memeplex

Nosey Parkers

They observe and make inquiry. Natural behavior. They expect that etiquette demands responses and to pass must be accompanied by an explanation. So needy and nosey they are. Soliciting self pride, polluting with endless reminiscence—if nothing more then an organizational processing of their own thoughts, experiences and ideas—is nonetheless a predictable gauntlet to be run daily.

Here comes one now. I count the timer in my head as I wait. Offered food. Nice. As I expected, ruthless to the core.

So maybe I reflected too harshly. There is no doubt that I maintain an aura of rejection. My shield is up and not coming down any other way than slowly. It’s impulsive at this point. The reason is clear to me. Truth. I mean, what if the gist of what you hear brings your ears to loathe their attachment to your person? Play is the response. To find a dance in the passage through the mire, to bloom a lotus and rise above. Invoking the persona is the key. Finding the kinesthetic relationship with yourself that creates the action. Play.

Of course I’m analyzing too much into everything. Instead of simply doing and really playing. Be frivolous with who you are!

Tis all play. Performance. Become wrapped in it all. Flow. Enjoy. With ease comes a freeing of the mind.

It’s a bit late, but I’m finally at my computer to do this. (i tend to avoid writing text-heavy stuff when I’m tumblring on my phone, which is almost always). Thanks to hepatosaurus oldsampeabody and dusktreadereats for tagging me :) It’s hard to narrow it down to just 10, and I’m leaving out whole series instead of putting something like, “The entire Vorkosigan saga” because that seems like cheating. 

Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you.

In no particular order:

10. Sabriel, by Garth Nix

9. Dealing With Dragons, by Patricia C Wrede

8. Reaper Man, by Terry Pratchett

7. The Essential Bordertown, edited by Terri Windling

6. Midnight Robber, by Nalo Hopkinson

5. A Fistful of Sky, by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

4. Digger, by Ursula Vernon (I’m cheating a bit, it’s a 6 volume comic, but one complete story)

3. Finder, by Emma Bull

2. Deep Wizardry, by Diane Duane

1. Curse of Chalion, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Yes, I read a lot of fantasy, but it’s where my heart is. And as you can see, I have a soft spot for practical protagonists. 

Time to tag 10 people! Apologies if you’ve done this already, my phone is doing this thing where it keeps reloading the dash on me so I’ve been missing a lot of stuff. But I encourage everyone to do this, it’s a lot of fun!

thefrozenrose violetsage knitmeapony craftastrophies tallanvor1834 barniferous schrodingershipster acciomjollnir alevelmeaner analogfantasy

maladydee asked:

I've been infected by a memeplex and I'm passing it on ---> Ten facts about yourself then pass this on to ten of your favorite followers :)

1. I am learning how to play the bass guitar. It is the first musical instrument I have ever tried to play without being forced by parents or school. So far I am only playing with 2 strings, and want to get better before graduating to 4 strings. 2. I still buy CDs and would prefer to have a physical copy of all of my music, even though I listen to it most often on digital devices. 3. I generally like the company I work for, but I don’t talk about it on Tumblr because a lot of people really, REALLY dislike my employer. I want my Tumblr to be about music, clever Simpsons quotes, and other fun stuff, but not endless arguments about my employer and how “evil” they are. 4. I used to watch professional wrestling almost religiously, both live and on TV. I have even won free beer for my extensive knowledge of wrestling trivia. However, ever since the Chris Benoit murder / suicide, I just haven’t enjoyed it as much and have switched to UFC. 5. A few years ago I started going to the gym twice a week, and it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. My job and hobbies both involve me sitting in front of glowing rectangles for extended periods of time, and I enjoy beer. Going to the gym is usually the only physical activity I get. I will never be a speedo model, but I will also never be out of breath from climbing stairs (anymore). 6. When my wife was my girlfriend we had a regular weekly date night. One one particular night, she asked if it was okay if ordered pizza and played Super Mario brothers instead of going out for dinner. That’s when I knew she was “the one”. 7. I was once hired to be foreign Santa at a Japanese Christmas party. It was one of the most fun jobs I have ever had. 8. I grew up with two great parents that are still happily married. I never appreciated that until I got older. 9. Growing up my sister and I were raised Roman Catholic. In University, my sister decided to become a born again Christian at a local evangelical church. I was the only family member to attend her adult baptism, and in the interest of maintaining peace in the family, will never reveal that fact to my mother. 10. I have been the dungeon master of a reasonably successful Dungeons & Dragons campaign. It was a lot of work to prepare, but a lot of fun to execute. My players called me “Doug Doug” most of the time.

I searched Google to find out if anyone had written about Islam as a meme (if you don’t know what a meme is, click here). I found several articles, but none were what I was looking for. Then I came across an excerpt from the book, Thought Contagion. It was exactly what I was looking for. But here’s the funny thing: I already owned the book and had even read it!

But when I read it, the World Trade Center was still standing and the information was only mildly interesting to me at the time. Things have changed. I read it again, and it felt like I was reading it for the first time.

The author, Aaron Lynch, looked at several institutions in his book — families, politics, and religion — and in the religion section, he looked at most of the major religions, including Islam. What can memetics (study of memes) tell us about Islam and the trouble in the Middle East?

Memetically, Islam is a very successful memeplex (group of memes). Several embedded memes help make it so. For example, if Muslims drift away from Mohammed’s teachings, Allah will end the world. That makes converting others and promoting Islam a matter of survival. It also motivates Muslims, as Lynch points out, “to dissuade each other from losing faith.”

It is also a requirement of Islamic faith to make a public prayer five times a day. The unusual posture attracts attention, and the prayers can be heard by nearby people. Under some circumstances, this might help Islam spread. And the fact that the Muslim is repeating his prayers five times a day makes it very easy for him to stay focused on Islam. It would be almost impossible for him to forget it.

Islam is different from other religions in at least one important way: It began at a time and in a place where no empire constrained its spread. In other words, if you start a religion within the Roman Empire, you’re going to have certain limitations. The Romans would see any new religion — especially a militant or political religion — as a threat to its power and would make sure it stayed peaceful. A religion that preached tolerance and goodwill toward others might survive, but a violent or militant or political new religion would be quashed immediately.

But Islam had no such restriction when it began, so it could incorporate “conversion by warfare” into its memeplex, and it did. As Lynch wrote, “The faith provides for a jihad or holy war, which historically led to Islamic rule over whole societies.” Once a country was conquered by war, pagans were often given a simple choice: convert to Islam or die. That is written into Islamic law. If any members of the newly acquired country were Christian or Jewish, they were required to pay a special tax and became a second-class citizen, unless they wanted to convert.

This information answered a question I had for a long time. Why are there “Muslim” countries? Do you see Buddhist countries? Hindu countries? Christian countries? I know there are countries where these religions are in the majority, but has the religion taken over the government? No. But the way Islam was created, taking over the government is what the faithful will do. Not the extremist. Not the crazy ones. The faithful Muslims, if they follow the teachings of Muhammad, will take over the government, establish the religion as the national religion, and rule using the law of Allah.

MEMES FOR WAR

According to the Koran, if you die while fighting for Islam, you are guaranteed eternal paradise. This meme not only encourages bravery in battle, but it encourages continual warfare against non-Muslim nations. You cannot die fighting for Islam if there is no fighting going on. This answered another question I had for a long time: Why can’t the people in the Middle East just work out their differences and get on with their lives? That question assumes that warfare is not desirable. I was assuming war is a temporary break in an otherwise peaceful, productive life. But that is an assumption that was not shared by the writer of the Koran.

So continual warfare is part of the teachings of Islam. And another meme has been added to reduce the costs of war. When men die, the ratio of women to men changes, of course, leaving widows childless or unable to take care of the children they already have. But the Koran says each man can marry up to four wives. This makes the men more at ease with going to war, and makes sure warfare doesn’t reduce the numbers of the next generation of the faithful.

This is all very interesting in a detached, academic sort of way, but as you can easily surmise, this has profound implications. How then, should the rest of the world interact with Muslim countries? The religion has slowly spread and taken over countries. Should they be stopped? How can you stop such a thing?

In the heyday of Islam, Muslims were invading India, China, Europe, and Africa all at the same time, spreading rapidly, taking over countries, building an Islamic empire. They were fought back and contained, and had been contained for a long time. But they are inventing new methods to fight.

What can we do? The first thing is to know what we’re dealing with, and political leaders repeating “Islam is a religion of peace” doesn’t really help clarify the situation.

I have heard from several people saying they are Muslims and they have no desire to fight anyone. Obviously, it is possible to be moderate about anything. But Islam requires a lot from its followers and appears to inspire more commitment more often and with more militancy and governmental aspirations than any other religion.

If you’d like to know more about the memes in Islam, the best way is to read the Koran (you can do it online) and find out for yourself what it really says. This is the manual orthodox Muslims are using. Since you and I are their target, it seems like a good idea to know what they are basing their actions on and why. I think you’ll find it surprising.

Read more: The Terrifying Brilliance Of The Islamic Memeplex

MEMETICA finding: 

“Much of the study of memes focuses on groups of memes called meme complexes, or "memeplexes.” Like the gene complexes found in biology, memeplexes are groups of memes that are often found present in the same individual. Applying the theory of Universal Darwinism, memeplexes group together because memes will copy themselves more successfully when they are “teamed up”. Examples include sets of memes like Thanksgiving dinner or allegiance to a flag.

Unlike gene complexes, memeplexes do not have to benefit the genes in order to replicate. A memeplex including sexual abstinence is genetically harmful, but the memeplex itself is still able to replicate through means of cultural or horizontal transmission.  Memes and memeplexes do not have to be true to replicate, although the feeling of something being true or truthiness is beneficial to a meme’s replication.“ 

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene 

photo (via Мой сайт: Детали снимка)

i was tagged by boomvagynamite


1: I have no nicknames. I have never had a nickname. 

2: my eye colour is green. Kind of an olive green.

3: currently my hair colour is chestnut brown, with 2 spots that are extremely faded green, so faded they almost look grey. I’m not sure if I can be bothered to keep up on dyed hair. Adulthood looks a lot like “fuck it”

4: 10 minutes ago, I finished a gaming session that I play over voip with a group of folks. ( I guess they’re friends now, it’s been a year) It’s called Interdimensional Pastry, and my character is a genderless robot called 13. (short for Repair Drone 13-37). It’s the most fun thing I’ve done in the last year. I love my big dumb killer robot.

5: other than bed, my favourite place is probably a tie between the Millenium Library, and the astronomy pit at the Forks (I don’t know what it’s really called, it’s a sunken circle with things designed to help spot constellations. i saw a lunar eclipse that one time. I should go there more often)

6: My favourite celebrity is Natalie Dormer, because her smile is devious and she always looks like she’s having fun and also I’m half in love with her.

7: favourite animal: cat. CAAAAAAAAAATS CATS CATSsss cats. Snakes and Octopuses are tied for second place.

8: fave song: that changes so much but right now it’s Oya by Ibeyi. apparently their album is out like, now, so i should look into that.

9: fave book: i can’t narrow it down to one book, but i can narrow it down to one author at least, Lois McMaster Bujold. (ok no, also she is tied with Ursula Vernon, who has lots of amazing short stories available free on the internet, like this one: http://www.apex-magazine.com/jackalope-wives/ )

10: because I got the numbers wrong, my favourite colour is at the end. it is candy-apple red.

imma tag thefrozenrose and dusktreadereats and terriblesplitends and backstagebethy but no pressure


…. i accidentally erased the picture that goes with this post. sorry, i am drunk. I don’t play interdimensional pastry sober, as a general rule. the questions are as follows:

1: nickname

2: eye colour

3: hair colour

4: 1 fact about you

5: fave colour

6: FAVE PLACE

7: fave celeb

8: fave animal

9: fave song

10: fave book

Last belief standing

Takei’s point is made and certainly I agree. Then my mind wandered off to other things. Of course this is why we have joke religions like Pastafarianism, the Church of the SubGernius, Discordianism, etc. The religious reply is that stuff’s just made up, while our beliefs are eternal truths hallowed by tradition. Got me thinking, what would it take to craft a memeplex that lasts hundreds or thousands of years, with traditions, rites, observances, symbols recognizable across millenia?

Neal Stephenson’s Anathem seems divisive among nerds, but it’s one of my all-time favorite books for its sense of time, and yeah I love the idea of Long Now Foundation too. I’ve been doing the LessWrong/atheist thing of marking the solstices and equinoxes.

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