Author Topic: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1  (Read 1142 times)

Doktor Howl

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Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« on: June 18, 2011, 03:50:08 am »
Hi there.

<tick, tock>

See that?  I've used that device before.  It's a way of communicating an impending event, or the passage of irretrievable time.  Or maybe a countdown.  It's a meme used for decades to as a stressor, a way to attract attention and urge irrational action based on a perceived deadline.

<tick, tock>

I've told you about the incredible problems facing your species, and the utter inability of that species to even face those problems, let alone attempt to solve them.  I think I've given a fairly credible outline of what seems to be an irreversible slide to a new dark ages, if not the actual extinction of our species, based on population requirements, and the effects of population on information, and thus on the mental health of that population.  I think I've conveyed the seriousness of the situation, and the apparent lack of any viable solution whatsoever.

<tick...

Okay, stop.  Relax.  The end's not here yet, and it won't be for at least a few years.  Let's just pretend for a moment that we have stopped time, that no payments are due, no deadlines are to be met, until we agree that it's time to start the clock again.

Now I want you to think for a second.

We've been threatened with doom before.  The fall of Western civilization in the 5th century.  The dire and accurate - given the technology of the time - predictions of Malthus.  More recently, we created a situation that could have very easily led to a guaranteed extinction event (the cold war). 

And do you know what?

We made it through all of these, although the price of survival was often rather steep (For example, 1000 years of darkness after the fall of the Western Roman empire.).  We didn't, however, do it by posting amusing stories on an internet forum.  We did it by means that ranged from wading through blood and plague in the middle ages, to increased technology, to the calm certainty of one single Soviet officer1, who arguably saved our entire species by not losing his cool.

Now what we have to do is not lose our cool.  We aren't going to save anything by pretending to be Clint Eastwood, or by screeching dire warnings at the top of our lungs.  We will not convince anyone through sound intellectual arguments...No, things are beyond that now, and they have been ever since the "Great Communicator"2 got elected in 1980, and turned America - and nationalists everywhere - away from the path of rationality.

No, humans in the 21st century can only communicate in emotional terms.  If we are to have any effect whatsoever, we need to learn to transmit emotion-driven concepts, without ourselves being ruled by them.

You've heard me talk about this before, of course, and I'm hardly the first person to discuss the subject.  I referred to it as Memetic False Consciousness.  The concept of most humans operating most of the time on a reflexive mental level, one that can be manipulated, though not nearly as easy as it at first seemed.  My first attempt got shouted down (politicalforums), because my attempt was still designed to appeal to intellect.  My second attempt got banned at the first excuse (Conservativecave), because my attempt was clumsy and ham-handed.  My most recent attempt has been successful, though on a fairly small scale, and with a group that wanted to hear what they thought my message was (the Pottersville forum).  What they thought they were getting and what they were actually getting were two very different things.

I've been a little busy in my recent (relative) absence from PD.

A few things I've learned, the cornerstones of Applied Horrorology, follow:

1.  See things the way they really are, not the way you want them to be.  This isn't easy, and I personally have by no means mastered it.  I'm not talking that "Maya, all is illusion" hippie bullshit, here.  I'm talking about spending an enormous amount of time training yourself out of filtering information to fit your own personal ideas of how things SHOULD be.  This process will make you angry every day for a very long time.  If you can't handle getting pissed off at yourself on a fairly regular basis, Horrorology really isn't for you.  There is no Zen here, no enlightenment at the end of years of meditation or any of that crap.  There is only the idea of processing data without putting your own spin on it, at least within the confines of your own head.

2.  Ignore irrelevant details.  First you decide what's important (that freight train moving along), then its relevance to you (are you on the tracks?), then discard irrelevant information (what color is the train?).  This is not unlike troubleshooting an electrical problem, or debugging a program.  Hundreds of wires (or lines of code)...Looking at them all gets you nowhere, but if you can isolate the troubled circuit (or subroutine), you've basically solved the problem, simply by removing the parts of the picture that don't apply.

3.  The argument you make is not necessarily related to the idea you wish to distribute.  In fact, the vector should not be related to the meme at all.  Deflection is the key to successfully delivering the idea you wish to implant.  Do not grind their noses in your answer, let them believe that they've themselves had a profound thought.  Remember, the idea here is spreading ideas, not being some cheap 1970s guru.

4.  Associate the meme with something they already believe.  For example, big government is bad in many peoples' minds, so leading them to the idea that big government and big corporations are actually the same thing isn't so hard.  They are both big, and the people you are talking to feel very small.  Please note that this is an example, not an instruction (see below).

5.  Reinforce, reinforce, reinforce.  If you tell them three times, they'll believe you, no matter how much they continue to argue.  Advertisers have known this for years (800 numbers are always repeated three times in radio ads, you may have noticed).

6.  Use the pack mentality to your advantage.  Outnumber your target, if you can.  Primates will follow the pack, whether they want to or not.

Now, you'll notice that at no point have I advanced any particular agenda.  I don't pretend to have all the answers to the world's problems, and you should probably shoot anyone that claims to (especially "Bob").  No, I'm going to do a very un-primate-like thing and trust your judgement.  You decide which memes you want to propagate in an attempt to break the spiral in which we are locked.  Think big, for our problems are not small.  This generation is the one that will succeed or fail.  Children being born today will reach the stars or freeze to death in the ruins, based on how the next 10-20 years play out. 

...Tock>

Okay. Clock's running.  Move your ass.

Okay for now,
Dok









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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2011, 04:01:51 am »
I have a lot to chew on this weekend, I think.

:mittens:
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2011, 04:18:58 am »
A positive message indeed!  Yet I've never been good at the big picture, but I have resolved to try and change that. 

It's nice to know there is SOME hope, no matter how small it is.
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2011, 04:39:16 am »
Hmm. I like this. I'm going to mess around with it, I think. May report the results.

I think I understand the concept as a whole better now, actually.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2011, 04:41:31 am by Hover Cat »
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2011, 05:27:07 am »
"Applied Horrorology"...is good.  I likey.  Now to figure out how I personally fit into it!

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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2011, 05:36:24 am »
Holy shit. I think I had a real thought there, for a minute.
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2011, 03:25:02 pm »
THE DOKTOR IS IN!
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2011, 06:39:13 pm »
This is goooood.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”

“People get used to anything. The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows. After a while, people just think oppression is the normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2011, 04:46:41 am »
It's this kind of stuff that reminds my why I signed up here in the first place.
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 04:59:32 am »
A lot of points worth discussing but I guess the big one I've had to develop is that understanding that most people digest ideas emotionally rather than logically. Which isn't meant to be arrogant as such; but it puts up a practical issue; its not enough to have a better argument or even to be right. You need to play to emotion, and a lot of us I imagine are such logical people that we can forget that.

Dok's experiments offer value, and I'm interested to hear more.
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2011, 12:47:02 am »
That's some good science there, Dok, thanks.

I have a question about this point:
4.  Associate the meme with something they already believe.  For example, big government is bad in many peoples' minds, so leading them to the idea that big government and big corporations are actually the same thing isn't so hard.  They are both big, and the people you are talking to feel very small.  Please note that this is an example, not an instruction (see below).
Have you actually been able to do that?  I seem to run into a lot of people who are convinced that big government and big business are mortal enemies.

Brb, going to go read your threads on Pottersville.
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2011, 12:55:19 am »
Good stuff, I'm going to have to run this through my brain a few more times.
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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2011, 04:28:10 am »
Really like this post.  :mittens:

Seeing things as they really are is something I've been working on in personal RL interactions, and it has definitely made me much angrier than I normally am. 

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Re: Stop Time in Fat City, part 1 of 1
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2011, 02:51:11 pm »
Thanks for this post, Dok.  I'm finding that AH is useful in many, many situations, and also seems to be an underlying principle for some previously unrelated thought/behavior fragments I've been toying with.
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