Re: electric meme bombs

From: Van oost Kenneth (
Date: Thu 07 Nov 2002 - 20:39:56 GMT

  • Next message: Wade Smith: "Re: Aunger speaks, London 11th November"

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Bruce Howlett
      Sent: Monday, November 04, 2002 11:01 PM
      Subject: Re: electric meme bombs

      I suppose my studies in change management have convinced me of the near impossibility of manipulating culture in general. It is only possible in closed environments and then still difficult, and I would suggest impossible at individual meme level. For example: A change in the attitude of staff is required to implement a new overtime roster system successfully. Strategy: use a series of language changes to facilitate desired time. Instead of "overtime" we will substitute the term "bonustime"; instead of "overtime roster" we will substitute the term "Extra Pay List"; etc. The single meme approach, say, "this is good for you 'cause the boss really cares", is not likely to work.
      The other phenomena which eliminates choice is the "belief" that results from a meme. A belief is held or exists sometimes in complete conflict with other beliefs held by an individual, and as far as I can tell has little or no rational basis, which is why arguing about beliefs is so futile.
      I would also challenge that we "choose our subcultures". This may happen at a very general level as a result of choosing to live in a particular geographic location, choosing to mix with a particular crowd, etc., but what influenced you originally to choose that location or crowd? I would suggest memetic (cultural) influences preceded the observable "choice" process.


      Out of personal committent I would say the followin ',

      Members of this list already know this,
      My parents died when I was a young boy, overnight I skipped puberty and became
      a young adult carrying for a younger sister and brother.
      In a discussion with L De Bivort, I claimed that in contrast with boys of my age,
      raised in " normal " conditions I lacked a few ' memes ' so to speak.
      Where those boys we're instructed, were teached by their parents to behave in a
      certain way, they were brought up with certain beliefs, I had none, like I said,
      I skipped a few years of puberty and went straight on to become a young adult.

      As to say, there was no much choise involved, and as to the question if an
      individual can or cannot choose with memes he will get or not, I say, I have
      to fight for what I am today, I did choose, formost trial and error, the memes
      I get and I stick by them.
      Of course, I bumped my head a few times and I made a few people angry and
      mad, but heh, they got their beliefs and I got a household to run !

      Lawry and I, made the best of both worlds, we named our scheme, the
      " self-building by memes- process ", got a good discussion, we respected
      eachother views and went home as two new friends.
      Personal, I am an individual, still I choose the memes I want, but I know
      that within the Meme- meme- scheme that cannot be !
      I linger to that position, because events which occured in my life, made
      me realise that the opposite, I choose the memes, would made a diffe-
      rent outcome.
      But I suspect that the process is a somewhat vicious circle, wherein we
      think we are in control where we're not and vice versa.
      For the moment, I fight, still the memes I don 't want, I choose !
      I go by the words of Nietzsche, " I want to become ' more- human ' !

      Don 't get me wrong, Bruce, I am not angry or upset, but ' individual '
      means something to me and denying even the possibility that one
      can become one, got me writing the above...

      Best regards,


    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 07 Nov 2002 - 20:27:12 GMT