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Messages - Cramulus

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for us muggles-
what's that mean?

I seem to have an excess of homosexually inspired MSPainting to work out of my system....


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Anatomy of a Meme
« on: July 24, 2007, 04:14:53 pm »
from this summary of Seth Godin's book which I mentioned earlier

It's More Than Just Word Of Mouth

Marketers have been pursuing word of mouth for years. There are five important principles that someone unleashing an ideavirus should understand--principles that marketers pursuing old-fashioned word of mouth didn't use:

   1. An idea merchant understands that creating the virus is the single most important part of her job. So she'll spend all her time and money on creating a product and environment that feeds the virus.

   2. An idea merchant understands that by manipulating the key elements of idea propagation--the velocity, the vector, the smoothness, the persistence and the identification of sneezers--she can dramatically alter a virus's success.

      Definition: PERSISTENCE Some ideas stick around a long time with each person, influencing them (and those they sneeze on) for months or years to come. Others have a much shorter half-life before they fade out.

      Definition: VECTOR    As an ideavirus moves through a population, it usually follows a vector. It could be a movement toward a certain geographic or demographic audience, for example. Sometimes an ideavirus starts in a sub-group and then breaks through that niche into the public consciousness. Other times, it works its way through a group and then just stops. Napster vectored straight to college kids. Why? Because they combined the three things necessary for the virus to catch on: fast connection, spare time and an obsession with new music.

   3. The idea merchant remembers that digital word of mouth is a permanent written record online, a legacy that will follow the product, for good or for ill, forever.

An idea merchant realizes that the primary goal of a product or service is not just to satisfy the needs of one user. It has to deliver so much wow, be so cool, so neat and so productive that the user tells five friends. Products market themselves by creating and reinforcing ideaviruses.

   5. An idea merchant knows that the ideavirus follows a lifecycle and decides at which moment to shift from paying to spread it, to charging the user and profiting from it.

What Does It Take To Build And Spread An Ideavirus?

There are two questions you can ask yourself about your idea before you launch it...questions that will help you determine how likely your idea will become an ideavirus.

Is it worth it?
Nobody spreads an ideavirus as a favor to you. They do it because it's remarkable, thought-provoking, important, profitable, funny, horrible or beautiful. In today's winner-take-all world, there's no room for a me-too offering, or worse, BORING products and services. If it's not compelling, it will never lead to an ideavirus.

Face it. Nobody is going to hand out big rewards ever again for being on time, performing work of good quality, being useful, finishing a project on budget or being good enough. That's expected. That's a given. The rewards (and the ideavirus) belong to the first, the fastest, the coolest, the very best.

 If your idea doesn't become a virus, it's most likely because it didn't deserve to become a virus.

Is it smooth?
After someone's been exposed to an ideavirus just once, they're not likely to actually catch it. We've made our brains bulletproof and ideaproof. There's so much clutter, so much noise, so many ideas to choose from that the vast majority of them fail to make a dent.

Think about the last time you walked through a bookstore (the home of ideaviruses waiting to happen). How many books did you stop and look at? Pick up? Turn over? And how many of those books ended up in your shopping basket? Got read? Led you to tell ten friends? Precious few, that's for sure.

Compare this to the Harry Potter phenomenon... the bestselling books of the last few years, created just because kids told kids. A classic ideavirus, and one that initially grew with no promotion at all from the publisher.

It's difficult to get from awareness to the "sale" of an idea, to convert a stranger into a friend and a friend into a carrier of your ideavirus. An ideavirus succeeds when it pierces our natural defenses and makes an impact.
It's foolish to expect that one exposure to your message will instantly convert someone from stranger to raving ideavirus-spreading fan. So plan on a process. Plan on a method that takes people from where they are to where you want them to go.

And while you're at it, work on the product. Because a catchier, more compelling, more viral product makes your job 100 times easier.

These are critical decisions because of the attention deficit marketers are facing. In 1986, the year I published my first book, there were about 300 other business books published. In 1998, there were 1,778 business books brought to market.

The supermarket sees about 15,000 new products introduced every year. The Levenger catalog alone features more than 50 different pens and pencils, none of which were available just a couple years ago. There isn't a marketplace out there that isn't more crowded than it was a decade ago.

In a world where products are screaming for attention, the most precious commodity is attention. And attention is harder and harder to achieve.

If you already understand the power of permission, your next question might be, "Fine, but how do we get permission? How do we get the first date... the first interaction where we ask people if we can start an ongoing dialogue about our products and their needs?"

My answer used to be a rather weak mumble about buying ads. The right answer, however, is to create an ideavirus. The right answer is to let the market tell itself about your products and services and give you permission to continue the dialogue without your having to pay for it each time. The right answer is to create products so dynamic and virusworthy that you earn the attention.


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Anatomy of a Meme
« on: July 24, 2007, 03:12:35 pm »
here's some more stuff on memes,
highlights from wikipedia's rather long article.

if this is tl;dr to you, skip it. Personally, this stuff fascinates me.

On the Evolution of Memes
A gene's success in a body may stem from its attempt to bypass the normal sexual lottery by making itself present in more than 50% of zygotes in an organism. Some genes find other ways of having themselves transmitted between cells. Hence multiple factors influence the evolution of genes — not just the success of the species as a whole. Similarly the evolutionary pressures on memes include much more than just truth and economic success. Evolutionary pressures may include the following:

   1. Experience: If a meme does not correlate with an individual's experience, then that individual has a reduced likelihood of remembering that meme.

   2. Pleasure/Pain: If a meme results in more pleasure or less pain for its host then the host will have a greater likelihood of remembering it.

   3. Fear/Bribery: If a meme constitutes a threat then people may become frightened into believing it. Similarly, if a meme promises some future benefit then people may incline to believe it. The memes ¬ªif you do X you will burn in hell¬´ and ¬ªdo Y and you will go to heaven¬´ provide examples. Memes which pass on the fear of a threat, of the likelihood or effectiveness of a threat, that ¬ªsomething will happen if you do such and such a thing¬´, have a high likelihood of success, and may therefore replicate and remain in the meme-pool. They may assist in this way in the survival of a thought, a theme or a philosophy within a community.

   4. Censorship: If an organisation destroys any retention-systems containing a particular meme or otherwise controls the usage of that meme, then that meme may suffer a selective disadvantage.

   5. Economics: If people or organisations with economic influence exhibit a particular meme, then the meme has a greater likelihood of benefiting from a greater audience. If a meme tends to increase the riches of an individual holding it, then that meme may spread because of imitation. Such memes might include ¬ªHard work is good¬´ and ¬ªPut number one first¬´.

   6. Distinction: If the meme enables hearers to recognize and respect tellers (as leaders, intelligent people, insightful, etc.), then the meme has a greater chance of spreading. The erstwhile receivers will want to become themselves tellers of the same meme (or of an evolved/mutated version). Thus ?©lite knowledge can provide a promotion to ?©lite status.

Memes, like genes, do not purposely do or want anything — they either get replicated or not. Some meme systems have negative effects on the host or on their host society, but humans generally have a symbiotic relationship with these abstract entities.

Memes do not mutate in an exclusively passive way. The brain inhabited by a meme system can carry out a sort of active modification of a meme. One could draw an analogy with a cell's error-correction systems, but they clearly function quite differently. In essence, people create and modify memes almost continuously. One can modify, manipulate, and create meme systems in thought, for instance through internal dialogue. As soon as one opens one's mouth and says something (or does something) that one has not copied (but that others can copy), one has unleashed a novel meme. Thus, one could conclude that we all perform the role of a memetic engineer to some degree (even if not consciously).

on Memetic Virus Exchange

One controversial application of this »selfish meme« parallel (compare the selfish gene) results in the idea that certain collections of memes can act as »memetic viruses«: collections of ideas that behave as independent life-forms which continue to get passed on — even at the expense of their hosts — simply because of their success at getting passed on. Some observers have suggested that evangelical religions and cults behave this way; so by including the act of passing on their beliefs as a moral virtue, other beliefs of the religion also get passed along even if they do not provide particular benefits to the believer.

Others maintain that the wide prevalence of human adoption of religious ideas provides evidence to suggest that such ideas offer some ecological, sexual, ethical or moral value; otherwise memetic evolution would long ago have selected against such ideas. For example, some religions urge peace and co-operation among their followers (¬´Thou shalt not kill¬´) which may possibly tend to promote the biological survival of the social groups that carry these memes. However, the idea of group selection stands on shaky ground (to say the least) in the field of genetics. Accordingly, some consider the idea of selection of ideas beneficial to the group exclusively as unlikely

Here's an interesting note that came up recently --  In the Ego Sickness thread, and also in the essay Jailbreaking for Idiots (which either Vex or SillyCybin wrote, but it's in the new BIP), we've talked about how one's identity can be obscured by the memes it collects. At a certain point, one has to wonder whether your (say) taste in music is you. Dawkins sez

Dawkins notes that one can distinguish a biological virus from its host's normal genetic material by the fact that it can propagate alone, without the entire genetic corpus of the host being propagated

cool stuff

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Anatomy of a Meme
« on: July 24, 2007, 02:10:42 pm »
We've been talking a bit about memetics and the properties of memes. So from what I know of memetics, here are some concepts which may make it easier to talk about this stuff. (The terminology I use is from Unleashing the Ideavirus by Seth Godin, in which he's talking about memes in terms of marketing. He calls a successful meme an Ideavirus.)

Velocity - a measure of how fast an idea spreads from one party to another

Hive - a network of people who exchange information. Information travels very easily within a hive, especially when regard each other as credible sources. is a hive. A class of third graders is a hive. Friends who talk about HP Lovecraft are a sort of hive.

Sneeze - a sneeze is a transmission of a meme between two people. If I see a cool commercial, and then I ask my friend if he's seen that commercial, that counts as a sneeze. Basically any time you mention a product, you are sneezing that meme.

Smoothness - how easy it is for someone to sneeze the meme. Sports trivia is very smooth in regards to sports fans. Really boring or complicated topics are not smooth.

Another factor influencing smoothness is whether or not the meme presents a risk or reward to the sneezer. For example, the iPhone is considered cool. You might seem cooler for knowing about the iPhone or mentioning your friend that has one. If you're attending NAMBLA meetings you'd probably want to keep a lid on that. So NAMBLA membership isn't very smooth.

Promiscuity - One's likelihood to spread a meme. Really promiscuous people sneeze a lot. Marketing teams twist their brains in knots trying to figure out how to get the cool guys and the hot girls to start using their products. Trendsetters and people of authority tend to be very promiscuous.



Bring and Brag / Re: After the messia complex...
« on: July 23, 2007, 08:14:28 pm »
I like it. The meter could use some tightening, it sounds a bit weird to me when I read it out loud. But the final stanza is bangin'.

I did that five or six times that weekend, usually in front of outdoor cafe type places.

The best was when I got onto a bus shouting at my phone, and whole bus shut up and was staring at me. After I hung up, my buddy Dwayne looked at me and cut the silence,

"Dude. That cat is fucked."

Bring and Brag / Re: hay guys check out my fursona pic
« on: July 23, 2007, 04:21:14 pm »
yes and it's the main reason I'd want one

Bring and Brag / Re: hay guys check out my fursona pic
« on: July 23, 2007, 04:19:33 pm »

having sex in the shower isn't fucked up

having sex in the bathroom isn't fucked up

going to the bathroom during sex isn't fucked up

pooping on your partner's vagina isn't fucked up

Bring and Brag / Re: hay guys check out my fursona pic
« on: July 23, 2007, 04:14:54 pm »
1. cutting during sex isn't fucked up.

2. stabbing during sex is going a littlebit further than cutting.

3. hence, stabbing during sex is also not fucked up.

5. profit

Bring and Brag / Re: hay guys check out my fursona pic
« on: July 23, 2007, 04:03:15 pm »
I think a dose of e-prime would clear this up nicely

for example:

"I'm not fond of catgirls, but actual cats are sexy TO ME."

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: The Black Iron Prison - v2
« on: July 23, 2007, 03:11:21 pm »
I think if we could somehow establish a small trickle of publications we'd alleviate that possible problem. 

this is the correct motorcycle.

Personally, I think editing and laying these things out is FUN. It's even better when they get distributed. And double better if they come to the website and hash it out with us. And triple better if some minds or cocks get blown in the process.

My buddy gave the BIP pamphlet to some Jehovahs Witnesses yesterday. SCORE.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: The Black Iron Prison - v2
« on: July 22, 2007, 04:47:41 am »
Good spot - the line about 'being on this website' is edited out in the most current edit.

After we're all happy with this version I'll release a PDF in readable order and a PDF in printable booklet order. I really hope to be done with all this by Friday this week.

I think that's some really good but broad feedback, Ubermensch. At the moment we're in the phase where we need more specific comments. As far as suggesting changes - if you're feeling bold, I recommend that you get an account on the wiki and edit the parts you're talking about. Bump me about it and I'll make the changes in the manuscript.


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