Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Structure RE: Corruption of Memes

It will take several posts to completely construct it, but let's attempt to fabricate a structure which can follow toxins moving from that mysterious force we call power, into a meme in memory, thereby corrupting that meme.

Specifically, it will be a construct that shows how a power toxin infects a meme, is stored in that meme by becoming a part of that meme, and then is propagated to others.

The subject of memes is difficult, in the sense of the toxins of power, because it crosses several realms composed of both mystic and scientific knowledge.

It makes the subject of the corruption of those in power all the more difficult, because both power and memory are described in whole or in part, depending on who you are talking to, with the words of mystery and the words of science.

Likewise the distribution of memes is a difficult subject, primarily because the fundamental method of distribution is language, which has engendered a library of opposing, even contradictory, papers, books, lectures, and theory all by itself.

Lets try to focus, then, on the consensus of scientists when we touch upon language during this discussion of memes, such as:
It has been recognized for thousands of years that language is, fundamentally, a system of sound-meaning connections; the potential infiniteness of this system has been explicitly recognized by Galileo, Descartes, and the 17th-century “philosophical grammarians” and their successors, notably von Humboldt.
(Chomsky, Science Magazine, Nov. 22, 2002, Volume 298, p 1571). So when I discuss the structure or process of converting a meme out from within an individual's memory into the language mechanism (intending to transfer that meme from one place to another place) I will stick to consensus ideas about language.

The "sound-meaning" linkage theory, says that meaning is linked to sound in language, and inversely says that sound is linked to meaning in language.

This of course is talking about cases of meme transfer between those who can hear and speak audibly.

Obviously the hearing impaired would use sign language to transfer memes, which is visual-meaning linked, not sound-meaning linked.

Of course there are other means of communication as well, not of sound and not of sight, but we focus on the basic forms to illustrate the construct.

The process being used here to show how a toxin can contaminate a meme is shown as a four part process in the illustration "Four Phases - corruption".

Phase 1 shows the toxins of power working on a meme in memory; phase 2 shows the morph of the meme from a non-corrupt meme into a corrupt meme; phase 3 shows the conversion of the corrupt meme into language; and phase 4 shows the corrupt meme replicating by being communicated to the memory of the recipient of that language.

With this construct we do not postulate that the meme itself comes from power, rather we form a premise that a toxin of power distorts a meme already in memory.

The illustration "PHASE ONE" shows a meme in memory surrounded with power during phase 1 of the process.

This construct represents the meme as being constructed of various codified strands composing a web like structure.

The strands map to memory areas where the various components of the meme are stored. Links on a web page to other web pages might be a reasonable way of envisioning it.

The illustration "PHASE TWO" shows the same meme in memory at the completion of phase 2 of the process, where some of the web strands or links have been "corrupted" by the toxins.

The meme is no longer composed of its original codified strand links, which mapped to original memory areas where the components of the original meme were stored, because some of the links have become corrupted or broken.

Some of the codified strand links now point to areas of memory that will result in a corrupt form of the original meme.

Bad links on a web page might be a reasonable way of envisioning the distorted or corrupted state of the meme at phase 2 of the four phase process.

When the strands of the meme are unwound during the process that converts a meme into language, the corrupted strands are also converted into language.

Then when the language is converted back into the memory version of the meme the corrupted strands are handled as if they were the original, so the meme in the new memory is a meme depicted in the PHASE ONE illustration.

That is, it is as if it was the original in terms of how it is stored in the new memory after conversion from language back into the memory format.

The notion of distortion or corruption, as used in this construct, is the definition at the macro level already explained in the post "What Is Corruption?".

Thus, "corruption" as used in this construct, does not have the medical or psychological meaning in the technical sense.

The next post in this series is located here.

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