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Old 06-05-2018, 01:51 AM   #51
vicky_molokh
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That's why what they were doing wasn't science and did not directly lead to science.
Does it really matter whether the path to science is direct or roundabout? The big point is that science is possible in a given field, and becomes possible not just hypothetically but accessibly after the right paradigm-shift occurs. Memetics postulates a paradigm-shift event that is very much similar to the discovery of molecular genetics, genome sequencing and direct DNA manipulation. It also involves overcoming very similar hurdles - those of the whole process being more recipe-like than blueprint/plan-like.
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:04 AM   #52
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You are radically wrong about my own tastes in science fiction. I have little use for hard science and seldom favor the grimdark or pessimistic. My idea of fun is something in the area of Firefly or even Guardians of the Galaxy.
There is the matter of optimism/pessimism of what is achievable, and there is optimism/pessimism of what outcomes the achievements will cause. E.g. the discovery of WMDs can be deemed plausible or not, and then the outcomes of that can be postulated to involve total annihilation (grimmest), a bunch of bully-states using WMDs to enforce their will on the have-not states (somewhere in the middle of the spectrum), or a golden age where wars stopped forever because ubiquitousness of WMDs became a Colt Equaliser that made states almost never willing to attack another state (optimistic, I think the Mouse that Roared had a semi-similar premise) or lead to the world being horrified at them and stepping into a golden era of global disarmament and cooperation like in Star Control (even more optimistic).

(Also, people will of course argue over which positions on the spectrum are at all possible, more often based on their own biases than on actual knowledge, because attaining true alt-history knowledge is hard.)

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However, it would seem fairly clear to me that a future where human beings could be manipulated by memetics (specifically the Voodoo Mind Control flavor) would be quite dark.
As noted above, it probably depends on how you interpret the outcomes. One could argue that the world we live in, where people can convince each other of stuff by just using words and suddenly subverting another's free will, is quite dark. At least one coming from a world where that is not an ability people possess and free will can't be bound by persuasion or manipulation. But to us modern humans, such ability seems like a fundamental part of us and our society, and many would say that losing it would make the world grimmer.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:37 AM   #53
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T. One could argue that the world we live in, where people can convince each other of stuff by just using words and suddenly subverting another's free will, is quite dark.
Focusing specifically on the "using words" and "subverting another's free will" parts, I do not believe this happens.

People believe what they want to believe and success in proto-memetics consists in finding out what that is and catering to it.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:48 AM   #54
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Focusing specifically on the "using words" and "subverting another's free will" parts, I do not believe this happens.

People believe what they want to believe and success in proto-memetics consists in finding out what that is and catering to it.
If that were so, religious conversion would never happen, and since nobody is born religious, nobody would ever start believing in another religion. Yet proselytising does change what people believe in.

But on the other side, yes, to a large degree social influence is a form of catering to existing parameters of a mind in order to glitch the mind into internalising new parameters even though they are coming from an 'insecure source'. Memetics is just a field that makes people better at it through certain new discoveries on the angles of attack.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:30 AM   #55
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If that were so, religious conversion would never happen, and since nobody is born religious, nobody would ever start believing in another religion. Yet proselytising does change what people believe in.
.
Not that I've ever seen it happen.

People do join religious groups but to my observation they do it because they want some benefit of belonging to that group. The first religious identity they adopt is probably for the purpose of gaining their parents' approval (or avoiding their wrath).

After that they find who they wish to be with (peer group, spouse, whatever) and discover that their beliefs now mirror their desires. I have never seen it work the other way around.
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:44 AM   #56
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Not that I've ever seen it happen.

People do join religious groups but to my observation they do it because they want some benefit of belonging to that group. The first religious identity they adopt is probably for the purpose of gaining their parents' approval (or avoiding their wrath).

After that they find who they wish to be with (peer group, spouse, whatever) and discover that their beliefs now mirror their desires. I have never seen it work the other way around.
Are you saying that a religion with a charismatic preacher and persuasive holy texts will be no better at attracting followers than one with a wallflower preacher and unimpressive holy texts? That all of these things have no effect on the process of converting prospective followers? Because if yes, then we have a very fundamental difference in views about the world, and so long as they are so at odds, we won't agree on the conclusions and derivative stuff.

Also, people join religions to get the benefits of the group, then why did all religions not die out immediately after their creation with a follower count of 1? After all, if everyone is just after the benefits of belonging to the group, then there's no reason for the group to ever become religious in the first place.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:10 AM   #57
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Are you saying that a religion with a charismatic preacher and persuasive holy texts will be no better at attracting followers than one with a wallflower preacher and unimpressive holy texts?
Why no, I'm not saying that or at least not all of it.

Charismatic people attract followers almost by definition. So a charismatic founder of a new religion will attract personal followers. Possibly even hundreds of them who are willing to drink the Kool-aid for him. It's happened in my lifetime. It had very little that I can tell to do with "beliefs" though.

Wallflower founders can end up causing much change due to surrounding circumstances. for example, somebody became a religious success story because of Henry VIII (of England) and his desire for a divorce. Henry tailored his "beliefs" to his personal advantage and many people followed his example due to his wealth and power and their desires to gain parts of those. Or to avoid his wrath. So no, not a memetically driven event.

If we had a true science of memetics one of the things I beleive it would show was that the number of persons whose actions are driven by "pure" belief in ideas is generally statistically insignificant.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:16 AM   #58
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If we had a true science of memetics one of the things I beleive it would show was that the number of persons whose actions are driven by "pure" belief in ideas is generally statistically insignificant.
Seems like a major disagreement about the world and people between the two of us. And one that can be read as an insinuation that an overwhelming majority of religious people are lying about themselves . . . which is . . . well it certainly looks nihilistic and seems to be at odds with some fundamental rights like protection of religious affiliation/expression/actions/etc.. Since I misunderstood you before, am I misunderstanding the latter implications again?
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:53 AM   #59
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Seems like a major disagreement about the world and people between the two of us. And one that can be read as an insinuation that an overwhelming majority of religious people are lying about themselves . . . which is . . . well it certainly looks nihilistic ?
I would say "unpleasantly cynical" or at least "tactically disadvantageous" and I don't say things like that to their faces both for reasons of politeness and personal safety.

As to rights to practice religion. did I say anything similar to "....and they have to be _stopped_!"? My disbelief in the primacy of ideas goes so far as to extend to not believing that other persons should be forced to adopt my ideas.

You, on the other hand might be an _idealist_ or a person who does believe in the primacy of ideas.

I hope that it does not offend you that I think that the number of persons like you to be a statistically insignificant group but I myself have been long accustomed to knowing that there are few people truly like me in the ways I consider important. I am not a member of large and powerful tribe. You do not need to fear the wrath of my tribe.

I'm going to stop now before I feel the urge to type "wrath" again. :)
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:05 AM   #60
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I would say "unpleasantly cynical" or at least "tactically disadvantageous" and I don't say things like that to their faces both for reasons of politeness and personal safety.

As to rights to practice religion. did I say anything similar to "....and they have to be _stopped_!"? My disbelief in the primacy of ideas goes so far as to extend to not believing that other persons should be forced to adopt my ideas.
You may not explicitly say that 'they have to be stopped'. But do consider that the protection of religions seems to at least partially be intertwined with the assumption that when a person says "I believe YHWH is the best deity" this is an earnest deeply-held belief that entitles a person to some special protections, as opposed to "I believe chocolate ice-cream is best", which does not (because it's considered a belief not as deeply-held).

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You, on the other hand might be an _idealist_ or a person who does believe in the primacy of ideas.
That I may well be.

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I hope that it does not offend you that I think that the number of persons like you to be a statistically insignificant group but I myself have been long accustomed to knowing that there are few people truly like me in the ways I consider important. I am not a member of large and powerful tribe. You do not need to fear the wrath of my tribe.

I'm going to stop now before I feel the urge to type "wrath" again. :)
It doesn't offend me, but I think both people like me and people like you can be disadvantaged in worldbuilding if we don't accept the possibility of being wrong when engaging in said worldbuilding. I'm not sure I practice what I preach, but I preach trying to write settings 'agnostically' towards such topics (unless said topic is part of a central theme, in which case one can't step aside). E.g. I admire how THS is written without deciding whether or not souls exist - it just describes the world, and describes that different people believe in different things. (Conversely, you can't write classic VtM without writing the world's 'stance' on the topic of ethics, faith etc., because those things are such big themes in the game line that they desire their own dedicated and setting-objective game mechanics.)
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