Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Memetic Theory

Ever considered that an idea was a living organism? They replicate from mind to mind. They fight over resources (us) and form all kinds of weapons in order to survive. They are symbiotic, parasitic, territorial and predatory. In the book Genesis by Bernard Beckett, he postulates that the meme is the most advanced form of life - the most advanced form of a replicating being.

But perhaps, we won't go into that today.

I'm here to suggest that ideas can be at least analogous (that means taking close similarity) to life forms. Also, I think that ideas cluster together naturally. Certain ideas like to coexist with other ideas alongside. Some are dependent upon the other idea being there. Every person then, is an ideology (a cluster of ideas). Amongst every ideology, I have always wondered what the main ideas are - meaning, I theorise that without a particular idea(s), the ideology would not hold and be forced to change.

These core ideas (maybe more people call them prime directives?) determine what that person does in life. I also believe, that these core ideas are very wide spread. Entire nations and cultures will share similar prime directives. Our world might run on fewer than ten prime directives? This is just a shot in the dark. Unfortunately, I do not think there is a lot of research into this area.

But assuming that an idea can then turn to be the guiding principle of all humanity, what sort of world does that build?

This is where I continue from my last post (Marxism), the core principle(s) build the world around us. Looking at our current economical system there are a few motivating forces we have built this upon: our insistence upon individualism (although evolutionarily and historically we probably arose from a very small knit social states), the need and worship of money and our assumption that no other human being is to be trusted (especially with out money!)

Core principles might also have another funny criteria - I'm not sure they can coexist or morph into one another.

This came from our discussion of the world as it is today - driven by currency. One idea, is that we need to take things incrementally. That change was a slow process, through much trial and error. I think this is a very sound and practical way of seeing things. There is another method of change though, radical change: revolution.

My assumption is this, if the core principles do not change, then any gradual change that does occur is still within the boundaries of the core principle. The change might not be sufficient to achieve our ends in mind. That means, another core principle has to invade in order for the actual change to occur. What happens then is memetic warfare, that can often translate into physical warfare.

There is a theory that every nation moving from one state of development to another, often goes through a revolution of sorts. Often bloody and always painful. What I think this is, is two core principles suddenly fighting over the resources.

When trying to change a system right, everything gets overturned. Why? Simply because, no two ideologies build the same system. You can't try mimic one ideology's system while maintaining a different core principle. Everything builds out from the core.

After reading a book (this one by atheists concerning the origins of sexuality and human nature) and discussing with Christians (regarding how the Chistian faith would build the world), I realised that neither would fit in with today's world. Both though offered lifestyles and benefits to the human race that we are working very hard towards! (an end to lonliness, more sex!, (by the atheists), greater spiritual awareness, less anxiety and a greater purpose (by the Christians) and increased health and joy (by both!)

Yet as long as we work within the frame of our current ideology, neither world is going to be realised.

What is this blog about? As information transfer increases, the memes replicate faster. Our world will eventually become a global culture. Maybe 50 years from now. Maybe 1000 years from now. I do not know. But I believe a single dominating set of core principles will take over the earth (or at least in majority) as all the memetic ecosystems start to merge. The internecine war that we have witnessed again and again within communites, countries and nations of memetic dominance is going to happen in cyberspace and it will be a much larger memetic clash than any before. Our future (or more rightly our future culture) is going to be the result of this clash.

What sort of world will we build then? I would like this blog to help contribute to the memetic fight. I don't believe that our world has it right. So let us change our core principles. Easier said than done of course. Maybe the incremental way will prove the right way? But even incrementally, we needs must start changing some principles. If we can sort out what will help us and what won't perhaps we will refine our future culture.

A stronger world, a better world starts today. I urge all of you out there to think. Think hard about what makes you you. What are your core principles? Could you lead a greater life? Could you help even in the smallest to make this world a better place?

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