Ooh - this thread started off so well! It makes perfect sense that people in marketing would be the ones with the greatest motivation to refine this into an applied science, I just never thought about it. Fuckers. Gobbling up every last electron to feed their flashing neon, cutting down every last tree for their billboards, targeting every last mind for the mindless will of the machine - if memetics could not be used to destroy this industry and the soulless fuckers that suck from its crackwhore teat, then I'd just give in and pucker up too.
Maybe I've been reading too many rants in the last few weeks, but I'm starting to feel actual... anger.. for the first time in years.
I will seriously consider kicking a motherfucker in the shins.
the thing to remember about those evil marketing people
is that they are us
in a way - applied memetics is a way to effectively use ideas
the market forces which make marketing work
arise from human choice - it's not like marketing and commercialism live in this illuminatti realm above culture, like evil puppeteers. They're an organic part of us. The process works because people like what they do.
<Edit to add:
if effectively crafting and positioning ideas is manipulative or evil, so is every publication we've ever created.>
So I feel that fighting against commercialism is, in some ways, a lost cause. It's presumptuous to assume that you
know what the people should have any better than they
know. Sadly, they chose commercialism.
The study of memetics allows us to see these things for what they are. It makes us sensitive to the fact that microsoft is trying to make their search engine Bing popular by inserting it into language as a cool sounding verb. (tangent - Personally I think this is a good cause if only because the word "to google" meaning "to search" is fucking weak. If it means "to search using google", that's fine, but sometimes people say dumb things like, "google it on ebay", and that represents corporate language creep, like saying Kleenex instead of Tissue)
I've been pondering this for the last few weeks:
Okay, we can study memetics. We can get better at creating ideas which will "survive" in the memetic ecosystem...
But to what end? Our motivation for doing so exists within a tangled memetic network. What memes have made "study memetics" a meme? What's the ultimate thing that I want to do with these idea-powers? Is it a prank? A good cause? A profit engine? A mindfuck?
The art of memetics says that you need to go into the long dark teatime of the soul and contemplate this. But before you do that, you need to learn how to separate all the other memes in your brain, so that when you arrive at a conclusion about what you should be doing with your miserable life, you don't end up saying "Making Money". Because yo, making money is great, but money is a means, not an end.
I've been reading crowley like crazy because I suspect this process is what he's talking about when he refers to True Will