I wrote about The Dining Philosopher's Problem as a memeplex that suffers from memetic destitution, and that is why philosopher-agents face starvation. I proposed a system whereby philosophers may offer tea to the whole table in order to break deadlocks, effectively giving a new memetic pathway that allows more communication (memetic exchanges) between agents.
I ran up against shortfalls in my state diagram system, namely, how to represent that the deployability of certain memes may be predicated on the disposition of certain MIAOs, e.g., a philosopher must be holding both his chopsticks before he may deploy the eat! meme and transition into the Eating state, as well as how a philosopher-agent reacts to a meme deployed by another, e.g., when someone offers tea.
One thing I touched on in my earlier essay was how each philosopher, aside from new tea-related pathways, ignores the others. Although his state, i.e., Eating, Sleeping, or Thinking, is outwardly visible, no one is looking, at least not in terms of basing one's own decisions on it. This looks like an ideomemeplex, or an endomemeplex, but isn't really. I'd like to explore what a true endo/ideomemeplex might look like, that is, take a look at what lurks beneath the surface of each philosopher's activities, and see how that can effect how immunomemes and other such function.
The Tea Ceremony
Offering tea, typically when on is on the brink of starvation and needs to get everybody else to set down their chopsticks, is a meme deployed to the other philosopher-agents, and so is a chance for them to deploy memes of their own, including immunomemes. One hopes they will set down their chopsticks and offer their tea bowls to be filled. They may decide to ignore! us, or complain! about the tea.
Deployment descriptors handle these possibilities, although it's unclear yet how state diagrams or transition matrices might do the name. The Second Law of Macromemetics states that a meme deployment results in a state change, so in principle this means that a diagram must have states and transition arrows (memes), or state matrices with transition states in them.
Here are some deployment descriptors for tea-related stuff.
Table 1.a. Deployment Descriptors for Tea Service
[ offer-tea! ] proffer-bowl!
[ offer-tea! ] ignore!
[ WEAK_TEA, offer-tea! ] complain!
Note that in the spirit of bullying, one could complain about the tea even if it were properly steeped, and indeed, defend the tea server regardless of whether the tea were any good. I'm going to explore the idea that Socrates (see below) is bullied when he tries to serve tea, and that Confucius and Plato come to his defense, the former if and only if the tea is good, and Plato regardless.
Table 1.b. Tea Bullying Deployments
[ Socrates.offer-tea! ] complain! (Descartes, Voltaire)
[ Socrates.offer-tea! ] ignore! (Descartes, Voltaire)
[ Socrates.offer-tea!, complain! ] defend! (Plato)
[ Socrates.offer-tea!, ignore! ] nudge! (Plato)
WEAK_TEA, Socrates.offer-tea!, complain! ] defend! (Conficius)
Of course still to be worked out are the memes of put-left! and put-right!, that is, putting down both one's chopsticks, that are to happen when accepting an offer of tea. The complain! and ignore! memes are effectively immunomemes that short-circuit going to put-left! and put-right!, which is the object of the whole tea service submemeplex, i.e., to interrupt the system so as to avoid starvation.
Hereinafter I shall abbreviate the philosophers' designations by soc, con, pla, vol, and des.
Review of the Set-up, and Representing MIAOplexes
Figure 1. The Dining Philosophers' Table
Again, there are chopsticks on either side of and a bowl of rice in front of each philosopher. Descartes, Voltaire, Socrates, Confucius, and Plato each has the following memes available to deploy: pick-(up-)right!, pick-left!, eat!, done! (eating), think!, sleep!, wake! and to put his chopsticks back down, put-left!, put-right!
To this we add the MIAO of the LEFT and the RIGHT chopstick, which are in the state of, for instance, LEFT.INHAND, if picked up, or LEFT.AVAIL if on the table ready to be picked up, or
LEFT.AVAIL if currently picked up by one's left hand neighbor.
Figure 2. Behavior State Diagram
If possible, we need to update our state diagram so that the pick-right! and pick-left! memes only work if the LEFT and RIGHT sticks are .AVAIL, and that the eat! meme only works if both sticks are .INHAND. This is kind of like collections of MIAOs, or MIAOplexes. It's kind of a challenge to my cartoonist's brain to come up with some drawings that convey this collective MIAO of the chopsticks and also the derivative MIAOs of AVAILable and INHAND.
Figure 3. Chopstick MIAOplex
Now let's take a look at making the behavior state diagram a bit more endomemetic, and even idiomemetically customize for each of the philosopher-agents. We've already laid out in Table 1.b. some memetic pathways for Socrates getting bullied when he tries to serve tea.
Before I go any further, I want to try to include the ideas of residual memetic debt, memetic loops, and the recognize-react aspects of memetic resonance, as well as endomemetic descriptions of addictive behavior.
To this end, let's say that Descartes has an eating disorder and try to see what this might look like.
Figure 4. Descartes Endomemetic State Diagram
Having said that, there is one meme, vomit!, which does suggest that there are other states within the Thinking state (2) which may not be able to be observed from the outside, except for the vomit! meme indicating a transition between them.
Figure 5. Descartes Exomemetic State Diagram
Here we see these states, Eating, Thinking, and Sleeping as states generating contact memes, i.e., others see the memes of eat!, think!, and sleep! happening. Descartes tries to hide the vomit! meme, as it does not generate a desirable reaction in others, does not translate to a state they understand.
Joke 1. We See the States We Want to See
Bullying Socrates over Tea
As I covered before, offering tea to the other philosophers is a way to get everybody to stop eating, put down their chopsticks, and thereby eliminate any starvation situations. Deploying the meme of offer-tea! creates what I'm calling a compelled state (1), in which one must stop-eating!, drop-chopsticks!, and proffer-bowl!
Figure 6. Compelled State Resulting from non-Socratic Tea Offerings
Voltaire and Descartes are bullying Socrates by not responding to his tea offerings. The immunomeme looks like:
Figure 7. Immunomeme Against Socratic Tea Offereings
However, Socrates has allies in Plato and Confucius. When Descartes and Voltaire try to ignore! the soc.offer-tea! or complain! about WEAK_TEA (even if it's not
Figure 8. Plato's Immunomeme Counteract Descartes' Immunomemes
So we can imagine all of these immunometic interactions occurring inside a single large 'state,' with the final result being the same as in Figure 8.
Figure 9. 'Contained' Immunomemetic Interactions
So the output is the same, regardless of what happens inside this containing state. One could imagine an organization, with a lot of internal wrangling, finally producing a consistent output. From the outside, it looks like:
Figure 10. Looking Only at External Memetic Deployments
The Effect of Immunomemes
First let's review the Laws of Macromemetics as they currently stand.
|First||An agent deploys memes in order to achieve optimal resonance||Any stable memeplex contains an immunomemeplex|
|Second||Deployment of a meme causes transition to a new state||A system of rules or laws translates to a collection of bullying behaviors|
|Third||A mutation is a Modification, Addition, or Deletion of a State, an Agent, or a Meme|
|An immunomeme is a meme that works to prevent a mutation to a memeplex|
Table 2. The Laws of Macromemetics
We can see how Voltaire's and Descartes' bullying behavior worked to preserve the original state of the Philosophers' Table memeplex, i.e., where everybody ignored everybody else, ate and slept whenever they wanted (3), and sometimes somebody starved because they had no way to tell anybody. In other words, adding the TEA-pot and the offer-tea! meme was a disruption that their ignore! and complain! immunomemes sought to rebalance. Now, perhaps strangely, the nudge! and defend! immunomemes work to "preserve" the new memeplex in which the Tea Ceremony operates to allow communication between philosophers and prevent starvation. This is all in keeping with the Third Law of Immunomemetics.
We could imagine that somebody like Descartes with food issues would be upset by changes to the system such as the addition of a tea ceremony, hence his attraction to immunomemes to go back to the old system. This is a common phenomenon, and the nature of immunomemes, i.e., to preserve the stability of a memetic system.
Compelled States, Loops, and Memetic Debt
This interesting thing has come up, the compelled state (1). Consider an immunomeme like in Figure 7, and how it resembles Figure 10. The structure of the memetic response is 1. recognition, followed by 2. reaction. A memetic agent recognizes that a meme has been deployed, and then they somehow "decide" how to react. If there is no recognition (4), then we are in alienation, or memetic desolation.
I have to ask myself whether the state diagrams should illustrate memetic loops and thereby the memetic debt associated with the transitions. Or possibly even the various choices that could happen, the various possible pathways, rather like Feynman Diagrams. Once upon a time, I had the idea of action memes, where somebody actually did something.
Figure 11. Memetic Loops
Above we can see the idea of a meme deployment, causing a compelled state, which may be escaped (6) either by deploying the prescribed action meme (proffer-bowl!), or by deploying either of two immunomemes (complain! or ignore!). All of these deployments eventually make it back to the originally meme deployment, closing the memetic loop. At this point we can talk about residual memetic debt.
When an agent deploys a meme, they incur a debt, by taking a risk, if you will. This debt is repaid by the memetic response that comes back, closing the loop. If it is not repaid, e.g., the hoped-for response is not received, or cannot be repaid, as such, e.g., payment in currency must be taken instead, then there is residual memetic debt (5).
Summary and Conclusions
It may be possible to adequately represent memetic loops and residual memetic debt using state diagrams. I have introduced the idea of a 'compelled state'. The idea is something along the lines of the first part of memetic resonance, that is, recognition, and then one deploys the next meme. None of this may be necessary however.
I looked briefly at an example of an agent, Descartes, who has endomemetic states. This ties into the idea of contact memes (perhaps contact states would be a better description), that is, states that are outwardly visible to other agents, but don't fully reflect the agent's 'internal state.' In one example, Descartes, with an eating disorder, has states of Eating and Thinking, and eat! and think!, but also the vomit! meme, which indicates the presence of at least one internal state (2) by the Second Law of Macromemetics.
(1) We'll see how this term works out. It may tie in nicely with the idea of memetic debt. I'm thinking that agents do not "like" compelled states, i.e., that they try to avoid them or escape them.
(2) That is, there is a meme deployment, here, vomit!, which does not appear to cause an external state change, so we thus suppose that an internal state change must be taking place. This could point towards an understanding of the internal workings of mental illness.
(3) One could imagine how somebody like Descartes, whom we've given this eating disorder, might be well-suited to this eat when you want, think when and however long you want, and even not being able to eat when the chopsticks are unavailable, and how the new tea interruption system might actually be quite upsetting.
(4) It's in principle possible to react without recognition, but it's rather ridiculous, perhaps like saying 成程 all night long during a Japanese cocktail party when one doesn't speak Japanese.
(5) This may relate to oppression, i.e., where an agent is a member of an oppressed group, and they have many deployable memes at their disposal, most of which result in oppression. A definition of oppression I'm working on is a state where one has no control over the memes that close the loop when one deploys one. For instance, in Figure 11, if the ignore! and complain! memes get deployed predominantly or exclusively, we could start to talk about the deployer of offer-tea! (presumably a sub-group) being oppressed.
(6) I'm still debating whether all deployment options should originate from the compelled state as in Figure 11, as opposed to Figures 8 and 9, where the compelled state is at the end.