漫画 Falling from the Tower

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Mermaid XXXVII


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.
(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.
模倣子 Essay - Memetic Index

Mermaid XXXVI


模倣子 Ain't No Use in Complaining

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(2) Position cannot be attacked or contradicted.

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

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

模倣子  Memetics Essay  - Memetic Index

Mermaid XXXIV


模倣子 The Bullying of Solitude

 A friend of mine recently talked about how hard it is to get "me time" and how one gets all sorts of grief from others for this, and name-calling along the lines of "pathetic" and "anti-social" and such. I said this stems from some really basic memetic principles(1).

The first thing is that, as Susan Blackmore(1) points out, being quiet and apart from others does not spread memes, so memes for isolation and quiet contemplation will tend to be out-competed by yackity-yack memes. The second is a more "macro-memetic" concept, and that is that immunomemes will tend to spring up that result in the "bullying" of people who try to isolate for whatever reason.

These memes will assist whatever system they are a part of, since every "mind" that they can recruit by guilt and bullying out of a state of isolation and not spreading memes into a state where they a) become a host to more (yackity-yack) memes as well as a b) contagion vector for said memes, i.e., they carry them around and they meet up with other minds and infect them. Any immunomeme which manages to "recruit" a mind from a state of "contemplative isolation" to one of memetic involvement, by way of "bullying" the individual into a new behavior, garners potentially enormous advantages for the memetic system of which it is a part.

(1) the reason why silence, while it may be golden, is as rare as hen's teeth is well-covered in Susan Blackmore's The Meme Machine

模倣子 Memetics Essay  Link to  Memetic Index

漫画 Taking the Towers

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Mermaid XXXIV

Family Guy