Memematics

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GregH GregH's picture
Memematics
A refresher for those that need it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme Is Memematics covered in EP? Or something akin to it? The concept seemed all the rage years back (and was used extensively in "Transhuman Space") but seems to have fallen out of favor as of late in both the real world and games. Of course given the considerable technologies that Transhumanity have on hand I imagine there is plenty of ways to safeguard yourself from such mental clutter (and consequently, plenty of hacks out there to get in as well).
Thampsan Thampsan's picture
Good question, but keep in
Good question, but keep in mind that memes are merely a new name for 'culture-hacking' or 'possessive idea'. And in a highly technologic society where interpersonal relations are virtually instantaneous over long distance (like in Charlie Stross' novel 'Accelerando' or Cory Doctorow' book 'Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom') memes would propagate with all that data that one has to deal with. The more 'hits' the individual has to deal with the more likely that various ideas or cultural clutter will stick. In Doctorow's novel the currency of the age 'whuffie' is the currency of good reputation, so requires that people are exposed to your ideas, identity, and so on so that your metascore increases and so proportionally - your wealth in the society. In Accelerando (or Glasshouse) there are 'polities', virtual societies revolving around certain concepts like solipsism or a certain era. So necessarily some memes people will go for, of course then Stross brings up the more dangerous aggressive memes - which involves altering the virtual person's source code (in the case of the meme 'Curious Yellow' or the 'Quisling Dictatorships') that change the way the individual thinks or behaves. Maybe EC won't include such aggressive problems, but the problem of memes will always be there regardless - because you just can't kill culture.
GregH GregH's picture
Interesting... I'll have to
Interesting... I'll have to add them to my own list. And well put altogether... dovetails nicely into EP's concept of reputation-based economics.
Thampsan Thampsan's picture
I quite like Doctorow's idea
I quite like Doctorow's idea of 'Whuffie', because if you wrote a great symphony or directed a great movie, regardless of how often your idea got plagurized you still got credit for the original idea. In the same way that we would compare a knock-off against the original. The creator of the knock-off might get some kudos but unless it does better than the original, the original creator of the idea/thing gets the credit (whuffie) because it is the benchmark. If something supersedes the original in quality then the original still would have gotten a great deal of whuffie. Further more knock-offs would risk their maker's whuffie decreasing by virtue of being a plagurized idea. Reputation economics makes sense for H+ societies, though they are skewed in favour of the over-achiever, and so the concept is still a little libertarian. Those that work to further their own ends are more likely to reap the reward, but those who don't want to be so aggressive in accumulating personal wealth still lose out on luxuries. But then alternative is what? Some form of communist equally distributed wealth plan? (like replicator rations in Star Trek Voyager).
GregH GregH's picture
Betcha' there is a
Betcha' there is a "replicator ration" equally distributed wealth plan or two in sol space... but they probably don't make you wear unisex form-fitting uniforms (but thanks to Forking and cloned morphs the Redshirt industry is alive and well!).
black campbell black campbell's picture
I would think it would be
I would think it would be difficult to force overachievers and superior designed beings to accept force economic or political equality. Even current proponents regular subscribe to the "good for thee, but not for me" attitude (although they'd never admit it.) Wealth might not be what we consider it -- less the nice house and car, more the access to bandwidth, storage, energy. I like Doctorow's take on intellectual property; guess I have to get around to reading him.
Iv Iv's picture
Re: Memematics
Note that memetics or mememathics is just a fancy names for the old-fashioned propaganda, rumor-mongering, and counter-intelligence.
The Doctor The Doctor's picture
Re: Memematics
Iv wrote:
Note that memetics or mememathics is just a fancy names for the old-fashioned propaganda, rumor-mongering, and counter-intelligence.
Also, PSYOPs.