza. However ridiculous the contract is, the individual has no doubt that they have fulfilled it, and so they write their chit or wear their shirt, and they know that they have 100% satisfied the contract and can have the treat. They also  receive the reward from their fellows of having enacted the memes of the system into which they are all polarized. There is no "residual" feeling that they did not get enough reward for their effort, or that they got more than they deserved for their participation. The tacit or explicit memetic feedback from bystanders (fellow cohort members) confirms this.

Perhaps partly because it was to do with money, partly because the terms were vague, there was rampant cheating in the Koffee Klatch. Further experiments are required, but I attribute it to ideas such as "I'll pay later," or "I paid a dollar, and I had one cup, but I should be able to have a couple more, since a dollar is too expensive..." and so on. Or, more memetically, there was no clear participation "flag" for other cohort members to pounce on as bullying opportunities, while the other two memetic systems had these, i.e., non-blue shirt trying to eat doughnut, tell them not to, or taking pizza without writing and tossing in a chit, same story.

There may also be the idea that cohort members are afraid that the party will be over if too many people start cheating. This is a bit dodgy, however, since it mentioned the "feelings" of some ill-defined person or persons. It may be fair commentary, however, that successful memeplexes, whatever it is that they "provide," be it doughnuts, pizza, a functioning economy, a space program, or what-have-you, have an appropriate set of self-reinforcing memes, and immunomemeplexes, to keep them going, engage enough people, and prevent the system from being overwhelmed by other systems and/or by cheaters.

Two of the systems I mentioned were very good about preventing cheating, the other failed miserably to do so. Why? More experimentation with the Koffee Klatch is probably needed. I could speculate that the immunomemeplex was too weak, or that there was residual memetic debt, or perhaps these two are in fact related.

I want to use the above three systems as subjects to demonstrate the uses of my diagrammatic system and my LISP-like notational systems. Since I know these systems and how they function in real life, and they're simple, I should be able to represent their dynamics using whatever system I have come up with, and the results should be perfectly clear.  Once these are perfected, they may be used as analysis tools for systems under study. After all, it's no good applying an unproven analytical tool to an unknown memplex!

(1) A name I thought of later

(2) I don't know why I thought of this analogy, but at the time, this was it. September 11 is no doubt an example -- it sticks in the mind and is a memetic anchoring site.

(3) such as the symbols and images of Nazism, i.e., they are inherently meaningless, but in the right context and taken together, they evoke Nazism, and that ideological attachment remains afterwards.

(4) such as free money, free food, sensuality, or the promise thereof

(5) See the Schrödinger's Catechresis and Running Scared (also in Japanese) mangas.

(6) Actually, not just "meme" but Unlitterbug Memeplex.

(7) That is the "contract." See later the contrast with the Koffee Klatch, and the genesis of the theory of Residual Memetic Debt, which I also hope to include in my dynamic model.

(8) The idea was to create a simple memetic system, attached to one or more basic MIAOs, and then carry on to anchoring various departmental values and procedures to said memeplex, and thereby make the work behaviors automatic, self-regulating, and spread the workload, which was unevenly heaped on the managers, around to everybody. And it would've worked, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids! (9)

(9) Random Scooby-Doo! reference.

(10) Residual Memetic Debt may be key in the progenesis of intergenerational abuse and even genocide, since the memetic loop is not closed. I want to characterize memetic transactions in terms of whether memetic/libidinal investment is "paid back" as the result of the response of the cohort to a given memetic enactment.

模倣子  Memetic Essays

漫画 The Doormat

←Manga Index—This whole vignette

Mermaid CXXXIV

Sunday, March 19, 2017

模倣子 Why Does Alienation Lead to Violence?

Memetic Index 

I got the idea from Slavoj Zizek in the film The Pervert's Guide to Ideology. It seems a notion that is born out by history and empirical evidence, and Zizek makes a good case, but, at least in the film, not an extensible, or generalizable one. His statement is that, for lack of a better term, ideological alienation (which I am attempting to describe in terms of memetic destitution) leads directly to violence. It occurs to me that it's memetics to the rescue, as usual.

The idea I just had is that all memetic pathways are driven by some kind of response or reward (1). Now, this reward may be memetic (2), or a libidinal reward (3). The idea I'm trying to put forward here, is that violence is a special case where one gets a kind of pseudo-memetic reward in the form of forcing other people to respond, even if they are not resonating (4) with the memes one deploys.

Memetic and Pseudo-Memetic Loops
One basic theory of memetics is that there are memetic loops (5), and that the opening and closing of these loops, in the form of enacting a meme and then other cohort members enacting resonant or response memes. I have discussed the idea that the failure of these loops to close properly may well be the basis for intergenerational abuse behaviors and even genocides.

I have not discussed the idea of loops in very great detail so far, certainly not in terms of their pertinence to memetic pathway graphs. Obviously, a memetic loop is interesting because it may be possible to represent it in terms of a loop in a fully-connected graph (6). This may actually shed a great deal of light on how to characterize which states are the best candidates for enactment by the cohort, which is something I've been trying to characterize (8). Can we say anything along the lines that one objective of meme deployment is to bring the memetic state around to close a loop, or perhaps several nested loops (9). This is probably the stuff of a future essay, i.e., what do memetic loops look like, and how, if at all, do they influence deployment decisions.

Violence and Entertainment
In this sense, enactment of violence is similar to entertainment, that is, the enactors of violence seek to force a memetic response by way of a physical gesture (violence, in this case) toward an apathetic other group. The entertainer does the converse of this by seeking to evince a physiological response in the form of laughing, crying, etc., by way of a memetic gesture (telling stories, jokes, meaningful images, etc.).

One unifying feature, and important difference, between these two applications of pressure on the target cohort is the idea of a "terminal response."  This would be a "leaf node" in the memetic pathway graph. In other words, you cannot "imitate" somebody else laughing or crying (or having an orgasm). Mimicking what they look like is one thing (see the film When Harry Met Sally), but actually having the physiological response oneself is another matter. The same goes for laughing at the same joke as somebody else. You are not imitating the joke, or anything really -- you are merely having a similar (libidinal) response. In this sense, there is no "state to go to" afterwards, and the response ends there. The entertainer gets a memetic reward herself in response to everybody laughing (7), but it ends there. The loop closes, but there is no memetic state which follows. One may imitate the jokes to other people (enact the joke memes), and they may respond by laughing, but they are not imitating the original laugh response gotten by the first comic. Additionally, a "set-up" to a joke is the creation of a memetic state from which the joke itself may be deployed, and this is like any other memetic deployment.

Once you have them laughing, there is no real guarantee that they will laugh at future jokes, and as any comic knows, once they are laughing hard already, telling further jokes, even those which would probably either bomb on their own, or which are now working despite not being set up properly, work. From a graph transition standpoint, the memetic state has become chaotic or free-floating in a way. The response of the audience ceases to be tied to the progression of states they have gone through. They are in a kind of libidinal response state which is probably very subjective to each individual.

Likewise with a resort to violence.

The enactor of violence does not have an expected state to go to, per se (10). They [sic] are simply trying to get a reaction, any reaction. It is not clear how the loop begun by the enaction of the violent act is going to close (10). However, if the cohort (neighborhood, nation, whatever), has a set response, e.g., to declare a war, in response to certain acts of violence, then this may not be true, i.e., the criminal/terrorist may have a fairly clear idea of what the response will be, i.e., into what memetic state the system will head.

War as a Conservative Immunomemeplex
If there are acts which are known to trigger a military response (even if that military response is enacted by the local police as opposed to a national army), then we can begin to model the police/army as a force which brings the system back into a stable memetic pathway. Rather like the comedian who gets the audience laughing, and how that is a kind of memetic "fugue state" in which it's unclear the next known state it will go to, an act of violence (11) can do the same, i.e., the cohort is left in a state where it's unpredictable.

This appears to be the effect of libidinal responses (12) and rewards on the memetic pathway of a cohort. Again, entertainment and violence appear to perform the same sort of operation, but in "opposite directions," as it were. They both seek to apply a kind of unpredictable stimulus on a human cohort, with the idea of pushing the system into a kind of chaotic fugue state, and the outlet of that state is unpredictable.

The comic/dramatist brings the audience to a determined state (she hopes!) through the enactment of a well-conceived series of memetic transitions, in a controlled environment (performance venue and/or set), using a good knowledge of culture to lead them to that state, and then gently "pushing" them from that well-known state into a chaotic one, leading to a libidinal response, e.g., laughing, crying, etc. Once the chaotic fugue state concludes, the audience are in some new state, hopefully a "happier," more relaxed, "cathartic" state. Rather like getting drunk or having an orgasm during a sexual encounter leads to a state of well-being or at least different perspective.

The terrorist, by contrast, forces the target cohort into a known state by applying a chaotic external pressure. That known state is war, by any other name. The stronger the outside pressure, the more certain the cohort (society) is to go into a warlike state...or collapse. The collapsing is the thing. What does that look like? The Vietnam War era "threatened to tear the USA apart" as one often hears, but by some historical accounts WWII was even less popular. For one thing, in WWII, Senators' boys were being sent off and killed in droves along with everybody else, which was certainly not the case in Vietnam.

One could perhaps make the distinction between "violent protest" and "terrorism." As we have seen, terrorists seem to have as objective the forcing of the government (or the people in general) into a well-known state, e.g., that of declaring war (on something). The simple "(violent) protest" may have no such specific objective, apart from merely to induce this "libidinal fugue state" and let the chips fall where they may, e.g., the members of the cohort have the memetic pathways reconfigured. For example, the images of young people lying dead in the streets or in the jungles of Vietnam, or women suffragettes or the topless young female Ukrainian Femen protesters (13) being beaten in the streets by police is shocking, provides a libidinal response of sadness or anger which may or may not be directed toward a specific person or institution, and leaves one open to new memes and/or memetic pathways.

This is one of the fundamental insights of the Blue Shirt Tuesday (12) engineered memeplex, by the way. That is, that a libidinal response makes individuals receptive to new memes and memetic systems. Why this should be is probably a topic for a future essay.

This is probably all the stuff of a future essays, i.e., how do cohorts respond to violence, and what characterizes a society that is able to remain intact (or not) when under violent attack. Is there a relationship between violent crime and terrorism? What about (violent) protests? How do "vice crimes" fit into this?

How can we characterize memetic loops in the graph theory/transition matrix terms I have be working on elsewhere? Does this represent a promise to be able to resolve theoretical issues to do with race condition and deployment decision events?

How does memetic destitution actually lead to violence? Can the function of entertainment (or free doughnuts) inform this? How do libidinal responses lead to change?

(1) an open question is whether the movement of a cohort to a next memetic state is driven by the option perceived to offer the most reward (whatever that is).

(2) The memetic reward, a.k.a., the "memetic orgasm"

(3) A physiological reward, such as laughing, crying, a real sexual orgasm or other sexual response, possibly enjoying something like food, etc.

(4) closing the memetic loop that the enactor of the initial meme (or in this case, violent act) opens up, with the hope that the loop will be "closed" by the recipients or a future series of memetic pathway transitions.

(5) and this is really a micromemetic concept, rather like the theory of the memetic reward (orgasm) itself, so it should be able to be proven almost medically, through scientific experimentation. However, memetic loops (and memetic rewards, come to that), may be seen at the macromemetic level as well.

(6) See also discussions on island or semi-island structures in the structure of immunomemes. That is, that strong memetic systems may tend to have few paths out and many paths in or within the structure. See also the book Linked on graph theory, particularly the bit on the structure of the Internet.

(7) See "The Memetic Orgy of Live Performance" essay which I am still working on.

(8) See ideomemetic discussions of religions and women's opporession. I've been looking at ideomemetic systems as a possible way to resolve race conditions and decision events in meme deployment and memetic state transitions. Perhaps memetic loops offer a more elegant solution.

(9) do we have a "stack" phenomenon here? Such as a FILO stack, or an unordered queue or such? Or could loop closures be based on perceived potential for reward?

(10) You could say that once institutionalized criminality is established, and drug laws in particular and vice laws in general are good examples, the "criminal" expects what is usually a libidinal reward from the activity, e.g., getting the use of stolen goods for free, an orgasm from a hired prostitute, or a rush from the illicit drug purchased, but they also expect the violence and humiliation from the state should they be caught (14). This is a possible distinction between criminality and terrorism.

(11) or terrorism. and as we see in (10), not all "criminal" acts are acts of violence/terrorism. How the policing and punishment of "vice crimes" influences the structure of the megamemeplex is probably for a future essay.

(12) See also the Blue Shirt Tuesday memeplex in which the libidinal rewards of free doughnuts and free pizza drive the enactment of the memes in the memeplex.

(13) and the fact that they are topless is probably a big part of it. They provide an additional libidinal response, which makes the viewer more receptive to memetic reprogramming.

(14) there's a saying, "They don't make laws against things people don't do." One could perhaps say that the making of any law is tantamount to the institutionalization of criminal behavior. However, laws against theft and murder seldom seem to specify what is stolen or how a victim is killed. This would be ridiculous. Whether one steals money, valuables (of any type), once value and guilt are established, and repeat offense, that tends to determine the sentence. Likewise, one does not get a lighter sentence for shooting someone as opposed to stabbing or strangling them, or the caliber or type of knife. However, prostitution laws (and public nudity laws) are often painfully specific as to which body part, which orifice, etc., etc., and read like a tawdry pornographic novel. Drug laws, again, meticulously specify which drugs are to receive harsh punishments (and tobacco, alcohol, and coffee have all carried death sentences is some very familiar cultures at one point in history or other), usually all different harshnesses, and drugs causing worse harm, or those indistinguishable in effect or use to those outlawed are left unmentioned or are "grandfathered" in.

模倣子  Memetics essays