I found this in all the papers I’m going through.
It’s legendary that popular wisdom holds that owning class people are eccentric. Can it also be true that working class people are “conformist“? Certainly by contrast, if nothing else. Middle class people seem to be self-consciously independent, yet in a pinch reveal themselves to be conformist. There may be little differences between working class and middle-class particularly as concerns the idea of conformity. What is conformity? How to characterize it? Perhaps the deviation or distribution of memetic deployments of individuals within each class over the total memetic inventory of the class, or even the size of the class’ memetic inventory? Fieldwork required here, and interesting results may be unearthed.
The interest in team sports, partisan politics, and even beer preference, such as “taste great“, “less filling“ all appear to demonstrate contention while in fact contention = conformity.
The fact of being interested in any social fixture is actually a conformity response to the environment.
One perhaps defining factor (research required) is “peer group size”. Rich people tend to be isolated. During the 2008 crash, somebody wanted to ask Warren Buffet if he wanted to buy Lehman Brothers (and thereby avert the crash, I suppose) but they couldn’t get him on the phone . Somebody suggested calling Bill Gates’ satellite phone since he and Buffet often hung out. Sure enough, the two men were in a canoe, fishing, in the middle of nowhere, and Bill handed Warren the phone. He ultimately turned down the deal.
Why would Bill Gates and Warren Buffet go fishing together? Do they have anything in common? It makes me think of a couple getting getting married when they have nothing in common (even a shared language—I’ve seen that, too). Well, they have sex in common, and if they keep that up long enough, they have children in common. That can be more than enough. Gates and Buffet have “having billions of dollars “ in common and “being at the head of a multi billion dollar empire” in common. Since few people in the world can appreciate what that means, and therefore none of the memes associated with it. It’s isolating, alienating. There’s nothing really to conform to, since there is no peer group to resonate with.
The conformist macromemetic behavior of the working class (in which I include the middle class, though I might allow a few possibly interesting distinctions, but for another essay) was kind of the point of departure for this essay, and I think it requires a full experimental analysis and theoretical modeling and discussion. For now, I think it’s clrlest that the owning/ruling class have a limited peer group, and that this may prove revealing, and that the working class has a large peer group, which means that conformity translates directly into greater resonance responses, which would be impossible for ruling class cohorts.
For now, when I see a limited memetic inventory or limited deployment opportunities, in a specific group, I’m immediately concerned about a propensity for violence.
One thing that one might expect, just on base principles, is that a person or group of people is memetic destitution (alienation, isolation) will tend to lash out violently in response to “stress”.
I’m other words, it would be valuable to examine how class disparities could be reduced, at least in terms of relieving the pressure caused by memetic alienation.
More to be revealed on this one,
If we can choose the memes we want to activate, Jay, doesn't that mitigate alienation possumbly?
The idea in alienation is that shared memes don’t exist. If shared memes exist, then there is less alienation.
If two people don’t speak the same language, then they are alienated (linguistically, at least).
Two people with the same language may still Be alienated, but not in terms of language. Eg, trumper v. Hippy.
An example to the point might be a billionaire talking to a working class person about how they prefer their caviar on fresh lightly toasted baguette 🥖 rather than imported Swedish crackers salted with whale tears or how he thinks you really CAN tell the difference between a handcrafted $6,000 Swiss watch and a $14,000 one.
Likewise, a working class person talking about changing his own oil to save money and what things to borrow from a friend to do it, or how he was going to watch some show or some sports game because all his friends would watch it would be comparably non-resonant with the owning class person.
I hope you can see the kind of alienation that goes on at that level.
But yes, to answer your question, if there is a choice of which memes to activate, then there is no alienation (memetic destitution), and if there is no choice, there is.
Oh, and I meant to add, again more to your point, that yes, I think it’s important to add more memes that may be exchanged across the classes. One way is to level our incomes and strengthen the middle class LOL ROTFLMAO 🤣 but there may be more “surgical” means which could be attempted by applying basic macromemetic engineering principles, as a stopgap to stave off disaster for a little while so we can find a more permanent solution LOL ROTFLMAO (like we’re ever going to do that—you never seem to hear people who harken back to the good olde days, like the 1950s, calling to reëstablish the levels of wage equality that prevailed then. Funny, that).
anyway, yes, more memetic pathways good, too few memetic pathways, red flag and ultimately violence, potentially on a large scale, torches and pitchforks.