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模倣子 Helping Emotional Vampires

Memetic Essays LIST - Manga Index 


I had a chat with a friend and he recognized the "attention vampire" concept and said it is also known as the "emotional vampire" and at least one other term.

We got into the idea that another friend pitched, i.e., that vampires might be acting out of residual memetic debt. This works rather better than my go-to idea that attention vampires are just sucking as reliable and minimal attention out of an environment, kind of starvation level. It's under-motivated.

With a residual memetic debt model of attention vampirism, the motivation is strong, and the willingness to deploy immunomemes in defense of one's position becomes clearer. It might actually give us a clearer idea of how residual memetic debt is "laid in," e.g., by the deployment of immunomemes against the RMD sufferer (obviously) and then the RMD sufferer might then be motivated to deploy the same or similar immunomemes in order to defend their vampires position.

Related Essays 

模倣子 What Makes for Good Conversations and Meetings?

模倣子 The Memetics of Intergenerational Abuse and Genocide

Residual Memetic Debt 

The idea is that making a social overture, in other words, putting a meme out there for everybody else to see, or "deploying a meme" (3) incurs a risk, which I call memetic debt. I model it as a "loop" that is opened by the initiator, the deployer, in the hope that it will be "closed" by the response of others. If this offer is blocked, as opposed to accepted, then the initial offerer is left with residual memetic debt. I have come to see residual memetic debt, the avoidance of it, the trying to resolve it somehow (which seems to be non-trivial), as the root of many human woes (5).

One possible way to think of residual memetic debt is that "I should've gotten more," be it more laughs, more attention, more money, more food, whatever. Does residual memetic debt involve "resentment" and be directed towards individuals...or groups? Probably.

Do Attention Vampires Suffer from Residual Memetic Debt? 

This was suggested by my first friend, and I like the idea. It seemed really obvious when he said it, but it might actually require a certain amount of fleshing out.

But this could be fun, since it could give us a practical, measurable example of how residual memetic debt produces long-term dysfunctional behavior (5). This seems to explain a lot, but it's really quite theoretical only at this point.

One strong point is that the vampire is motivated, not only by starvation (which leads to violence, etc.) but also by the desire to enact memes which they were denied during their victimization (where the RMD was laid in). They ALSO would be motivated to enact the same immunomemes which were deployed against them during RMD in-laying. If they were interrupted, ignored, etc., they would tend to turn to these same immunomemets against others in the expression of their residual memetic indebtedness sickness.

The idea is that if we could "cure" the residual memetic debt problem of the attention vampire, they would come right and start acting like functional human beings, no longer obsessed with always being in the spotlight, cruelly shutting down other people to prove that they are the most interesting person, and droning on constantly.

But is there any evidence that this might be the case?

Draining Off Residual Memetic Debt 

How do you get this paid back, if your memetic deployment, your offering, already failed, got rejected, got immunomemetically smacked down? That's what my second friend and I talked about. I really got interested in my first friend's idea that residual memetic debt was what was driving conversation vampirism, because although eking out a meagre dribble of human attention by monologuing and monopolizing a conversation is a way to survive, kind of like a regular vampire locked in jail along with a used Band-Aid (4), i.e., it's really meagre and pathetic and bland, and so unsatisfying, that these kinds of people deliberately setting up and staging often complex situations just so they can slowly drain their hapless victims of their attention over a period of hours while they drone on is just so...well, mosquitos and ticks seem like noble beasts by comparison.

Okay, so can RMD be "paid back" (5) ever? This is a huge question. If you laugh at enough of the AV's jokes and comments, will they finally get it and settle down and stop being such a sociopath, or if you include them in enough exchanges they'll get that participation is more fun than monopolizing everything? Are they acting out of fear? They fear losing the talking stick because they'll never get it back or others will ridicule them?

All good questions.

Summary & Conclusions  

The well-known phenomenon of the attention vampire (6) may stem from residual memetic debt. An individual who has been ignored or cut dead or cut off too many times, and never really had the chance to be listened to may have a lot of memetic loops (7) left open, and residual memetic debt accrued, such that they are continually trying to "work the other side" of the memetic loop and be the one that gets to do all the talking and have everybody else pay attention.

This idea works in terms of the theory as I understand it. Residual memetic debt causes one to try to enact complementary memes to the ones that one could not "close" (8) during the period the RMD was laid in.

Open questions include whether residual memetic debt is behind attention vampiric behavior (and other dysfunctional behaviors), what laying in of residual memetic debt actually looks like (9), and whether and how it's possible to "pay back" or "cure" residual memetic debt toxicosis. I have theories to work out (what residual memetic debt and memetic loops look like), and also experiments to design (treating attention vampires and other sociopaths with meme therapy, which also needs theory-building).


(1) There is "deploying a meme" which is putting it out there where everybody can see and evaluate it, as opposed to "enacting a meme" which may involve only rehearsing a speech, a trick, testing out a move, or trying out part of a move (meaningless by itself (2)). The difference between actually "deploying" and only "enacting" or "practicing" may be that one is risking memetic debt in one and not in the other (3).

(2) Much like Shoe & Shoelace for you Family Guy fans out there.

(3) Deploying versus only enacting might represent a symmetry which is broken by memetic debt, i.e., one risks memetic debt in the former but not the latter. It is a similar symmetry breaking that I am positing to distinguish between alliance memes and immunomemes, i.e., in the former case the deploying agent, the person taking the action, making the offer, is paid back, gets their memetic resonance, gets their reward, has their offer accepted, while in the latter case they are not paid back, they are spanked, their offer is blocked or rejected, and they are saddled with (residual) memetic debt.

(4) Sorry for the gross reference but attention vampires really piss me off and I think they are really pathetic and there's no point trying to "put a Band-Aid" on their behavior.

(5) I've been working on the idea that residual memetic debt (RMD) is the cause of intergenerational abuse and also intergenerational genocide and such. If so, then we have to understand whether RMD can be "paid back" or if there is some other avenue which must be pursued in order to drain it off. I don't really have a verb picked out for "draining" RMD, like "to resolve" or "to drain" or "to pay back" and since I can't claim to know whether this is even really possible (in theory yes, but I have not conducted a lot of experiments on this yet) choosing a name for the phenomenon might be putting Descartes before the horse. This may point to a treatment of (some forms of) PTSD.

(6) Also "emotional vampire" and others.

(7) A memetic loop is opened when one deploys a meme, and memetic debt is incurred. If the meme resolves successfully, resulting in the system transitioning to a state favorable to the deployer (and their allies) then this memetic debt is "paid back" and the deployer enjoys memetic resonance, memetic reward. If the loop is NOT closed, the deployer is the victim of an immunomeme, and the system is diverted to a disfavorable state, then the deployer is stuck with residual memetic debt.

(8) More needs to be written on this, and examples and notation explored. Intergenerational abuse in the form of "mommy hits me but I can't hit mommy, so I have to wait until I'm big and have my own kids, then I can do the hitting and somebody else can experience being hit (by me)." I need to expand this with more and better examples and a more rigorous definitions. There may be concepts as a "looped pair" of memes or something. This probably relates closely to what resonance looks like. Obviously it has to do with transition to a favorable memetic state, but I need to drag in more factors, independent of the topology of the memetic matrix, that identify an unclosed loop, or a blocked memetic deployment.

(9) Residual memetic debt in terms of the laws of macromemetics and immunomemetics, and notation and matrix transitions. And also examples. I may need to do a third installment of the Dining Philosophers.


模倣子 Attention Vampire Behaviors

 Memetic Essays LIST - Manga Index 


Previously I wrote about the idea of an attention vampire.

This is somebody who does all they can to just keep talking and keeping other people listening to them. This requires a certain amount of status in the group, or the ability to manipulate the social conventions that prevent others from interrupting them, changing the subject, etc.

There appear to be a lot of behaviors that typify attention vampires, some of which I'll try to list here. They tend to be good examples of immunomemes (blocking memes).

It's Not About "Meanness" 

One overarching theme in the behavior of the attention vampire is self-justification.

This is a deeply memetic concept, but it boils down to the idea that the attention vampire "feels" (1) they have the right to hold the floor and have everybody else shut up and listen to them. They feel that they have the right to hold forth and that anybody else speaking is an unwelcome, irrelevant, and inappropriate interruption. This is a self-reënforcing proposition in that the more the vampire feels secure, indeed, is secure, in deploying memes which support their holding the floor against all comers, the more they do it and that in turn supports, de facto, that they are doing the right thing, i.e., that they "deserve" to always be the one speaking.

So even though it seem that the vampire is being brutal and meager and treating everyone else shabbily, they probably do not themselves "believe" it to be so. Even when they brutally shut down other people who try to contribute to the conversation, they are paradoxically "grateful" to those people since they provide the vampire with opportunities to assert their own omnipotence by the very act of shutting them down. If they did not do this periodically, then, as we like to say in memetics, those memes would atrophy, everybody would forget they exist and perhaps be emboldened to try to unseat the vampire.

The make-up and dynamics of the memetic environment clearly tell the vampire that they are doing the right thing, that they in fact have the right to hold forth indefinitely and nobody else has the right to contribute. It is in fact a true and accurate description of the conversational environment. They keep talking, anybody who tries to contribute is seen as an annoyance, the vampire shuts them down (or somebody else does), and the vampire carries on.

It is a steady state, supported by all the actions of all of the participants. I'd like to try to list some of the behaviors.

List of Behaviors 

Here are things that attention vampires do to keep the spotlight on themselves. One overarching theme is that of self-justification. The conversational environment contains memes, of which I hope to list and describe some below (2), that make up this environment, mostly deployed by the vampire, but also by the other members of the group, that keep the vampire sucking away at the whole group's attention.

These are pretty much all descriptions of "blocking memes" (immunomemes (3,4)) which allow the vampire (sometimes with the active help of other members of the group) to keep their fangs firmly attached to the collective neck of the group.

Just Letting it Happen:
Not saying anything when the vampire (or another group member) brutally shuts down someone trying to contribute, often by "Standing on Ceremony" for other group members.

Standing on Ceremony:
Members of the group attacking other members when they try to engage the vampire is a big way to get the talking stick back into the vampire's clawed hands. Capitalizing on bullying opportunities such as "don't interrupt" or "let them finish" or "I want to hear what they have to say" are facile ways for members to get their licks in, but also help the vampire. Those who help the vampire garner resonance through immunomemetic deployment, that is, tossing out blocking memes, even when it helps the vampire, since gives a (little) reward to the blocker, in the form of putting out a (blocking) meme which succeeds (by blocking and returning control to the vampire).

Ad Hominem Comments:
From the Latin, "To the person," an attention vampire will often use comments about a person, rather than comments about facts or logic or what has been said, to shut down an opponent. This is related to Personal Attacks, Name-Calling, Appeal to Authority, Virtue Signaling, Ankle-Biting, Posturing/Flexing, and even Coöption/Appropriation.

Personal Attacks:
"You think you're so smart!" or any of a myriad of comments designed to shame the interrupter. Can also be "Tautologies" or "Ad Hominem Comments" or "Focus on Beliefs" or such. Even such things, which can be Tautologies, as "You're always eating apples" which seem to ridicule the person, or make some significant point, but really say nothing and only serve to make the audience pause on the opponent for a moment, and thereby attach some king of vague sense of something being not quite right. Obviously, Name-Calling is a notable form of Personal Attack.

This one is pretty obvious, but flies by unchallenged a lot nevertheless. Obviously it's related to Ad Hominem, Personal Attacks, Focus on Beliefs/Opinions, Ankle-Biting, Constructed Reality, and Question-Begging.

These are statements that are always true, but sound like the speaker is saying something, or making a real judgement. "You're always eating apples!" to belittle or shame somebody sounds like a criticism but it's really a statement like "two plus two equals four" (which also sounds like it might carry some secret hidden subtextual meaning). Tautologies can be used to look like a Personal Attack or an Ad Hominem Comment, and also just to "Run the Clock Out."

Appeal to Authority:
Saying that they themselves have some qualification or experience that makes them always right and any opponent always wrong, or some other entity (of which the vampire may have special knowledge) whose authority supports the vampire's right to talk or undermines other members' position.

Related to "Focus on Beliefs/Opinions" as well as "Appeal to Authority" and "Résumé-Reciting". "Always Having to be Right" can be a kind of virtue signaling. The vampire purports to hold a position which is superior, politically, morally, etc., to anybody else, which gives them the high ground from which to attack any other position, even those which only seem to oppose the vampire's position of virtue (which can be used to turn the discussion into whether the other member's position agrees with the vampire's or not).

Running through one's own resume and list of accomplishments is a red flag that one is a vampire and trying to bolster Appeal to Authority, Virtue-Signaling, Focus on Beliefs/Opinions, and even Running-Out-The-Clock attacks.

Focus on "Beliefs"/"Opinions" (1):
Kind of a hard one to explain, perhaps, and related to "Question Begging" in some cases. The vampire makes comments about how they or others "think" or "believe" or hold the "opinion" of such and so other thing. This moves the discussion one step further away from the facts or logic, or the ongoing narrative of the conversation, which gives them more power. Any statement may be contradicted or supported, based on what serves the vampire, depending on whether it goes against or supports the "belief" or "opinion." "Beliefs" and "Opinions," except when used as shorthands, are conversation blockers.

A vampire may say things like "Well, I lived in San Francisco for ten years," or "I worked in the Film Industry for five years" or "I have a close friend / know lots of people who..." or "I graduated from Awesome Nuclear Quantum Tech University..." before or after they make assertions and use this to dismiss or attack others' statements or attempts to contribute. The Posturing/Flexing may be based on reality, that is, the vampire may actually have specific qualifications, but overstating them is a red flag, and may be related to Appeal to Authority or Ad Hominem, etc.

A vampire may assert that they are a member of a group, say, an oppressed group, to both bolster their own claims to have a right to talk about a certain subject, or to undercut and take over somebody else's trying to speak from that position. To take some jokingly-phrased examples, "As someone who pretends to be a Native American..." or "I'm not a nuclear engineer, but I play one on TV...". This is similar to Posturing/Flexing, Resume-Reciting, Virtue-Signaling, and Appeal to Authority, as well as Ad Hominem.

"Why do you think that Idaho Falls is a Pacific Northwestern city?" when the member said no such thing is an example. Any form of question that puts the opponent in a position of having to walk back or backpedal (or be perceived as doing so) is a way of gaining power, and also seeming to hand the talking stick to somebody else, only to see them founder with it and then yank it back, seemingly with full justification.

Empty Questions:
Leading questions, or questions that are weakly rhetorical. These put the other member on the defensive, force them to give an answer that would seem weak or overly lengthy, undermining their position. "Why didn't you just say that?" for example.

Outrageous "Facts":
Pseudo facts like "Thomas Edison invented the nuclear reactor in 1840" or "Japanese Ninjas used cocaine" or all kinds of conspiracy theorist ideas such as "we got Teflon from the extraterrestrials at Area 51" and so on. People who take the bait and try to oppose such facts set themselves up for a lengthy explanation that makes them look bad, weak, and they legitimize the fact in the process.

Constructed Reality:
Similar to and/or related to "Outrageous 'Facts'". Conspiracy theory or fringe religious types of discussions can be in this vein. Can be related to "Question-Begging" in that the vampire makes up a Reality purported to be "correct" and any opponents must first try to counter that Reality. Another Constructed Reality tactic is to build a reality that the opponent supposedly believes in. For example, "You feminists think that all men are sitting around on their couches, watching sports, scratching themselves, belching and farting, while gaggles of half-naked women hang around, bringing them beers and sam'mitches, at least when they're not leaving the man-cave to work three jobs at 70% the pay they deserve to support this man and his lifestyle." Wow. It's a compelling image, and it gives the group a lot of stuff to agree with and talk about. But anybody who describes themself as a "feminist" is automatically handed "Okay, so you agree with all that?" "No." "Oh, do you agree with the sam'mitches bit?" "No." "So you agree with all the rest as being pretty much what you believe?" "No, not as such." "Okay, you're just being difficult! I'm trying to meet you halfway! I'm trying to listen to you, but your position still just doesn't make any sense."

"Well, I guess we're all just doomed then!" could be a response to another member's input, or "Oh, well, I guess we'll just never know the answer." Similar function to "Exaggeration." 

In addition to Hyperbole, the opponent is put in the position of having to make awkward qualifications that bring their own point back into relevancy.

This can be related to "Running the Clock Out," by the way. The vampire simply has to repeat the same points over and over again. Also an effective arguing/debating technique, since it gives the audience that the vampire's point is somehow correct or more important than the opponent's because more time was spent on it, and they heard it more.

A.k.a. "Knee-Biting." Jumping on petty mistakes and missteps (even those which didn't actually take place but may be convincingly made to seem to have taken place). These serve to derail the other members, make them seem unreliable, hold them up to ridicule and mockery, and ultimately give the vampire more power and opportunity to talk while bolstering their "authority" (see Virtue-Signaling).

In a sense everything the vampire does centers around self-justification. "I'm just trying to be fair," or Standing on Ceremony, that is, rigidly enforcing social norms when it serves them, but skirting them when they can get away with it and they are hard to enforce by others (like letting everybody talk). They have more authority to speak than others, because their résumé or educational background or experience is stronger, which may be stated explicitly, or upheld tacitly by how they speak confidently, or confidently shut down others with impunity, and seem to get away with it.

Running the Clock Out:
"Over-Emphasis" and "Tautologies" can be used to support a Running Out The Clock strategy. This is also a shallow technique for "winning" a debate or argument. The vampire hangs onto the talking stick and just keeps repeating their own talking points, even with little variation, until the time runs out and the audience is left with the impression that the vampire was "right" since their points were repeated more, and little else was said.

Summary & Conclusions 

Attention vampires probably employ a set of tactics which take the form of "blocking memes" (immunomemes). Identifying these can help identify attention vampires, which can lead to helping the vampire to recover through targeted therapy (attention therapy and meme replacement therapy) or just be an indication that one needs to distance oneself if there is no willingness to find a cure.

Given the symmetry-breaking relationship between immunomemes and alliance memes, one might be able to see the vampire memes/tactics as one side of a coin, the other side of which might be a functional conversational strategy. This in and of itself might point the way to fixing bad conversations. Maybe these vampire memes can be somehow "flipped" to make them work in non-destructive ways.


(1) Ideas like "feelings," "beliefs," "opinions," and so forth don't really have weight or meaning in macromemetics, except as shorthands. To say that "so-and-so believes such-and-such" is just a quick way of saying that so-and-so consistently puts out memes that defend and support such-and-such. Also, to say that so-and-so is inconsistent in his believe in such-and-such or "hypocritical" in his belief is also alien to macromemetics

(2) Some of the traits in this list of toxic behaviors are shared by attention vampires.

(3) Immunomemes are so called because they immunize the system against attempts to change it's state, that is, to move it into states where different members (agents) have new opportunities to participate in the activities of the system. So immunomemes, which we could also call "blocking memes," keep things as they are, or bring things back to where they were before somebody tried to shake things up. They resist change, resist new memes coming in.

(4) Interestingly enough, many if not all of the memes I describe as being characteristic of an attention vampire could also be employed to support a conversation, that is, to make a conversation more dynamic and non-attention-vampirey. This may be an example of symmetry-breaking (5) between immunomemes and alliance memes (support or acceptance memes (6)).

(5) I explain elsewhere how in my representational systems, immunomemes and alliance memes, or blocking versus support/acceptance memes, "look like each other." This is a rather strange result. Another important concept, Residual Memetic Debt, which are touched on in the following essays: The Candy ConspiracyLibidinal Bribes and Memetic DebtMemetic Loops and Residual Memetic DebtGarnering Allies, The Grief of Loss, and Contact Memes and the Corporation among others, may shed some light on this difference. Probably some more research required here. Immunomemes leave the deployer saddled with residual memetic debt (this is bad) while alliance memes allow for resonance (this is good) and no memetic debt left over.

(6) Alliance memes, or memes that support or accept what one member has done, leading to its success where without the help it would end in failure, are like the opposite of blocking memes or immunomemes.


模倣子 Attention Vampires

Memetic Essays LIST - Manga Index 


I've been interested in conversations and how they go wrong. I've also come up with the idea of an attention vampire who wants others to just sit around and not talk while they talk, and are willing to do a lot of antisocial stuff in order to preserve this flow of attention.

By chance, I ran across this "essay" on The Medium that talks about treating other people as mannequins, which may be how attention vampires see the people around them.

Attention as a Commodity 

In Reëvaluation Counseling theory, human attention is of primary importance. We pay therapists a lot to listen, which may or may not be a good example. We are able to discharge emotional distress in the presence of others, with their attention focused on us. In memetics, we want the same thing, we want people to pay attention to us, to allow us to deploy our memes without blocking, and possibly deploy memes in response.

Immunomemes & Attention 

What about immunomemes? One aspect of them is that the deployer is not really paying much attention to the agent they are attacking with their immunomeme. Immunomemes, blocking memes, are no-brainers, and they also are mainstays of attention vampires. They don't have to pay attention to what anybody said that's not them, they don't have to spend any effort shutting other people down, and the blocker memes are guaranteed to land. 

That's what immunomemes do. They don't take any brain time, any cycle time, they don't require any thought, even when they just "bracket" what they other person said or did, and they are engrained in the cohort, the other people hanging around, so they are highly certain to land, usually in the form of the other members just letting the attention vampire's abuse go by unchallenged.

Residual Memetic Debt & Symmetry Breaking 

Okay, this sounds like a mouthful, but we can see how immunomems (blocking memes) and alliance memes (support memes) can look exactly the same. For instance, "That's interesting" can be sarcastic or dismissive, or it can be supportive. The difference between the two appears to be whether the initial agent gets a reward or not, i.e., whether they are blocked or supported.

Hence, the "symmetry" between alliance memes and immunomemes, the fact that they look like one another, and behave like one another in memetic systems, is broken, or resolved, or clarified, made so we can tell one from another, by whether there is residual memetic debt dumped on the initiating agent, or whether this residual memetic debt is paid off completely by a resonance with the other agents, i.e., they get a reward.

To try to illustrate what residual memetic debt is and how important it is, I've linked to several essays that discuss it.

Residual Memetic Debt Essays 

The Candy Conspiracy
Libidinal Bribes and Memetic Debt 
Memetic Loops and Residual Memetic Debt 
Garnering Allies 
The Grief of Loss 
Contact Memes and the Corporation 

Summary & Conclusions 

There's such a thing as an attention vampire, which is kind of obvious since human attention is a precious commodity and that is in turn super-relevant to macromemetics. Memetics rewards are actually closely related to human attention.

Attention vampires use specific memes, immunomemes (blocking memes), to keep the spotlight on them. I will delve into the details of these memes later, which will hopefully make it easier to identify attention vampires.


Nanowrimo Winner Certifcate


Jay's Nano Progress 2023

模倣子 Macromemetic Monday

Memetic Essays LIST - Manga Index 


Okay, I'm starting to get a bit far afield from my project of working my way step-by-step through the principles of macromemetics. I ran across an essay I wrote on another Macromemetic Monday about how "free play" is an activity outside of the memetic universe.

I don't think I've written anything about the connection between immunomemes and residual memetic debt. I don't this is a new idea, per se, but I don't know that I've written anything about it explicitly so far. Residual memetic debt appears to be closely related to immunomemes, indeed, it may be a critical defiition of what constitutes an immunomeme.

Immunomemes & Alliance Memes & Symmetry-Breaking

Alliance memes and immunomemes function in a very similar way. I've found that my deployment descriptor notation works the same for both. In my triangular baseball studies, I've found that you can think of a second baseman actually "helping" (1) a runner to get out. You can also think of throwing a ball to a base that causes a runner to get out as a "bullying activity" or deploying an immunomeme.

If we apply the symmetry-breaking factor of residual memetic debt, then we see an important difference between alliance memes and immunomemes, namely, whether the "target" agent "gets what they want." This is closely linked to residual memetic debt. 

According to the first law of memetics, an agent deploys memes in hopes of maximizing resonance. Resonance consists of more and more agents reacting more and more strongly. One of the nasty properties of immunomemes is that they are unassailable, which implies that a single agent may deploy one without fear of non-support by the cohort, which implies that they have minimal resonance, which defeats the original agent's resonance hope in the first law.

When an agent deploys a meme, they open a memetic loop for which they incur memetic debt. The debt is "paid back" when other agents resonate with the deployment. If they do not get the desired response, then they are left with residual memetic debt. For lots of reasons, residual memetic debt appears to be the root of all human unhappiness.

On the other hand, if other agents deploy alliance memes, that "lower the catalytic barrier" of the original agent's deployment to reaching successful resonance, e.g., by pushing the agent's resume through the hiring process, or starting to applaud at the agent's speech, prompting others to follow suit, or just passing up a bullying opportunity and doing nothing or doing something more loving, and so forth. Structurally these two kinds of deployment--immunomemetic and alliance--but the immunomeme thwarts the system's transition to a state that pays back the agent's memetic debt, while the alliance meme supports that.

Imagine the meme "That's interesting." It can either be dismissive or supportive. The difference is in what happens, regardless of the "intend" of the utterer. The difference is whether the original agent resolves his or her memetic debt.

The Candy Conspiracy 

Memetic Hell, Immunomemes, and Residual Memetic Debt 

Check out the essay I mention below. The point is that immunomemes defeat an agent's attempts to deploy memes and get resonance, and alliance memes help this resonance to happen. The thing is that any memetic deployment tries to get resonance and get towards at state more advantageous to the deployer, or fails in this or is thwarted by an immunomeme.

The fun thing is that "free play" or the kind of play that children engage in, or lovemaking (2), or possibly a few other things, is free of these problems. Actions taken don't need to be memes, they may be nonsensical, they don't have to be recognized by others, the games little children play don't have rules, so the state of the "game" doesn't change in a recognizable way, which means there are no problems of resonance, or immunomemes.

Escaping Memetic Hell Through "Free Play" 


Residual memetic debt may be a kind of symmetry-breaking factor between immunomemes and alliance memes. Memes blocked by immunomemes don't get memetic debt paid back, while allied ones do. That may be all there is to an immunomeme. Of course both immunomemes and alliance memes determine the state the system transitions to, changes it, one way or another, so they are symmetrical and may be represented with the same deployment description notation, which is interesting, but immunomemes deny the deploying agent reconsonance, the repay of memetic debt, while alliance memes help them to get it.


(1) In other words, a runner cannot get out unless he is "helped" by a fielding player ("the field" since I've modeled the field as a single agent) who throws the ball to a given base. If the field does not take this action, then a runner cannot get out, or stop at a certain base, etc. If the field does not take this action, then a runner has the choice to be safe.

(2) Talking about lovemaking, before during or after, or pornography, may represent departures from this memelessness, and there may be interesting ramifications for sexual therapy and so on.

Jay Wins on November 6


Jay's Nano Progress 2023


NaNoWriMo: Writing Captivating First Chapters

Here's some good tips I found for writing a captivating first chapter. Of course, some rules can be broken intentionally, but never unintentionally. And some we already know, but its nice to have a list to look at. :)

Jay's Nano Progress 2023

The first draft I'm writing this year is working-titled "Suburbia" and is a kind of post-downturn environment where the economy and environment have kind of gone to seed. We'll see what happens from there. A short story I'm still trying to get published sort of forms the basis for the story, and may wind up as one of the chapters.

National Novel Writing Month website 

Last Year's Performance