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Mitch SMith

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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
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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..

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

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    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.
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      Sep 30 2013: self-deleted ...
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        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.
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          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)
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        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.
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          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.
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          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.
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        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."
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          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.
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        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.
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          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.
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          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.
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          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 ...
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        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
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          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)
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        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 .
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          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)
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          Oct 1 2013: Could you or Lejan in a couple of sentences just define for me what the expression "facebook/twitter "blob"thing" means?
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        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 ..
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        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")
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          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.
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        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.
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          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 ...
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        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
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          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.
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          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.

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