Author Topic: No strings attached freedom  (Read 21766 times)

Elder Iptuous

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2008, 02:28:35 am »
...I've gotta be willing to ... (b) drop that shit at a moment's notice if that meme becomes a parasite.

...an organism will engage in a behavior until a competing behavior offers a better reward...

but this can't be known, so you're still swimming in the dark.  Like that Chinese parable with the "good luck, bad luck? who knows?" deal.
some fat guy said that desire for life is itself a parasite, right?

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2008, 02:24:16 pm »
I just wonder if we, any of us, have the courage to allow freedom to even exist.

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2008, 02:36:44 pm »
If Cain's main point is correct (as far as I understand it; I could be horribly wrong), we allow freedom to exist every time we transgress the Rules and the Accepted Social Order.

In the case of this forum, I'm pretty sure this happens to most of us on a daily basis.

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2008, 02:52:26 pm »
...I've gotta be willing to ... (b) drop that shit at a moment's notice if that meme becomes a parasite.

...an organism will engage in a behavior until a competing behavior offers a better reward...

but this can't be known, so you're still swimming in the dark.  Like that Chinese parable with the "good luck, bad luck? who knows?" deal.
some fat guy said that desire for life is itself a parasite, right?

     It's in the FORCE, Ipt. Let it flow THROUGH you.
“Sincere thought, real free thought, ready, in the name of superhuman authority or of humble common sense, to question the basis of what is officially taught and generally accepted, is less and less likely to thrive. It is, we repeat, by far easier to enslave a literate people than an illiterate one, strange as this may seem at first sight. And the enslavement is more likely to be lasting.”   -Savitri Devi

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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2008, 03:58:07 pm »
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The angle argued in AoM, which I happen to agree with, is that there is no real self at the core, there's just this meme called "I am", and a bunch of stuff stuck to it.

If identity is a meme then how do other animals, without a highly evolved social communication system, hold the concept? A recent study in Britain shows that dogs express jealousy, even as puppies. They had dogs perform the same trick and some dogs got a treat and some dogs got a bigger treat. The dogs that got the smaller treat expressed physical signs of stress...

Did they learn the meme 'I Am' then learn the meme 'I'm Jealous'? Or is the 'I Am' something built in, (in this case it could be argued that its an evolutionary advantage). Either we're making a statement about how easily memes can travel (with only rudimentary conmmunication and social order required), or we're making a claim that Dogs are more highly evolved along the social/communication order than we thought. Jumping spiders have, according to some studies, been able to identify a live video feed of themselves... that is, they can see themselves on TV and apparently realize its... them.  Maybe the experiments are wrong, or Spiders also are infected with memes. I'm sure that some animal behaviorists could come up with other examples.

Further, if 'I Am' is a meme, which all other memes stick to... what is that meme sticking to... it seems there still must be something there to learn and imitate the meme 'I Am', at the least.

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2008, 04:09:25 pm »
Personally, I always thought the "slave to your own power" idea didn't hold up. If upholding one's power or right to hold power over others is what one wishes to do, then to say that one is constrained by doing so seems a bit off. That seems like saying that someone who loves someone else unconditionally and wants to do nice things for that person is a slave to their own love, or that eating when you feel hungry makes you a slave to your stomach. Sure, those things affect what choices you do make, but not necessarily what choices you're forced to make.
I can be a slave to my hunger or love at times.

What do you mean by 'what choices you are forced to make'?

Maybe those who sit on top of the pyramids are happy being there, I don't know. Anecdotally, people in positions of power tend to be workaholics, Stalin worked about 20 hours a day to keep his reign of terror from biting him back. Rupert Murdoch works tirelessly to maintain News Limited. Politicians tend to work very long hours and have to spend a lot of time and energy maintaining 'respectability' in the eyes of the media.

From my own perspective as someone who likes being in control of his own time as much as possible, to take on a position of domination over others would be enslaving myself to a role, where my freedom of action is restrained by having to always play the role of Boss. To use the  :fnord: Eye in the Pyramid analogy, everyone below me would be telling me what I wanted to hear, in order to try and curry favour. From that position of being fed misinformation I would then have to make decisions affecting all of those below me, causing negative chaos. Personally I think I would lose out on a cost/benefit analysis. (Such logic applies to me, Im not sure if it can apply to anyone else).

By "what choices you are forced to make," I was referring to the actual physical, emotional or mental coercion and domination that other people and outside forces exercise in an attempt to influence one's decisions.

Don't get me wrong, hash, I understand what you mean that someone can become a slave to their own power/hunger/love or whatever. I've seen (and participated in) it myself. I guess what I was trying to say that I did not convey effectively enough is that one is not necessarily enslaved by power; having power does not always equate to slavery. For instance, in cases where one who seeks power and fully recognizes, understands and accepts the various ancillary trifles that go along with the preservation of that power, in that case that person is not necessarily a slave of their own power. To get less abstract, someone who becomes a principal and recognizes/understands/enjoys the various challenges to their authority that will result from the position will not, necessarily, be said to be enslaved by those constraints, because they recognize and appreciate the situation with a broad understanding.

However, I say all of this and admit that, put into terms that Cram uses, like


the choices you make are every bit a prison, even if you're choosing what you seem to want . . .


. . . when you act, you have to wonder - what part of me is acting, and whose part is that? . . .

. . . Your choices do begin to feel like a trap, that all-consuming quest for slack.

It does make sense that one's choices and personality are, on some level, constraints. I agree that every choice and mental facet is, at some level, the result of various memetic coercions that become accepted by the creature that is "I".

In both my critique of your statement, hash, as well as my response to Cram, I suppose I must admit that by "freedom" and the lack thereof, I usually think less in terms of actions that one takes, and more in terms of one's interior mindset. I fully agree that choices, personality aspects and other minutae (sp?) of character influence - and possibly even control - one's actions, but as far as the state of well-being and contentment of one's mind, I am unsure as to whether or not such memetic influences have power.

I am not, of course, advocating any type of Cartesian bifurcation of mind and action, mind and body, or whatever, but simply trying to illustrate that I was referring more to the freedom and wellbeing of intellection rather than personal constraint, or even constraint of character.

To me, the term "slave" carries certain connotations to it, and I was responding more to these negative connotations rather than to the actual idea that someone is shaped by certain memetic forces. The term "slave" implies to me a sense of hopelessness, despair or ennui born of lack of option, which I think is off the mark, and which I think does not accurately necessarily describe the position of those in power (or in any other state, such as hunger or love). My apologies for reading something in to your posts which wasn't there, and creating a response based on my own connotative interpretation rather than the denotative meaning of your words.

Oh, and thanks for the insightful posts, both of you. Yours, hash for elucidating a denotative property of role restrictions, and yours, Cram, for the insight into the nature of one's character.
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2008, 04:24:35 pm »

I'd argue that the choices you make are every bit a prison, even if you're choosing what you seem to want.


I'd argue that they're a prison, if you want them to be a prison.

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So when you look at a person's behavior, you have to wonder if it's really them acting? Or they are merely being an agent of the memeplex called Christianity (for example).

Because they are not more than the sum of their memes?

Does a JW act as an agent of the Christianity meme as a Gnostic Christian or a Baptist? Can we argue that someone infected with the meme Mystic and Christian is an agent of the same entity as a Presbyterian? What about Christian Discordians? Are they agents of the memetic entity Christianity or Discordia? Or, are they a unique memetic entity in and of themselves?

What if memes aren't controlling entities outside of the human... but rather they're dynamic entities that mix with the other memes within the individual human (think genes and sex) thus producing a unique individual that has a unique memetic structure. If their structure puts multiple memes together in a very useful way, the new memeplex may survive better and spread. Or not... I dunno.

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The angle argued in AoM, which I happen to agree with, is that there is no real self at the core, there's just this meme called "I am", and a bunch of stuff stuck to it. Some of it's been stuck to it for a long time, and has a very strong tenacity (like the values you were instilled with at birth, which are themselves complexes of memes). You might think of this as your "true self" and your "true will", but over time these things will shift and change strength and relationship to one another. They're no more identity than the clothes you're wearing right now.

It seems to me that arguing "it changes therefore it isn't truly you" doesn't hold up. Everything that is alive is constantly changing. I would argue that if X ideas in your head NEVER CHANGE its not the real you, and rather a cancerous memetic tumor. ;-) I would expect a 'true self' to change, based on experiences, education, exposure to new memes etc.  

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So when you act, you have to wonder - what part of me is acting, and whose part is that?

This is definately a good way to observe our behaviors... I'm still skeptical of the overall model, but at the very least this point alone makes it worthwhile to poke at ;-)

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I seem to be infected with this Discordia meme, and it motivates me to waste numerous hours scribbling into the night... but is that ME? Or is it that I've internalized part of the Discordian memeplex and it's acting through me?

But, we all, seem to be infected with the Discordian meme to some extent... yet mosbunal of us seem to have entirely different views on most aspects of Discordianism. Discordianism seems to be expressed by each of us differently... in some cases wildly so. So it seems to me that "ME" might be the unique hash* of all of the memes that have infected us, plus any underlying stuff (genetic, actual (if I Am is more than a meme) etc).

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That's the Black Iron Prison if you ask me. You're a slave to your preferences and tastes. I watch Stephen Colbert every fucking night, and I love the hell out of that man, but it's also a bar in my prison. I am a Discordian (it's one of the few things I'll say declaratively about myself) but to be really free I've gotta be willing to (a) recognize that it's not me, it's just some stuff I'm carrying and (b) drop that shit at a moment's notice if that meme becomes a parasite.

Do you drop memes that prove not useful to you? Do you actively consider the memes affecting your thoughts and actions actively, with an eye to prune the bad? If so, its a damn cushy prison ;-)

(Welcome to 70 years hard time, scum! You're in for it now, thought you could get away scot free, eh? Well, now its prison for you!

Feel free to change your room, get rid of those bars if they block your view... oh and did you want shag carpet, wood flooring or just a giant moonwalk floor? The Warden will be by around 9 PM and expects to see you enjoying yourself and making yourself at home. Here's you're standard issue pick axe and jackhammer if you'd like to widen the place. Enjoy your stay....) :lulz:










*Hash as in a hash function: a deterministic procedure that takes an arbitrary block of data and returns a fixed-size bit string, the hash value, such that an accidental or intentional change to the data will almost certainly change the hash value.
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Cramulus

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2008, 04:27:48 pm »
what an interesting discussion this has been.

If identity is a meme then how do other animals, without a highly evolved social communication system, hold the concept?

Well if memes are just information, animals certainly acquire and transmit them. They don't have the linguistic framework to know anything really (linguistically) complex, and a lot of human identity seems to fall under that heading. After all, even if you were raised by wolves, you'd still know that you were an entity... an entity with NEEDS! You just wouldn't have any of those complex ideas about gender and sexuality or how you relate to the whitewater rapids of mainstream culture.

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Further, if 'I Am' is a meme, which all other memes stick to... what is that meme sticking to... it seems there still must be something there to learn and imitate the meme 'I Am', at the least.

I present the image of an ignorant baby (a Tabula Rasa) being repeatedly informed of his name and gender and identity as he grows up. I posit that the lifelong process of self-discovery is really a process of self-creation.

Somewhere else on the board, somebody was talking about how all human communication can basically be boiled down to "I'm here, where are you?" I think that starts at birth, and that "I'm here" bit contains all these little velcro hooks for your favorite books and movies and the kind of girl you want to marry.


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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2008, 04:30:28 pm »
That was me paraphrasing Leary.

Anyone read the Preacher comic books?  Genesis could be considered the "Tabula Rasa" baby.

Something thinks, and so the thinker observes, and using observation, thinks about the thinker.  In this way, a personality is formed like a pearl in an oyster, with the ability to think as the grain of sand.

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2008, 04:41:39 pm »
what an interesting discussion this has been.

If identity is a meme then how do other animals, without a highly evolved social communication system, hold the concept?

Well if memes are just information, animals certainly acquire and transmit them. They don't have the linguistic framework to know anything really (linguistically) complex, and a lot of human identity seems to fall under that heading. After all, even if you were raised by wolves, you'd still know that you were an entity... an entity with NEEDS! You just wouldn't have any of those complex ideas about gender and sexuality or how you relate to the whitewater rapids of mainstream culture.

Then where did the puppy learn the meme I Am and where did the puppy learn the meme I Am Jealous, I Have Needs? It could be a learned behavior, I suppose, but I'm not sure how one would learn "jealous" through watching behaviors, parituclarly.

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Quote
Further, if 'I Am' is a meme, which all other memes stick to... what is that meme sticking to... it seems there still must be something there to learn and imitate the meme 'I Am', at the least.

I present the image of an ignorant baby (a Tabula Rasa) being repeatedly informed of his name and gender and identity as he grows up. I posit that the lifelong process of self-discovery is really a process of self-creation.

I agree with that... though I wonder how truly 'ignorant' the baby is...

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Somewhere else on the board, somebody was talking about how all human communication can basically be boiled down to "I'm here, where are you?" I think that starts at birth, and that "I'm here" bit contains all these little velcro hooks for your favorite books and movies and the kind of girl you want to marry.


Its a quote from Leary, that from the beginning most communication (even the baby cry) is "I'm Here, Are you there?".

So this would, I think argue against the idea that 'I' is a learned behavior... if the newborn infant knows 'I' where did it get infected with the meme?

I think that the idea of memetics as being the lion's share of our self makes a ton of sense... but I think also, that to take it 'all the way down' may be a bit more than I see supporting evidence for. It's seems more likely to me that some kind of base for the first memes to connect to would exist... The new computer, just out of the box, before an OS is installed (there's still a BIOS and hardware etc).

In fact, it seems to me that there would almost have to be some core of 'I' for the unique interpretations each individual tends to have on all of the given memes actively infecting them. Otherwise, if we have three people growing up and exposed to the same memes... they would, one would think, behave the same way. Yet, even among siblings that may have near identical exposures, we often see a wide variety in behaviors... or interpretations... of the same memes.


Something thinks, and so the thinker observes, and using observation, thinks about the thinker.  In this way, a personality is formed like a pearl in an oyster, with the ability to think as the grain of sand.

Now that's an interesting metaphor! I like it.
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #40 on: December 09, 2008, 04:44:38 pm »
That was me paraphrasing Leary.

Anyone read the Preacher comic books?  Genesis could be considered the "Tabula Rasa" baby.

Something thinks, and so the thinker observes, and using observation, thinks about the thinker.  In this way, a personality is formed like a pearl in an oyster, with the ability to think as the grain of sand.

But, then this brings up the question... Does it require a meme to push people to engage in self-reflective behavior? Many people don't seem to do it naturally.... some people (like me) don't do it for 20 years and then suddenly SMACK, there it is... the self with all its nastiness waiting to be dealt with.

Curiouser and Curiouser.
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Cramulus

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2008, 04:45:11 pm »

I'd argue that the choices you make are every bit a prison, even if you're choosing what you seem to want.


I'd argue that they're a prison, if you want them to be a prison.

I think you're getting hung up on the negative connotations of the word prison. I'm arguing that your choices are confined to what you want to choose. When given a choice, you will always choose what's in your best interest, that which gives you the most reward. You are restricted in that way. I'm not saying, "to be free, go out and do something you don't want to do." I'm just saying that's we're wired to behave.

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What if memes aren't controlling entities outside of the human... but rather they're dynamic entities that mix with the other memes within the individual human (think genes and sex) thus producing a unique individual that has a unique memetic structure. If their structure puts multiple memes together in a very useful way, the new memeplex may survive better and spread. Or not... I dunno.

yes, you have only internal memes. There are no outside forces acting on you, they're only acting on your internal memes. I thought that'd go without saying.

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It seems to me that arguing "it changes therefore it isn't truly you" doesn't hold up. Everything that is alive is constantly changing. I would argue that if X ideas in your head NEVER CHANGE its not the real you, and rather a cancerous memetic tumor. ;-) I would expect a 'true self' to change, based on experiences, education, exposure to new memes etc.

My push was to argue against the existence of any "true self", not that the true self is only that which doesn't change. I think we're falling into useless semantics though.

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Do you drop memes that prove not useful to you? Do you actively consider the memes affecting your thoughts and actions actively, with an eye to prune the bad? If so, its a damn cushy prison ;-)

*sigh* I think this is a conversation we've had on this board 100000000000000 times

but the point of the Black Iron Prison diatribe is to encourage self-reflection and metacognitive thought so you can identify what parts of your self you want to change.

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2008, 04:50:37 pm »
That was me paraphrasing Leary.

Anyone read the Preacher comic books?  Genesis could be considered the "Tabula Rasa" baby.

Something thinks, and so the thinker observes, and using observation, thinks about the thinker.  In this way, a personality is formed like a pearl in an oyster, with the ability to think as the grain of sand.

But, then this brings up the question... Does it require a meme to push people to engage in self-reflective behavior? Many people don't seem to do it naturally.... some people (like me) don't do it for 20 years and then suddenly SMACK, there it is... the self with all its nastiness waiting to be dealt with.

Curiouser and Curiouser.

I would say that you did engage in self-reflective behavior when you were a JW.  It's just that you had an enormous constraint (shrapnel/cell/filter) on what was allowed for you to reflect on.  Because you had to monitor your behavior and thoughts to adhere to the JW life, wouldn't you say?

It wasn't that you didn't have meta-thought, and then you did.  It was that suddenly, you allowed yourself to think about more things.

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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2008, 05:08:55 pm »

I'd argue that the choices you make are every bit a prison, even if you're choosing what you seem to want.


I'd argue that they're a prison, if you want them to be a prison.

I think you're getting hung up on the negative connotations of the word prison. I'm arguing that your choices are confined to what you want to choose. When given a choice, you will always choose what's in your best interest, that which gives you the most reward. You are restricted in that way. I'm not saying, "to be free, go out and do something you don't want to do." I'm just saying that's we're wired to behave.

I dunno.. this really seems like more X for Y kinda thinking. "You choose what you want to choose, therefore you don't really have a choice..." Saying that we're wired to behave by choosing what we want to choose seems overly analytic maybe... I dunno.

If we observe person A... and we see Person A die saving Person B we might say that he made a choice which was not in his best interests... but, I think you might counter that he was just infected with a altruism meme... The question is though, how could you possibly differentiate between the two? How could we tell a selfless act, from an act forced by a meme. I think this sort of conclusion seems a bit of a stretch for the meme model... at least without some kind of external observation from a non-human standpoint.


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What if memes aren't controlling entities outside of the human... but rather they're dynamic entities that mix with the other memes within the individual human (think genes and sex) thus producing a unique individual that has a unique memetic structure. If their structure puts multiple memes together in a very useful way, the new memeplex may survive better and spread. Or not... I dunno.

yes, you have only internal memes. There are no outside forces acting on you, they're only acting on your internal memes. I thought that'd go without saying.

No, my point was that internalized memes become expressed uniquely. So then, rather than an agent of the Discordian Meme, you're a unique memetic entity, which has been influenced by the Discordian meme, or maybe memetically modified by the Discordian meme. I think its a bit tricky to presume that the person is the agent of the meme, if the meme is unique and modified by all the other memes acting on the person.

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It seems to me that arguing "it changes therefore it isn't truly you" doesn't hold up. Everything that is alive is constantly changing. I would argue that if X ideas in your head NEVER CHANGE its not the real you, and rather a cancerous memetic tumor. ;-) I would expect a 'true self' to change, based on experiences, education, exposure to new memes etc.

My push was to argue against the existence of any "true self", not that the true self is only that which doesn't change. I think we're falling into useless semantics though.

Probably ;-)

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Do you drop memes that prove not useful to you? Do you actively consider the memes affecting your thoughts and actions actively, with an eye to prune the bad? If so, its a damn cushy prison ;-)

*sigh* I think this is a conversation we've had on this board 100000000000000 times

That's why I added the face ;-)


I would say that you did engage in self-reflective behavior when you were a JW.  It's just that you had an enormous constraint (shrapnel/cell/filter) on what was allowed for you to reflect on.  Because you had to monitor your behavior and thoughts to adhere to the JW life, wouldn't you say?

It wasn't that you didn't have meta-thought, and then you did.  It was that suddenly, you allowed yourself to think about more things.

Well, that's kinda tricky to answer. I'll have to consider it.
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Re: No strings attached freedom
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2008, 05:16:05 pm »
ATTN: RATATOSK.

I think you're getting hung up on the negative connotations of the word prison.


EOT.