Unrelated Thoughts

Poems that are not in The End of the Word as We Know It, by Wes Unruh

Category Archives: Information Virus

Esozone 2008

Overall the event was amazing. Again I am blown away by the hospitality of PDXOcculture and the incredible city that is Portland. There are many specifics I will be covering in an upcoming Alterati article or two, but for now I want to thank Nemo for getting me to the airport and letting me check out the back room of r6xx.com and Taylor Ellwood for lunch Monday before I left town and for loading me down with research, Nick Pell for some shit, Klint and Jillian for going out of their way to make my stay in Portland comfortable, and Chris Titan and Brenden Simpson for handling the most important details. A special thanks to Mike and Bill for coming through with the disk that made Ikipr’s workshop happen too – and dead letter b who covered group mind synergy dynamics more thoroughly than either Edward or I had planned. All this may or may not make sense to you, reading here, but eventually I’ll unpack all of this at Alterati. In particular, there will be a full interview with Nemo on an upcoming GSpot, and today I am assembling coverage of Ikipr’s EEG interface workshop from Esozone 2008:

  • St Mae of Discordian.com Strapped into IKIPR EEG Device
  • Edward E WIlson on Ikipr’s EEG Interface at ESOZONE
  • Clyde Lewis Brainwaves made Audible at ESOZONE
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    Written Entirely With Thumbs

    This has been a great weekend – relaxing yesterday and taking today to familiarize myself with some tools I need for blogging. This blog is hosted on wordpress.com, so you won’t see the effects of what I’ve been researching on this blog – but keep an eye on what I’m doing over on http://theartofmemetics.com and http://publicindividual.com/blog as I implement all of these various interconnected strands.

    Who knows… Perhaps the whole thing will actually work like I suspect 🙂

    Public Individual

    Today I spent a great deal of time working on PublicIndividual.com – my repository of SEO and social media integrated marketing knowledge… eventually I’ll have a full system defined for people to use in conjunction with the teories and methods that can be taken from The Art of Memetics – for now there’s the basic templates and links to start anyone interested in SEO or controlling one’s digital shadow in great detail. Also, I just finished a post on Alterati you might be interested in… I’ll be speaking at Esozone in Portland OR Oct. 10-12th and look forward to seeing friends from last year and new people from the internets… Tomorrow I’m taking the freaking day off to pick apples and have fun.


    For those who are interested, I’ve made PublicIndividual.com a repository for the tools I use in social media optimization and search engine marketing. Using those tools to their full potential will absolutely revitalize any marketing strategy, but I’d prefer it if it’s kept among the artists and musicians. Let the business folk and network marketing crowd continue to pay each other to do the impossible while I and my readers do it right, for the long term.

    Oh, and read Pizza SEO – Justin Boland does not pull his punches.


    a selection from The Art of Memetics

    by edward wilson and me, wes unruh

    Marketers, political organizers, and other social engineers are tracking, capturing, and controlling people right now. They track the marks you make, how you vote, the websites you visit, and where you spend your money. They know your timetables, they feed you the media you passively consume. Humanity was captured long ago by the meme of civilization, and ever since civilization has been working on humanity’s domestication. Domesticated animals are treated in a different manner than wild beasts. The emphasis shifts from finding and capturing individuals to managing and controlling the herd. The herders hand down schedules to determine in advance where the individuals will be, and when they’ll be there. They worry about tracking the herd in clusters, and as long as the individuals remain within the bounds they’ve set, they’ll overlook the intricacies of individual behaviors. It is only those who stray out from the edges of the herd that the herders send the dogs after the lone individual, although it’s important to realize in this metaphor that even the dogs the herders send out are domesticated. Domesticated animals are the most predictable of all, as even their strayings are predictable so the herders eventually forget how to cope with the truly unpredictable.

    Understanding this as a metaphor for social engineering, we can begin to see that we do have the ability to exploit the conditions of our own captivity. As long as we appear to remain within the bounds of the herd we have a great deal of freedom in which to move, although should we move too quickly, the herders may be afraid of us starting a stampede. Still, so long as we know what signs they use to track us and what patterns they rely on to predict our behavior, we can remain invisible to them as individuals. Finally, should we pick our moment and leave the herd at a time when they are not watching for strays, we can escape the herd.

    The Mayan control system is based on the principles of time-binding, based on calendars, festival days, and seasonal changes. Language, or at least the standard languages, are linear methods of time-binding, and increases the memory of a system while also effecting decisions any given system may influence. The high priests knew what affective states people would pass through, and the physical conditions that prevailed. The academic control factors now present rely on lab books for science, logbooks for navigation, ledgers for business accounting, and so on. Power is based in the faculty of prediction, in knowing where something is going to occur and when. Science reads its lab books, spots patterns, and makes predictions. Because the Mayan system was homeostatic the priest always knew what was going to occur, thereby wielding power over their society. We are still subject to this control system of time-binding, as we are still reliant on the clock and we consume media according to a broadcasting schedule. If anything, today’s work world is more finely sliced time-wise than the Mayan calendar ever could have been.

    Only through the knowledge of the ruling class has tyranny ever been overthrown. The Jews would have never left Egypt if Moses hadn’t been raised as an Egyptian prince. The techniques of the persuaders and manipulators are needed if we are to free ourselves, if we are to understand how we are bound to the systems, the schedules, and the cast-iron personas imposed by our social roles. Ironically, the way to freedom is to use the tools of control on ourselves. This is why we must spy on our own actions, record our own activities, look at our own patterns, and create our own predictions. We must select and censor what memes we are exposed to, whom we associate with, and learn to control our own behavior.

    Of course, looking at life in this kind of metaphor for too long will probably trigger some paranoid ideations. It’s all too easy to fall prey to a ludic fallacy of viewing all of reality as a virtual space constructed by our patterning brains busy assembling fragmented signals and then filling in the gaps between the connections of our associative networks. As our conscious experience lags behind the events and actions of our lives, reality looks like an explanation made up after the fact. However, a certain amount of life-as-game analogy does open up enormous possibilities for triggering change in the world. As a friend of the authors says, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’

    When attempting to effect changes on others using memetic techniques, there are many layers of organization you can concentrate on, and many different angles of approach you can use. You could look at the linear causative structure of narrative, or instead focus on the underlying network structure of association. You could work with the cognitive layers of thought and emotion, or instead focus on preconscious drives and desires. You could target the aggregate predictabilities of market segments or the specific peculiarities of individuals. Whatever you are attempting to accomplish, your signal should be fine-tuned to affect it’s audience on the precise layers you have targeted. Obviously, a communication meant to effect the drives and desires of a thirty-something accountant will be totally different from on targeting the style story being told in the teen market.

    A meme needs to enter the human system by way of one of the senses. Its instructions must be encoded in a manner the nervous system can digest, and then act upon. For this we’ve looked to the quasi-scientific field of Neurolinguistic Programming and appropriated NLP’s representational systems of visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and olfactory channels. Most communication occurs beneath the layers of conscious thought because people are only able to be conscious of a certain percentage of the total sensory experience of any given moment in any given environment. Therefore, most of the information or input coming in along these various channels is being absorbed by the preconscious mind on a subliminal level.

    This knowledge provides a few tricks for tweeking a meme’s capsid to be more easily ingestible and infective. We could begin by changing linguistic or non-linguistic cues to lead the potential receiver through a sequence of sensory modalities, essentially training them in what NLP practitioners term a ‘strategy.’ We could elicit a particular emotional state and anchor it to our message or symbols. We could communicate incongruently to transmit different messages to different parts of a large audience. We could use contradictory messages to trigger a disassociative and suggestible state in the potential receiver. Brainstorming on ways to manipulate or reframe a message can be facilitated through watching how a political candidate or speaker presents their platform to different audiences.

    One’s position in an official system of governance is only one measure of that individual’s political power. The totality of that individual’s power can be figured by examining the lines of communication they can access and their ability to predict responses and reactions to their various transmitted signals along those communication lines. The overall political power of the individual then would be an estimate of that individual’s influence over the system of governance as a whole. This amount would change over time regardless of their official position in reference to the signals sent out by that individual or by other components of the system in relation to that individual’s signals. This angle of viewing provides a different account of politics than the textbook depiction of governmental structure given in a civics class, and emphasizes transmitted messages and their reception over institutionalized chains of command.

    Personal messages motivate action more than impersonal ones, but what criteria should you use to determine if a message is personal or impersonal? If your message carries triggers for personal feelings and emotional involvement, the receivers may react to it as a personal message even if it is delivered by a broadcast medium such as network television. This explains, in part, the power of someone like Oprah. She communicates the message that she relates to people personally along with every other message she may send, and helps explain why a book she mentions or discusses on her show becomes a bestseller. The message that reaches millions of people feels like the recommendation of a close friend, even thought the vast majority of her viewers will never meet, or even see, Oprah in person.


    A bit of this, bit of that…

    as promised in my last post, Interview with Jessica DelBalzo is up at Alterati:


    also, this came in my email, thought I’d share:

    Reheat Pizza
    Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove,
    set heat to med-low and heat until warm. This keeps the crust
    crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on a talk show, Rachel
    Ray and it really works!

    Easy Deviled Eggs
    Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock baggie. Seal, mash till they
    are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep
    mashing it up mixing thoroughly, and cut the tip of the baggy,
    squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done, easy
    clean up.

    Expanding Frosting
    You know how you always seem to nearly run out of frosting when
    finishing up a cake? Well, when you buy a container of cake
    frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes.
    You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes
    with the same amount. You also eat less sugar/calories per

    Reheating Refrigerated Bread
    To warm biscuits pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place
    them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture
    will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

    Newspaper those weeds away!
    Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet
    newspapers put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover
    with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some
    gardening plastic they will not get thro ugh wet newspapers.

    Broken Glass
    Use a dry cotton ball to pick up little broken glass pieces of
    glass-the fibers catch ones you can’t see!

    No More Mosquitoes
    Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes

    Squirrel Away!
    To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with
    cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the
    squirrels won’t come near it.

    Flexible Vacuum
    To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an
    empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It
    can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings. This also works
    to clean way down deep in those dryer vents.

    Reducing Static Cling
    Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not
    have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that
    cling when wearing panty hose. Pla c e pin in seam of slacks and —
    voila – static is gone.

    Measuring Cups
    Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it
    with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don’t dry the cup.
    Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how
    easily it comes right out.

    Foggy Windshield?
    Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the
    glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser!
    Works better than a cloth!

    Reopening an Envelope!
    If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include
    something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer
    for an hour or two. Voila! It unseals easily.

    Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s a lot cheaper
    than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It’s also a
    great way to use up t he conditioner you bought but didn’t like when
    you tried it in your hair…

    Goodbye Fruit Flies
    To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass fill it 1/2″
    with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dishwashing liquid, mix
    well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

    Get Rid of Ants
    Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take
    it “home,” can’t digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or
    so, esp. if it rains, but it works &you don’t have the worry about
    pets or small children being harmed.

    Lastly, check out Curcio’s wrap-up for this week

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