|1 in 5 Americans believes microchips are hidden in COVID vaccines, poll finds|
|Believers of the conspiracy theory say the microchips are being used to track people.|
I used to get all worked up about how stupid Americans can be. It’s embarrassing when traveling or living abroad, since foreigners don’t get it and ask embarrassing questions.
Then I started to tell myself that our heterogeneity is a kind of strength. We have scientists, Luddites, fringe political groups, sales and marketing charlatans, ultra-rich capitalists, large minority populations, and religious fanatics, to name a few. There is no one system of ideas that can impact all cross-sections of America. No one lie, not even mass capitalism, Christianity ✝️, or anything, can take us all in.
This thought keeps me from seething all the time, whether or not it’s actually a good thing.
An Interesting area of macromemetic research is how memetic systems “feed back” into their underlying genetic substrate. That is, groups of people doing dumb stuff that is anti-survival and so they are culled and, effectively, in principle, their macromemetic “code” is deleted.
This may be what we’re seeing.
However, the general take on stuff like this is that systems that evolve by natural selection don’t make “intelligent decisions,” so a megamemeplex “cutting off one of its own diseased arms” so to speak, seems weird and hard to explain. It smacks of intelligent design (ID) or something, which is icky and feels like lazy pseudoscience.
It could just be an accident, ie, that some random collection of memes gathered together, necessarily in a given sub-population, and now that population has become biologically non-viable as a result of their memes making them more vulnerable to disease 🦠, less able to avoid destruction by other groups, less able to produce successful children, and so on. Religions are always walking this tightrope, by the way.
So it could be a coincidence, like any other extinction event. Memetic behaviour doesn’t “care” that it may be making survival impossible for the minds it infects. Just like genes 🧬 can’t “anticipate” that growing bigger, losing fur, laying more or fewer eggs 🥚, etc., will be disastrous just around the corner when the climate gets colder, or other animals and plants enter or leave the environment. It’s all about whether you can have more babies (gene copies) NOW, or whether a meme can copy itself better to more minds, and resist being replaced by other memes trying to enter those same minds.
However, it may be that megamemeplexes actually can remove defective code. Obviously, a memetic engineer (like your humble narrator) could engineer such a “diseased arm excision,” but that would be artificial, like breeding animals or plants, ie, artificial selection.
The question is whether megamemeplexes (a very large system, like the culture of a nation, by the way) can do this spontaneously, like through some slow, gigantic immunomemetic process, to conserve its overall basic stability. One answer is yes, Thomas Malthus would say, and wars (a memetic behavior), pestilence and famine do that (and one could argue that these last two are largely memetic behaviors as well). “We’re starving, so let’s give guns to the half of the population we don’t need (the males) and send them off to a killing orgy with the males from another megamemeplex until 2%-10% of the total are dead ☠️ and we’re back under the subsistence curve.” It’s a very specific memetic response, and it’s very old.
So, I guess I like the accidental memetic extinction explanation. There is a lot of opportunity for field research, however. Memetic systems are effectively parasites 🦠 and parasites have some very sophisticated ways of controlling the brains 🧠 of their hosts, even to the point of working oneself to death or even committing suicide in the service of the parasite’s objectives, eg, war again.
I believe that the study of parasitism has far-reaching implications for the study of consciousness, free-will, and probably also macromemetics.
But I do run on…