Author Topic: The Emergent Conspiracy  (Read 13216 times)

Cain

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The Emergent Conspiracy
« on: October 28, 2008, 11:13:29 am »
The Emergent Conspiracy

An emergent behaviour or emergent property can appear when a number of simple entities (agents) operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviours as a collective [...] The complex behaviour or properties are not a property of any single such entity, nor can they easily be predicted or deduced from behaviour in the lower-level entities.
- Wikipedia

“Daring ideas are like Chess men moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Its hard to say when the “conspiracy” started.  Because, the thing is, its not really a conspiracy.  Its easy to trace people and interests, child's play really.  But tracing ideas...well, that's another matter entirely.  Some say it dates back to the Yellow Turban Rebellion, where Taoists eschewed Wu Wei and took matters into their own hands, collapsing the Han Dynasty.  Others suggest the Assassins, the mystic-killers who controlled wide tracts of the Middle East, as more likely culprits.  More realistically, the secret authors of the Rosicrucian Manifestos are named, setting into motion a fusion of Hermetic philosophy, Renaissance free thinking and opposition to the Vatican.  This filtered into radical Masonic lodges, culminating in the exemplar secret society, that of the Bavarian Illuminati.

Others think that looking at the subject too politically may in fact be the wrong way of going about it.  Looking to literature and art, we have Baudelaire and Poe, influencing the Symbolist movement, and working its way, via World War One, into Dadaism.  From Dada sprung the Situationists and Discordians, among others.  And from there, the ball was really set rolling.  Discordianism worked an influence on the Church of the Subgenius, and combining with the Beat philosophy of the West Coast and their anarchic interpretation of Situationism, became the Cacophony Society.  Neoism also arose, promoting its mixture of experimental art and pranking, paradoxes and various frauds.  The avant-garde, constantly evolving to effect the mainstream and better protest against it.

And whichever story you prefer, including the ones you come up with yourselves, there is no denying that the virus is loose.  Its hard to define, but that's why it keeps on living.  Chaotic, anarchic, artistic and rebellious, opposing the values of the mainstream and with more than a hint of humour (if of the ironic and satirical kind) it is out there.  And it keeps on going.

That's why this conspiracy is emergent.  There is no controlling group, no command, no figurehead.  Many of the groups within the conspiracy have these, but it does not add up overall.  It does not even need to.  And even better...with no one grouping, with no figurehead, its very, very hard to undo.  Its in the soil, and in the air we breathe.  To be sure, its hard to catch, or at least thinly distributed, but it is there, and combines with local and global trends to become something new, to change and adapt and unleash itself yet again against the upright, the “proper”, the bourgeois (in the pejorative sense) and in short, living the ideal of Baudelaire, that “the man of letters is the enemy of the world”.

Discordianism, for its own sake, its irrelevant.  Well, maybe that's too harsh.  It is not necessary, though its certainly very agreeable to my personal tastes and has done a lot in spreading the underlying memes that the emergent conspiracy relies on.  Instead, if for whatever reason, Discordianism were to fail (the unlikely scenario of Erisian terrorists, for example), there are avenues for escape, to regroup, and continue on as before, with a few adjustments.  The conspiracy, by virtue of the fact that it is not a conspiracy in the traditional sense, lives on, and continues to exert its influences.

The conspiracy does not die.  It stands against the values of this culture, this society.  Its willing to use unusual and exotic techniques to change it.  And no-one can stop those of us in on it.  Because...the conspiracy does not exist.  But that does not mean you cannot join it.

Cain

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2008, 11:13:56 am »
Meh, that's a little rough.  I may clean that up later.

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2008, 12:14:44 pm »
Not all that rough.
I like the thought process of it not existing but that it can be joined. You may be on to something there.

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2008, 01:02:19 pm »
Meh, that's a little rough.  I may clean that up later.

I don't think it's "rough," as you say, although there are some parts that really piqued my interest that I hope you expand upon, if you do go back for cleanup. Namely, I was most interested in this:


Instead, if for whatever reason, Discordianism were to fail (the unlikely scenario of Erisian terrorists, for example), there are avenues for escape, to regroup, and continue on as before, with a few adjustments.  The conspiracy, by virtue of the fact that it is not a conspiracy in the traditional sense, lives on, and continues to exert its influences.


Would you expand upon what the implications of this might be? For instance, if the "traditional" methods of Discordianism do fail and regrouping is required, did you have any ideas about what tactics those hypothetical future Discordians might use?
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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2008, 01:14:06 pm »
Very cool, sir.


Cain

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 01:17:53 pm »
Meh, that's a little rough.  I may clean that up later.

I don't think it's "rough," as you say, although there are some parts that really piqued my interest that I hope you expand upon, if you do go back for cleanup. Namely, I was most interested in this:


Instead, if for whatever reason, Discordianism were to fail (the unlikely scenario of Erisian terrorists, for example), there are avenues for escape, to regroup, and continue on as before, with a few adjustments.  The conspiracy, by virtue of the fact that it is not a conspiracy in the traditional sense, lives on, and continues to exert its influences.


Would you expand upon what the implications of this might be? For instance, if the "traditional" methods of Discordianism do fail and regrouping is required, did you have any ideas about what tactics those hypothetical future Discordians might use?

I don't know.  I favour experimentation, and open source planning.  Share the tools and methods as widely as possible, and see what people come up with that works.  Building on that is what I would do.  As a starting point, at least.

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2008, 01:53:11 pm »
The Emergent Conspiracy

An emergent behaviour or emergent property can appear when a number of simple entities (agents) operate in an environment, forming more complex behaviours as a collective [...] The complex behaviour or properties are not a property of any single such entity, nor can they easily be predicted or deduced from behaviour in the lower-level entities.
- Wikipedia

“Daring ideas are like Chess men moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Its hard to say when the “conspiracy” started.  Because, the thing is, its not really a conspiracy.  Its easy to trace people and interests, child's play really.  But tracing ideas...well, that's another matter entirely.  Some say it dates back to the Yellow Turban Rebellion, where Taoists eschewed Wu Wei and took matters into their own hands, collapsing the Han Dynasty.  Others suggest the Assassins, the mystic-killers who controlled wide tracts of the Middle East, as more likely culprits.  More realistically, the secret authors of the Rosicrucian Manifestos are named, setting into motion a fusion of Hermetic philosophy, Renaissance free thinking and opposition to the Vatican.  This filtered into radical Masonic lodges, culminating in the exemplar secret society, that of the Bavarian Illuminati.

Others think that looking at the subject too politically may in fact be the wrong way of going about it.  Looking to literature and art, we have Baudelaire and Poe, influencing the Symbolist movement, and working its way, via World War One, into Dadaism.  From Dada sprung the Situationists and Discordians, among others.  And from there, the ball was really set rolling.  Discordianism worked an influence on the Church of the Subgenius, and combining with the Beat philosophy of the West Coast and their anarchic interpretation of Situationism, became the Cacophony Society.  Neoism also arose, promoting its mixture of experimental art and pranking, paradoxes and various frauds.  The avant-garde, constantly evolving to effect the mainstream and better protest against it.

And whichever story you prefer, including the ones you come up with yourselves, there is no denying that the virus is loose.  Its hard to define, but that's why it keeps on living.  Chaotic, anarchic, artistic and rebellious, opposing the values of the mainstream and with more than a hint of humour (if of the ironic and satirical kind) it is out there.  And it keeps on going.

That's why this conspiracy is emergent.  There is no controlling group, no command, no figurehead.  Many of the groups within the conspiracy have these, but it does not add up overall.  It does not even need to.  And even better...with no one grouping, with no figurehead, its very, very hard to undo.  Its in the soil, and in the air we breathe.  To be sure, its hard to catch, or at least thinly distributed, but it is there, and combines with local and global trends to become something new, to change and adapt and unleash itself yet again against the upright, the “proper”, the bourgeois (in the pejorative sense) and in short, living the ideal of Baudelaire, that “the man of letters is the enemy of the world”.

Discordianism, for its own sake, its irrelevant.  Well, maybe that's too harsh.  It is not necessary, though its certainly very agreeable to my personal tastes and has done a lot in spreading the underlying memes that the emergent conspiracy relies on.  Instead, if for whatever reason, Discordianism were to fail (the unlikely scenario of Erisian terrorists, for example), there are avenues for escape, to regroup, and continue on as before, with a few adjustments.  The conspiracy, by virtue of the fact that it is not a conspiracy in the traditional sense, lives on, and continues to exert its influences.

The conspiracy does not die.  It stands against the values of this culture, this society.  Its willing to use unusual and exotic techniques to change it.  And no-one can stop those of us in on it.  Because...the conspiracy does not exist.  But that does not mean you cannot join it.

The whole piece was full if WIN but that last line should go on the news ticker thing....

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2008, 02:37:19 pm »
last line NEEDS to be the closing line of our next "Best Piece of Propaganda".
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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2008, 02:54:17 pm »
It's not rough at all...it's quite masterful, as usual, Cain.  Nice!

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2008, 04:17:42 pm »
I don't know.  I favour experimentation, and open source planning.  Share the tools and methods as widely as possible, and see what people come up with that works.  Building on that is what I would do.  As a starting point, at least.

Supposing we were somewhat unified and had an efficient network, to achieve what ends would you mobilize "Us" ?
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Cain

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2008, 04:25:27 pm »
I don't know.  I favour experimentation, and open source planning.  Share the tools and methods as widely as possible, and see what people come up with that works.  Building on that is what I would do.  As a starting point, at least.

Supposing we were somewhat unified and had an efficient network, to achieve what ends would you mobilize "Us" ?

Your suppositions have nothing to do with what I am stating.

I'm guessing you just skipped over that whole "emergence" business, right?

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2008, 04:30:24 pm »


Your suppositions have nothing to do with what I am stating.

I'm guessing you just skipped over that whole "emergence" business, right?

To have the traits and culture of Discordians become prevalent as a emergent traits in our nation, or yours.  I'm not challenging you, i just wanna know how you would use the strength of the group.
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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2008, 04:31:19 pm »
Yup.

You missed it.

Go back and re-read the part about what "emergence" means.

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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2008, 04:34:01 pm »
Excellent Cain!
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Re: The Emergent Conspiracy
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2008, 04:47:38 pm »
I like where this is going... Especially after just reading that piece about the emergence of intelligence on the internet.

You're right, there's definitely a core vibe that runs through these factions - Dadism, the Cacophony Society, Discordija, etc... I think over time we're seeing them run together, and seep deeper and deeper into the mainstream. Look at the success of Improv Everywhere - that's a Situationist group which is doing it's damndest to inject the surreal into public, and they've created an easily accessable, visible means of participation. It seems to be a logical iteration on the somewhat more internal, behind-closed-doors weirdness of Discordia.

To attempt a guess at where this is going -- If we look at a long tail graph, we're now seeing more ways over time for the average freak to participate. This is an emergent property of the original, hm, "hypersigil" (to borrow Grant Morrison's term). The Internet puts people in contact with entire movements they'd never otherwise know existed. In the Strange Times, there's no fringe anymore, just different mainstreams.

Like I said, it's hard to project what types of emergent behavior are going to pop up, but my fingers are crossed that we'll see a revisiting of old memes with a fresh coat of paint. There's a certain recurrence that often happens with these things as memes are revisited and recontextualized. At this point, since so many people are being attracted to the hypersigil, we'll be seeing an influx of fresh creativity. If all these movements are tributaries to the same stream, over time, we'll see memeplexes which combine all these elements. Just like how you can now learn about Eris by watching Nickelodeon, I think we'll soon see another irreligion which combines situationism, discordia, pastafarianism, and all that jazz into a NEW framework which encourages people to ding-dong-ditch doors of perception and culture.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 04:50:42 pm by Cramulus »