Author Topic: RFC: A new model of memebombs  (Read 850 times)

Roko's Modern Basilisk

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RFC: A new model of memebombs
« on: February 20, 2012, 05:38:46 pm »
I've been thinking a bit more about RAW's filter model and how it relates to memebomb effectiveness. A memebomb is an aphorism; it is not a novel (which invites someone to willingly enter someone else's reality tunnel and look through their filters). Instead of being drawn as positive space (like a cathode ray tube -- which moves electron beams around to light up portions of currently dark phosphor -- or a painting -- which fills an empty canvas) it may be more suitable to consider a memebomb as a negative space (like an LCD -- which takes white light and subtracts the colours not in the intended image -- or a sculpture -- which is a chunk of rock with all the non-sculpture pieces taken out -- or a filter).

Someone encountering a memebomb unexpectedly will look at it through their habitual filter. You can perceive a memebomb as a secondary filter, then: an effective memebomb will highlight inconsistencies in an existing filter by removing the context that obscures them. Alternatively, you can consider one's habitual filter as a given: a person projects meaning only insomuch as his filter allows, and the text merely further restricts possible meanings (a kind of reverse Gantzfield effect: by adding sensation you restrict the domain of 'normal' hallucinations or projections by forcing them to coincide with the sensed world).

So, under this model, an effective memebomb will consist of a juxtaposition between several elements of an existing worldview. The 'target audience' should agree with the elements but be predisposed to disagree with the juxtaposition (i.e., the juxtaposition is locally consistent but conflicts with something else in the reality tunnel). Thus, the memebomb causes cognitive dissonance by laying bare a contradiction in already accepted beliefs without adding any new information for the target to accept. The target cannot therefore choose to reject the memebomb: he has already accepted it, but not considered it in isolation. The target is forced to consider and rationalize this juxtaposition (expanding the filter by adding a bag on the side full of twisty reasoning and justifications, which -- being the quickly-erected defense against an already successful attack -- can be hotwired by other ideas).

For a memebomb to be successful under this model, there are some things it cannot do:

1) it cannot consist primarily of new material, because the new material can be trivially rejected

2) it cannot consist of already-rationalized contradictions ("Can God create a burrito so hot even HE can't eat it" has been rationalized in various guises by the Jesuits and others for centuries, and is therefore neutered despite being a legitimate contradiction in the Abrahamic-Scholastic theological idea of God; it will work, briefly, on the rare poor soul who has never heard it)

3) it cannot be perceived as nonsensical (i.e., few people will project an emotionally intense meaning upon "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously" -- though this does not factor out all uses of language generated without intent, as memebombs can certainly be created accidentally)

4) it cannot be immediately seen as an attack, because it will be rejected and defended against before it is processed


I suspect that following the above rules will result in a slightly higher signal-to-noise ratio in memebombs, but that many effective memebombs will be filtered out. Indeed, there are clear exceptions to the above rules. My intent was to systematize the problems I saw in many of what I perceived as 'bad memebombs' exceedingly common on the SOMA. I am open to tweaks, suggestions, and (necessarily) flames about how I am shitting up the board with talk about RAW &c.

Cramulus

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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 05:47:06 pm »
I like the idea of the memebomb as "negative space" -- making the figure/ground relationship more visible.

off the top of my head, does this meme fit with what you're talking about?

"Life begins at incorporation."

I'm also thinking of LMNO's cognitive dissonance bumper sticker thread.

Roko's Modern Basilisk

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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 05:51:24 pm »
It appears to. The implicit axioms (life begins at conception; corporations are people) are both part of the religious-right reality tunnel, and the implicit conclusions (bankruptcy is as immoral as abortion; all companies are too big to fail) run counter to the same.

Oysters Rockefeller

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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 08:48:23 pm »
This is incredibly interesting. Most of what I put up around town is shock value, but this seems to make more sense. Or maybe a different kind of sense. Anyway, I though of a few of these that might fit the bill. I'm not too fond of the last two, but the first one is sweet.

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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 10:14:26 pm »
I like all of those, and have added them to the SOMA :D

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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2012, 10:23:55 pm »
Thank ya much!
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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 09:41:54 am »
Very good memetic theory here. Will mull on this.
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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 09:53:52 am »
Me = ME^2

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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 09:06:58 pm »
Hey Phosphatidylserine, I've had this tab open in my browser for weeks intending to read it "later" and a few days ago I finally did! :)

And it's really good stuff! (As are some of the comments in the rest of the thread btw)

When I finished reading your OP the first thing I thought was "this should be a page on the BIP wiki". So my question is, would you mind if I'd copy your OP to the BIP wiki? :)
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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 01:54:40 pm »
Go ahead :-)

Telarus

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Re: RFC: A new model of memebombs
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2012, 09:55:43 am »
Some new research on the subject:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120508220011.htm

Computer Scientists Show What Makes Movie Lines Memorable
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