模倣子 Box-Binning

Memetic Essay Index  


Getting Box-Binning accepted in two factories was one of my first large-scale macromemetic engineering projects. I was working on a factory floor with a hundred-plus people per shift. The manufacturing process involved "picking" from shelves of working inventory for each stage of the manufacturing process. I got the whole factory (and our other factory to the south unintentionally by memetic contagion) to change the way they performed this picking process using macromemetic engineering principles, in a matter of weeks, totally anonymously (nobody but a few people, who were not directly involved, knew I was behind it), with no "retraining" performed, and the adoption was total.

The situation that greeted me was that boxes of components came in from inventory and were taken out of the cardboard boxes and put into plastic bins of various sizes arranged on shelves (12), and then pickers would pick what they needed for a build out of these bins. We were working on a two-bin system (1) which the unpacking and bin-filling process made more complicated (2).

Our process involved scanning the bar codes of the components being "kitted" (14) for a build. Making these barcodes easy to get at was often a problem. The plastic bins would often have a barcode printed out from a special MS-Word file on a PC (13) and taped to the bin. Anyway, something that involved a lot of ad hoc work which only a few people knew how to do, undocumented.

I should point out that all of the cardboard boxes of components came with the barcodes on them, and also the quantity per box (which was needed to place a reorder).

The long story short is that with ESD restrictions having been almost totally removed in the new building, it was now possible to put the boxes right onto the shelf, two at a time, cut one of them open, and scan the barcodes right off the box.

The fact that this seemed like a brilliant solution impressed me, one of the senior line leads, and all of the supervisors, but as is true with humans, they like to keep doing whatever it was they have been doing, regardless of changing circumstances, regardless how silly and wasteful. This is why understanding the Laws of Macromemetics is valuable in making changes in mass human behavior where one would otherwise meet with stiff resistance.

One particularly bothersome situation was to do with the "shelves" (12) for the main unit assembly process. These so-called "shelves" were flat pieces of aluminum that IC boards would be bolted to and then slid into a unit chassis. There was a long history as to why things were done as they were, and I'll try to explain. In the old building, the whole area was ESD, so no plastic bags or cardboard boxes allowed, so the "shelves" had to be unpacked and stacked up on the storage shelves. When we first moved to the new building, the shelves were near the ESD area (4), and no cardboard or plastic allowed in ESD areas (static discharge danger), so it kind of made sense to preserve the old memeplex. Inside the boxes, each shelf was wrapped in a plastic bag, and so the routine was to open the box, and one by one unwrap each shelf from its plastic bag and stack them neatly one on top of the other. I have watched this process being performed (5), and it literally takes 20 minutes just to unpack one box (18).

The shelves with the shelves (12) were subsequently moved away from the ESD area, so moving cardboard boxes and removing plastic bags no longer remotely threatened electro-static sensitive components. No longer any need to empty entire boxes and stack up the shelves. Of course, this continued nonetheless.

Anyway, I reckoned we should just use the components right out of the boxes. We could just heave two of them up on the picking shelves, cut one of them open and pick stuff right out of it, use the barcodes on the boxes, order refills from the numbers and codes on the boxes, when a box empties, we just throw it into the cardboard recycling.

I showed the supervisors and one senior line lead what it looked like and got their agreement on my new process, but that, amazingly enough, was not enough to get other people on the line to adopt the process. They were resistant, uninterested, negative. Reason, authority, the power to command, etc., still don't change or negate the rules of macromemetics.

Design Factors

Macromemetic engineering is about replacing old memes with new, and making the new memes more appealing, so the old ones die out, atrophy, from disuse. The fact that my new system was better, and that I had the agreement and approval of supervision was nice, but not enough to change the mass behavior of the staff. I wanted to introduce the new processes, the new memes, and also systems of memes to support them, as well as bullying memes (immunomemes) against the old system.

My main focus was in designing immunomemes, bullying memes, and attaching them to bullying opportunities around the new process I wanted to implement (to defend them) and the old process I wanted to get rid of (to mock them, open them up to attack). The environment was fairly negative, interactions between workers containing a fair bit of bullying, and ideas like "How about this?" and "Wouldn't this work better?" were met with "Oh, this is the way we do things," or "That will never work" -- some pretty standard bullying memes (immunomemes), by the way.

I tried to dream up a lot of ways for people to bully each other over the old way and the new way. Regrettably, I don't have a lot of detailed notes or hard data as to how it went. I was just trying lots of things, saying things to people as if I had overheard them (17), putting Post-It notes up with slogans that I hoped would catch on, and so on.

But in the end, everybody was box-binning in all parts of our factory, even places where I didn't start it, including new lines that we opened, the process somehow made it an hour south to another factory (by what channel I don't know), mutate there and the mutations come back up to our factory. And I found myself being bullied by my coworkers for "not doing it right," which meant that they had learned it from somebody other than me, and did not recognize me as the creator of the whole system. Score! I succeeded without anybody knowing about it, except my supervisor, and also one line lead and most of the other supervisors at least knew what the process looked like, and had approved of it, because I showed them. Aside from that there had been no training, no lengthy approval cycles, no committees, nothing.

Spaghetti Against the Wall

I think that had I gotten more support from supervision and line leads, things might have gone more smoothly and more quickly, but that may not be true, and I'll never know. As it was, I felt some despair about whether it was going to take off. You're always waiting for the first meme to be picked up (get injected), somebody to repeat some action that I'd programmed them to do (15). I was of the mind that if my coworkers knew that it was my idea and that I was behind it all, it would turn them off it and it work never work (I didn't feel I had any social currency at the job, you might say, I certainly had no official authority). More overt support from supervision might have had a similar effect.

First, they will ignore you,
then they will laugh at you,
then they will fight you
 and then you win
-- Mohandas Gandhi

I tried all kinds of things, and I'm not sure which actually worked, since I didn't hear these back from anybody. There were many Star Wars T-shirts and the like in evidence, so I tried to appeal to that memeplex, build on that. I was putting Post-It notes up with slogans like "Box-binning! Join the Rebellion" and "Fight the Empire with Box-binning" and "We're not running a 5th Avenue Boutique" and a bunch of other stuff like that. I knew that polarization of the memetic fabric would happen as a result of my introduction, so I tried to make it work for me. "Great taste, less filling," sort of thing. I was pitching all kinds of things

Of course I was doing box-binning myself (to provide an example, if nothing more). I would always try to be the one to go get new boxes and to time things such that when things emptied out, I was the one to refill it, so that my coworkers would be exposed to the ideal behavior as much as possible. Also, when a plastic bin would empty, I would replace it with the cardboard box, and stash the plastic bin somewhere, in case there was some kind of problem and I need to bring it back. I would take a moment here and there, often on my breaks, so remove the labels (a heat gun works well for this) and pile up the empty bins where they could be found, and they disappeared almost as quickly as I put them there.

A critical thing in getting a memetic system accepted (as ad men will probably tell you) is making people think that everybody else is already doing it (17). I did this in the way I talked about to others, and sometimes I was outright lying about how it was already been done, it had been decided, and all that.

This was a qualitative rather than a quantitative experiment, or project, rather, since I had a very specific goal in mind, and I achieved it with near total effectiveness, i.e., the results were exactly what I aimed for, and more extensive than I had dreamed of. It was also much less "difficult" than I had imagined, but one regret is that I cannot say with authority which things I did were the most effective, and which could've been dropped completely. I put up little Post-Its with slogans and such, and I know that at least one person read them, maybe a lot did, and maybe they were critical in accomplishing what I did, or they may have had no effect. As I said, I saw no evidence of anybody picking up on these things and using them, so I have almost no data. On the bag-bunching, I have hard evidence that people picked up on this, and it mutated, meaning people were doing it on their own, since it wasn't me who initially did it. I got rid of the opportunities for people to go back to the old, bad ways of plastic bins by hiding them and getting rid of them. I tried to avoid telling people "You shouldn't do that" to avoid creating a counter-reaction (invoking the old memes is not a good way to atrophy them) and instead sticking to bullying memes against the old way, and positive memes for the new way, like "whoever did this did the right thing. they did box-binning like they should do" and stuff like that. Offer rewards for doing the new way, and hint at bullying memes for doing the old way. The "effigy" (8) approach is one way to get it across, and also works well because it feeds the idea that "a lot of people are already doing this (and some of them are doing it wrong)". I had to bite my tongue a lot when people made asinine comments and try to remind myself that it was an experiment, that I was trying to learn the right way to do this stuff.

There was a long period, however, where nothing seemed to be happening, and I just stuck to the theory, and then it finally just took off.

The box-binning process I injected into our factory made its way down to our other factory, an hour to the south (19). My supervisor told me that they were getting paper-cuts on the flaps of the boxes and were buying flap-clips (yes there are such things), and then this mutation came back up to our factory. And at our factory, the box-binning process went to parts of the line where I had not been working, so it had been picked up by people who had worked with me, or with people who had worked with me, and so on.

Also, there was "bag-bunching" and a mutation on that which occurred. Since there were lots of plastic bags in the boxes, especially with the shelves, it was a time-consuming step to do the existing meme, which was to take out the component (shelf), walk down the row to the nearest rubbish bin, and throw it in. And of course, if the rubbish bin was full, drop everything and go empty it outside (which took about 20 minutes, adding all that wasted time to the time it took to kit a build). I took to just taking one bag, and stuffing all the other bags into it, and leaving it right on the shelf. This ended up being popular, by the way, since a lot of people liked these bags, since they were transparent, high-quality, and came in all sizes, for home projects, and now that they weren't being chucked in willy-nilly with the other rubbish but were kept all together, this was now possible. Anyway, the mutation was that somebody "hung" the first bag on the shelf pylon/leg that was sticking up on top, and then stuffing the other bags in there, so it was neater and stayed in place.

Mutations and contagion are all good signs of a healthy memetic system, so I was glad to see it. I was initially concerned about the "flap clips" and paper cuts in our southern factory, but then I remembered that if a group is taking actions to defend and support a given process, here box-binning, by adding on memes (including ridiculous ones, or perhaps especially), in this case buying special clips, putting them around and using them, it's a sign that the memeplex has already been accepted (6). It's perhaps also an example of how a "borrowing culture" tends to hand on more assiduously to the memetic systems it has borrowed (7).

Unnecessary Consensus
In our factory there was a certain emphasis on "committees" and group decisions and processes associated therewith. I admittedly did an end-run around that. I did ask as many people as I could, try to get their opinions, I got the OK of my supervisor and a senior line lead, and I demoed and explained it to the supervisor staff. I explained to my supervisor in detail how I intended to go about it, and reported on my progress, and he gave me the green light. 

Talking to my coworkers, however, opened up a tin of negativity. I tried to get opinions and suggestions, and there was little in terms of useful feedback. I was concerned that there might be some obvious problem or hang-up in doing the switch that a coworker might mention, but the results were what I would categorize as classic macromemetic phenomena. It's always easy to deploy immunomemes that criticize some proposed new idea or area of exploration. Since it's new, there are no immunomemes defending the new idea, and humans instinctively know this. By the same token, it's easy to defend a current (bad) system, since it has lots of immunomemes in place (9).

So it may have been a situation where there was a lot of apathy (10) and perhaps even a certain amount of fear, of change, of being seen as doing something out of the ordinary. Inviting people to render an opinion when they really don't want to tends to result in destructive polarization. I worked to produce "productive polarization" where people all felt invested in the project, if for different reasons. However, if people render useful insights, it can be useful to mention them by name, e.g., "Oh, yeah, Sarah pointed out that the box flaps could cause papercuts, so we need to watch that," and that further contributes to the idea that "everybody else's already on board," and, important for me, that it's not my idea, but I'm just the messenger.

Summary and Conclusions
Using macromemetic engineering principles, I was able to get a wide-spread systemic change in a large factory floor with over a hundred persons per shift in a matter of just a few weeks. The process evolved and spread throughout the factory, somehow jumped all the way down to a different factory an hour's drive south, mutated significantly there, and then brought the mutations back up to our factory.

One downside is that while I did a number of things to foment memetic injection, some of them very specific implementations of macromemetic principles, I don't have a lot of data on which were effective, which were vital to the success of the project, and which were superfluous. Of course, how some of these memes I developed interacted and support each other is also unclear. I also don't have a very detailed record of the things I did, for example, the slogans I tried to introduce using Post-It notes on the inventory shelves and such. I didn't keep a "lab notebook" for those things.

As such, this ended up being a rousing success in terms of one of my first actual macromemetic engineering projects (11) in that it accomplished its objectives, in a very quick timeframe, it ended up spreading by itself, and so was a very successful memetic injection. I feel confident that a similar project would be successful in future. I would hope to clarify further the kind of meme design and injection strategies which are most effective, and which are superfluous, to make a more cut-and-dried mememtic engineering cookbook that would be accessible to future memetic engineers. That's one thing I feel I could've done better in the course of this project.


(1) The two-bin system is part of the World-Class Manufacturing philosophy. It consists of having two "bins" of whatever item or component or whatever is being picked, the active bin and the reserve bin, with the idea that when the active bin is emptied, the reserve bin is immediately moved forward and a reorder is placed. The idea is that the two-bin system not only signals but also gives you time for a reorder to arrive and no interruption in the flow of inventory.

(2) Our manufacturing process was arranged into lines, each performing the same tasks. A propos of nothing, each line had about a half-dozen stages, including form-boarding, unit assembly, cabinet prep, cabinet install (building), and inspection. A big idea behind organizing by lines was that in order to increase throughput (or add specialty products), one could just add more lines (3). The lines were also a WCM concept, each worker was one step away and speaking distance from the worker that just completed the step just before, and so on.

(3) One problem with opening new lines at will is the vast number of plastic bins of all sizes that would be needed to stock all of the shelves all along the way. The shelves and workstations and tools could all be set up overnight or over a weekend, but getting the literally hundreds of bins sorted out, labeled, bar codes printed out and taped on, and stocked up was a formidable task, one that I wanted to make obsolete.

(4) ElectroStatic Discharge. In our original building, everywhere was an ESD area, that is, grounded, wearing smocks, and so on. And this may be the origin of keeping everything in ESD-safe plastic bins. In our new building, an effort was made to cut down the ESD areas, to just where they were absolutely necessary, namely the unit assembly area only.

(5) I termed this the "Shelf Elves," ie, people wasting their time with this chassis shelf unboxing, unbagging, and unstacking process.

(6) Adding memes to a system, to defend it (immunomemes) is something we see all the time, maddeningly in many cases. An existing memetic system, some practice that has been around, tends to be defended by adding more memes, in the form of other practices added to the old one, explanations, and so forth. Getting people to stop something, or switch to something better that would save time and resources, etc., tends to be met with resistance. This is bread and butter to memetic theory. A good sign for the memetic designer, if rather than discard your newly-injected memetic system outright, people try to come up with new memes to defend it (even if they seem silly, like box-flap-clips, or perhaps especially) then it indicates that your system may have taken firm root. Be encouraged!

(7) Sociologist have observed this quite a lot. When a culture borrows a memeplex from another culture, they tend to preserve it as-is. A good sign for the memetic designer.

(8) The effigy approach is where you roundly criticize some non-existent third party for the bad behavior, and people hearing about it will get the message, that they shouldn't do the bad way, and become interested in the new, good way. Here's an essay that discusses this:  模倣子 Immunomemetic Cheese-Dicks in the Platoon

(9) Hard to defend a new idea, easy to defend an old one. The First Law of Immunomemetics states that any stable memetic system contains an immomemetic system. Here's an essay that introduces the Laws of Macromemetics and some notation.

(10) Apathy is something I'm still working on categorizing as a macromemetic concept. I want to come up with a specific definition for some readily identifiable macromemetic phenomenon but which any layperson would also regard as "apathy."

(11) This was a project, as opposed to a pure experiment, done mainly for testing ideas and gathering data, which it also did.

(12) It's important to understand that there are two kinds of "shelves" in this story. One is proper shelves, big racks of shelves, where bins (and later boxes) of components could be placed so the pickers could find them. The other is the small aluminum "shelves" to which a single large IC board was bolted and then the shelf-board combo was slid into a control unit. When I refer to "Shelf Elves" (5) I mean the people wasting time taking the latter (aluminum shelves) out of their boxes and stacking them up.

(13) Fun fact about barcodes and MS-Word. There is a "barcode font" so if you, say, type the code you want and then change it to barcode font, and print it out, this will be a scannable barcode.

(14) Another fun wrinkle about scanning bar codes. The bar codes on the actual components in the bin was sometimes not the same as the codes we used in our factory work tracking system. It was always the right barcode on the outside of the box, but for the loose components, depending upon what they were, it was not. This was another reason for my wanting to implement box-binning -- the boxes always had the right information (including the order counts), and we were throwing them away in the first ten seconds, as well as wasting time unpacking them and putting things into another box (a plastic bin).

(15) Another form of feedback, which I might expect later in the game, is people saying negative things about the new memeplex, but in great detail, like for one thing, I made sure that all my processes had clear names, as these are MIAOs (16), and one young woman, whom I would characterize as a "disgruntled coworker" (she left shortly after this) who usually had something negative and/or divisive to say about most things, said 'I heard they supervisors are going to stop doing box-binning.'  Okay, that's vague, so she's probably just trying her usual MO of being negative and appearing knowledgeable about something, and guess what? at that point box-binning was A Thing which somebody like her could use that way. It's the sort of comment that would make me angry, but if I can hold my tongue and subject the situation to memetic analysis, I can see how it might actually be a very good thing.

(16) MIAO, pronounced "meow", is a Memetic Iconic Anchoring Object. This can be an image, an icon, or the sort of "memes" one sees on the Web, or it can be a name. I tried to tie in "The Rebellion" and "The Galactic Empire" from Star Wars, and used their logos ("Join the Box-Binning Rebellion", "You're our only hope," etc.), and I also tried to tie in the image of "5th Avenue Boutique" to mock the idea of carefully taking things out of a box and arranging them carefully on a shelf, like one would in a fancy jewelry shop, only to have somebody come and grab them and bolt them onto a product and ship it out the door. "We're a FACTORY, not a 5th Avenue BOUTIQUE." I know that "box-binning" and probably "bag-bunching" succeeded as MIAOs, but I'm not sure if the others did, because I didn't make direct notice of any of them being used to me or between others. I know they got noticed at least a few times. This is the sort of data it would be good to collect, when possible, and while my project succeeded brilliantly, proving a lot of principles of Macromemetics, there's a lot of the MIAOcraft aspects where I didn't get much useful data, which would've been good. One bedeviling aspect of macromemetic engineering is injection of memes one has designed, getting people to do something, pick up on it. I have a lot of theory and experience, but I don't feel I have what I would call a "cookbook solution" yet. In fact, I don't know if such a cookbook is possible (20), if it's possible to reliably engineer memes based on collected data and be certain they will work. In short, I'm still in the process of turning the art of MIAOcraft and memecraft into a bono fide engineering discipline.

(17) A basic principle of memetic injection is that people like memes better if they feel they are already in use by lots of other people. I tried never to say that "I had this idea" but always that "this is the way things are." The Japanese have an interesting expression, for example, "ジョニーさんは人気に成ってる "Johnny-san wa ninki ni natteru" The "ni natteru" bit sort of means "it is the way it is" and to convey what the sample text means would be something like "Well, hey, we all agree that Johnny is famous now, so whaddaya gonna do?" or almost "Johnny has been chosen to be the famous one." It's a strange way of putting things, but a very Japanese one, and also conveys a very macromemetic concept with regards to virile memes. "I accept this meme because everybody else seems to accept it."

(18) I recall that there were ten shelves in a box, and each chassis had one of each type of shelf, and there were two types, so shipping fifty units out in a shift, for instance, meant that one person would have to unpack ten boxes, which works out to over three hours. If we ship a hundred units, then a whole person-day is used up just unpacking that particular component, or about 1% of our total force. There are numerous other harder-to-quantify benefits to box-binning, which we also immediately enjoyed (ease of opening up new production lines, etc.).

(19) The jump from our northern factory to our southern factory (and then back again!) makes me think of some kind of bat-pangolin-human contagion jump, since I didn't think there was much communication between our factories at this level of detail. Apparently, something got through somehow, since the south adopted our process, seemingly overnight, and before long we had adopted their mutation on our process. I guess the takeaway is get vaccinated, get your boosters, and wear your mask!

(20) On the memetic design for successful injection cookbook thing, I don't want to sell myself too short. There are certain principles that I always try to bring to bear. One is that if you can get people to do something with no effort, do it. If everybody likes Star Wars or One Piece or Rick and Morty, run with it. It's a hook into their memetic space, for free. You can attach more stuff to that later. Design rewards for people doing the desired behavior. It's really good if you can program other people to give them those rewards. Marking and closure are critical, critical, critical. If you can't make the meme you want well-marked (clear), then attach it to one that is, like I did in my Prime Pizza Thursday experiment. Memetic pairing is a great design technique, and it's one of those things that make people of the "Let's keep doing the same old crap and getting 5% yields" crowd say "That's silly!" Yes, harsh reality time, just as with parenting, in memetic design you have to be willing to do stuff that seems stupid and pointlessly ridiculous. I'm putting together this body of theory so we can know when silliness gets us where we want to go and when it's just, well, silly. There's a difference.


模倣子 Defeating Defendianism

Memetic Essay Index  - Updated Version 


I've discussed pretendiansim elsewhere. I also wrote a short essay on coöption of nerd culture, which is a real issue, but also hopefully a fruitful analogue for the coöption of Native American culture by non-natives. The point is that all aspects of human behavior is governed by the laws and principles of macromemetics, and as such, may be attacked using macromemetic engineering techniques.

One such principle is memetic replacement or memetic atrophy (1). Invoking an undesirable meme in any way only serves to strengthen it, since it demonstrates that a memetic reward (2) may be derived from said meme. This is precisely the opposite situation the would-be memetic engineer seeks to create. So telling people "don't do that" brings up that and reënforces that in everyone's mind (3).

The First Law of Immunomemetics states that any stable memetic system must contain an immunomemetic system that keeps it stable, that resists change, that devalues the rewards of deployment of memes that are not part of the system, or more to the point, which are targeted by the immunomemetic system of the pretendian memeplex and the subsystems of the white memeplex that interact with the pretendian memeplex. What this means is that we must understand what those immunomemes are, in order to defeat them.

The Triple Narrative Model (4) may provide us a good way to model the pretendian megamemeplex, and how it interacts with the "white" megamemeplex. What does the conservative narrative have to say about Native Americans? Not much good stuff, of course. Is the defendian/pretendian submemeplex an example of Liberal Narrative at work? Pretendianism may be part of an overall conservative narrative, and thus Defendianism may be a Liberal (crypto-conservative) narrative that defends against attacks on the conservative (pretendian) narrative.

Alliance Theory (5) is another concept I'm working on which may have tremendous explanatory power in terms of groups that are able to push their agendas forward against other groups who are not able to.

Whence Pretendians?

Pretendians are committing fraud in a number of different ways. This translates into an inventory of memetic interactions involving publishers, university administrators, university staff, students, TV and movie producers, newspaper reporters and editors, and so on and so forth. In a perfect world in which the laws of macromemetics were somehow suspended, pretendians could be removed, fired, outed, unmasked, and so forth. Defendians are an example, and expression, if you will, of why this doesn't happen. More on this later.

Alliance theory (5) models things like how certain agents are able to deploy memes that make things work that would not work without the benefactors' influence. Obviously, pretendians get short-listed for university jobs, publication contracts and book deals, and media contracts for TV and movie shows and so on. The fact that these work tells us that there is resonance among the decision makers with the kind of fake Indian memes that pretendians are putting out (7).

Now we come to the Three Narrative Model. The radical narrative is that committing genocide (on Native Americans, or others) and of course the conservative narrative is full of memes and entire memeplexes that justify this action and the ongoing actions that flow out of it. To counter the minority voices that "that genocide was bad," a Liberal Narrative was created that Native Americans should get relief (jobs, short-lists for projects, publications, etc.) and that they "are cool" and "deserve special attention." This shields the conservative narrative from immunomemetic attacks like 'we mistreated the Native Americans' with "yeah, that may be true, but they get free medicine, and free university jobs, and free food, etc."

This is problematic, however. Liberal activity consists in changing the memetic configuration of those already close to the center of the system, rather than those who are to be "helped." Part of the reason that the abused and/or disenfranchised need "help" is that they have relatively less memetic involvement, fewer memes which they may successfully deploy in order to change their own relationship to the memetic fabric (8) in terms of access to resources, which according to Alliance Theory, is critical to self-actualization, upward mobility, what-have-you. This is basically my Three Narrative Model argument about the uselessness of Liberal movements and how they ultimately only server to strengthen, consolidate, and defend the Conservative Narrative.

Hence pretendianism. We have not sought out the Native Americans in need of help, but rather "raised the consciousness" of people close to the system of distribution of resources in a fairly generic way. "Give jobs, scholarships, etc. to people who say they are Indians," becomes the memetic subsystem. There's always polarization when such new memetic subsystems are introduced, e.g., people who think that Native Americans should be given help, and those that don't. The problem is that the "give help" faction is polarized to take some specific action in order to mark their membership in said faction, as opposed to something that actually helps.

This is a subtle yet important point, and I hope that I shall be able to illuminate it. The meme "we should help Indians" splits the cohort (or memetic fabric (8)) into two parts: the "we should help" and "we should not help" factions. Note that it does not create a "people who help Indians" or even "people who are able to recognize actual Indians." This gets down to some macromemetic basics, for one, marking and closure (9). "Recognizing Indians" and "helping Indians" are problematic because they tend to have poor marking, poor closure, and are hard to inject (11), which means that they are less agreeable to people who would otherwise adopt them (12). By contrast, "help/don't help" memes are readily distinguished, i.e., they have good marking and closure, and members of each are distinguished one from another. Good marking and closer also (theoretically) relates to the injectability and virility (13) of a meme. Obviously, people prefer memes that are virile and which are readily injected into other minds. Ironically, it's easier to look like you're helping Indians than it is to actually help them, and to pretend to help Indians, you need people to pretend to be Indians.

Pretendianism and the Liberal Narrative

We can see how the phenomenon of pretendianism can develop through the process of the Liberal Narrative. The Radical Narrative states that people should be treated equally and fairly, and that genocide is bad. Obviously this didn't work out too well, and the Conservative Narrative is full of memetic systems that justify the historical record and the perpetuation of the hierarchical power structures that allowed those historical events to transpire, and to continue on into the future unimpeded. The Liberal narrative typically operates by selecting memes from the Conservative Narrative, like that mistreating Native Americas was okay and continues to be okay, and construct new memes either by contradicting memes from the Conservative Narrative, and/or dragging in and combining memes from the Radical Narrative. For instance, "genocide is bad," or "the historical genocide of the Native Americans was bad," and "Native Americans should be given academic positions to compensate for genocide." Of course, this and other memes imply that giving out free jobs and free medical care (which was part of the initial treaties, by the way) somehow "make up for" previous atrocities.

So what? Now we look at the injections of these kinds of meme pairs into a population. With memetic injection, we worry about such things as marking and closure. Memes that are clear-cut, and which tie into lots of existing memes in the Conservative Narrative are readily accepted and spread well. Things like "recognizing who's a Native American" or "help a Native American" are not good candidates for reasons which I hope are obvious. "Give Native Americans jobs (as compensation)" however is pretty good, so long as working out who actually is a Native American isn't part of it (14). In sum, memes that get successfully injected and spread are memes that have good marking and closure, and by their very nature tend not to be those that actually help anybody.

Another critical aspect of memetic injection is resonance (15). Memes only survive and propagate if they get a reaction. This presupposes that some (large) population is familiar with the meme and are prepared to deploy one or more memes in response to it. This is helped by plugging into a system of existing memes, which of course is already widely spread, and resonates with large numbers of agents. For instance, memes such as, "Native Americans were in North America before Europeans arrived," "genocide was committed against the natives," "European descendants should compensate surviving natives," "Natives should be given preference for academic positions." Some of these might be widely accepted already, and others might be new. Every meme is going to tend to produce polarization (17).

But as I mentioned, the degree of polarlization is related to the degree of acceptance to a meme, in other words, the extent that the meme has been successfully injected into a population. If a meme is not especially virile (successful), then it will not polarize a very large swath of a cohort (18), or memetic fabric. So we might posit that the Pretendian Memeplex (21) is more viable than the "really do things to help Native Americans" memeplex (the Really Help Memeplex?) or even the "do nothing" memeplex.

Alliance Theory and Pretendianism

I have just begun to delve into what I'm calling Alliance Theory. The idea is that certain memetic agents "do better" or "get further" than others, and this seems to be due to their having "allies" who either deflect attacks (immunomemes (22)) or provide an additional set of memes that allow the "beneficiary/protegée" to move between memetic states to arrive at final states more easily or gain access to states which are denied to others (23).

One question in alliance theory is why do the benefactors do what they do? Is the influence over the king they help place on the throne the reason kingmakers do what they do? Probably not always. It may always be incidental. Do they garner some kind of "reputation" with others that they have the power to make things happen? What "risks" (vulnerability to immunomemes) does an ally run?

While the motivations of the ally may be unclear, the motivations of the beneficiary would certainly seem to be. We'll try to illuminate both of these. The first thing seems to be to identify what memes are deployed to the benefit of pretendians (to the exclusion of others), and also who deploys them. One important macromemetic principle that comes into play is how to decide whom to make a beneficiary and whom not? That is, how are the beneficiaries marked? If the special favors are done in secret, then the benefactor runs more risks of attack. If they can be done in public, such that other agents have no bullying opportunities (immunomemes) to deploy, then the benefactor is able to get whatever benefits he or she gets from being a benefactor, deploying the benefactor memes, while running few if any risks.

So this discriminating meme, the memeplex that gives the benefactor "permission" to act as an ally, to choose some protegees over others, would seem to be key. As with all things, if there is good marking and closure, then the system will flourish. If everything is ad hoc and case-by-case, then it will bog down.

Benefactors of Pretendianism

This comes down to "what benefits the benefactor?" in alliances, a topic that I'm still sifting through. This may require a bit of research by people who are close to the action in university departments, publishing companies, TV and movie production companies, etc. about those who have given aid and comfort to pretendians. Which exact benefits have been conveyed to pretendians by whom? Specific anecdotes would be useful, and would inform design of macromemetic countermeasures to pretendianism and defendianism.

Why Be A Defendian?

People always like to be in a situation where they can deploy memes in the confidence they will resonate and for which there will be no immunomemetic counterattacks. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say the quest for such an idyllic situation, usually impossible (24), describes the fundamental existential crisis of the human condition. The "Karendian" meme is interesting, because it wraps itself in the trappings of "punching up" and protecting some oppressed group (in this case pretendians). Of course, pretendians are not an oppressed group. They are privileged individuals engaged in fraud, defrauding their employers and the system designed to help Real Native Americans. 

The "Karen" meme is one of a privileged person (upper-middle-class, white woman) "punching down" on people (usually of color) with less money, and more vulnerable to police mistreatment, etc. Part of this invulnerability is especially macromemetic in nature, in that the Karen is not readily counterattacked (she is "unassailable," a term I like to use in macromemetics) and her memetic inventory resonates much more strongly with the rest of society, especially with powerholders (such as the police). The "Karen Meme" turns this advantage on its head by painting the Karen (some might say rightly) as being pathologically selfish, deliberately cruel, passive-aggressive, wanton, motivated by the desire to cause harm in order to draw attention to herself.

Defendians use the Karendian Meme to try to turn the Karen Meme back on those who seek to expose pretendians (and defendians). The suggestion is that "karendians" are wanton, selfish, hurting those who don't deserve it just to draw attention to themselves. Obviously, the opposite is true. So-called karendians are not the ones "punching down" it's the defendians and pretendians who are doing so. One could argue that telling the truth is never "punching down." The real Natives and their allies are the ones punching up. Deploying memes to do with what it means to be a real Native is an uphill battle, because not everybody knows them in any detail, most don't. Deploying memes that contradict entrenched power and privilege is also an uphill battle. None of these resonate well, certainly not universally with the people and institutions involved.

Summary & Conclusions

People like memes that have good marking and closure. They like to be sure they've seen something and be sure how they're meant to react without drawing fire from anybody else. Memes cause the polarization of memetic fabrics, and the more well-marked and the more virile (contagious) the meme, the more complete the polarization.

Native culture is like any other foreign culture: complex, unfamiliar, rife with confusing details, and we also tend to stereotype certain aspects and use them to identify said culture or group of people, i.e., contact memes (24). Contact memes are important because there is an enormous amount of widely-held stereotypes about Native American in mainstream America (the Western genre, Cowboys and Indians, the magical Indian leitmotif, omnipresent Indian place names, among many others). One macromemetic result is that fake rubbish resonates strongly with most Americans, the real stuff doesn't so much (26), which is true of everything. The point is that there's a pile of fake rubbish already there, much like with, say, France, Russia, or China, but there are millions more of those folks, and they all have nuclear weapons, which of course First Nations don't.

Liberation movements all seem to go for directly attacking the status quo, making a point that something we've all been doing for a long time is now wrong and we've got to stop doing it. Unfortunately, this makes everybody think about all of the ostensible reasons why we were doing it, even ones which weren't top-of-mind until the movement kicked it up, and now everybody's thinking about all of it. Another problem is that introducing new memes (like, "Stop doing that!") into a memetic fabric causes polarization. One effect is that part of the people say, "Yes, maybe we should stop doing it," and part say "No, let's keep doing it." (27).

A problem is that optimal meme virility, marking, injection, and polarization all conspire to produce the hiring of people who are good (enough) at pretending to be Indians via the contact memes all Americans have rather than hiring real Native Americans, and by extension, defending this practice and the people who do it (defendians). Any solution must deal with these problems, and probably won't look like "it will all be solved when everybody knows what a true Native looks like," for example.

I need more detailed anecdotal data about how pretendians have gotten their way, particularly ways in which pretendian benefactors have helped out, in detail, and the sorts of things that defendians have done. Detailed anecdotes will help in building a description of the memetic system of alliances. With this information, countermeasures may be designed and injected, and pretendianism may be torn out by the roots. I feel the macromemetical alliance system is the key. Identify as many of the memes as possible, design countermeasures in the form of immunomemes and replacement memes, inject those new memes into the system, and continue the process until people in all positions are not so much embarrassed to support and defend pretendianism (some of that, perhaps), but mainly just being drawn to something else, and feeling supported by the community in that action.



模倣子 Practical Memetic Engineering


(1) Memetic replacement is a technique whereby new memes are engineered to replace undesirable ones. The undesirable memes are then allowed to atrophy. People do not give up memes outright, and it is difficult to shame them into not using them, because they have emotional and social investment in them and rely on them for memetic rewards (2). 

(2) Memetic reward. Humans like to exchange memes with one another. They are memetophilic. In other words, putting out (deploying) a meme and having receiving humans make some kind of memetic response gives a physiological reward, and humans cannot live without that reward. It is better to get a negative response than no response. The inability to get any response from one's fellow humans leads to violence. The feeling that one could deploy a meme and get a response, is reässuring (this has bearing on childrearing, by the way).

(3) One of the sources of strength of a given meme is the perception that everybody knows about it. The translates into the perception of a guarantee of a large reward. If I speak English in a group where I know everybody speaks it, I'm guaranteed that my message will be received. If I make a well-known political, sports, or joke reference, I'm similarly guaranteed a reward. If I make a novel reference, one that is sound, but requires thinking, I am likely not to get such a reward. Anyway, this is a fundamental principle of macromemetics.

(4) The Triple Narrative, or 3-Way Narrative Model, or Three Narrative Model contains a Radical (or Fundamental) Narrative, a Conservative Narrative, and a Liberal (or Pseudo-Liberal, Crypto-Conservative, or Status Quo Apologist) Narrative. These could also be called "the way things should be," "the way things are (or have to be)," and "the reason why things are the way they are (have to be)." The radical line is that people are all equal, everybody should have enough to eat and a place to sleep, etc., and the conservative narrative justifies the hierarchical systems that say "yes, but," and "some animals are more equal than others," and states that we will not be providing these things, and the liberal narrative is the most tricky, and defends, according to my theory, the conservative narrative even while appearing to attack/question it, based on a number of basic macromemetic principles which probably operate in a counterintuitive way to actually strengthen and consolidate the conservative narrative rather than dismantle it.

(5) Alliance Theory deals with how some memetic agents are able to succeed with the outside help from other agents while others fail without any such help (for example, getting a job, getting a book contract, or just succeeding at a task that requires some form of cooperation). I'm working on fleshing out the details how the "helpers" (allies, benefactors) also gain from the transactions, which may have something to do with memetic nexus (6).

(6) A memetic nexus is a network with a person or organization at the center to which a cohort of agents are "subscribed" by a short jump. The effect is that all subscribers are able to exchange memes, to engage in memetic interactions with one another using fresh memes coming out of the nexus, in the knowledge that all the other cohort members will be able to resonate with each other.

(7) Do real Indians get proportionally fewer jobs than pretendians? This appears to be the case. If so, this suggests that the pretend-Indian memes resonate more than real Indian memes with employment decisions.

(8) Memetic Fabric is a collection of "memetically interconnected" minds. Minds that are able to exchange memes with one another, i.e., are not cut off from one another. This implies, also that said minds have at least some memes in common (like a language). It can be a cohort (or minds, i.e., people, typically) that are connected by geography, same building, same company, commonly used network, game application, culture, etc.

(9) Marking and Closure are two basic macromemetic concepts, which have a lot of bearing on memetic design, by the way. Marking refers to how easily the deployment of a meme is about to be perceived by other agents. See papers about Blue Shirt Tuesday and the Koffee Klatch for contrast, also the short story Electoral College Professor from Other Worlds anthology. Closure is not unrelated to marking, in that it describes how clear it is that a memetic exchange is completed. This has bearing on resisdual memetic debt and memetic loops (10).

(10) Residual Memetic Debt and Memetic Loops. When an agent deploys a meme, she expects some kind of reply (could be a specific one, or any of a list of possible ones). Being ignored is the worst possible outcome. People would rather be hurt than ignored, and having no memetic recourse to response from other people can lead to violence. One way to prevent outbursts of violence is to ensure that at least some memetic channel is open for all people. A memetic loop is a completed memetic exchange. When an agent deploys a meme, she "opens a memetic loop" which is only closed when the transaction is completed. Opening a loop "incurs memetic debt" which the deployer carries until the loop is closed by some response. If the closure of the loop is somehow fuzzy, or either side is unclear about whether it is complete, there is residual memetic debt. This concept was discovered in the Koffee Klatch experiment. Residual memetic debt has a number of deep ramifications for human psychology and economics, including why inflation is such a problem.

(11) Injection refers to introducing a meme into a cohort (population, memetic fabric). see (13)

(12) People like memes that have good marking and closure because they produce reliable rewards. They also like memes which appear to have widespread injection (adoption), since that translates into reliable response from the rest of the cohort. A simple and silly example might be a meme like, "Give me a dollar!" If there are ten people within earshot (in the memetic fabric) and I know that each of them will give me a dollar if I yell for it, then I may go for it. If I have no reason to believe that anybody will, and maybe have a good idea that I'll be bullied for it, then I'll probably decide not to. It's simple: we don't do stuff that's unlikely to get us what we want (and by that I mean memetic response, since we often do things that don't help us materially).

(13) Injection and Virility (success): Injection is introduction of a meme into a mind or collection of minds (memetic fabric). Virility (or success) is how readily a meme propagates through a population (memetic fabric or cohort). See (11)

(14) Having to discriminate something, or having lots of people who are able to, makes for a meme that has poor marking and poor closure. A few people can tell if somebody's a Native or not, a lot aren't so good at it, and most are rubbish at it, makes for a meme with poor marking, not very black and white, for instance. Plus, a process for working out who's a Native or not might not converge very reliably or consistently, and so would be said to have poor closure.

(15) Resonance refers to how a population reacts to a meme deployed by an agent in that population. Reacting including doing nothing (which can be a meme) or any of a number of memes. A nudist disrobing in a nudist colony and nobody reacting is an example of no reaction being a positive resonance. Resonance may be positive or negative (16)

(16) The "positive" versus "negative" terminology is still somewhat in flux. No reaction, no resonance, is the worst outcome for a deploying agent. Being ignored is worse than being hurt. You could talk about "positive" being a reaction that one is expecting, one that "benefits" the initiator (whatever that means), or one that "harms" the deployer (again, whatever that means). So we have react/ignore and then harms/benefits and expected/unexpected. The most "significant" of these may be ignore/react.

(17) Polarization is where for a given meme, part of the population accepts it, and the others reject it, or accept some other corresponding "opposite" meme.

(18) A cohort may be thought of as a "population". The cohort of a meme or memetic inventory or memeplex is the group of people that are inured of that meme, in other words, those that are capable of recognizing it, responding to it, deploying it. A "memetic fabric" (8) in some ways resembles a cohort, but it is a collection of minds that are in memetic contact. So in principle there could be islands of agents (19) which share some of the same memes, but are not in contact such that they are part of a fabric.

(19) A memetic "agent" is an entity (typically a person, but these days could be a net bot or AI, for example, or even an institution such as the Catholic Church or the US Government) which is able to deploy memes, as well as maintain an internal memetic inventory and internal deployment decision system (20)

(20) A Deployment decision depends on memetic states which consists of a matrix of agents and memes, and the next state to which the system transitions when a given agent deploys a given meme. The state tells you that a certain collection of agents (a subset of the members of the overall memetic fabric) and a subset of the memes which those agents are able to deploy are all of the possible deployments that may happen in that state, and for each possible agent + meme deployment, what the new state will be. For languages, this looks something like a grammar. For instance, "The" could begin a sentence, and next comes a noun (from a subset able to follow "The"), like "apple." And all along there's the question of which agents are able to deploy which memes. Most agents might be able to deploy "falls" next, perhaps fewer "of my eye."

(21) A memeplex is a collection of memes, c.f. Susan Blackmore, et al. I use this term interchangeably with "memetic system." When I use the term, I mean a collection of memes that work together, in which every one of the memes interacts with the others to some degree. The words in a language are an example, and a random collection of words across two or more languages are an example of a collection of memes that are not a memeplex or memetic system, since they cannot all be used together and thereby do not support each other as part of a single system.

(22) Immunomenes (see also Immunomemeplex) are memes which become available as the result of "bullying opportunities." The First Law of Immunomemetics states that any stable memetic system contains an immunomemetic system (which prevents it from changing). The successful deployment of novel memes ultimately results in the mutation of a memetic system. If there are no memes which allow cohort members to deploy negative memes ("to bully") other cohort members for this, then the memeplex will be unstable. By contrast, if such novel deployments can be stopped, then the memeplex will be more stable, resistant to mutation over time. The "carrying capacity" of a memetic fabric is limited, so if new memes appear and grow, they will undermine existing memeplexes, weakening them if not replacing them outright. An interesting memetic design approach for preventing this is Packing the Memespace (22.1).

(22.1) Packing the Memespace. Early IBM pesonnel management affords and interesting example, by the way. The "memespace" is a kind of catch-all term, loosely interchangeable with "memetic inventory," but meaning the inventory of active memes in a given fabric. Brains can only hold so many memes for active use, so there is the possibility of memes pushing their way in and pushing others out. Packing the Memespace is about deliberately creating "junk memes" (like "junk genes" that don't code to any proteins) within a given memeplex. The object is two-fold: make sure that "our memeplex" is running as much as possible (if a brain goes into another memeplex, who known when it'll come back), and starve other memeplexes out of space in the memespace. These junk memes also serve to connect our "functional" memes together, which serves the objectives.

(23) There may well be a concept of "anti-alliances" in which there are agents or groups of agents, with special memeplexes, which do the opposite of what allies do. In other words, rather than making special opportunities and shortening pathways, creating special memetic states that help, "antagonists" would bring additional immunomemes to bear on the "victims" and even create "bad states" (being in jail, being held without charges, getting shot at, etc.) and funneling victims into them.

(24) Such are the dreams of people who have no power dreaming of what it would be like to actually have it. Of course, real people who have actual power still tend to find themselves in macromememtically murky circumstances, rather unlike those who try to imagine what real power is like.

(25) Contact memes, Memeplexes that represent a group to another group, eg, non-Mormons might think of Mormons as wearing black ties, short-sleeved Oxford shirts with name tags reading "Elder So-and-so" and riding around on bicycles. This imagery may be partly or wholly true, but there is much more of Mormon culture such as temple and Family Home Evening and so on that Mormons might consider "more important" and of which the non-Mormon might be ignorant and would not recognize as Mormon culture if presented with it. Interface Memes are memes which can act as ways for two cultures to exchange (limited) memetic information and can be thought of a superset of Contact Memes.

(26) The rubbish resonates. One fun example of how memes work is a pretendian could try is saying something like, "You know, not all native tribes say 'How' or use a bow and arrow or wear feathers in their hair." This comment resonates with how the listener may actually think that all tribes are the same on these things, and that the deployer must be some kind of expert by adding onto them. That's the way memes work. It's not how facts or logic or reality works, however, and that's partly the point.

(27) The ideal would be to design the polarization in advance so that the polarization is complete and that both halves are doing what I want. I call this the Miller Lite "Great taste, less filling" approach. You often find that only 5% of people feel one say, 5% the other way, 3% are aware of the question but aren't really sure, and the other 87% are unaware the question even exists. Liberation movements don't seem to do this much, though.


模倣子 The Early Memetics of Clothing

Original Medium.com  article  - Memetic Index 

Is there any fossil evidence that beards appeared at the same time as we stood up, got opposable thumbs, and started fist-fighting? It sounds like thumbs are "for" fist-fighting. In order for a trait to be selective, your reproductive fitness needs to be influenced by it? Jaw size has been shown to be favored by women (during ovulation). Having a heavy jaw must be more protective than a bit of stubble, no? What about clothing? First off, when did we start wearing it?

Crazy thought: clothes? I would argue that the most important atvantage afforded by clothing is not to keep out the cold. Erect posture? It allows us to see danger/prey at a distance, and to throw rocks/spears at it, but it also allows us to CARRY things. And that's also the advantage or our thumbs. Again, semiotic/macromemetic analysis, people! With erect posture and thumbs, and with the addition or wearing clothing everywhere (even when it's bloody hot), we have a sack handy that we can fill up with food windfall and then CARRY it for miles back to our village without overheating. We're not hunter-gatherers, we're hunter-gather-CARRYERS.

Again, macromemetic analysis. What changes if we have this feature? What changes if we have this behavior (or artifact), i.e., clothing, even in very hot climes. Anyway, it's just a theory, but it's a theory that brings with it a lot fewer assumption, and needs a lot less supporting data than that we have beards to keep our faces warm or to protect us from a light slap.


模倣子 Rebels versus Non-Conformists

Medium.com response  - Memetic Index 

I believe I do. I would be curious as to why you believe this distinction to be important. The Existentialist, Jean-Paul Sartre take, as I understand it, is that intensions are malleable, and may even be changed after the fact. So for whatever reason one goes out onto the pavement braless, shirtless, shoeless, whatever, one is always free, when nicked by the bobbies, to claim “I didn’t know the law,” “I was just playing at silly buggers,” or “I’m taking a stand against oppression,” regardless one’s thoughts prior to leaving the house. I would say that both Rebel/NC know the rules, and the consequences that come with them, whether it will be for instance (in the notation of the essays I hope to post later) InPublic:no-bra!scorn! or InPublic:no-bra!arrest!
The point being that Reb/NC both know the consequences of what they do, and choose to do them anyway. You could argue that the non-conformist does not intend to give offence or get arrested, and one might accord you that point, with reservations. Would Christ on the Cross pray for you, saying “she knows not what she does”? Maybe not. That is my point. Sartre might argue that at any point along with way you could say “I didn’t mean to give offence, it wasn’t on purpose,” and that intent is so much dross.
For the sake of argument (and in the essays I hope to link) in addition to rebel and non-conformist, I would add “criminal” (not necessarily that kind), as somebody who knows the rules, deliberately breaks or flaunts them, with the hope of not getting caught. The non-conformist might be closer to this, since the rebel hopes to get caught, hopes that the Empire shall engage him in battle, hopes to be arrested to make a point, while the non-conformist you describe (as I understand it) hopes for none of these things. So you could almost say that the non-conformist is a criminal, or a failed rebel (^>^).
Oh, I would very much like to hear about the kind of pushback you get when you go out brasless.


模倣子 Know Your Testicles

 Reply on this Medium.com article  - Memetic Index 

Yes, it's probably important for women to understand how testicles work. Partly so they not inadvertently injure their male associates, but also so they can injure them when appropriate, to make up for the supposed higher average muscle mass and such, and know how to do it. It doesn't matter if the opponent is taller and stronger (and wearing more practical clothing), if he has an "off" switch.

A friend told me about how the weather and seasons were weird one year but one of her male rabbits was trying to mount a female, and she was out of season, wasn't into it, and she immediately went for his ball sack and bit off one of his testicles. She had to rush him to the vet, and he almost bled to death. It makes me think that external genitalia (testicles) are Mother Nature's trick for disabling the extra muscles and size that males have (just to impress/frighten other males, mainly).

A couple of fun facts that every woman should know is that castration is fatal from shock and blood loss in 50% of cases. Another is that a well-aimed kick, punch, or grab to the scrotum will take a guy out potentially for a half hour, long enough to get out of the building and hail a taxi. Move over Captain Kirk and phasers set on stun.


模倣子 Provacativeness

 Medium.com article response - Memetic Index 

Moreso than with men, there’s a lot of handwringing around how women dress (and act), whether it’s “provocative” (whatever that means). But provocative to whom? And why? Is it deliberate? What does that even mean? I think that, a propos of nothing but for what it’s worth, there’s a Japanese saying 美人は皆の者 “A beautiful woman belongs to everyone”. It’s confusing, difficult to clarify. As I wrote, if I’m a person who get “excited/upset” by how some women present themselves (dress, etc.), I may be the victim of my own narcissism, i.e., that the women in question are somehow “doing it on purpose” or “to me” to get me riled up, or of a cognitive dissonance to do with my delusion of control over others (how they dress/act) and their “responsibility” not to do anything to upset me (which of course entails knowing what upsets me in the first place). Again, this is all deeply narcissistic thinking. Again, we don’t seem to worry about this when it comes to men, perhaps because men to not have the same ability to be “provocative” (again, whatever that means).


模倣子 What You Should Just Know about Anatomy

Reply on Medium.com article - Memetic Index 

It's not a matter of not having the machinery. The penis is an external organ, like a nose or an ear or a toe or a finger or anything else--you know how they feel and how they act. If one has brothers, or male friends (gay or straight), or male roommates, or has been intimate in any capacity with a man, there are some obvious things that a woman can't help but pick up on.

 It's like the film The 40-Year-Old VIrgin who thought a woman's breast felt like a bag of sand, because he had never touched one, or seen one up close. 

I've had female friends show surprise that a man who does his Kegel exercises can raise his penis by muscles alone, but aside from that, the rest should be a known quantity. 

I heard that an Ob/Gyn can palpate a woman's ovaries by applying pressure downward into her pelvic area while pushing up with a finger in her vagina. 

Obviously palpating a testicle is much less involved, and anybody can understand how it's done, since, again, it's an external organ.

 Some women are surprised to learn that you can put a fair bit of pressure on a testicle, even more than would crush a grape, but it's only sharp impacts that are super-painful. The point is that I halfway assume that the ovary palpation technique is rubbish because:

 a. I've never done it or seen it done, 
b. it's an internal organ so I can't observe it directly and I've not sure the anatomy works out, 
c. I've never talked to a woman about it (yet), 
d. I've never talked to a doctor about it, 
e. the source is not reliable/verified. 

So there are some things that are easy to find out, some one should just know as a matter of course, and others one should be suspect of pending reasonable verification.


模倣子 Memetic Glossary

Memetic Index - Essay List - Old Glossary - Concept Map - Footnotes 

Action Meme 
Also known as a "Functional Meme" or a "Mechanomeme".

Memetic Agent
An individual who is able to deploy and resonate with memes deployed by other agents. An agent can be a person, an animal, a machine (computer system), an organization. In terms of animism or theism or other superstitions, a tree, the weather, the sea, the volcano, a handful of bones, tea leaves, or some "god" is not a true agent (at best a quasi-agent) because while they may be able to broadcast their "state" to other agents, they are not able to respond to the memetic deployments of other agents. "...he sends rain upon the just and the unjust alike." (Matthew 5:45) However, if you believe that sacrificing all those virgins really did make it rain, and that it would not have rained otherwise, then a superstitious attribution of agency may work, in a way. In fact, as with all things human, macromemetics may shed a great deal of light on superstition. Mother Nature herself is a kind of memetic agent, from the point of view of the scientist. It's not so much whether there really is a Tree Nymph, and that we have angered her, and that certain bad things will happen and not others, and that we must appease her by sacrificing olives around her tree, or apples, if it's a Tuesday, it's that we believe that she exists, and our memetic relationship with each other, that counts. It's a bit like watching TV. Even if we can't change what comes over the TV by our actions, we can talk about it with each other.

See memetic destitution. Alienation is the state where an individual has a paucity of memes which he may deploy with any hope of resonance within the population in which he finds himself. This suggests a physiological quantity, i.e., the minimum number of possible memetic interactions available to produce the level of memetic resonance necessary for health.

Alliance Theory
The attempt to model how some agents (benefactors, allies) help other agents (beneficiaries, protegées) to success. The object of study is what sort of memes to allies and protegées deploy, how does it change the function of the memetic matrix. Another focus of study may be the opposite of Alliance Theory, that is, Oppression Theory, where instead of allies deploying memes and even creating states that make it easy for protegées to rise, we have oppressors (name TBD) and victims, where oppressors deploy memes that make it harder for victims to succeed, even place additional obstacles in their paths, or bad things that can happen to them and not to others. Recent riots and movements have drawn more attention to race and class problems which have always been there, so there must be a lot of interest in development of this body of theory, and the ability to clearly understand this situation and manipulate it and remedy it with an actual engineering discipline. An example is The Dining Philosophers where Plato and Confucious help Socrates avoid bullying by the other great thinkers, and also The Candy Conspiracy.

See also immunomemes. Behavior towards an individual in response to the memes they deploy which is negative or injurious in nature.

Memetic Cohort 
(see also "memetic fabric") The collection of individuals inured of a given memeplex. A cohort is the group of people who are inured of the given memeplex or in a shared memetic state. Related to a memetic fabric. However, a cohort refers to the set of all individuals that participate in a memeplex, whereas a memetic fabric can be a superset in that it is the set of all collected brains in communication with one another in an interconnected community all of which may or may not be inurred of the memeplex in question. See memetic polarization.

The property of a memetic transaction (see "memetic loop") that it is clear that the transaction is completed (10). Poor closure means that it is not easy to tell if a deploy meme, receive counter-meme exchange has taken place. This is related to residual memetic dept.

See Population.

Compelled State 
A state in which it is impossible to remain for any extended period of time with one or more memes which may be deployed to exit the state. A unipolar compelled state gives the captured agent only one deployment option, while a multipolar compelled state has two or more. Not to be confused with a "Leaf State" which has zero deployment options. See Leaf State.

Contact memes   
For example the Joe Piscapo sketch from Saturday Night Live, "Oh, you from Jersey? I'm from Jersey! What exit?" The joke is people from New Jersey identify where they live by which exit is closest on the New Jersey Turnpike.  From what I gather from my friends who are from New Jersey is that no one from Jersey says this and that they find it offensive. Stereotypes would seem to be related to this, to these memes that evince a strong response in out-groupers to recognize in-group members, or that in-groupers are being referenced. As with all memes, there is nothing guaranteeing that these be logical, consistent, or kind.

Residual Memetic Debt 
Related to a memetic loop and to memetic reward. Memetic debt is incurred during the effort to enact or to learn to enact a meme  Once the memetic loop is closed, i.e., the meme is successfully enacted and this is rewarded by resonance from the cohort (which the individual may have just entered), the memetic debt is resolved. Residual memetic debt is incurred when the individual is not allowed to enact the given meme(s), or is not rewarded appropriately for doing so. This is another micromemetic concept which is one of the few I include here. This is how intergenerational abuse functions: the child (victim) is not allowed to reciprocate, or close the memetic loop, on the abuse heaped on by their more powerful abuser (who may also have the prevailing memeplex on their side), until they themselves become a parent and are finally able to close the memetic reward loop with their own children, effectively getting to enact the other half of the exchange which was denied them up to that point. The pent-up desire to redeem residual memetic debt is a motivation for remaining in abusive situations.

Memetic Density
The interconnectedness of a collection of memes in a given state of a given group of individuals (community). Also, the likelihood that deployment of a given meme will produce a strong resonance. This is related to a memetic orgy, i.e., a state in which there is a rich choice of deployable memes which will produce a strong reaction in the rest of the group. The number of meme pathways that are dead ends or which are not shared by a high percentage of members are few.

If there are few reaction meme systems available to be stimulated by interface memes from another group, then we are in a state of alienation or memetic destitution.  That is, the groups cannot interact with one another at a memetic level, and this leads to violence, and possibly...apathy.  Note that memetic destitution is not the same thing as oppression. A group may be oppressed vis-a-vis another and still have a rich interplay of interface memes between the groups. The oppressed group may be denied freedom, access to services and basic necessities, but not (yet) be in a state of memetic destitution.  This is the theory, at any rate, and more research on the relationship and interplay between these two quantifies would almost certainly be useful.

(see also "Enactment" or "Performance"): the act of enacting a meme for others to see, also "performance," and "enactment" though these latter can mean going through the actions of a meme, but not in front of others, i.e., "rehearsal," or "practice."

Performing the act of imitating some behavior, i.e., a meme. Are memes simply triggered as the result of an incoming meme?  That is not the model, really, that is, an automaton.  The idea is that given a certain memetic state, the individual has the opportunity to deploy certain memes based on their perceived chance of garnering memetic rewards, which is a physiological gratification response (also somewhat light-heartedly known as a "memetic orgasm"). There are a couple of problems here: one is that the individual's assessment of a chance for reward may be wrong, and they may not be perfectly skilled at deploying the meme which would otherwise net said reward.

Deployment Decision 
The process whereby the next meme will be deployed and by which agent in a given state.

Deployment Descriptor 
A specialized mathematical notation for a memetic deployment. Some examples in this essay.

Deployment Opportunity 
The chance for an agent to deploy a meme, a context, a state, when there is some chance to actually enact a meme. The idea is that there would be a chance for resonance. In the case of an opportunity to deploy an immunomeme, we have the special term of a "bullying opportuntity."

Enactment: see "Deployment"

Endomeme: (see also "idiomeme" and "exomeme") Obsolete term.

Memetic Enlistment 
The degree to which an agent has a large or small numbers of deployment opportunities of a large or small memes. A "memetic enlistment gradient" for an agent, or for a cohort of agents, if is positive, then the member agents of the cohort will favor the state transition and the memetic deployments that will cause it, even adding their own deployments to that end, while if negative, the agents feel themselves losing power, they may deploy immunomemes against the state transition. This is distinct, perhaps deceptively similar to memetic injection, or the degree to which a meme is familiar to a given cohort. They are related, but not the same. One is focused on the states of a memeplex, one by one, and how available a meme is and to which agents, while injection refers to how many agents are "injected" or "inured" of a meme (or "infected" with a meme) across a whole population, or cohort.

This is an important concept, and has a lot of bearing on the discipline of memetic engineering. The term "enlistment" may seem paradoxical, but it refers to the portion of the memetic inventory that is available to a given agent (or population, or such). So it is the memes in the inventory which are "enlisted" and not the agent or cohort or state. So if an agent has access to deploy, say, all the memes, in a memeplex in a given state, they could be said to be "fully enlisted," and as that portion of the total memes available dwindles, it finally reaches zero, or memetic destitution (or "alienation"). So memetic destitution is a state where the agent's (or cohort's) memetic enlistment has dropped to nil.

Memetic Fabric 
The matrix formed by all the minds in a memetically connected population (as opposed to a cohort (2)), specifically the capacity of that matrix to support the activity of memes copying and transmitting themselves and competing with one another.

Free Play 
(See Leaf State and Compelled State) Childlike play in which there are no "rules." Any game or sport with rules is not free play, because they involve the interplay of the deployment of memes and immunomemes. Free play can be looked as a non-memetic activity, or an extramemetic activity, as may meditation, dreaming, and sexual activity.

Memetic Hacking
A memetic hacker (a person with whom I have a purely meta-memetic exchange, i.e., we talk about the memetic system, not through it, as with a psychologist, a memetic researcher, or a trusted spiritual advisor), I can enact any meme I like, since I am not out for a genuine memetic reward.

Memetic Hell 
(see also Leaf State, Compelled State, Free Play) The fact that humans are memetic creatures (memetophilic) inextricably condemned to engage in memetic transactions with one another as part of their basic drives.

Idiomeme Obsolete term.


A special class of signal meme which is enacted in response to an alien meme, that is, a meme which is not in the memetic inventory of the given memetic cohort.

Laws of Immunomemetics 
1. Any stable memeplex contains an immunomemeplex
2. A system of rules or laws translates to a collection of bullying behaviors
3. An immunomeme is a meme that works to prevent a mutation to a memeplex (see MADSAM)

Whether an individual resonates with a given meme. More research and definition needed here. A person may be passively receptive, i.e., recognize the meme but not react outwardly to it, react outwardly (such as laughing at a joke or following a line of discussion in which the meme is a pivotal element, etc.), or even actively propagating the meme from simply repeating it (deploying or enacting) when opportunities arise.

Memetic Injection 
The process of introducing a meme into a population. "Injectability" is a memetic engineering term for how easy or hard it is to introduce the meme, and theoretically the transmissibility or "success" or "virility" of a meme is positively related to this quantity. More research required here to demonstrate the truth of that theory.

Island Meme (semi-obsolete term)
I give the example of traditional golf clothing (5). Memes that are okay only within a certain narrow context, and all agents in the environment are aware of this distinction, but feel unable to deploy immunomemes when the contextual requirements are met (5). 

Isolated Meme
A meme that cannot invoke any of the memes in a given sub-memeplex, nor be invoked by them. Think of an immigrant who doesn't yet speak the language. None of what he says (his linguistic memeplex) is going to resonate with the natives.

The internalization of a given meme (or memeplex) such that one resonates with the enactment of said meme(s) by another, or is able to enact them in response to appropriate signal (triggering) memes.

Memetic Inventory
Quite simply, the set of all memes that make up a memeplex, memetic fabric, memespace, or agent (2). The degree of inurement of an individual by a given memeplex depends on how many of the memes in the inventory of said memeplex the individual is infected with. Memetic inventory of a memeplex or individual or memetic state and is what defines in-group and out-group status of a person or a meme. It's the set of all memes that make up the memeplex or sub-memeplex, or the set of all memes the individual is able to enact (which may span partly or completely multiple memeplexes). This is distinguished from a memespace.

Laws of Macromemetics, Immunomemetics
Look under M and I respectively in this glossary, and MADSAM.

Leaf State 
(See also Compelled State and Memetic Hell) A state from which there are no available deployment options leading away to other states. A "cornered" agent may resort to violence or any of a few emotional responses such as crying or laughing. A leaf state is not always a bad thing. A successful joke is an example of mutually consensual memetic cornering into a leaf state. Sexual activity can also involve many elements associated with a leaf state. "Free play" can be a leaf state, as can meditation (see Blackmore, The Meme Machine).

Memetic Loop 
(see also Memetic Debt) Along with the memetic reward, the concept of the "memetic loop" forms the motivational basis for an individual to participate in a memeplex, even a dysfunctional one. When one individual enacts a meme and a second uninurred individual shows they have learnt it by imitating it back to the initiator or resonates (enacts an appropriate response meme) with the enacted meme, the loop initiated by the first person is closed, or completed, giving a physiological reward to all involved. Note that this theoretically forms the basis for intergenerational abusive behavior, but that is outside the scope of this essay.

The study of systems of memes (memeplexes) at a large scale, i.e., large numbers of memes interacting with one another as systems withing large human populations, interactions between large memeplexes. A comparison could be drawn with Hari Seldon's Psychohistory from Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, i.e., a deterministic, mathematical discipline for accurately predicting the behavior of large populations of human beings. Contrasted with micro-memetics (or just "memetics").

Laws of Macromemetics 
1. An agent deploys memes in order to achieve optimal resonance
2. Deployment of a meme causes a transition to a new state
3. A mutilation is a Modification, Addition, or Deletion of a State, Agent, or Meme (see MADSAM)

A mnemonic for how a memeplex can mutate. MAD is a Modification, Addition, or Deletion. Theoretically memes, rather like General Douglas MacArthur's take on old soldiers, never die, they just fade away. Memes are best removed by injected a more virile meme and have the old one atrophy from disuse, but that is a memetic engineering issue. States are similar, i.e., they atrophy, displaced by better ones. Agents tend to be people, so "adding" or "deleting" them starts to sound like the mass-murderers of history. The hope of macromemetic engineering is to make possible massive political change without things like genocide.

The property of a meme that it is either easy or difficult to distinguish (9), that is, that the meme has been deployed or not. This can be if the meme is itself ambiguous, like symbols or expressions that are too complex and don't stand out, or are confusingly similar to others, for example. It can also be the "who made the coffee?" problem where the marking of the meme is poor because nobody can observe who made the coffee outside of the time they actually make it, and even if there's some kind of a log or something (since this could be forgotten, and inspecting it is not part of the main flow of the process). The coffee maker is perhaps an interesting example of poor marking, but high closure (10), since it's impossible to reliably hang memetic potential on who actually made the coffee (bad marking of that individual), it is nonetheless clear that the coffee has been made (11).

Memetic Matrix
A conceptual, mathematical representation of how a memetic system evolves over the course of individual actions and the reactions of other agents to those actions, and so on. The structure of the memetic matrix is related to the first two of the three Laws of Macromemetics. The matrix is composed of states (7), each containing a list of agents and those agents' "deployment opportunities," or memes which each of them is allowed to deploy in the given state, and possibly some kind of probabilistic weighting for each possible deployment decision. These matrices are known as "Transition Matrices." The deployment of a meme by any agent leads to change in state (second law). Obviously, "deployment decisions" (in natural memeplexes) is a huge area of study, but artificial memeplexes (8) provide illumination. Of course, if a memetic engineer can limit and control the number of states in the system she is designing or trying to manipulate, she can greatly simplify and linearize her task, i.e., make it look more like a simple, artificial memeplex, with a simpler memetic matrix to grapple with.

See Susan Blackmore, Wikipedia, Dawkins, et al. A meme is an "atomic" behavior which may be recognized and imitated (6). A meme relates to culture much as a gene relates to biology.

See Susan Blackmore, The Meme Machine; et al. I also refer to his as micromemetics, so as to contrast it with macromemetics. The study of how the human brain processes memes. This has a lot to do with our Dunbar Number, our mirror neurons, our ability to watch others' behavior, interpret it, and imitate it, our relationships to artifacts and culture, how we can judge whether some action or artifact is the same or different than another, our ability to teach each other complex behavior, the way we use and process language, and so on. In macromemetics, I take all of those things that an individual does "as read," and go from there, looking at how large groups of individuals doing these very human things behave.

Memetic System (see "Memeplex")

See Susan Blackmore, Wikipedia, et al. See also "Memetic System." A memeplex is a collection of memes that work together as a system. In order for a meme to be considered part of a memeplex with other memes, it must be able to cause in invocation (deployment) of other memes in the memeplex, as well as be able to be invoked by other memes in the memeplex. See also "Island Meme" and "Isolated Meme".

A memeplex involving millions of minds (agents). See also "Supermemeplex."

A memespace (2) is the set of all active memes residing within a given memetic fabric (or memeplex). The term finds its major use in macromemetic engineering (3). The "carrying capacity" of a memetic fabric is limited, so if new memes appear and grow, they will undermine existing memeplexes, weakening them if not replacing them outright. 

MIAO (Memetic Iconic Anchoring Object)
An object (can be abstract) to which memes may be associated. Appearance or invocation of the MIAO makes all of the associated memes available. Branding is an example of MIAO creation/engineering.
Shared MIAOs are another important concept, particularly as concerns racism, stereotyping, and cultural cooption. MIAOs are objects to which memes may be attached, that is, they invoke memes when they appear. This is where the sometimes fine line between memes and "iconic objects" comes in. An object or image such as a coffee cup, a cat (or a caricature of one), a swastika, etc., is clearly not a meme since it cannot be "imitated". One could draw or make one, but that is not imitating the object itself. But what do we mean by a meme being "attached" or "anchored" to an object? We could say that when a person is exposed to a MIAO, there are all sorts of memes attached to that MIAO, and if they are interface memes for reaction memes for the memetic state that person is in, then the MIAO can effectively trigger those reaction memes.

The study of the behavior of memes at a conceptual level, e.g., how they are transmitted, their effect on individual human behavior, how they are transmitted from one person to the next, etc.

Memetic Nexus
A situation where a memetic agent (person, robot, organization, etc.) is at the center of a network such that memes that agent deploys are immediately received (after one jump, or a few jumps) by all the "subscribing" agents to the memetic nexus. The nexus deploys memes on a regular basis. This is so that subscribers regularly receive their doses of memes, and they all get the same ones at the same time, so they are able to exchange memes with each other, which allows them to have reliable memetic exchanges, even memetic orgies, which is the benefit of subscription. Quality is less important than regularity. I theorize that the memetic nexus phenomenon is closely related to power, though I now suspect that Alliance Theory may play a big part.
Some rather surprising examples of memetic nexus include the news, the weather, science, Mother Nature, sporting events, reporting on sports events, the body of human literature and entertainment, to name a few. The Office of the President of the United States of America is a good example, since if the President says or does something, within half an hour billions of people know of it.

Memetic Orgy
A memetic orgy is a chain-reaction situation produced when a cohort are in a state where almost all memes deployed resonate and continues to build and maintain a high level of memetic resonance over an extended period. Obviously the deployment of memes in this scenario produces very reliable rewards, which is a major point of this essay.

Memetic Polarization
The extent do which individuals comprising a fabric respond to a given MIAO by enacting any of the memes within a given memeples associated with the MIAO. For example, there are a number of memes surrounding religion, feminism, or any other dogma or "belief system", which might be classed as "for" and "against" (I use these terms loosely). The degree to which individuals in a fabric tend to resonate to or enact any of the memes of the memeplex attached to a given MIAO is the memetic polarization of the fabric (as opposed to some cohort). For example, if wearing a T-shirt with a given image or slogan elicits some kind of response within a given memeplex from most ever person in a community, one could say that the fabric is highly polarized around that MIAO. For example, when I wear a gun rights shirt in my community, many people notice and respond positively, including inquiring where they might obtain a similar shirt. However, wearing a "The Patriarchy made me do it" shirt elicits only very occasional response (sometimes quite strong), but largely no reaction (despite my community have a large population of young university students). This suggests that the fabric here is not very polarized around the concept of "The Patriarchy", i.e., many people either are unaware of the concept or have no memes to enact around it, in other words they are not members of any cohort related to "feminism" or any reaction group against "feminism". This could be related to "apathy", but this is another concept I hope to explore later, i.e., "apathy" as an immunomeme.

A collection of individuals who are in communication with one another such that it is possible for them to exchange memes, e.g., they live in the same area, share a common language, use/consume the same media, etc. Also referred to as a community.

Reaction memes 
Memes that trigger in-group members to go into a different memetic state, or change the current memetic inventory available to them. The presence or non-presence of a perceived out-grouper could be such a trigger. Another SNL reference is Eddie Murphy's sketch where he played an African-American man who put on "whiteface" and went among white (ethnic Northern European) people and found that, as the joke went, white people completely change their behavior when the last non-white person leaves the bus, room, etc. It becomes a party, everybody is open and nice to one another, and so on. This is often a component of racist narratives, by the way, that one group or the other, usually both each in their own way, has some kind of "secret life" which may only come into being when no members of the other group are present. This can center around race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, and so, and conjures images of shared intimacies, orgies even, kindness, relaxing of harsh rules which are in full force when the other group is around. Reaction memes are those that tell the members of the memetic cohort to change their memetic inventory, either to go into a state of not being able to enact some of the memes they normally would, or to have a larger or different set of memes.

Memetic Replacement 
See MADSAM. The theory is that mmes cannot be "deleted," per se, they must be replaced. The reason is that existing memes have investment by some cohort, they are enlisted, and so agents that are infected with them are reluctant to give up these memes because they represent resonance rewards. The key is to create new memes that are "more appealing" than the undesireable memes, which replace the lost resonace, or memetic reward potential. The other thing is to stop the deployment of the bad memes, again, by directing away, not by interdiction. In sum, create new memes, stop stimulating the bad memes, so that they atrophy.

Responding with a physiological reaction, e.g., laughter or tears, or the deployment of any of a set of "expected" or "appropriate" memes, in response to a meme deployed by another. Note that this may also be giving no reaction under certain circumstances. This would typically occur in a special memetic state. For example, the realization that all persons present were members of the same sect, political persuasion, gender, hobby interest, etc. Among nudists, for example, one of the memetic rewards one expects from one's cohort is that of not reacting when one takes off all of ones clothing. Likewise, in other groups, one might make a remark or gesture which would be very inappropriate in a general setting (different memetic state where different reaction memes apply), would expect to be greeted with (mild) agreement, or even just (approving) silence, i.e., one "got away with it", so to speak. Note also that the resonance memes deployed may or may not be "nice". One may still be a member of an oppressed racial, religious, gender, etc., group, but still have a rich panoply of memes one may deploy to elicit a resonance response, in fact, one may have more such memes available than a "non-oppressed" person. It's just that those memes overwhelmingly result in mistreatment and denial of resources. Lack of opportunities for resonance is related to memetic destitution.

Memetic Reward 
Also called "memetic orgasm". The driving force for humans to enact (or deploy), and resonate with memes. Theoretically humans experience a "rush" or "pleasure reward" when they successfully enact a meme, or when they close a memetic loop. This is actually a micromemetic concept, one of the few I'll use herein. It is also a candidate for a way of "proving" that memetics may be (physiologically) accurately measured, much like the X-ray crystalography of the DNA molecule provided evidence that the human genome might possibly exist as a collection of information and might be entirely stored in these long-chained molecules. This may be one of the first places where quantitative units may begin to be applied to memetics, e.g., if the "memetic reward" turns out to be a cocktail of blush response, galvanic response, blood pressure, etc., or even just a firing of some very specific and localized nerves in a specific part of the human brain, then things like quantities, thresholds, latency periods, and so forth, could begin to be assigned, once the details of this process are identified.

Signal Meme
A loose category of meme which serves more to signal other cohort members to deploy further memes as opposed to representing any substantive action. Of course, so-called "action memes" can also send signals at the same time.

Memetic State
This is part of a mathematical representation of how a memetic system progresses through a series of (meme) deployments, using a memetic matrix.
A memetic state is a transitory condition of a memetic agent or a collection of agents in a memetic fabric with one another where each of them has a deployment opportunity, described by a Transition Matrix.

A memetic state refers to when an individual is able to enact a larger number of memes reliably, usually because they are in a special state of attention with other individuals (see also "memetic hacking"), usually individuals sharing some kind of common interest or persuasion, e.g., same religion, speakers of a common language(s), same hobbies or interests or profession such as gun owners, car fanatics, manga nerds/otaku, engineers, parents of young children, etc. The result is that such a sub-cohort(9) can exchange more memes more efficiently, with a larger inventory of shared memes, and can place those individuals in a state where practically every meme they deploy produces a strong resonance, and can lead to a memetic orgy. A teaching scenario may also produce a high memetic density state, and may be the motivation for pursuit of this occupation.

State Diagram
A graphical way of representing a memeplex, showing states, and transitions between states. The role of individual agents is usually not depicted. A couple of exceptions I have are The Dining Philosophers and The Candy Conspiracy where I specify on a state diagram which agents can make a deployment.

A collection of still-interconnected memes which are all part of some larger memeplex. See also "Supermemeplex." Note that simply taking a random sampling of memes from a memeplex may yield only a "memetic inventory" or a "subset of the memetic inventory of a memeplex" and possibly one or more submemeplexes and disjoint memes, but not necessarily a single functional submemeplex. The sampling must be a coherent, functioning subsystem.

Not to be confused with a megamemeplex. A supermemeplex is a larger memeplex made up of a collection of smaller memeplexes. One could think of one dialect of American English as opposed to the collection of all of the dialects of English together. This would be an "overlapping supermemeplex" since most dialects of English have a lot in common. However, knowing how to put on your shirt, socks, and shoes (both lace-up and slip-on) would be a collection of four or more memeplexes which are almost totally independent, hence a "non-overlapping supermemeplex."

Three Narratives Model
The three narratives are The Radical Narrative (aka The Fundamental Narrative), the Conservative Narrative, and the Liberal Narrative (aka The Pseudo-Liberal, Crypto-Conservative, or Status Quo Apologist Narrative). The Conservative Narrative grows by taking memes from the Radical Narrative (all people are equal, killing is bad, everybody should have food and a place to sleep, etc.) and "wrapping" them with other memes (eg, men and women are sometimes not equal, people can have food and bed if they can pay for it, people can kill others if they deserve it, etc.). The Liberal Narrative, instead of "fixing" the "flaws" in the conservative narrative, as it purports to do, fixates on some conservative memes, typically pulls out some radical memes, and generates a new memeplex which it imposes on the memetic fabric usually in the form of "Stop doing that BAD THING," and possibly "Do this WEIRD NEW THING instead." Per the principles of macromemetics, such memetic injections result in polarization, allowing everybody to continue accepting the "bad" memes, either by accepting or rejecting (or accepting it's opposite) the new memeplex. The result of this process is that conservative memes get progressively wrapped in more and more layers of "acceptance" and "justification" all the while the memetic inventory grows of the Conservative Narrative grows with more and more memes added from the Liberal narrative.

Triple Narrative Model (see Three Narratives Model)

Transition Matrix
It is what describes how the system may change (to which new state) based on the actions of the agents in the system. It's a matrix (7) with a list of agents on one axis, and the list of possible memes on the other axis, with each node of intersection between them the state to which the system transitions if said agent deploys said meme. A transition matrix is one node in the memetic matrix of an entire system.

Virtual State 
See "Compelled State"


A visual, graphical representation of these relationships may come later. For now, I will list the concepts and how they relate to other concepts.

Action meme (is a subtype of) meme
Memetic Agent (can be) a person, an animal, an AI, an organization, etc.
Agent (is able to) make memetic deployment decisions
Agent (has a set of deployable memes) in a given memetic state
Alienation (relates to) Memetic Destitution
Alliance Theory ()
Bullying (relates to) Immunomemes
Memetic Cohort (is a property of) a Population, a Fabric, a State, a Memeplex, a Meme
Closure (relates to) Residual Memetic Debt, Marking
Community (relates to) a Population, a Fabric
Compelled State (effectively the same as) a Virtual State
Contact Memes ()
Memetic Dept (is incurred) when a meme is deployed
Residual Memetic Debt ()
Memetic Density ()
Memetic Destitution (causes) Alienation, violence 
Memetic Destitution (incurs) memetic debt
Deployment (is when an agent does) a meme
Deployment Descriptor (consists of) a state, agent, meme string and a target state
Deployment Descriptor (together can completely describe) a memeplex
Deployment Descriptor (together can completely describe) a memetic matrix
Deployment Descriptor (represents a transition in) a state diagram
Deployment Descriptor (represents a transition in) a transition matrix
Deployment Descriptor ()
Economics (sub-discipline of) Macromemetics
Enactment (is similar to) Deployment
Enactment (is when an agent acts out) a meme
Enactment (is similar to) "practice" or "rehearsal"
Enactment (is similar to) Free Play
Enactment (does NOT incur) memetic debt
Endomeme (is not outwardly visible)
Endomeme (a meme internal to) an Agent
Endomeme (may be discernable indirectly by) Memetic Hacking
Endomeme (theoretically influences) Deployment Decisions
Endomeme (may be a theoretical component of) a Memeplex
Enlistment (motivates) Deployment
Enlistment (is a property of) a Memetic State
Memetic Fabric (consists of interconnected) Agents
Memetic Fabric (possesses) a Memetic Inventory
Memetic Fabric (contains) a Memespace
Memetic Fabric ()
Free Play ()
Memetic Hacking (a way of interviewing) Agents
Memetic Hacking (may help to identify) Endomemes, Idiomemes
Memetic Hell (may be escaped through) Free Play, meditation, and sleep
Idiomeme (a meme internal to) an Agent
Idiomeme (a real-life instance of) an Endomeme
Idiomeme (might be identified by) memetic hacking
Immunomeme ()
Infection ()
Injection ()
Island Meme ()
Inurement ()
Memetic Inventory ()
Leaf State ()
Memetic Loop (produces) Memetic Debt
Memetic Loop () 
Macromemetics ()
Marking ()
Marketing (is a sub-discipline of) Macromemetics
Memetic Matrix (is made up of) transition matrices
Memetic Matrix (can be represented by) a transition diagram
Memetic Matrix (can be represented by) a collection of deployment descriptors
Meme ()
Memetics ()
Memetic System ()
Memeplex ()
Megamemeplex ()
Memespace ()
Memetic Nexus ()
Memetic Orgy (exists when) each deployment triggers a new deployment
Memetic Polarization ()
Political Consulting (is a sub-discipline of) Macromemetics
Political Science (is a sub-discipline of) Macromemetics
Population ()
Psychology (is a sub-discipline of) Macromemetics
Public Relations (is a sub-discipline of) Macromemetics
Reaction Memes ()
Resonance (is produced by) Successful memetic deployment
Resonance (yields) Memetic reward
Resonance (happens as) a memetic loop is closed
Memetic Reward (comes from) Closing a memetic loop
Memetic Reward (is gained with) resonance
Semiotics (is a sub-discipline of) Macromemetics
Signal Meme ()
Sociology (is a sub-discipline of) Macromemetics
Memetic State (defines) the set of memes each agent can deploy
State (is a matrix of) the target state for each meme deployed by each agent
State Diagram (depicts) a collection of states with meme deployments that connect them
Submemeplex (is a subdivision of) a memeplex
Supermemeplex (is a collection of) memeplexes
Three Narrative Model ()
Triple Narrative Model ()
Transition Matrix (describes) the memes, target states, and agents of a single state
Virtual State (relates to) Compelled State


(1) The amount of memetic activity required for good health. This would be related to things like children (or adults) who do not receive enough attention and become ill or die as a result. There may already be medical data on this. Also, people who become addicted to things like sex addiction, or even things like social media, which seem to provide social reward, but actually don't.

(2) Memetic Fabric, Cohort, Memetic Inventory, Agent, Population, Environment, and Memespace are worth discussing together, as they say subtly different things about the same small collection of things. An agent is an individual able to engage in memetic transactions, in other words, able to perceive that other agents have deployed a meme, and able to deploy memes in return. Once upon a time, this was constrained to humans (and many animals), but now computer systems must also be included (and computer "environments"). A population is, simply enough, a collection of agents. An environment is a "place" (for lack of a better word) that some collection of agents coexist. This brings us to a memetic fabric. A fabric is a collection of agents who are able to interact mememtically, that is, to exchange memes. It helps to think of this in terms of set theory. A memetic inventory has multiple applications. It means the collection of memes that are contained is some given "memetic object." For example, a memeplex, obviously, has some collection of memes that belong to it, i.e., the memetic inventory of the memeplex. An individual agent has a memetic inventory, which is the set of all memes that agent is capable of deploying (or resonating with). By extension, a population of agents has a memetic inventory (even though all agents may not have all the memes). Here we get to a distinction between a population and a cohort. Given a memetic inventory, you can talk about the cohort of that memetic inventory within a given population. For example, you could talk about a show called "Star Trek" with a character "Spock" with catchphrases, "Fascinating, Captain," and "Live long and prosper," and so we could talk about the group of people in some town who recognize these memes or are able to generate them. These people are the cohort of that memetic inventory (Spock's phrases). Note also that said people may not all be part of a single memetic fabric merely by virtue of those shared memes, since they may not otherwise be in memetic contact with one another. On that note, however, we can talk about the cohort of a memeplex, or the cohort of a memetic fabric, concepts which I hope are obvious at this point. I think that leaves only memespace. Since inventories and cohorts can be supersets of 

(3) Packing the Memespace is an interesting memetic design approach for preventing the erosion of memes (in a memeplex the designer wishes to support) and may help distinguish between memespace, memetic inventory, and memetic fabric. A memeplex or a memetic fabric can have a memespace, and this refers to the inventory of active memes in said memeplex or fabric. By active we mean brains can only hold so many memes for active use, so there is the possibility of memes pushing their way in and pushing others out. "Packing the Memespace" is about deliberately creating "junk memes" (like "junk genes" that don't code to any proteins) within a given memeplex, and of course in the target cohort inured of it. The object is two-fold: make sure that "our memeplex" is running as much as possible (if a brain goes into another memeplex, who knows when it'll come back?), and starve other memeplexes out of space in the memespace (and by extension, the memetic fabric). These junk memes also serve to connect our "functional" memes together, which serves the objectives.

(4) Golf clothing such as the big hat with the pop-pom, long Argyle socks, etc. Examples of "Island Memes" Behaviors which are okay in a very specific context, but not at all outside of that context. This term is somewhat obsolete, since it may not fit in well with other terminology, but is nevertheless quite useful (rather like memespace).

(5)  Breastfeeding should be an example of an island meme, although it may not work very well as such. In some places (ideally) a woman getting her breasts out to feed a baby provokes no notice or response, whereas doing the same thing sans baby is something else altogether. As with many things to do with the oppression of women, this is an interesting example. Is the population polarized around public breastfeeding being okay or not? The age of the nursing child involved seems to be quite a problem for some (6), so that might be another island meme.

(6) The one time that Carrie and her crew from Sex and the City left Manhattan to go to a baby shower in Connecticut (God forbit they go to somewhere like Long Island, am I right?), one of the group told the others that "There's a woman over there breastfeeding a kid with enough teeth to chew steak." If it's on the media, it's a meme. If comedians include it in their acts, it's a meme.

(7) I've written a number of essays which deal directly with memetic state modeling, and the systems of notation I've come up with to represent them.  What are Memetic States Like? is one. I cover a lot of definitions and notation in Escaping Meme Hell. I also dive a lot into deployment descriptors and state transition diagrams in my first and second essays on the Dining Philosophers Problem (8).

(8) In addition to the Dining Philosophers, the game of Baseball (see the film Moneyball with Brad Pitt) and Robert's Rules of Order are familiar systems which are easy to model using the deployment descriptors and state transition diagrams. Part of the reason for this is that these systems have very clear states, and it's clear which agents are allowed to deploy which memes at which times (states), the states are of a reasonable, bounded, number, and the complexity of the deployment decision process is minimal. I'm actually trying to write some essays on what I call Triangular Baseball. I reduce the number of bases and players a bit, so as to decrease the number of states and possible transitions.

(9) Marking and Closure (10) are related. Marking refers to how easy (or difficult) it is to tell if a meme has been deployed or not. Poorly marked memes lead to unreliable, inconsistent behavior of a system. A memetic designer should make sure to design well-marked memes, or when that is impossible, to link the critical memes to well-marked memes (that are not important and only exist for improving the marking. See "Koffee Klatch" and "Prime Pizza Thursday" experiments). Poor marking tends to lead to poor closure, but even with acceptably marked memes, poor closure can result.

(10) Closure is related to Marking (9), and describes how easy or difficult it is to discern whether a memetic transaction has been completed or not. Closure can be poor if it's unclear that a reply meme has been deployed, or if the transaction itself doesn't end clearly. An example is the Seinfeld episode "The Soup" where Jerry accepts an Armani suit from fellow comedian Kenny Bania, whom Jerry doesn't like, on the agreement that Jerry "buy him a meal sometime." The whole episode revolves around what constitutes "a meal" in order to complete the transaction, famously including Elaine asking Jerry if Kenny "crumbled any crackers into his soup" (which would make it more like a meal). Taking somebody for a meal is an example of poor closure. The memes, i.e., buying soup versus something more substantial, and whether in a coffee shop or a proper restaurant, may also be an example of poor marking.

(11) The Koffee Klatch research is interesting because of the light it shines on residual memetic debt. The fact that you can tell that the coffee got made, but you can't tell who did it, since most of the agents in the fabric will miss this memetic deployment, that is, making of the coffee, so it's not a reliable marker (9). For example, if you wanted to enable other agents to deploy memes at the maker of the coffee, in order to positively reinforce making it, for example, this doesn't work (because of poor marking). A very critical design factor is that the memes you want to happen need to be well marked so that other agents can deploy memes in response to those memes, to give the social reenforcement. The reverse is true as well--attaching shaming (immunomemetic) behavior to memes you don't want means those bad memes must be well-marked, or attached to some that are.