TED Conversations

Mitch SMith

TEDCRED 50+

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Climate: advancing in the war of the memes

In our new world of productive abstraction and "higher IQ" we have a task never before possible:
The numbers are in - our climate is on a path to present more change than humans can adapt to.

The technology and the need are all present to avoid this outcome.
The only impediment now is a war of memes - truth against fiction.
The battle for political will.

My idea is to arm ourselves with the memic weaponry being utilised by the untruthful against us (the truthful).

Please help me construct memic missiles to turn the tide.

Here is my first salvo:
There are no climate deniers any more - only time-wasters.

This missile is deployed against denialists by simply saying "oh - you are a time waster?" and refraining from using the word "denier"

It explodes by popping the dignity of denial hidden under a false veil of prudence. Then the capsule of "denialism" ceases to become a flag under which to rally.

Can you suggest some more potential memic munitions?
We will need as many as we can get.

"Make no mistake" this is a "war on ignorance"

And, as the numbers show, the stakes are high.

Let us make sure that this war does not produce its opposite like "the war on terror" and "the war on drugs".
Let us actually fight to win. Wouldn't that be a refreshing change!

Let the army of the honest prevail.

Unleash the memes of truth!

http://www.ted.com/talks/james_hansen_why_i_must_speak_out_about_climate_change.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/rachel_pike_the_science_behind_a_climate_headline.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/james_balog_time_lapse_proof_of_extreme_ice_loss.html
http://www.ted.com/talks/stewart_brand_proclaims_4_environmental_heresies.html
etc ... etc ... ad infinitum

(Time-wasters would be advised not to participate here - you will be used for target practice)

Topics: climate change
+1
Share:

Closing Statement from Mitch SMith

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99I8vPALjoM

2 years ago, I got in touch with my brother to warn him about the impending personal challenges that we will have to face as energy goes into the chaotic weather system that we all live in. AKA climate change.

My brother said I was an idiot - that his church assures him that this is a political piece of rubbish that we can safely ignore.

I was shocked. I am his brother, and he prefers his church.

I tried to let him know, that from my understanding of chaos math, that when this happens, you will not see trends - you will see a massive increase in the dynamics you face .. for instance, el-nino will start getting larger an start becoming more sudden.

Averages will look the same, but in-between, things will get more "bangy".

I was wrong - averages show clear temperature trends - but I was right - listen to the on-the-ground experiences. The winds are becoming more dynamically gusty .. the temperatures are plunging from one extreme to the next, rainfall bangs between drought and flood overnight.

This is climate change.

My brother agrees with me now - because his church recently told him so. So I took the opportunity to let him watch the methane question .. and put him on the list of people to leave behind - we cannot afford time wasters - there is not room left for love.

I am going off grid.

Climate change manifests through our institutions - they are betraying us like falling dominos.
Motherhood, healthcare, education, money, government, markets, technology - all of these no longer work.

They have all been blown flat - not by average forces .. but by explosive "gusts" of change.

Abandon adaptation - recover adaptability.

Turn - face, enjoy - do not look back - let the time wasters burn..

progress indicator
  • Oct 1 2013: Mitch. I dig your enthusiasm. Relax. Everything is flowing along nicely according to the Natural Plan......of which we are a part of. Eventually, the Petri Dish is fouled....balance will always eventually be restored. Humans may have the technology. They lack sufficient awareness of WHO the hell they are. All will be restored to balance. Go with the flow.
    • thumb
      Oct 1 2013: Absolutely!

      so .. don't just talk about the flow - dive in and enjoy it!

      This is the culmination of a lifetime's work for me.

      Right now, I'm in - and let me tell you - the water's fine!

      There is no such thing as bad-company :)
  • thumb
    Sep 30 2013: Well, since you don't want to have an intelligent debate with an ignorant time-waster like myself, I'll just move on and let your mutual agreement conversation carry forth.
    • thumb
      Sep 30 2013: self-deleted ...
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: Hi Lejan,

        You see - he just wasted your time.

        This thread is not intended to feed the trolls - it is here to exterminate them.
        This is a memic weapons factory.

        I would have simply flagged his post for deletion - but I'll leave it here as exhibit A.

        Notice how the missile works?
        you can see the process of self-extermination in operation.
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: I know, I know Mitch, and you are more than right in what you are saying. Its just that hope dies last and mine isn't dead yet ... :o)

          But I will remains silent from now on, not to interfere any further with the intention of your 'land-mimes' ... :o)
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: memic bomb-making is fun.

        And it's more than fun, it's critical.
        Right now, outside my window, the winds are hitting stronger and more frequently than ever before.
        How do I know this?
        Well - apart from the obvious meteorological stats:
        I know it because my garbage bin has been blown-over every week for the last 6 weeks - the bins were designed to be stable in "normal" wind conditions - that normal is now statistically exceeded by many standard deviations.
        This is bad news for my region - fires are a great danger - and it has been 3 years since the fire-danger rating system was expanded to include "catastrophic fire risk"
        If a fire erupts in front of the current wind - nothing will stop it.
        Today, the winds have caused a power blackout - these blackouts are now becoming statistically significant.

        We are presented with a lot of challenge right now - the process has begun .. inconvenience is escalating into huge cost-burdens.

        Things are going to be bad - we no longer have the luxury of time-wasters.
        My meme war is designed to produce social exiles - they can no longer participate in our community while they are not contributing to it.

        The climate debate is no longer a quaint entertainment - it's do or die..

        "There are no climate-deniers - only surplus-clowns."

        Can you think of another? They have to be snappy and induce a choice between self-exile, public humiliation, or join the effort for our survival.
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: 'Surplus-clowns' certainly is hart to top for a non English native, and if it wasn't that serious worth a good long laugh.

          'Brake block terrorists' or 'pro-active misanthropes' what comes to my mind may either be misleading, as the term 'terrorists' has become an all-purpose description nowadays, or the term 'misanthrope' may not be understandable by those who are acting pro-active as such.

          'Voluntary oil lobbyists' or 'unpaid oil lobbyists' may get intellectually received more likely by less sophisticated antennas, as it should be recognizable to those who put themselves into social exile.

          'Environmental capitalists' may work as well, even though I am afraid, that the term 'capitalist' does not carry enough if any negative notation to those which are going to define themselves as such.

          Effective framing is an art-form and usually dominated by linguists, psychologists and advertising specialists of which in any discipline my knowledge is certainly limited.

          'Doomsday's little helpers' may get a message across towards some religious people, but as this day is more expected than feared, at least, should be less feared by those who listened, this may be misleading as well for some. It is also to 'cute' and certainly loaded with more positive associations.

          'Time wasters' sounds good to me, as it is self-explanatory in the given context and thats what good framing is about.
        • thumb
          Oct 2 2013: Hi Mitch,

          I just looked up the change in wind speeds in your area on wolframalpha, and the available data plotted over the period starting in 1990 till today is as frightening as you said:

          http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=weather+windspeed+Katoomba+1990+-+2013

          Staring around 2006 and within almost one year, the wind-speed just doubled and stayed this way ever since! Thats a dramatical change!

          So I compared this to my area in Germany, yet just by eye, there is no visible change or tendency detectable within the same time period:

          http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=weather+windspeed+dortmund+1990+-+2013

          I noticed, that in average, its a bit more windy at my place, so you might be interested in the design of standard German trash bins, used for trash which is not going into recycling:

          http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CcEIr830L.jpg

          They come in sizes of 120 and 240 liters (cubic decimeter) and the smaller one, shown in the picture, has an 'empty weight' of 9.6 kg.

          So far I haven't seen any empty trash bins tumbling over by wind, but I will let you know, when this is going to happen.
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: Hi Lejan,

        Damn .. we have generated a lot of value between us huh?

        I love the "Doomsday's little helpers" .. that's a nice missile!

        You know, I only learned yesterday "what is the difference between a meme and an organism?"

        The answer is "potentiation"

        A meme has no codon. But it creates a potential for a codon to form.

        So a meme is a "non-codonic life-potentiator".

        Let the pure theorists go off and understand that .. seems like a waste of time to me - we just intuit this stuff. SO we always have the "inside-straight" and will win over time.

        I have to confess - I developed the "time-waster" meme a long time ago - it was a matter of timing to get it inserted.

        There was a 50/50 chance that the TED moderators would deny this conversation - it was risky for them .. but it fits with the TED mission .. so more like 55/45 gamble .. a commitment but .. wow - we are ON! All blessings on the TED moderators and the TED ethic - we (at least) have not been wasting our time here!

        I find that almost infinitely encouraging .. I suspected as much, but you don't know until you go.

        And I want EVERYONE to go .. sitting alone .. stopped and en-caged .. that sucks .. and who wants us to be stopped and trapped?

        Time-wasters - while we are nailed-down they just reach in the cage, steal our eggs, eat our children and sheer-off our wool.

        That's all over now.

        This phase change is done - we will all participate - by now, there is no other choice - I look forward to the results :)

        And if I know anything about this world - what I am doing now is being repeated in about 1000 other places - the nature of "antennae people" .. the signal is unmistakeable.

        It is not us - but what flows through us that makes the difference.

        As Jesus and John the Babtist said: "make straight the way"

        In other words - "stop wasting time."
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: I completely lost the sensitivity of my antenna if there is a significant number of people out there who will be able to kick-start this new era, especially as my prediction of the outcome of the recent election in Germany has become true, which means, business as usual for the next four years...

          Even TED does not reflect any significant shift in perception as I would expect to find for an upcoming change of that magnitude. Your optimism is without doubt helping to revive the remaining bits of my hope, but sometimes it really takes effort to get even the most obvious messages across, and this at it seems at times, over and over again.

          I have never been good in manipulating people, as I prefer a straight conversation or argument based on facts, which, by their nature should be enough for the 'convincing' part while I remain the messenger. I know by multiple experience, that this only works with open minded and problem solving individuals, yet fails repeatedly against political agendas or intentions rooted in plain protectionism.

          On memes, I have to trust in your judgement, if they are going to work and how effective they are, as I am lacking their feedback loop, if they have any, and to associate or trace their cause to effects in case they produce any.

          I do sense a lot of value in between us, as it seems that part of our experiences and views resonate on compatible frequencies. Yet I am only assured of what it means to me and have not the slightest clue, what it may mean to others, as if there are any, they choose to remain silent about it. Thats ok, yet cut's of my feedback-loop.

          I have hoped for the occupy movement to maintain their momentum, yet its gets harder and harder to hear and join their voices. The couch-potatoes haven't been moved yet, as the level of discomfort hasn't been strong enough to penetrate their coping mechanisms. At least in Germany, this is the case, and only time will show if there is more to expect. But time is part of the problem.
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: The change occurs long before the result is observed.

        As an example:

        Many years ago, I observed "have a nice day".

        It was being used as an honorific of parting .. a blessing if you like.

        But I did not like it - it seemed shallow and contained no blessing whatsoever beyond releasing the speaker from the obligation of a real sense of empathy.

        So I decided to do something about it.

        I started replying to the "have a nice day" with "All the best".
        The wish for my fellow to encounter the best that life can give was genuine - and it conveyed my commitment to my empathy for my fellow in parting. You actually cannot say such a thing without feeling it.

        Within a few months, no one in my town was saying "have a nice day".
        Within a year no one in my country was saying "have a nice day"
        Within 4 years, the fake blessing was completely wiped from the Earth.

        These days, it is only uttered as a sarcasm or a curse.

        IT was replaced by my "all the best" and it was replaced by other honorifics like "god bless" and "take care" - others were doing just as I was - and it worked.

        That took 4 years for a global result pre-internet..

        This one will take less.

        Those who have committed to the Earth's destruction in policy decision, and those who have vested interests in preventing this phase change will all be doing desparate flip-flops and trying to claim the high ground as if it was their idea all along.

        All that stuff doesn't matter - they are already exiled and will soon find the need to earn their way back into community.
        Attribution is not required - only results.

        Those here have the advantage of knowing what to look for.

        And that seems like a lot of fun - and some wisdom to tell our children.

        It's a crystal seed. Once started - cannot stop. Takes time.
        So you see,

        It doesn't matter how many people actually pick it up here - if they repeat the time-waster meme, it will propagate exponentially. The crystal medium is ripe.
        If my attempt fails, my fellows will succeed.
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: Could you please also observe the phrases 'How do you do' and 'How is it going' if they are used instead of saying 'hello' or 'hi'. Both of them are bare of any real empathy while used in this context, which then is inflationary while used in another or meant literally. I never got used to this custom in the US and the UK and it feels as shallow as you described.

          But your example is very interesting. May I ask if the change in custom has changed its reals sense of empathy as well? Has this deepened society for a better, or has it 'just' been an exchange of phrases?

          I noticed quite a view changes within my native language and its frequency as well as its velocity of propagation has kept pace with the overall acceleration of live in my country and during my lifetime. I don't find and increase in depth of meaning, on the contrary, some words have even lost in value of their original meaning. 'Friends' or 'Freunde', as it is called in German, is one of this devaluated words and lost its original meaning faster than ever since the introduction of facebook. As languages aren't static, there is no problem in that, the problem is, that no alternative word has been created to preserve the original meaning.

          But what strikes me most is that younger generations seem to have lost their intuitive sense for rebellion against the older ones within their settled establishment. For years there are no provocative trends anymore and it seems as most of the youngsters have become one indistinguishable smartphone / internet / facebook blob. There are no claims for any change whatsoever. This is what I am concerned about and I can only hope of not being 'up to date' enough to know where to look at nowadays.

          Crystals stop growing the moment they've consumed the consumable and if more than one crystal spawned within one 'substance', they'll stop at boundaries. If this applies for memes as well, what I don't know, but assume, then the time of initiation may be of high importance.
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: Several theories have been formed in the past about 'synchronization of ideas', as throughout the history of our species, there seems to be evidence of uncoordinated synchronic development stages, as if the 'time was just ripe' to give birth to several but unconnected minds across the globe of within large areas of separate nations.

          The creation of the periodic table of elements is one example of many where ideas hopped in existence at the the same time but different places.

          Rupert Shaldrake, a British biologist created a theory about this matter, which he called the 'morphic field' yet never got respected by his peers due to a lack of sufficient evidence.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphogenetic_field

          As Shaldrake assumed these 'morphic field' to be also effective in societies and not only within organic cells, he substituted chance by this concept of 'synchronization of ideas'.

          If he was right, memes would likely to be able to 'communicate' in this 'morphic field' as their essence is based on the same building blocks as those of ideas.

          To me and regardless of this theory, the starting point of crystallization of a meme is of high importance, as it has to compete with other memes about a scarce resource out of which it is only able to crystallize. Once this resource got transformed by a meme, it takes a lot of energy to melt this crystal structure for it to recrystallize in a different meme.

          In solid-state physics phase changes within solid structures are not impossible, yet need in any case external energy for it to happen quickly and coordinated, whereas diffusion processes could be seen as usual yet mainly local fluctuations of meme-changes.

          For climate change, the main meme which was to overcome short-term is actually one of the most powerful and widespread we have today, and which is called capitalism.

          The essence of capitalism doesn't care for environmental issues, as it is not in its 'genes' and time-frame and couldn't care less about it.
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: The seeds you are spawning for 'your' memes got to face Goliath globally to be of any use to save the climate within the remaining time-frame. And as most of the substance has already been crystallized by the 'American dream' it will be very difficult to melt it away at places, where capitalism just enters its heydays. Ironically, the spawning seed, the origin of that meme is, as you rightly say, just about to face its third-world country stage but it remains to be seen if this is weakening the crystal fabric deep enough for other memes to take over.

          Wounded predators are known to be highly dangerous and unpredictable in their next reactions, and if it is able to arise anew but as a Phoenix or if it goes wild in despair, remains to be seen. Regarding timing it seems questionable to me for climate saving memes to take over this weather hardened, wounded giant. And even if it would work on this giant, the moment it does, it would have lost its global dominance and influence already at that point, as beforehand, the crystal structure woudn't yield for any other meme to take over. But on this I am open for surprises and would like to be proven wrong.

          But then there are also the new Goliath which just awoken and their promised fresh carrots are still sparkling bright for all those chasing memes who are hunting them. Changing those with carrots who do not sparkle anything alike, and to regrow those crystals, may be more difficult as to deal with the falling Goliath.

          Either way, good memes are facing a tremendous challange ahead of them and they got to go deep fast for them to make a difference right on time, as otherwise, they may just ease the beginning of the decay to be exchanged by more testosterone oriented ones soon after...

          But as I said, hope dies last, so lets get our memes spread ...
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: The boundary in language-based memetics is the language itself.
        To cross language barriers, the meme has to be translated creatively .. and sometimes that is not possible .. there are cadence rules .. rhythms and rhymes that are part of the message "shape".

        Best to look at basic cellular-autonomata to understand how this works. As McLuhan said: "the medium is the massage" - I'm not sure how this translated in the German edition - the deliberate misspelling of "message" has a specific effect in English. ;)

        However, the meaning of time-wasting is probably easy to translate in any language.

        I insert it into the "sociosphere" now simply because the state of the sociosphere is primed and ready for it to do its work. I didn't do that priming - all I am doing is the tiny little push to get the seed crystal started in the place made for it. All the heavy-lifting has been done by the scientists.

        If I am lucky, my own bit of heavy lifting will ensure that the resulting crystal-culture is prepared for the deeper objectives hidden in the "time-wasting" seed. I have 3 or 4 more jobs for that little tree ;)
        Fruit for the next season perhaps. It's not just climate change - it's the cause of it as well.

        With the Occupy Wall Street movement - that has done its work, there's no need to save it.
        Chris Hedges is doing the comms work leading on from that, but I note that he is fatigued and resting right now.
        Chomsky is getting really old .. that's sad. But he's still doing some lifting.
        Wolff and Harvey are flat-out getting the "global south" prepared .
        And in the mean time, USA is beginning to feel what it's like to be a third-world country - the seigniorage that once allowed USA to use the rest of the world to off-load liabilities is nearly ended.
        I am not sure who is doing the work in China, but all reports seem to indicate they have already jettisoned their time-wasters and are now going through a new cycle of exploitative resurgence - which will last until the collapse of USA
        • thumb
          Oct 2 2013: In German schools we are taught in English class, that in 20 out if 10 cases the sentence structure in German can not be transferred 'one by one' into the English language. The ratio is that bad, if not worse... and because no one is listening to teachers anyway, Germans tend to have this funny word orders while speaking or writing in English.

          But the meme you created is different!

          'All the best' is one of this very rare exceptions in which almost all words align in their order in both languages.

          'All the best' translates into 'Alles Gute' by just dropping the 'the'. Beautiful! :o)

          The context in which 'Alles Gute' is used within my native language is exactly the same your meme now occupies in yours. Its been around since I can remember and is still in use today. It is of versatile use and applicable for close friends as well as for people we don't know that well. And it is appropriate on official occasions as well.

          Generation of students will like you for your meme, Mitch, even in foreign countries... :o)
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: You need to look at this - it's extremely important for understanding the facebook/twitter "blob" thing
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4zt2JFq6yQ
        Chris Hedges covers the net porn problem in his latest book .. I can hardly believe how much PTSD a single man can withstand - he's been at all the horror-zones of humanity in the last 30 years ..

        The Euro is already dead - I helped Greeks to organise alternative currencies 4 years ago - they were designed to destroy the Euro .. sorry about that - hadda be done. But the local currency principle will work just as well in Germany, so all is not lost - and it will work better in Germany because you already have the distributed power network well advanced. Merkel is a lot smarter than she shows.

        My kid introduced me to 4chan a few years ago - don't despair about the kids. You just can't see it

        I like the stuff that is done with flash-mobs .
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: Mitch, the link you've shared opened the most excellent talk which I have heard for a long time!

          Brilliant! Everything just falls naturally in its place. This is how it is. This is how its meant to be.

          Thank you very much! Thank you very much indeed!

          I got to sleep now and will answer you on my new 'tomorrow', which is slightly off the official time zone I am in at the moment ... the curse of being a night owl, I suppose ... ;o)
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: Could you or Lejan in a couple of sentences just define for me what the expression "facebook/twitter "blob"thing" means?
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: I'm aware of Sheldrake's work.
        I write to him occasionally.
        His work is right on the edge of physics, if not beyond, and I don't expect any great advances there soon - there seem to be a lot of incremental steps before the actual mechanism is revealed. Although his basic premise is sound and his experiments are rigorous.
        I support his efforts.

        In the memic sense, Once a crystal medium has been fully crystallised, then it becomes the medium for the next crystallization - one does not un-crystallise it.

        The wounded animal will die - you only need to stand clear .. and not have a vested interest in its meat. One is content with wounding a predator - the objective is not to eat it, it's a matter of efficiency because there will be a new predator soon enough.
        One needs not win - only fight.

        David knew how to use his sling - he grew up with it.
        The capitalism beast is already panicked and thrashing about in its death-throes.
        What climbs out of its corpse might be better.

        It will probably be better to begin with. Just as capitalism was better than Feudalism.
        If I get any success influencing it to conform to tribal collective limits, it will do a lot better.

        Time is not linear, nor is it cyclic - closer to say it's a spiral, but more likely to be chaotic .. something like the Lorenz strange attractor ..
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: @Fritzie:

        "The facebook/twitter blob thing"

        Is a parasitic medium that exploits the juvenile attachment deficit resulting from faulty communities which institutionally lack dense, inter-generational affiliative structures.

        Unlike the other blobs: childcare, schools and jobs, the facebook/twitter blob is less regulated and results in far deeper peer-generated stressors - e.g trolls and griefers..,

        Cultural impoverishment is also pandemic in the F/T blob e.g. degraded vocabulary, reduced affiliative capacity, generational deficit (to name just a few)..

        All such blobs are directly harnessed by the corporate advantage dynamic which has almost completed the total destruction of densely affiliative communities worldwide.

        Thankfully, these blobs are counter-balanced to some degree by specialist forums. TED being one example. However, all blobs hold in common the exploitation of affiliative deficit in the real-world communities of those who participate - that includes us - the process of social atomisation began before we were born, it is just more pronounced in the communities our children are born into.

        (Sorry - that's more than one sentence - but the first sentence will do as a definition..
        To say it in media-speak:
        Blobs are the vast human landfills of the tribeless.
        As I understand it, these landfills are now being drilled for meta-methane using a process loosely termed "crowd sourcing", but also known as "spying on the populace" or "systematic mass-violation of privacy")
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: Thank you. Sometimes I may miss some of your meaning because I am not from Australia. The word "blob" didn't communicate to me. I am also not on Facebook or Twitter, so any slang or word code that emerges there will likely not be familiar to me.

          I know these cultures are useful to understand, but to me the cost of wading in to make my own examination is too high, given the other things I do in my life.

          Meanwhile it is worthwhile for me to wade into Coursera or edX to feel how those organizations work.

          I understand the concept of affiliative deficit. Marketers do as well. I am sure you know Seth Godin's book Tribes. The point, as I understand it, which has inspired many online businesses and business strategies, is to tap into the human need to feel connected to similar people and to gather them as a customer cohort or to provide that as part of the customer experience. Loyalty or commitment to other customers then ties people more firmly to the product.
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: @ Fritzie,

        Lejan just coined "blob" on-the-run ... I liked it and now it is a jargon that all 3 of us can now translate. I happen to like it because I enjoyed the original "the blob" movie.
        They guy pokes the blob with a stick and holds it up as it oozes down the stick, then he turns the stick down - expecting it to drool off on the ground, but instead it still oozes up the stick towards his hand.
        Blobs are like that .. like the tar-baby, they are sticky - and like the movie blob, they eat you.

        I think I've gained a few insights on tribes that Seth Godin overlooked. I'll be using them to dismantle his damage. The purification of the totem being the centre-piece for that .. the elegance is that corporations won't be able to use it on their customers - it will be more apt for devolving corporations into worker-owned enterprises.
        • thumb
          Oct 2 2013: In the context of group formation and information exchange within and between them, the property of viscosity of such blobs could be interesting for theoretical models. As a sub-group ore relative, 'blob' rimes beautifully with 'mob' and may well make its way into your tribe-research. And it comes under common license as well! :o)

          Talking about license, I stumbled across an interesting link which may be interesting to your studies on tribes and memes:

          http://www.gleamviz.org/

          GLEAMviz offers a free to use Simulator for the simulation of world-wide epidemics, which may could be tweaked (or hacked) to simulate the spreading of memes.

          The simulation is based on three modules. The 'Epidemic Model', 'Mobility Data' and 'Population Data'.

          If I am not mistaken, the 'Mobility Data' will be based on travel-routes of transportation of people. For memes this wouldn't be the only exchange ways, so additions could be added to integrate all other forms of information-spread as well. Telecommunication, media networks, the Internet, social media networks, TED, etc.

          I haven't played around with this software yet, but if the infectiousness was a definable variable within the Epidemic Model, it could be used as 'acceptance level' for memes or as 'resistance level' against them.

          Memes have been described to have gone 'viral', so I don't see any reason why principles of epidemiology or its methodology shouldn't work on them as well.

          Well, besides rewriting and hacking some code, simulations are known for their difficulties in getting them right and to define proper boundary conditions, but as a former IT specialist, this should be a peace of cake for you and/or your network... :o)

          The GLEAMviz Simulator comes in Windows, Mac OS and Linux, so plenty enough to choose from.

          Now, that I think about it, I would actually be surprised if similar software wasn't already put to use on the dark side of the force. And they probably know by the second how long public awareness lasts ...
      • thumb
        Oct 2 2013: Hi Lejan,

        Many thanks for the links - the Wolfram Alpha facility is fun to play with.
        Have you seen Wolfram's TED talk?
        Whenever I look at these seasonal graphs, I am always curious how they would sound if converted to a sound format. There is clear seasonal periodicity - but there are also hints of specific harmonics.
        The human ear is far more sensitive to harmonic content than the other senses.

        I suspect that the Wolfram data does not show peak gust-speeds. The 2011 wind event took out a large number of trees and caused a power outage of 3-4 days - this is not apparent in the graphs.

        When looking at the effects of higher heat levels in a system, it is not surprising that kinetic energy also rises. So the so-called "climate pause" can easily be seen as temperature converting into wind-energy rather than temperature .. the IPCC tells us that most of the energy-rise went into oceans .. but that's only part of the story.

        The virology programs are fun .. my kid has one that tracks epidemics as a game.

        The best one for experimenting with cellular automata is netlogo .. it has example programs and you can create your own scenarios. It is a free download and is used in the complexity course at complexityexplorer.org ..

        As a culture, we have acquired an unhealthy disrespect for the sensitivity of human perception and experience. The scientific method is designed to assist our perception - not to replace it.
        I think it's a waste of time to spend enormous amounts of time scientifically verifying perceptions that are clearly functional.
        I have a certain feel for linguistic memes - doing mathematical models helps that process but cannot equal it. On the other hand, having models to verify feelings is handy - so long as observational data is sufficient to confirm outcomes.

        The time for brushing-off time-wasters has come. This will become more apparent as the USA falls into chaos while their federal government is shut-down by these time-wasters. It becomes painfully clear
        • thumb
          Oct 4 2013: 'Have you seen Wolfram's TED talk?'

          Well, now I have, but it got a bit overshadowed by the fact, that wolframalpha has changed its business model. Actually, it might not have been changed at all, but the last time I used it, it sill was in Beta testing and this without a given clue, that it would turn into a 'pay per computing time' engine. I had to rephrase my request several times to gain the climate data at our places, so that the 'free processing time' was sufficient to return the desired results.

          If Google would have used this model, they would never have gotten into pole position.
          And as wolframalpha is using trackers on their site, there shouldn't be a need to pay for it in order to maintain this service. But I might be mistaken here.

          The GLEAMviz Simulator was a bit on the disappointing side to get quick results as a noob :o).
          My first epidemic didn't break out and so did my second and the manual wasn't clear enough to me to understand how to set-up the infectiousness of my diseases to finally get them running... :o) Also its runs as a client, which makes it impossible, at least for most people, to get it hacked to predict on memes. But it contained a very nice visualization module which contained interesting statistics on 'hospital beds' and 'doctors' per population and its distribution.

          Thanks to you, I remembered the online course and registered almost right in time, and yes, the netlogo examples were quite interesting to play with.

          I do not agree with what you say about the scientific method and that it '... is designed to assist our perception'. It is highly desirable if nature was to be described in those ways, but as much as we found about it, it refuses successfully.

          Many scientific findings are beyond our perception and can only be described, rather than truly understood. The particle/wave dualism is one of those and way off our perception, even for scientists.
        • thumb
          Oct 4 2013: As for a method, I wouldn't consider this disrespectful towards the 'sensitivity of human perception and experience', especially as 'sensitivity', which is related to 'sensor' is known to have a highly misleading potential. The disrespect I would agree on, is the elitist status those methods were allowed to gain, and the devaluation of 'handwork' and 'craftsmanship'.

          In fact, my experience within the field of science itself was pretty positive in terms of acceptance of handwork and experience, as technicians and 'handyman' were highly appreciated in those fields. Later I found the complete opposite within the 'real world' of our economy, in which the 'white collars' did their territorial domination all over the place and to put the 'blue collars' at the end of the packing order. To me, this is a consequence out of capitalism, not out of the spirit of science. But science isn't immune and unfortunately got infected, as it depends on the system.

          True scientists to me are not related to any academical degree. It is a civilized form of curiosity and to find answers instead of claims. And it never ends, which is part of the fun!

          Let's find out, if time-wasters can be imploded on themselves without causing to much waste in time and damage on those who do better. I hope it will work out in time.
  • thumb
    Oct 8 2013: I like Montaigne's: "The less a thing is known, the more fervently it is believed."
    • thumb
      Oct 8 2013: This is not surprising.

      The Bayesian learning system starts with a belief.

      The assumption is that this belief will be used as a benchmark by which results will modify the belief.

      Unfortunately, this depends on levels of "potentiation".

      Human brains have 3 major strata of potentiation - from Sodium/potassium to Calcium to myelin.

      Once an un-tested belief persists to the calcium stage, it is very difficult to shift.

      That is OK if the rate of change is inter-generational.

      But if the rate of change requires change within a lifetime - we are in trouble.
      We are simply not adapted to it.

      And when the rate of change is due to our own actions.. that is .. hilarious ... if you are not a human being!
  • thumb
    Oct 8 2013: Mitch,

    I appreciate your kind words - and other off-line conversations. More perspectives are better, A growing idea in some academic circles is "triangulation" - that we can't really understand something until it has been analyzed using three (or more) approaches).

    You do bring up an interesting idea... that some may be addicted to certain ideas.

    You make some good points. At the moment, it seems difficult or impossible to be sure if any given meme would help or hinder. Given the variety of people and groups, a meme that helped one group to change their minds might simply strengthen the resolve of another group to remain entrenched.

    To delve into the specific theories of what might work... or not... I would need to do a lot of analysis on existing theories. Which, sadly, I don't have the time for.

    Just a couple of quick anecdotes... The "got milk" campaign was very catchy. But mainly because it had a huge amount of money supported the many repetitions.

    When religious fanatics predict the end of the world... and it does not end... I think I recall somewhere that 90% become disenchanted... while about 10% become even more fervent supporters.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    • thumb
      Oct 8 2013: Memes are very interesting phenomena.
      For instance, the "nyan cat" meme had absolutely no functional or cognitive content and was a particularly successful meme. It might be possible that it triggers an unintended opiate response via the primary field of perception.
      When we use words (extrinsic information) for a meme, it operates in the autobiographical-self substratum - in the field of secondary perception.
      It therefore relies on common language as a medium - and through that to any opiate channel in the brain.
      For instance, (as a conjecture) the "LOL" meme is propagating nicely - partly because it includes the datum of laughter - which has direct access to neural opiate responses via the empathy mechanism.
      Similarly the "I [heart-shape]NY" thing propagated well, along with the "I [heart-shape] ..." derivatives.

      So I suppose our memic munitions might work better if they contain a subliminal opiate. i.e. positive words and symbols.

      Perhaps something like "Climate action for fun and profit" or "Solar smells nicer"?
  • thumb
    Oct 7 2013: Mitch, try not to concern yourself too much with this issue of Deniers. It is your own unshakeable, ongoing faith that really matters. Deniers will always be with us, whatever they are called. Throughout history people of faith have had to face down Deniers. Just take heart from the fact that Deniers often come to a bad end; Socrates was forced to take poison and Galileo spent the last years of his life under house arrest.
    • thumb
      Oct 8 2013: Many thanks John.

      You are right - denial(time-wasting) is only one aspect of the climate issue.
      As a pathology, it begins to look like a clash between world-views - and that these world views become trenchant by way of tribal identity.

      If a meme was to have any effective payload, it would act to dissolve a tribal membrane via the common world-view defining that tribe.

      The tribe of deniers is proving to be a belligerent one. It is already employing destructive pay-load memes against other tribes through such memic missiles as "climate-gate".

      Perhaps a better strategy would be to work on memic defence systems?

      The other alternative is outright pogrom. I can see the tension building for just that, and would like to head it off if possible.
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2013: Denial is a mental disorder?

    When someone learns of the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, at first he or she may not be able to accept the reality of this loss, therefore death is denied.

    Climate deniers also cannot cope with the reality of the loss of a lifestyle they know and love. Therefore MMGW is denied.

    http://www.minddisorders.com/Del-Fi/Denial.html
    • thumb
      Oct 6 2013: Fair enough.

      Perhaps chronic denial might be equated with chronic depression?

      I see it as a problem when denial impedes necessary action.

      On a personal level, I suppose we should allow folks to stand in the way of inevitable death .. but as a community, we do not have the luxury of allowing a few imprudent time-wasters to make that decision for us all.

      I will concede that it is no easy thing .. that anything outside the ordinary must be scrutinised before acceptance.

      On the other hand, we have some intrinsic problems with perception .. for instance, it was related that some South American natives were unable to actually see the Spanish ships offshore because they had no basis to perceive such a strange thing.

      Douglass Adams put it so eloquently as the "SOEP" cloaking device (the infamous Some One Else's Problem field) .

      Anything that can help us penetrate that field would be a good thing in my opinion - as it not only affects us all, but requires us all to do something about it.
  • thumb
    Oct 4 2013: drilling,spilling,killing,charging the willing....not really a meme..first try...now you try
    • thumb
      Oct 4 2013: hmmm ..

      "Let's do something about the climate for a change."
  • thumb
    Oct 2 2013: By using steam reforming to make hydrogen, instead of burning to make electricity, we can capture all CO2 and cease making air pollution. Piped to towns and cities, H2 fuel cells make local electricity and power vehicles.

    "By disengagng with the atmosphere, we can still use hydrocarbons to power the world."
    • thumb
      Oct 5 2013: I'd really like to see some definitive sources for this concept .
      This looks to be very important.

      What is the best source for us to follow-up?
  • thumb
    Oct 2 2013: By converting captured CO2 to algae and using the algae for fertilizer, we can put CO2 into our food instead of the atmosphere.

    "We could end climate change by having it for dinner."
    • thumb
      Oct 3 2013: Hi Daniel,
      Yes, there are a lot of adaptive strategies available to us.
      Unfortunately most of them cannot sustain the overheads of wealth-concentration.

      The denialist time-waster is not stupid, he/she is simply defending personal wealth concentration.
      This concentration is maintained by the damage of other people - and species.

      If you have any regard for the principle of justice, you will see the time-waster as a criminally insane individual - and often tribes of psychopathic individuals.
      And what actually is justice?

      Justice is the expression of empathy - the acknowledgement that we cannot survive alone .. what's good for you, is ultimately good for me.

      Time wasters are lacking the capacity for seeing the "good for you" part of the equation.
      This infers some kind of mental or neural damage ..

      Those with these mental problems cannot be healed if we keep pouring our time into helping them build their defences. In other words, don't feed the trolls.

      By acknowledging that they are wasting our time - we move on and their walls of denial starve and collapse.

      This war of memes is not aimed at time-wasters - it is aimed at us.
      Recognition of time-wasting releases us to get on with it, and frees them to heal.

      It will also have benefit for other domains, e.g. political economics (as the USA can see right now).

      The joy of participation is the goal. Anything delaying that? .. not worth attention..

      eat climate change?
      A nice meme!

      Many thanks!
      • thumb
        Oct 3 2013: I wish they would get on with it.

        Its transformative, not adaptive, as it seeks to change the mechanism of how we make primary power and in so doing stop offloading CO2 and pollutants into the atmosphere, which would improve a lot of people's health and halt the climate debacle. That you can use the best carbon reducer nature has created to turn the CO2 eventually into fertilizer and food fills a lot of bellys.

        Once we've made the switch, 20 years (again, if they would just get on with it - this was big in 2002), we could all relax and stop beating ourselves up.

        Meanwhile, if it is necessary to work with the devil to get things done, the utilities and coal oligarcy are still in the game, but now they're truly clean, and twice as efficient and still making money and now rid of a huge liability risk - perhaps what it takes to get them finally moving.
        • thumb
          Oct 3 2013: Clean?

          Have you been to a coal mining operation lately?

          I take issue with money - not so much money itself, but how it is utilised to over-concentrate wealth.
          I also have suspicion about efficiency. There is the hard-barrier of general entropy - how it inserts into energy-transformation, but there is also something going on with how inefficiency contributes to bio-diversity .. there's something fundamental in there somewhere.
          I keep returning to entropy .. life requires a negentropic envelope .. a bit of delayed entropy stored for varying time-spans .. this envelope enables adaptability to what is, in essence, a chaotic universe .. you could say "life is lumpy".
          It seems plain to me that life ceases to exist when the negentropic envelope collapses to the baseline entropic gradient (that gradient being expressed in energy flows - in our case, solar radiation.
          So what are we doing? We are collapsing the long-term envelope stored in fossil fuels .. well maybe they had no function apart from being used by us.
          Returning to direct sunlight seems hazardous to me - it represents the absolute smallest negentropic envelope you can get. It might even precipitate total monoculture ..
          The collapse of negentropy stored in diverse species might not be a good idea.

          I suspect that a diverse biosphere greatly enlarges the total adaptive capacity for the lumps life presents. A reduced capacity puts us at risk of the large lumps - those we haven't seen before.
          I suspect that the current consumption of the fossil-fuel store is premature. The adaptive need was never there - but by deflating that store, we precipitate the need.

          Do you have any links to the technology you mention?
          Sounds interesting.

          (edit: - I think that most people actually are getting on with it - but time-wasting is not a luxury we can afford.)
    • thumb
      Oct 4 2013: 'algae for fertilizer'

      Wonderful!

      Combine this with 'terra preta' and its own CO2 capturing capacity and our soil may come alive again.
  • thumb
    Oct 1 2013: This sounds like the beginning of another " us and them " conversations where it becomes if you show me your facts, I'll show you mine and then we'll see who has the bigger facts.
    So, I am taking the third position.
    Mankind has use carbon based fuels since the beginning and even before the industrial revolution. There has been lots of smoke which is not good to breathe in. Some have said that this smoke has effected our global climate. Others say the proofs are inconclusive.
    Exciting.
    But the truth as I see it is that we are exhausting the world's supply of carbon based fuels...renewable carbon based fuels are limited as they compete for land for man's basic fuels. Other fuel sources.... nuclear: uranium is limited... Water: everything but the sewage pipe has been dammed up... Wind and solar inconsistent. Power distribution systems that are 100 years old and past improvement. The cost of replacement is astronomical.
    What to do?
    Man needs an inexpensive source of power. It is the life blood of civilization. Best guesses put new sources... like fusion... hundreds of years in the future. Other experiments in tides, fuel cells etc. hold promise but are still experimental.
    What are we talking about. There are real challenges out there and we are discussing "names"?
    • thumb
      Oct 1 2013: Hi Mike,

      This is way past us-and-them.
      We don't have time for that anymore - this is us -
      and if we have a tomorrow, we might get a little left-over time for "them".

      It's fun and it's legal.

      All the things you have mentioned are exponential problems - as far as I'm concerned, most of them become manageable when we stop over-consuming.
      But that's not the intent here. The intent here is to clear-through the turbulence and get motion released.
      United action on climate change precipitates into action on all the other issues you mentioned - it's a contagious joy-in-unification.
      It's exactly what the time-wasters fear - and they cannot stop it now ;)

      We are out of patience - the risk now exceeds the price of our compassion, the costs are already higher than they should be.

      But all is well - the liberation of community motion is exhilarating - join it, enjoin it, enjoy it.
  • Sep 30 2013: Hi Mitch,

    I think you are right about using memes, and I especially like "war on ignorance". However, the time-waster label will probably not work. The abortion battle started off with each side trying to label the other side, and eventually they both had to recognize that groups have the right to name themselves, and that the discussion had to be abut the issues, not the people.

    In the climate debate, I think the time wasters have an Achilles heal, and that is short term self interest. Since carbon based energy is clearly not sustainable, it makes the motives of its supporters very suspicious. I do not know how to translate that concept into an effective meme, but perhaps a simple slogan like "carbon is temporary" might work.

    I think the final solution for many of our environmental problems is about two generations down the road. My grandchildren, when they reach adulthood in a few years, will be determined to leave their kids a sustainable, much cleaner world. Until then, too many rich people have too much power, too much at stake, and too little wisdom. I am afraid that before things start to change in a big way, a great many people will suffer, and the environmental damage could possibly be catastrophic.

    Edit -- after reading my post, I thought of "carbon = catastrophe".
    • thumb
      Oct 1 2013: HI Barry,

      Since the Renaissance, we have made the error that people and cultures are rational.
      Well .. they are, but that rationality is not linear .. surface logic does not apply.
      Edward Bernays and his ilk have proven this comprehensively.
      Since the propagenda brigade are the ones attacking the truth, we are on the back-foot ... but the game is not difficult when you know the rules.

      All I can say is - watch this space .. this kind of thing takes about a year in physical community up to the national level .. and about 2 years in the global language group (in this case English)..
      With the rapid distribution of the internet, I expect this memic insertion to take-hold somewhat .. quicker.

      Just try out the missiles when you get the opportunity.
      You just deliver the bomb and walk away.

      Remember - don't feed the trolls.
  • thumb
    Sep 30 2013: Creative name-calling does not seem like a promising or original place to start, though it obviously has a lot of appeal to those attached to a "them" and "us" mindset.

    A good test of a proposal is to ask yourself how it would work on oneself. What if lots of people started saying to you, "Oh, you are a time-waster?" Productive?
    • thumb
      Sep 30 2013: Fritzie, has it been productive to coin and spread the memes 'war on terrorism' or 'axis of evil'?

      Personally, I don't think so, as all of those memes tend to support 'generalizations' and prevent for 'differentiations' on views on certain subjects. In drastic cases those memes even exclude any controversial debate and only allows for 'you are either with, or against us' categories, which have never proven to be advantageous in any debate.

      But how do you penetrate such memes when they have been coined on a subject already? What do you do when reason and arguments doesn't work anymore? Is it then to remain silent and to step aside for those dominating memes to finally take over, or to use those same principles to counter and undermine them? Elegant? By no means, but what alternatives are there in those situations?

      I am afraid, that climate change has become more and more a battleground of memes instead of reason, which for my liking, should be its only source to draw from and this without any interfering agenda.

      Unfortunately and due to many reasons, these kind of debate seems to be impossible on many subjects, which makes it necessary to seek for counter-measures within the arsenal left for a debate. Not preferred, but unavoidable in times of need ...
      • thumb
        Sep 30 2013: I think you and I agree that these strategies of language are popular but have not moved discourse about important problems toward anything rational, objective, or productive.

        I don't know whether there is an equivalent in Germany but have you ever heard kids in a school yard exchange name-calling insults like: You are an ____. No, YOU are an ___. No, YOU are an ___... It doesn't get anyone anywhere.

        Belligerent postures only escalate conflict and push people more surely into their corners.

        There has to be a more constructive approach than trying to be the better name-caller. Election campaigns in the US have a lot of this back and forth "clever" language-slinging and slick packaging. It's mostly just ugly.
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: Yes, we have this equivalent here in Germany and I am certain, that it has been around here on the forerunner of todays schoolyards before your and my nation formed into what they are today.

          Maybe your parents taught you the same phrase than mine how to deal in those situations:

          'The cleverer give in.'

          Which, if we think this through today, only gives way for stupidity ... which I dare to propose to rethink those consequences ...

          If children get into those kind of 'repetitive arguments', we usually expect a teacher or parent to intervene and to cool emotions down on both sides and to settle a compromise.

          But what do we do if there is no such teacher or parent? Does this mean, that stupidity will get its way, because the cleverer is expected to give in?

          On 'climate change' I expected the methods of science to be valid to be excepted as such a teacher, or parent, but surprisingly, it isn't.

          So what do you do now, being a child on the school yard? Do you step aside and give room to those who are willing to play Russian roulette with all the kids, or do you keep trying and shouting to get the gun been closed away?

          If the best of science does not make any difference anymore, Fritzie, I am afraid, there isn't anything left to expect to be a 'more constructive approach'.

          Especially by the fact, that science itself is often incapable to 'bite the hand which is feeding' it ...

          If you got the money, you can buy any research result you'd ask for. And regardless how sad I am in writing this, this is the way it is. And it is not in the interest of 'big money' to chance the given situation,because if it was, we wouldn't have this conversation here, as all the technology needed is already at our hands!

          I am open if you have a working 'more constructive approach' in this situation as the one Mitch is proposing here and I will be the first to adapt to it, if it is likely to succeed...
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: I don't know the phrase "The cleverer give in." Could you write the original German expression? I may recognize it that way.

        Still, schoolyard advice is intended for situations that are utterly trivial rather than for things that matter. For things that matter, I expect you and I were both taught that integrity means holding your ground if you know you are in the right.

        I do not personally understand the posture of not wanting to get the best possible understanding of an issue. I do not have any magic way of getting adults to seek this.

        But my not knowing something that will reliably succeed does not suggest to me that we should be doing something that I feel certain will not succeed.
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: The German saying goes: Der Klügere gibt nach.

          In which 'Klügere' is the comparative of being 'klug', which means 'smart', 'clever' or 'intelligent' and 'to give way' or 'to yield' which is the meaning of 'nachgeben', which is seperated in 'gibt nach' in this sentence.

          This phrase is still in use today in Germany, and nevertheless it bears some wisdom, it also bears some false advise, as it does not consider any given circumstances.

          I agree with you, that not knowing any better way how to get 'the best possible understanding' should not lead to 'be doing something that I feel certain will not succeed'.

          But as we have no better or 'magic way' at hand, on this time sensitive issue. we simply have not the luxury to wait any longer for 'the last skeptics', 'unconvincables' or 'lobbyists' to finally turn in.

          Just on its own, and even without the risk of climate change, it is difficult enough to make the people realize and sensitive about our current behavior and that it is neither responsible, nor sustainable nor healthy to us and the environment we need to survive on this our planet.

          Any denial of scientific evidence for man-made climate change is wasting time.

          In fact, we don't even have the luxury for the usually welcomed debate in science at all, as this as well is wasting time instead of finally acting and preparing ourselves.

          Especially, as we can only win in this situation, even if science was completely wrong in what it is warning about.

          We know, that the fuel of the engine of our world economy is running on is limited. This is, I hope, beyond any debate. What is debatable is, how long this fuel may still last. But compared to the risks we are taking in not changing now, it doesn't matter how long the remaining resources may still last. There is no way around it to find alternative energy sources, so why not changing now, where it may stop worse things to happen?

          This isn't only logic, but also wise but as the clock is ticking, what do YOU do?
        • thumb
          Oct 2 2013: Hi Fritzie,

          the first time I encountered the term 'blob' was in a forum for strategy computer games. There, and for battle simulations, it was used to describe a more unpleasant situation in which an opponent is grouping all of its units in one single big pile, instead of placing them individually spread in whatever tactical order or arrangement. Strategically, blob formations can be extremely difficult to come by, especially if the weapons arsenal does not allow for any kind 'area bombing' or such alike, which of course depends on the game and/or the era of warfare the game simulates.

          Blob formations are effective, because they outnumber any other formation in close range battle and even though it is a strategy in itself, it is often despised in gamer communities.

          Due to the density of units within a blob and depending on the graphics of a computer game, it is often quite difficult to identify and to count the numbers of units the blob is made of, which in return makes it difficult to choose for appropriate counter units.

          Those games usually end in blobs fighting blobs, which from a tactical viewpoint are lacking any kind of challenge or, for some gamers, even aesthetics.

          Its a bit like if you watch second graders playing a soccer game, in which 20 little ones are chasing the ball all at the same time while forming a big moving blob in doing so.

          In my analogy about young people I used this term to describe, that, as a generation, they appear more and more indistinguishable from one another, compared to generations before, which seem to have had a stronger tendency to form into groups, sub-groups, etc.
          And as smart-phones and the Internet has become more and more a center of youth formation, their tools have all become the same, which may be reason why I've got the impression of a loss in variety.
      • thumb
        Oct 2 2013: I know the word "blob" but did not understand the meaning as you two were using it. Now I do.

        I understand the idea in youth soccer. When my husband was set to coach a team of little ones, a family friend advised him that most of what would be involved would be calling out from the sidelines: "Don't bunch up!"
    • thumb
      Oct 1 2013: Hi Fritzie.

      Well .. us and them was a problem I worked on for a few years.
      I recommend the work of Jane Elliot to see how this works and how us/them is a default property of human tribal dynamics. An essential part - whether we like it or not..

      At this point I am compelled to start putting years of research into action.

      Recent thought into the ecological role of tribal dynamics is the last piece of the puzzle.
      Watch it unfold.
      Results here will be instructive, but other channels will carry the proofs.
      I am reasonably confident.
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: Yes, I think we can see tribal dynamics acted out all around us, not to mention throughout history.
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: Well,

          I have a ton of time for you .. and I gotta say this:

          There is time for observation, and there is a time to dive into it and participate.

          Right now is a time to "get wet".

          It might be the last chance for a lot of us.

          I'd rather those I love get that chance.
      • thumb
        Oct 1 2013: I certainly believe with you in action and live that daily. Many do and differ mainly in the issues they believe are urgent, the particular ones among those issues to which they decide to invest their energy, and their preferred strategies in the moment for advancing them.

        I respect your efforts.
  • Sep 30 2013: So you're claiming infallibility and moral superiority, therefore the skeptics need to shut up?

    I'll just go ahead and show myself out, seeing as I'm very much a skeptic. I'd hate to impose my need of better evidence on your black and white world view; the grey would clash with the curtains.
    • thumb
      Sep 30 2013: self-deleted ...
    • thumb
      Oct 1 2013: Many thanks Nadav -

      I am not interested in time-wasting - my time or yours.

      If this topic is not for you - that's perfectly OK.
      • Oct 1 2013: I see the sarcasm failed to properly convey over the internet...
        • thumb
          Oct 1 2013: Hi Nadav,

          Yes .. Sarcasm is a big risk when talking in just-text.

          Text does not have the rich redundancy of face-to-face communication.
          At some point we will all have to work out what that means.

          Many thanks for your contribution!

          Good food-for-thought.
  • thumb
    Oct 11 2013: here's an outline for any animators or short-film makers here:
    (it's based on the practice of whalers to use live-penguins as fuel to fire the whale-oil vats:
    paragraph 3: http://www.penguins.cl/penguins-peril.htm)

    Story:
    2 penguins are in the middle of the penguin-huddle one Antarctic winter.
    One says to the other "this sucks - it's freezing and windy, we've been doing this every winter and us penguins have been doing it for a million years! There must be a better way!"

    The other penguin thinks for a few seconds and says .. "OK - I'll do something - be right back"

    After a day or 2 the second penguin comes into the huddle to his friend's side.
    He's pushing an iron pot in front of him. Trailing from the pot is a long hose which disappears into the distance.
    The pot is radiating heat - and all the penguins gather close and give out a cheer!
    What a guy! No more freezing for months every year!

    The picture pans back along the hose and it can be observed that, at the edge of the huddle, the hero-penguin is quietly knocking out penguins on the fringe and dragging them into an ice cave.

    In the ice cave we can see where the heat is coming from - it's a furnace.
    The unfortunate mugged-fringe-penguins are being thrown on the fire.
    What a guy!
    ...
    I recon this penguin meme is good for 3 or 4 30-second episodes.
  • thumb
    Oct 11 2013: "Climate change is like Adam Sandler. It sucks and it doesn't quit."
    • thumb
      Oct 11 2013: LOL!

      c'mon - I like Sandler .. well .. the penguin thing anyway ..

      Hey! - Did you know that when Whalers ran out of wood to stoke the whale-oil vats, they found that penguins burn really good?

      This was back in the days when oil came from whales ..

      Who are the penguins now?
      • thumb
        Oct 11 2013: I didn't know that! Thanks!
        Let me return the favour : If you eat the entire liver of a polar bear you die from an overdose of vitamin C.

        Except I don't have a clue whether this is true. Heard it from a guy who heard it from a guy who saw it on youtube... you know.
  • thumb
    Oct 11 2013: ..

    Climate Change is like a tiger that walks into your house.
    Best not invite him.
  • thumb
    Oct 11 2013: Mitch,

    I think you are on more solid ground with memetic efforts.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    • thumb
      Oct 11 2013: Ah yes - mustn't "rush our gates".

      I look forward to formulating the conclusion statement of this topic
      (btw - it helps to use the reply button in these threads to help specific avenues of discussion to remain in sub-topic. The TED interface only supports 3 levels of imbedding, but this can be worked-around by replying to the root-comment of any particular comment-thread.)
  • Oct 10 2013: Not bsure this will ever work. Primarily the problem is that people, meaning governments, need jobs for their own people and they are under pressure by their own industries to make sure that the industry gets a free reign as much as possible. This means there will exist many climate change deniers, two types mainly, the first who say there is no climate change at all and the second who say there is but man is not responsible for it. In both cases the result is this: "just continue polluting the hell out of the planet and who cares anyway". This is of course greed on the part of the major corporations and an attempt to avoid any form of payment for problems they cause. The second aspect of this problem is this, most of the smaller countries will not comply to anything unless the major countries comply as well or at least initiate the process. This relies very much on the big countries: the US, China, India, Europe. Possibly there is another problem. In many of the bigger countries which are, in the main, still third world countries, e.g. most of China, Brazil etc the entire place is quite corrupt and even if the government says it will comply with UN treaties there is absolutely no guarantee that they will in reality.
    • thumb
      Oct 10 2013: Hi Frank,

      That's how it looks to me as well .. with some reservations:

      I find the Tower of Babel metaphor popping up in my mind.
      For instance, there is a strong case in political economics that the climate outcomes are significantly driven by class hierarchies (institutionalised greed).
      For my part, vertical segregation seems to be the result of a system flaw where overpopulation combined with the failure of communities to protect their identity - these become co-causal in a feed back loop until the system exceeds its own tolerances.

      This is manifest in wealth disparity increases, which result in deeper, more segregated hierarchies, which act to increase the rate of wealth disparity - and so on until collapse.
      It is very likely that this system might be participating in another loop with global temperature dynamics.

      Temperature dynamics will move to a limiting - a negative feedback which will act by rapidly reducing population.

      The problem here is that the long-term affects of carbon dioxide will leave re-stabilisation to biological processes on the geological timescale - i.e. mass extinction.

      That' is worth avoiding by any means .. unless you are happy to have the mass extinction .. we are wired for empathy - to step outside that definition is problematic. To remain as defined is to act if you can.

      When systems of concentration occur (e.g. wealth-feedback-loops), the cumulative outcome is rapid consumption of the system's energy. This peaks to a sudden saturation point that ultimately burns-out the entire system.
      If the mechanism of concentration can be fixed, the system will re-stabilise.
  • thumb
    Oct 10 2013: Mitch,

    My strong suspicion is that we need to have a better understanding before we can push in either direction with any confidence. And, given the state of the social sciences, that understanding is not coming any time soon.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    • thumb
      Oct 10 2013: Hi Steve,

      It this in response to my previous reply?

      If so, I agree. But I'd add that social science has never truly been a science ..
      And, yes, it is dangerous to assume any science prematurely - e.g. eugenics.

      That said, social history is constructed of experiments in social configuration - there is no harm in proposing specific models. I can see some very powerful arguments for a neo-tribalism.
      Perhaps this is not the specific topic for that discussion.

      I do note that the general mass media is displaying a phase shift on the topic of climate change.
      This is to be expected with the release of the IPCC 5th report.
      There is also a lot of new energy in the social model debate - specially with the obvious instabilities building in the 1st world economy and politics.
      There is a strong case for correlation between climate and politics - So I feel that now is the appropriate time to discuss social models.
  • thumb
    Oct 10 2013: ...

    "Carbon was fun, Next!!"
    • thumb
      Oct 10 2013: Hmm ... that could re-open the nuclear gates again ...
      • thumb
        Oct 10 2013: Thorium looks good to me.

        There are big questions about the nature of entropy.
        The system "at rest" relies on ambient energy .. there is no need for tapping mass.
        However, if the intention is to exceed the entropic gradient, then mass is the only source we know to accelerate the entropic flows.

        Solar might be the "bridging" energy supply .. the gas thing was clearly a confidence-trick committed by T-bone Pickens (and his ilk).
        http://www.ted.com/talks/t_boone_pickens_let_s_transform_energy_with_natural_gas.html

        You will see his propagandist talk here on TED .. interesting that he made that statement well after the fracking operations had taken full hold in the global economy - so his talk was a diversionary tactic.

        The problem with solar is that it bypasses the Earth solution - photosynthesis. Photosynthesis opens a wide margin for complex biodiversity - solar energy does not do that.
        Imagine a world completely driven by solar. If this is achieved, then what use will we have for biodiversity?
        The answer will be that humans are only a subsidiary component of biodiversity - but that might not be obvious until it is too late.
        • thumb
          Oct 11 2013: My personal experience with Thorium aligns with the usual nuclear energy propaganda, as I grew up within spitting distance of the THTR-300, a a thorium high-temperature nuclear reactor in pebble bed core design.

          This reactor became famous on May 4th in 1986 by its 'fuel pebble event' by which it released radioactive dust into the environment, which happened to be my home.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THTR-300

          I was 17 at that time and this event became my final turning point on nuclear energy.

          In between the Chernobyl disaster on 26th of April of that year and this 'fuel pebble event' in my area, we had a school-trip to the THTR-300 Thorium reactor and you may imagine, that we students asked many questions regarding safety issues to the official PR representative.

          We got the same 'nothing to worry about' meme and in perfect detail we were explained why this specific reactor design was so superior on this matter and assured, that it was safe.

          Especially after Chernobyl the lobbyists had to work overtime, and they did.

          A view days later a Thorium fuel pebble broke within a feeding-pipeline and kicked of a chain of events which hasn't been thought of before. The reactor went immediately on emergency shut-down, yet the pipe was clogged and the situation got out of control.

          It doesn't feel good to live within two fallout zones, that of Chernobyl and that of the THTR-300, which made clear to me, that nuclear power is no option whatsoever, as there never is a 100% safety and that words are just words.

          According to the lobbyists risk-calculations, Fukushima wasn't due to have happened yet and just another proof of their real agenda.

          I got sick about the recent re-discovery of Thorium as THE NEW AGE nuclear technology, and when I read about the latest research on 'molten-salt' reactors I get some really dark ideas where this is heading to. Especially, as corrosion in metals was part of my former work.
        • thumb
          Oct 11 2013: If you are interested, have a look at this talk about the new reactor design in which a participant asked a questions regarding safety referencing the 'German pebble event' at the end of this presentation (around 12:03 min):

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATd6MbiPtCI

          All said before was just great, all is save, all is cheaper, much smaller and more smart.

          When specifically asked, we get to her that they learn .. and we get to hear laughter ...

          Just another point on a highly dangerous learning curve!


          Oh, and where would you have placed an emergency energy support system within a nuclear power plant close to an ocean and within a seismic active zone? I would certainly not have put them in a basement below water-level and definitely not all generators at the same spot.

          So much about safety, imagination and worst case scenarios ...
        • thumb
          Oct 11 2013: The 'gas thing' is an capitalistic and patriotic approach to fix the problem, yet markets doesn't work here. Just another time-waster.

          Photosynthesis would be the final solution, yet we need to gap the bridge in between fast if we ever want to get there. My personal favorite on this is geothermal energy. Its everywhere, its abundant and the technology necessary already available to us.

          Iceland is the only example at the moment because of cheap oil. Its deeper to get at other places yet everywhere within our reach. Ironically, the drilling technology is only used to get more oil instead ...
      • thumb
        Oct 11 2013: HI Lejan,

        Many thanks - you see, real experience is worth a thousand books!

        I will take your experience as confirmation that the quest to exceed the entropic gradient is a fool's quest.

        I was keeping a small window of doubt about it, but that would seem a waste of my credibility. I thank you from saving me from that!

        I was just reading about Kropotkin .. apparently he came to the same conclusion as me about the tribal reality of humans - which, in itself, sets the natural limit to the amount of power any human is competent to command. The number 150 seems to be a historically recognised limit to the number of humans which can effectively function as a social unit.
        Here is the wiki on Kropotkin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Kropotkin
        I got this reference through Chris Hedges - who quotes the 150-person limit as support of his observations of the dissolution of the Occupy movement (limits to consensus - see here at 1;04:20
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LAl04fRESE )
        I arrived separately at the number as the limit to functional empathy - a brain capacity limit. I had first set it at 200 as per Desmond Morris' estimates - and suggested by Sapolski's work on primate troops, but it recognises dependents that make up to 100 more than the stable productive adult limit.
        There is much consternation about leisure time as the prerequisite for thinking, but a troop of baboons need only work 3 hours a day for life's necessities. This is a hint that more is less as far as humans are concerned, and there was never any need to exceed, or bypass, the entropic gradient that we already have.. Any attempt to do so seems to be a symptom of deep pathology.

        As a meme, we might urge people to cast-off these nutbags and resume the good-life they distracted us from.
        • thumb
          Oct 12 2013: Interesting thoughts!

          I always wondered if there was a natural maximum below which a group of people could rise towards their highest potentials, if the conditions they form for themselves would nurture this goal. What would happen at the perimeter towards other groups and how stable would a multitude of 'natural maxima' behave over time?

          If I look at history as a playground of concepts, it doesn't seem that there is such 'natural' sizing and if there ever was, it didn't remain stable. The tendency is rather growing than shrinking as shrinking usually occurs in the stage of decay of large groups.

          Following that little what I just read about Kropotkin in your link, why didn't this 'mutual aid, mutual support, and voluntary cooperation' prove its efficiency in this very 'maxima'? Wouldn't people have noticed a tipping point at which things didn't work as well anymore as they used to before when they grew above this optimum? Or was this a generational process, of which comparison couldn't keep track on? Like ... Yes grandpa, the good old times, we know, we know ...

          I am pretty certain that there are such optimal sizes, yet I think their units aren't numbers.

          Could we polish 150 turds? Would they form an efficient tribe?

          As a child I noticed, that playing with one friend was fine, yet it could become instable playing in a group of three, as 2 could team up against 1 and it did happen. Groups larger three developed its own dynamic, yet this dynamic was always rooted in the children who formed that very group.

          The same goes for teams. You can have 10 of the worlds top leading scientists, if their 'chemistry' isn't working, so is the whole team. The outcome would be way less due to the energy loss by internal friction.

          Chris Hedges said, you can't teach morals and I partly agree on that as morals are prone to indoctrination. Yet wouldn't a synchronized moral code be necessary to stabilize '150' individuals in their favor? And aren't morals a variable?
        • thumb
          Oct 12 2013: If that was true, changing morals of the group could exceed those natural maxima, as well as 'incompatible' morals of single individuals, could endanger a whole tribe.

          I just recently learned again, that 'mutual aid, mutual support, and voluntary cooperation' is absolutely alien to some people. It is neither desirable, nor understandable to them and I tend to see the origin of that in what Gabor Maté describes as personal detachment due to childhood trauma.

          If as a child, my empathy, my emotional development has been crippled, the whole dimension in which 'aid, support and cooperation' takes its natural place later in life isn't just there or damaged beyond repair.

          Taking a closer look on todays spread in careerism, moral corruption and greed we could well conclude that the leading elite is all rooted in child abuse.

          I found it statistically significant, that in my business contacts, the most trustworthy, the most friendly and cooperative people happened to be NOT in focus of their careers, yet were resonating with their jobs and just good people.

          Yet there is also this other breed, whose only concern is their own advantage. Their network are 'positions', not friends. This type has spread in large numbers within the last centuries and more of them are to be expected in the future.

          Maybe we should see workaholics and careerist as mentally ill people and help them to cure their mental condition. This would not only help them, but also society, as we may again could subdivide into more natural and smaller entities and to take better care of us and especially of our children. I think it would be worth to try, but how do we avoid indoctrination and how could all of us become good parents for our children?
        • thumb
          Oct 12 2013: It just popped into my mind.

          Isn't it interesting, that society is completely fine to accept that the condition of epilepsy is not allowed for a public bus-driver. And that people who suffer badly of it aren't even allowed to have a driving license.

          As this is OK and not considered as any form of discrimination, so what makes us accept to be dominated by other diseases? Is this because psychology isn't considered 'hard science'?

          I have no idea ...
      • thumb
        Oct 12 2013: Wow .. lots to think about there! Many thanks!

        Assumption both enables us and prevents us. It lies in the noise - that which we don't know.
        At the very best we can discern a little of the noise as that which we know that we don't know .. but that's enough to define investigation - a path that leads to a possible infinity of investigation .. so it's not over .. the road is all we have - no destination can be assumed - because assumption is .. assumption - not yet known.

        The best we can do is keep forging into that which we know that we don't know, and be informed as things intrude from the place that we don't know that we don't know.

        It is from that where we are reminded that life is in our faces - the wind in our hair - to expect novelty - and that to live accepting surprise is a better way to be alive than to remain within the realm of what we expect.

        I have this over-riding imperative to remain in "child-time" .. you know how the years have an annoying tendency to go subjectively faster, year-on -year .. this is because of our increased ability to anticipate from experience - we find more and more monents that we know will happen .. we plan for them, and as we get better at it, that's what happens .. but we lived it in the plan .. when it actually happened, we did not live it.

        Thus .. a fool has a longer life than a wise man .. and the wise are wise to be fools.

        Because why are we here?? Except to live .. and that seems wise to me.
        Thus my shame at being such a monumental fool as to put my chin into the wind of judgement .. and not running to the safety of the academy and the death of tenure .. how foolish is that?

        And then, if I choose fools for friends?
        If they are fools in the eyes of the academy, then .. so long as my foolish friends do not kill me .. Then we can together crap upon the academy from great heights and enjoy the spatter-pattern.
        • thumb
          Oct 12 2013: A vivid imagination combined with a mouth full of coffee is critical for sensitive computer equipment combined with 'spatter-pattern' ... in cause AND in effect ... :o)

          I could not agree more with you on remaining in 'child-time' as wise fools and to allow 'the wind in our hair'. Your observations and conclusions resonate with mine. Yet you also spark a lot of thinking, new ideas, new combinations, new angles to see from, that my thanks belong to you as well.

          I just love the Kafkaesque 'pink rock' example and thought, that only my nation was capable of such deeds, but yours? I guess, ignorance does not need any visa for spreading.

          I am curious how this story will end and let me know when it is time for me to check the conditions if Australians are accepted as political refugees in my country ... :o)

          The horror of artificial stupidity is, that some of their victims doesn't even sense its artificial component anymore. It played a major role in the unpleasant history of my nation.

          Yet I am not certain if the bulletproof US war on terrorism is based on artificial stupidity. It may well be that there is more intelligence behind as it seems at first glance. Stupid it is, yet for whom it isn't is more significant to me on this matter. Lets have a conspiracy conspiracy about it.

          Will you upload the 'pink noise' footage on youtube for us to see? :o)
      • thumb
        Oct 12 2013: OK .. I see that we are in the thread "advancing memes"

        In our dialogue, this is not really important - an opportunity for great dialogue should take any excuse. And take it ruthlessly!

        And publicly! - demonstration is the greatest teacher :) what did Mr Jesus say? "Don't hide your light under a bushel."? .. words put in the mouth of Arnold Schwarzenegger would do as well ;) it is ancient social programming - and those old guys were our equals - very clever!

        And it is best we understand that not all programmers are nice people - and not all that our fiends do is to our benefit .. the best we can hope is that they spare us the worst of their impact - and still be able to support them.

        All that said:

        I just walked past a hilarious tableaux ..

        It was a concrete rock in the middle of a pathway - some municipal employee had painted it pink and put a picket around it with "danger" printed on tape wound around the picket .. I wish I had a camera to capture it.
        IT was an inferred story - some "resident" had complained about the rock and made it the local council's problem .. the local council worker had acted within guidelines and cordoned-off the danger as per operating procedure.

        So I took the rock out of the pink-paint silhouette and put it outside of the picket.
        Tomorrow I fully intend to put anoher picket around the displaced rock - and the original picket with tape inscribed with "LOL".

        The day after, I will put another picket around the tableaux with the tape-notation "Caution - dangerous meme".
        Then the day after I will put yet another picket around it plus a camera-on-a-pole with the tap[e-notation "Expanding this meme is an offence - minimum penalty death".

        This is an example of what I refer to as "artificial stupidity".
        I learned this truth as a maintenance programmer - nothing is bulletproof - attempts at bullet-proofing will exceed the budget.

        .. "USA - LOL!"
  • thumb
    Oct 10 2013: Mitch,

    I'm not sure I understand. you want to promote memes that encourage people to be more ecologically responsible AND form into tribal groups? Or, is the solution to ecological responsibility the creation of tribal groups? Either way is rather tricky. After all, we once had only those tribal groups... and where we are today is the result of those groups. So, I can't see that forming tribal groups is a "cure" for the situation.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    • thumb
      Oct 10 2013: Just thinking out loud I suppose.

      But yes - as I see it, the only solution to emissions and the root cause of them is to de-collectivise humanity. Then we are not capable of committing global suicide.

      Think of it as a grand "anti-trust" action that shatters all collectives into groups of no more than 150 productive adults.

      This is, in essence, what the "corporation" attempts to do - but ultimately fails to do. A corporation is a template tribal formula - and it's pretty damn good - the part which is missing is the size limit - beyond which all things become dysfunctional.

      I call it "the limits of complexity" . It's a human capacity limit .. my draft paper deals with it in passing - it is a neuro-physiological determinant, beyond which we cannot go without genetic mutation .. or a successful "singularity" event in artificial-intelligence-prophylactis .. I.E the technological extension of human capacity for complexity.

      I have indicated elsewhere that such a singularity cannot occur without recognising the need for within-loop-potentiation for any tool to actually extend the capacity of the inherent human "self" .

      So there's a pending bifurcation - either humans achieve the singularity through AI augmentation or direct genetic modification, or we retreat to what we already have as an evolved participant of the planet.

      The technological solution is subject to infinite risk - it will be based on a local minimum that no science can (or will) give certitude .. the numbers indicate that such a certitude is universally impossible. For instance, any direct modification of the human genome would be an example of adaptation at the cost of adaptability
      The requirement for computer-based mental augmentation would require quantum-scale computing .. and why do that? Evolved biology already has that solution.

      Re-tribalisation will prove to be the solution - whether we choose it, or the biosphere chooses for us.
  • thumb
    Oct 9 2013: Mitch,

    I like the way you are thinking!

    Hmmm... reminds me of the Nelson Manella speech - something along the lines of: our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.

    Hmmm... just hinking out loud... "look what we accidentally did to the world working as individuals, alone. Imagine what we might do working together - with purpose!

    Thanks,

    Steve
    • thumb
      Oct 9 2013: Hi Steve,

      The whole issue has value in exploration.
      I am beginning to see, more and more, that most human problems have political roots.
      By "political" I mean the basic social nature of humans.
      By "nature" I mean the built-in structure of human social dynamics.

      Language forms part of tribal identity. Most of the rest of it is formed by ideology.
      Ideology is largely geographical - forming from tradition and other inter-generational formative adaptations.

      When these localisations become diluted by mass-media and communications, one looses sight of the actual function of specific structures - they become abstracted.

      However, I believe that the default structure remains.

      Any successful meme will conform to that default.
      Firstly it must hold attention - through novelty or identity, secondly it must carry a totemic value (ideology).

      In this case it is a process of recruitment and appeal to tribal contribution.
      To be particularly effective, it would enlist people to gain action through local identity .. re-tribalising groups into effective operating cells of 3 to 150 people. This is the essence of "grass-roots" .
      The problem is to encourage the effect without becoming just another ideological syphon of local identity and agency.
  • thumb
    Oct 9 2013: Hi Mitch,

    not that long ago I stumbled across the term 'Fnord' and then, completely forgot about it. It is widely used in the hacker community as a meme by itself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fnord

    Depending on weather or not you would include customized memes for specific target audiences in your MemeWars it may have some use to some. :o)
    • thumb
      Oct 9 2013: I use "glimb" ..(which is a glarble variant)
      Glarble variants are infinitely morphic and cannot be repeated.

      The root "Glarble" is the first such to be used - and thereafter all repetition of the glarble variant must be in another form and not be an existing fixed word.

      So for instance this use of the word "Glimb" is the first and last time you will see the word "glimb" in any text. All quotations of the text will substitute a morphed variable with the same meaning: no meaning.

      Glarble variants are not present in memes .. but might form the root of an adaptive codon which would render memes into organisms. Training in glarbalisation would be required for successful usage - therefore the training itself forms part of the adaptive medium.

      Glarbility would then become a way to codify information beyond any means of deciphering by non-glarbalists.
  • thumb
    Oct 8 2013: Mitch,

    Makes sense... so what opiate markers might we identify for those who we want to influence?

    Something which is overtly 'green' might not resonate with someone who is overtly 'anti green.'

    On another note, I wonder if some argue against a green approach simply because they are angry about a situation that seems (to them) to be impossibly difficult. No way out, so seemingly safer to keep head in sand.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    • thumb
      Oct 8 2013: Hi Steve,

      I think anything positive would do .. but I'd avoid sexual channels - might backfire.

      I don't think the anti-green or denialists generally are worth targeting .. as I read it, they have fallen well and truly into the minority. SO that leaves the majority .. and the task is to mobilise them .. a power-law distribution of response would probably suffice. To enlist the willing, while respecting their constraints, avoids any sense of being pushed - which will evoke a pushback . Gabor Mate outlines that very eloquently in his work.
      Just reviewed Naomi Oreskes' observations - the Marshal institute itself might provide some clues as it seems that most the denialist memic munitions originated there.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgKAetJwZjc
      While the Marshal institute has become adept at the mechanisms of fear and doubt, the opposite must rule in the reply: Certainty and excitement .. inclusion seems a fairly strong motivator as well.

      Another part of understanding the issue is to look into the underlying motivation of denialism .. there seems to be a strong component of neo-con "free-market" ideology .. it would be a difficult task to un-demonise social compassion in USA political perception .. but that might be achieved through appealing to "good old values and democracy" . This would address denialism at its source.
      If it could be shown clearly that the promise of wealth in the US system is no more than a deceptive lottery, then the neo-con promise of rags-to-riches would collapse.
      One also must be careful with tensions accumulating in the US right now .. things are perilously close to collapse without climate drivers .. There are some very ugly outcomes if things tip the wrong way.
  • thumb
    Oct 5 2013: Mitch,

    I appreciate your kind words about my humble IPA. More of my stuff is at: http://projectfast.org/resources-for-researchers/

    yes - I would be interested in reading your paper - please send me a copy: swallis [at] projectfast.org

    You might also look at the work of suedfeld and tetlock on "integrative complexity" - they use a different method of analysis but we are (more or less) pursuing the same idea. http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~psuedfeld/index2.html

    As to where prejudices come from... I found that to be so fuzzy that I gave up and focused on the conceptual systems that might provide something to measure/work with.

    Remind me also to send you my paper on using IPA to analyze the structure of Gandhi's ethics.

    In short, part of the answer we are looking for (imho) is that we are trying to understand a moving perspective from a moving perspective. I would suggest that our belief systems (including prejudices) are like policies. That is to say that they are a structured set of interrelated ideas. In another paper under submission (an analysis of policy in Peru), I suggest that we can look at the structure of a policy and identify what parts are stronger and weaker.

    So... combining the two... it might be possible to map the structure of understanding/prejudice for an individual and or for a group. With such a map, we may be able to identify parts of the prejudice that are amenable to change and which ones are more structurally "fixed." Such an analysis *might* show us where to target our memetic volleys. This could be set up as kind of an experiment... interesting possibilities!


    Thanks,

    Steve
    • thumb
      Oct 6 2013: Hi Steve,

      Paper sent. Interested in your comments on it.

      When a moving node has need to track another moving node, the Bayesian method is quite effective.
      Wolpert outlines this better than I've seen elsewhere:
      http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_wolpert_the_real_reason_for_brains.html

      It is very handy to have your method as a second "entry-point" to the subject.

      For instance - One of my current explorations is the adaptive system structure of tribes.
      Your comments prompt me to understand that prejudice can be a part of the totemic force at work in tribal identity.
      The totem is important - it is through the totem that an entire tribal surplus can be expropriated by an external agency (AKA propaganda, AKA religion, AKA nationalism, AKA advertising etc).
      So an effective meme might seek to follow the totemic "insertion" and either destabilise/destroy the insertion (difficult) or strengthen the tribal immune-system (if there is such a thing).
      It seems likely that such totemic perversions will be anchored in some opiate response in the brains of the victims. (Gabor Mate has done some work on this). IT might be found that the anchor-point will have some other purpose which has been hijacked.
  • thumb
    Oct 5 2013: ..

    "Denialist time wasters are violators."

    When you look closely, you will see this to be true.

    There is some work done on why people get to become violators.
    It is usually because they have been violated - and very often by the father figure in early childhood.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f9R9MtkpqM

    It's a sad thing - very difficult to help someone while they are doing violence to you.

    I will add that reflex alarmists are also violators - this leaves science as the only reliable tool of perception. Imperfect, but not so bad.

    It is clear from the science that we have something that requires our attention.

    Getting violation out of the picture will help a lot.
  • thumb
    Oct 4 2013: Memetic bullets are good... but all the ammunition in the world will not be useful without a good strategy/policy. Here's a way to create/choose/integrate policy so that those shots can be more effective: http://www.academia.edu/3169615/draft_version_of_using_integrative_propositional_analysis_to_choose_between_policy_proposials

    Thanks,

    Steve
    • thumb
      Oct 4 2013: Hi Steve,

      Many thanks!

      I have lodged the paper in my favourite links and will spend a day or 2 getting through it.

      When Nancy Regan used "just say no" - it did indeed spread through the "sociosphere" very nicely as a viable meme - but it did not contain a viable payload - and had no measurable affect on personal policy outcomes.

      Crafting the "time-waster" meme has a payload: the un-hooking of engagement to climate denial claims.
      This should have the affect, not of creating climate agreement, but of easing the passage of the opinion phase-shift already in progress.

      I saw a presentation recently which described policy outcomes as being trapped in a local minimum. The argument was that incumbent interest prevented action and went on to say that externalising carbon cost was deepening the local minimum - the cure for which was a carbon tax to reduce the latent hump preventing egress to the absolute minimum - having a reduced latency, the policy initiative would require only a small push (disruption such as another Colorado flood or Sandy).
      The deepened local minimum - made deeper by denial would require something much more disruptive .. like the total destruction of a country .. or a biblical famine. The numbers suggest tat if we reach the biblical events before we undertake mitigation, it will be far too late.

      My current approach is to examine the communication medium and the codons at work within it.
      I will read your paper in detail - it will probably help.

      I'll post again tomorrow .
    • thumb
      Oct 5 2013: Hi Steve,

      I agree with your propositional analysis method.

      It is an effective way to navigate through the perceptional structures at work in asserted communication.

      Policy-making, as you have observed, is largely done according to prejudice. This is moderated, to some extent by using the thesis/antithesis -> synthesis method - which is the basis of the modern adversarial system of law.
      And as you also observe, it is not effective. As a system of legislation, it loses effectiveness due to its inability to address prejudice.
      It also reinforces inherent polarisation.

      So where do these things come from (prejudice/polarisation)?

      I have a draft paper I'm working on that suggests a useful way to understand perception - not as a causal statement, but as a structural framework that can be used to discern the operation of perception - and some of its strengths/shortcomings.
      It's in a very preliminary form and will be further developed to look at the disparate coding methods that serve adaptation in specific media. I can send it to you if you like?

      In this thread, I am interested in 1. the acceptance of climate change as a primary motivator, 2. The nature of memes in the communication medium of language. 3. Exploration of memes as active agents for the result(1) - in a rough experimental framework.

      Referring to the question of prejudice/polarisation. My work suggests that this is largely a result of default tribal social structure manifesting in non-tribal settings.
      It is a biophysical manifestation - I suspect it has a lot to do with the number of other people that a human can track within the autobiographical-self substratum of the human brain(Damasio).
      Strangers and acquaintances cannot be afforded trust (false positive bias).
      It is the false positive bias over-laid on extra-tribal setting which induces polarisation.
      Prejudice, on the other hand, is further exacerbated by the nature of network local minima.
      In an adaptive topology, all minima are relatively local.
  • thumb
    Oct 3 2013: In this topic, Daniel Orbis (commenting below) has brought-up an intriguing line of thought that warrants some pursuit.

    He has suggested that humans can become an intrinsic part of the solution by being carbon sequesters - walking carbon-sinks.

    The meme is:
    "Climate change? No problem - just eat it!"

    This would be an incredibly powerful motivator.

    Can anyone here cite some empirical support for this motive?

    Personally, I can see it working by shifting dietary fashion .. this is something already being done through existing master-chef entertainment programs and other food-fashion-related media. There is considerable opportunity there for major retail/distribution empires who already govern this space - opportunity for both profit and profile.

    At first blush, I can add that one can only eat one's way to carbon sequestration if excrement is on-cycled into the soil instead of being flushed to sea.

    There must be someone here with the waste-cycle experience to turn this meme into a thriving industry.

    Any takers?
    • thumb
      Oct 4 2013: Black is the new Green

      Some modern thoughts on the ancient knowledge of Terra Preta:

      http://bioconversion.blogspot.de/2006/10/terra-preta-black-is-new-green.html

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_preta


      This simple idea tackles multiple problems at the same time:

      - Significant increase in crop yield / reduction in need of fertilizers / no need for GMO's
      - Climate change (CO2 - neutralization)
      - Revitalization of leached out and overstrained farmland / biodiversity within the soil
      - Moisture trapping in dry soils / areas (drink water scarcity)
      - Easy to install, long lasting
      - Non patentable, free tor use, supporting independent farmers (unlike GMO licensing strategies)
      - Environmentally save

      BBC Documentary : Secrets Of Eldorado - Terra Preta
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG--94e8M7Q
      • thumb
        Oct 4 2013: Looks good!

        There would also need to be some evaluation of subsoil biota - the full spectrum of nutrition requires soil biodiversity - this is one of the victims of nitrogen-fertilised monoculture.

        But the technology has massive potential - if it could be piloted on a regional basis, it might be a winner.
        • thumb
          Oct 4 2013: Rebecca Hosking, a former BBC filmmaker has done a beautiful documentary on the overall topic:

          A Farm For The Future
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ck3bvlzdbM

          Surprisingly she doesn't report on Terra Preta, yet despite its age, it still is new to modern agriculture. Nevertheless, there are some very interesting additional concepts she is reporting.
          And as nature is diversity in itself, so must be our approach to gain our food from her.
      • thumb
        Oct 4 2013: Yes - a great documentary!

        link it to this ted talk:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWkcAgRjPQM

        The missing part between them is what to do with human waste.- there is a lot of work on that, but it all needs to be integrated.

        The solutions are all around us - all that is missing is the political will.

        That can be done through demonstration lead by doing.
        Or it can be done through influencing the sociosphere through memes.

        There is a local minimum holding us back from the precipitation required to get us on track for dealing with the issue. This was dealt with quite elegantly in a lecture that I can't get my hands on right now, but I'll see if I can find it later.
        You will come to know the local minimum quite well as you get through the complexity course - it's a powerful way to understand a lot of things.
        The bottom line is that denialism deepens the local minimum - there will be an inflection point past which we will never escape it.
        • thumb
          Oct 4 2013: The link got probably mixed up, as it is about 'Your Butt Worries Are Over' again ... :o)

          One more time, Mitch, and you make me worried about my butt ... lol :o)

          The problem with 'human waste' is its impurity. In fact, it is more chemistry today than it has been ever before. All the medication, washing detergents and such alike is unsuitable to make it reused as fertilizer in agriculture.

          Not that long ago the EU even forbid by law to use food waste of restaurants to be used as animal food, as it was used before by many farmers for decades without any problems whatsoever. In fact, concentrated feed for animals has proven in several cases to have been misused out of 'profit reasons' and been contaminated on purpose or lack of care.

          Quality standards are fine, but if they can be undermined due to spot controlling and ineffective sentences, they will be undermined. And when they stop useful recycling, their effectiveness is highly questionable.

          The lecture mentioned sounds interesting and I hope it will show up again some time.
      • thumb
        Oct 5 2013: Hi Lejan,

        Oops. the copy/paste on this system is sometimes buggy.

        The correct link would be the ted talk by Alan Savory.
        I like these guys who get results by using their own observations.

        I saw some articles about an Australian guy who gets results in waterway eco-remediation by letting weeds grow - he's not popular amongst the official land-care people because weeds are viewed as invasive species. .. but he gets results from how it is - not how it "should be".

        Same with commercial food waste. As a teenager I worked in a greengrocer shop, the off-cuts and bruised fruit was sold as pig fodder - that got banned here too .. it was a lot of biomass .. all to landfill?

        The carbon cycle is a cycle - if we are to get results, it has to be managed as a cycle that comes back to us - via the best path through the biodiversity.

        There was also another talk I cannot find - it was about composting toilets.- getting that right seems like a worthwhile effort.
        • thumb
          Oct 5 2013: Hi Mitch,

          thank you for Alan Savory's talk, which was indeed very interesting, yet left me with two questions I could not find answered within the speech itself.

          Is the existing livestock in those area sufficient enough in numbers to mimic the natural herd movement, or was there a need for more? If more were needed my question then is, how the additional methane, which is known to have its own climate impact, effects the whole system.
          Would it be 'broken down' by this new created grasslands sufficiently or would most of it escape into the atmosphere with negative impact?

          And my second question was, if the mimicking of natural herd-movements was the final solution or a transitional phase back to real natural wild herds? Any mimicking would take a conscious and time consuming effort, even if it became a custom, whereas natural processes come for free in terms of planning. Renaturation seems to me the better solution in which mimicking could blend in additionally wherever and whenever needed.

          Luckily, our commercial and also private food waste goes now into local biogas plants, which have largely increased in numbers over the last years all over the place, as an integrative element of our 'energy change' initiative, as well as to decentralize energy production.

          Nature goes in cycles and re-cycles which is her secret of sustainability. Somehow and at some point in time we lost tack of this important insight, and it will be a very difficult, if not the most difficult hurdle for us to overcome our spirals.

          We have the brains, we have the tools we have the need. We are just not using them.

          The 'cradle to cradle' design approach, for instance, would be a first step into the right direction:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cradle-to-cradle_design
        • thumb
          Oct 5 2013: Composting toilets will become the concept for the future, as water-based faeces disposal, especially on drinking water quality, is not a closed cycle. But as many other things, it hasn't become popular yet.
      • thumb
        Oct 6 2013: Yes - it seems that way ..

        There are caveats - human waste has a lot of pathogens. Composting kills a lot of them, but not the real nasty ones.

        Direct composting intervenes another species from compost to fertilisation to product to re-consumption, but the safe method is probably to insert at least one other species to de-link the pathogenic vector. (The key benefit of bio-diversity!).

        As for adopting such strategies .. it's back to political will.

        In other parts of the discussion, another possibility arises - the true nature of politics is not intra-tribal - it is inter-tribal.

        This needs digestion too ;)
  • thumb
    Oct 3 2013: Time wasters apologise and beg for justification.

    If you have something, you need not beg for it.

    Time wasters are falsifiers.

    For the crooked, straightness is earned. Not given.