A 'meme' or 'mnemon' is a subjective entity (mental gene) which is
self-sustaining, such as a virus-like fad which propagates through
a society or an ideology.
MeMes: melt in your head, not in your hands.
Apparently people are defining these and their properties
somewhat more rigoroso in terms of spin glasses and annealing,
and on the side there are those who are warning that this is
a form of social engineering or social/mental programming (wetware),
Memes can be good, and bad. They are mental quanta.
But some of the papers I've read so far suffer from the same
faults of physical theories. One author writes:
"It is argued that memetics may have no "absolute" system of
memory abstractions much as physics has no absolute coordinate
system (framework of space-time abstractions)."
A meme should be somewhat a like one of the eigenvectors or eigenfunctions
in a mental space-time. It helps to know where the origin is
but what to do after that ? 'Nature' didn't stay at the origin,
but it also seems to go by certain automated rules; TBD.
It's like knowing where the pole-star is, but that doesn't mean
you have to always be going north. (The Taoists though tend to
hang-out at the origin all the [non]time ? )
When I have enough bandwidth, I can trace the 'Globalization' threads
in parallel like Feynman path integrals, like Alice following the
white rabbit, links pass through Santa Fe institute regarding the
Swarm paradigm, memetics,...etc etc etc
And many overall pictures emerge like looking at a painting and
getting a flush of different perspectives, attitudes, etc.
It's a very subjective, or qualitative. It's where prophesies
come from, but also where psychoses and paranoia can come from.
Alot of fictional movies and books come from from this macrocosmic
mode of thinking. Prophesy is speculation whether meaningful or
not, like stock prices. We should watch them as we watch the market ?
Have you seen the movies: PI, Matrix, Conspiracy theory, Closet Land
Pleasantville, etc. ? Even the more insidious of classic
children's stories like Gulliver's Travels, Sleeping Beauty,
Alice in Wonderland, or Wallace and Gromit, etc. or Douglas Adams
are using "cognitive estrangements" to transmit the ideas of such
qualitative metaphors: possible if not definite futures.
Many of the fictions are shallowly based but some are based on
a more deeper historical understanding which makes them
time-invariant projections: things that must eventually happen
again and again even though we won't know what the exact magnitude
or exact form they will take.
Gulliver's Travels is apparently one of these:
It is a collection of time-invariant memes. Brobdingnaggians
are alot like agrarian communists or native americans.
Lilliputians are the fork-tongers (Big-enders and Little-enders)
dualing with dualisms. The Yahoos are the more impulsive childlike
warmongers and politicians, while the Houyhnhnms are the more
'mature' isolationist and judgementally enlightened, like
These memes are like time-invariant basis states; the
combinatorics of which are what the future is always built
from. What changes, is only our position in the space
defined by these eigen-memes. Is this a high-level language
for reality as opposed to virtual reality ?
Interior to these fictions are the fundamental memes. These
are the ideas that survive the sugar-coated lozenge of the
fiction as a whole. The sugar-coating itself is like the protein
shell of a virus and its sole purpose is to hide the ideological
memes inside using "cognitve estrangement" to surreptiously
camoflage the act of penetration from the mental immune system
of the intended host. Once the meme is delivered the chaff of the
sugar coating is disposable; the creative aspect of 'fiction'
serves only the purpose of delivering the core memes which
are the genes of the mental virus itself.
I know many others know of these ideas and it's hard to imagine
them not taking advantage of them to re-engineer reality.
I don't see anything published indicating they see exactly
what I am thinking. I think they may only have an experimental
attitude towards this paradigm rather than a theoretical one,
and that could be very dangerous.
Memetics comes with all the same side-dishes of any abstract theory:
Pragmatists - those who want a Nobel from it
Cult[ure]ists - those who want to subversively dominate the
world with it
(The cult[ure]ists are into this stuff so don't forget to be careful
if you are interested and decide to look into it.)
New Agers - those who want to overtly dominate the world
Quantum Memetics- Quantonics
Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research:
"...a comprehensive agenda of experiments and developing complementary
theoretical models to enable better understanding of the role of
consciousness in the establishment of physical reality"
The Millennial Meme Nest:
(better make a strong pot of coffee first)
Other related links:
See the editor's (Stanley Schmidt) article "Applied Memetics" in the
Feb. 2000 issue of Analog Magazine. One of the ideas presented is that
censorship may become viable in terms of mental innoculation against
'dangerous' memes, but that the identification of such memes requires
For instance, some people accept dangerous memes as a mental pathway
but do not objectively instantiate them with physical actions modelled
upon them. Memes are only 'dangerous' if people act upon them, identifying
"reality" with the "virtual-reality" of the meme. That is, taking a
phase-space path in the virtual reality (a memetic ideology) and
instantiating it in reality as a physical action or path in their
"Genetics is a quantum function and performed by encoded signals in wave forms.
These waves interact according to certain wave properties such as harmonics,
resonance, amplitude and frequency relationship. All cells and all DNA are
perfectly formed by these encoded quantum signals and tampering with them sets
off a chain reaction of quantum imbalance with everything they are capable of
passing these imbalance unto. For genetics research to further progress a
new division of genetics study must be taught and formed--Quantum Genetics."
Robert Rosen bibliography:
"We call it psychomimesis, something like a
psychic connection achieved through imitation."
Mimesis (see also alterity):
search amazon for mimesis and memetics
Origin: "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins
"The Meme Machine" by Susan Blackmore and Dawkins
Autopoesis (see also spin glasses, ultrametrics etc) :
'...autopoietic systems operate as homeostatic systems that
have their own organization as the critical fundamental
variable that they actively maintain constant.'
(Maturana, 1975, p. 318)
see also: "Design for a Brain" by W. Ross Ashby, John Wiley and sons, 1952
which is an excellent book on the applied scientific method, but has some
descriptions of gruesome animal experiments.
Notes on "Design for Brain" W. Ross Ashby
3. Reversal - adaptation to reversals
14. borrowed information
15. the zero problem
26. unnatural systems
30. color (distribvutions) and frequency (functions)
31. the cardinality-ordinality duality
39. systems without feedback are a subset of systems with feedback
"This is not a pipe" (in the system as a whole, the distinction between
the parts is arbitrary in terms of causality)
40. static is a subset of dynamic
43. stability- stable, neutral, unstable
a system may be in equilibrium in any of these three states of stability
44. the parametrization of stability. Duality and the phase-space 'field'
The picture that comes to mind is
that a social derived ideology is a mental spatial-temporal
pathway; a constrained continuum like a gene sequence, that
infects the individual mind from outside.
For instance, a gene codes what is allowable in terms of
physical phase-spaces, a meme controls what is allowable
in terms of a mental phase-spaces. Not all memes are able to
infect people and particularly older people with
more built-up immunity to mental changes in their mental
The individual mind, seems capable of creatively
"infecting itself" from the inside with new mental pathways
in terms of ideas derived on its own and accepted as
inherently friendly or discarded.
The fundamental dichotomy here seems to be between
the "infinite growth" and "eternal ecology". The former
is largely concerned with speculation on the future
with little regards towards the present, while the later
is more pragmatic or fundamentalistic in regards to the
present and the future is of less concern (ecologists
want action "now", they tend to ignore the future in terms
of what its possibilities are. For instance the argument
by progressives that oil reserves have not been depleted
because of technological advances. Progressives tend
to ignore warning signs in the present like the ozone
layer or the depletion of rain forests thinking that
technology will solve those problems in the future).
My point here is to imply that the speculative progressives
are more attuned to higher level CISC like functions at
the expense of time(hunter/explorers) than the
ecological fundamentalists who are more attuned to the
lower level (survival) functions at the expense of
CISC and RISC
In the pages:
I'm thinking towards something like RISC is a subset of CISC
in terms of logic as a subset of the more progressive analogic, or,
the dinosaur's quasi-mechanistic sacral enlargement is a primative
subset in the evolution towards a heat dependant mammalian brain
with the capacity for handling metaphors (analogies).
There are alot of clues that this is the case: that "higher"
brain functions are attached to cultural origins (social
origins as well but I tend to attach social influences with
more _logical_ aspects of cognition because they tend to be
more based in logical laws rather than cultural metaphors,
analogies and mythos). For instance, quantum computation
suggests that analogies are its prime source of power.
The reason I say this stems from reading the simulation source code:
where qubits are binary bits that can have "gray" values
and reading the SIRT/SIRT source codes
where pixels can have "gray" values when the 3D image is
percieved but have absolute B&W values when only the 2D
image is perceived, suggest to me that dualisms along
with spatial-temporal constraints are very fundamental
and arranged in a chinese box like manner with low-dimensionality
and the "act of measurement" are synonymous while
the Hilbert spaces of quantum computers, and "virtual higher
dimensions" are synonymous with the more 'sophisticated'
cognitive experiences of say, 3D SIRD perception, analogies
There are alot of other clues, for instance the similarities
between Simpson's Paradox and optical illusions like:
where Simpson's Paradox
involves the dualistic "illusion" that data can sometimes
portray completely complementary information -depending on how you
look at it- (or rather depending on how you ask the question).
 Design for a Brain, W. Ross Ashby, 1952 gives a very clear
example of phase spaces usually associated with physics
and robotic motion, in the completely subjective terms of cognition.
 See Genetic Algorithms or
Globalization in Space-Time
What do you think of the WTO ? The world as a whole needs organization,
but what form should that organization take ? Should it be centralized ?,
or dispersed ?, should it be democratic. Many political/economical "theorists"
get answers to such questions from the Santa Fe Institute. Why ? perhaps
because their models are so abstract as to be applicable to any system
composed of multitudes of complementary dependant and independant subsystems.
Is the rest of the planet willing to accept a general solution to their
specific problems ? "Buy-in" is a term used to describe whether they
will accept a proposal. To get buy-in, the WTO has alot of diplomacy,
convincing and reassuring to do, especially in the midst of global
scepticism and suspicions of intent. The models of the Santa Fe institute
may be valid, but without buy-in, these models will be attacked by
the mental immune systems of many.
Of large concern is whether the Institute (and whatever other sources
of such models) are really educated enough about the models they are
presenting. Ideally speaking, if these models are "natural" they will
eventually be adopted regardless of what anyone does to promote or
derrogate them. They will be adopted as a matter of species survival
if the species itself recognizes the need to do so.
One should remain sceptical that these newer models are well understood
by their promotors. The incorrect application of such models could
be far worse than allowing nature to take its course. Man has a history
of well-intentioned folly. Unfortunately, sometimes we cannot wait for
a system to naturally adapt. Sometimes a "quantum leap" in evolution is
necessary for a system's survival. Given the current world situation,
I believe we have no choice but to attempt such a leap of faith. The
world is now highly unstable and there are models for "ultra-stability"
which will reduce the needed control variables to a manageable level.
The alternative is to remain "classical" and deal with the exponential
complexity of parameter combinatorics.
Which comes first ?
It is a legitimate concern that globalization will provide a means
for multi-national corporations to decide the allocations of limited
resources for commercial gains against individual and environmental
needs. But all of that is moot anyway if we as species do not unify and
stabilize ourselves. First must come global stability and then
we can deal with the details. (see the movie "1776" in which Benjamin Franklin
warns John Adams that to deal with the "slave issue" is a secondary
consideration to "the birth of a new nation". We must stabilize first as a
whole before we can deal with the imporatant sub-issues)
The last thing you want to do when saving someone from drowning is
to explain to them all the details of information that science has
grasped of the chemical composition and the possible usages of H2O.
In a similar sense you don't inquire of the drowning person whether
they are suffering racial discrimination, or environmental concerns.
There are many senses in which we as a species may now be said to
be in a state of drowning. We are drowning in information, drowning
in technology, and drowning in a multitude of world-views.
Like overly playful children, it is apparently time to clean up our
messy little rooms, and our house in general before we drown in our
own excrement (which some say is what killed off the dinosaurs).
There is an old chinese tale. A Buddhist master had fallen and cried
out "help me! I can't get up !". A student rushed over and lied down
on the ground near him. The master got up. We start with world views
when saving the drowning person. We start with the largest possible
Here's what the opposition says:
"A complete reorganization of the world's economic and political
activity was underway, and with it the effective takeover of global
governance by transnational corporations and the international
trade bureaucracies that they established...."
"For the First time, the United States is hosting the bi-annual
Ministerial meeting of one of the world's most powerful, secretive,
undemocratic and dangerous bodies: The World Trade Organization.
As the principal rule-making bureaucracy of corporate-driven
economic globalization, the WTO is quickly emerging as a bonafide
global government for the "free trade" era. The WTO's primary
mandate is to diminish the regulatory powers of nation-states
and local communities - particularly our rights to make laws about
public health, food safety,environment, labor, culture, democracy
and sovereignty - while increasing the powers and freedoms of global
corporations to act without any controls. The WTO's decisions affect
everyone and every area of daily life. "
Paul Virilio, talks about speed and time in the context of
a modern cyber society. He uses the phrase "glocal time"
to effectively define a quantum of Newtonian and Einsteinian time.
Here are some quotes and links:
" For the first time, history is going to unfold within a one-time-system:
global time. Up to now, history has taken place within local times, local
frames, regions and nations. But now, in a certain way, globalization and
virtualization are inaugurating a global time that prefigures a new form
of tyranny. If history is so rich, it is because it was local, it was
thanks to the existence of spatially bounded times which overrode something
that up to now occurred only in astronomy: universal time. But in the very
near future, our history will happen in universal time, itself the outcome
of instantaneity - and there only.
Thus we see on one side real time superseding real space. A phenomenon that
is making both distances and surfaces irrelevant in favor of the time-span,
and an extremely short time-span at that. And on the other hand, we have
global time, belonging to the multimedia, to cyberspace, increasingly
dominating the local time-frame of our cities, our neighborhoods. So much so,
that there is talk of substituting the term "global" by "glocal", a
concatenation of the words local and global. This emerges from the idea
that the local has, by definition, become global, and the global, local.
Such a deconstruction of the relationship with the world is not without
consequences for the relationship among the citizens themselves."
Speed and Politics-
"The winner of a nuclear war no longer grabs territory or resources.
Instead, the winner is the person who gets the furthest away from
the territory. This is a fundamental change in war strategy. Speed
is now highly important. Exploring the new front of warfare: controls
on motion, movement and time itself. "the loss of material space
leads to the government of nothing but time... The violence of speed
has become both the location and the law, the world's destiny and
Speed and Politics
Paul Virilio: Un monde surexposť (the world overexposed):
SPEED: AN ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY, MEDIA AND SOCIETY
Ian Robert Douglas
Department of Politics, Tel: (0117) 928 9169
University of Bristol, Fax: (0117) 973 2133
BS8 1TU, UK.
"I shall take from things the illusion they produce
to preserve themselves from us, and leave them the
part they concede to us" --Rene Char
The Myth of Globali[z]ation: A Genealogy of Speed and Reflexivity
Douglas, Ian Robert.
"In presenting a genealogy and philosophy of globalisation,
my thesis serves as a corrective to several popular assumptions.
Common analysis places the causality of globalisation9 in new
technologies, and its significance in the interlinkage of
states, firms, societies and individuals. My thesis seeks to
generate a new dialogue on thenature and significance of the
concept itself through an exploration of its unrecognised elements.
I argue globalisation9 is heralding changes of defining significance,
but in ways that common analysis has ignored, and moreover is
ill-equipped to address.
Drawing on the social/critical theory of Habermas (1971, 1987);
the discourse and power-knowledge theory of Foucault (1977,
1980, 1984); and the philosophical concern of Cassirer (1944, 1946)
with the role of myth across human societies, I analyse the
particular way in which the concept of globalisation has arisen,
has disseminated, and has been appropriated. The central
mechanism of diffusion, I argue, has been the acceleration of
the subjectification of globality.
By 'the acceleration of the individualisation of globality'
I understand both the 'speeding-up' of social reality (e.g.,
time-shifting, shuttle diplomacy, chronopolitics, Virilio, 1977, 1990),
and the particular ways in which, in late modernity, the
individual is seen to be 'imprinted' by global phenomena,
and alienated from social experience in the face of global
imperatives. It is my hypothesis that rather than representing
the end of the state9, globalisation represents the full
resolution of administrative governmentality.
In globalisation we witness a particular collision of speed
and reflexivity. Globalisation9 is institutionalised: societies
and subjects orientate themselves to the concept rather than
to a manifest condition. Globalisation becomes myth, a 'discipline',
and powerful structure of governance in late Modernity.
A key vector of acceleration has been the Academy itself.
New thinking on the nature of transworld relations is required
as we pass the millennium.
PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY
Top ten books on world system suggested by Ian Robert Douglas
1) William H.McNeill _The Rise of the West_
(see also his wonderful epilogue to Stephen Sanderson's
(ed) _Civilizations and World Systems_)
2) William H.McNeill _Plagues and People_
(not normally seen as 'world system' analysis,
but an amazing addition to world history)
3) William H.McNeill 'A Defence of World History_,
in _Mythistory and Other Essays_.
(opening chapter pretty neat also)
3) Lewis Mumford _The City in History_
4) Lewis Mumford _Technics and Civilization_
(again, not standard 'world system' ground, but
rather world history .. stunning erudition with a
refreshing sense of social concern)
5) Marshall Hodgson _The Venture of Islam_ 3 Vols
6) Michael Mann _The Sources of Social Power_ 2 Vols
7) Marshall Sahlins _Stone Age Economics_
8) Norbert Elias _The Civilizing Process_
9) Fernand Braudel _The Mediterranean and the
Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II_ 2 Vols
10) I guess you must know the following already,
but don't forget the important work by
Barry Gills and Gunder Frank, extending
the world system project: Andre Gunder Frank and
Barry Gills (eds) _The World System_
Ian Robert Douglas.Douglas@bris.ac.uk