How Ford Ensures Drive comfort in the 2018 … –

The 5-seaterFord Escape is a compact crossover which is around since 2000 and now in its third generation with a highly refined design that adds sophistication, sporty looks, rugged profile and some awesome features. The 2018 edition Ford Escape we checked out at Escondido Ford dealer had the most advanced technology and features, intelligent drive systems, awesome cargo space and sensibility both inside and out. Available in four trim levels such as the S, SE, SEL and Titanium you are looking at a vehicle that starts with an awesome 2.5L iVCT engine with flex fuel capability and Electronic Stability Control on the S. This upgrades to a 1.5L EcoBoost engine with Auto Start/Stop and dual-zone climate control inside and chrome exhaust tips for that sporty appearance from the SE, awesome driving assistance and safety features such as Reverse Sensing System on the SEL and luxurious interiors and advanced technology on the insides on the Titanium.

The Escape is also known to offer some superb comfort and luxury for the drivers thats aided with groundbreaking technologies and we explore how Ford ensures drive comfort in the 2018 Ford Escape.

Seating ComfortDrive comfort starts from seating comfort. This is because finally what matters to drivers after that short or long drive is how you feel during driving and how you feel after you get down. Ideally, driving should be pleasurable, and the driver should feel invigorated after that drive and the right seating that has the right materials is very important to make drivers feel this way. The Ford Escape comes with Cloth seats on the S and SE and Leather trimmed seats on the SEL and Titanium, but its bucket seats in the front thats are standard across all the trims which is very comforting. A Partial Leather-trimmed Sport Seat option is available for the SE trim.

Seat adjustments include a 6-way manually adjustable driver seat on the base S trim and 10-way power driver seat on all the other trims. The Titanium also adds a 10-way power passenger seat and driver seat memory. The second-row passenger seats are 60/40 split-fold-flat seat backs to make space for more cargo carrying capacity.

Climate ControlThe base trim of the Escape comes standard with a single-zone manual climate control while all the other trims comes with an awesome Dual-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control thats able to maintain the temperature evenly across the vehicle in all climatic conditions with minimum human intervention and makes up more than enough for the lack of heated seating and steering options.

Driving Controls & HandlingThe 2018 Ford Escape puts some excellent driving tools into your hands to make you driving experience pleasurable. You have the option to add Steering Wheel-Mounted Paddle Shifters on the SE and Titanium trims and a Drivers Side Foot Rest standard across all trims. The S and SE trims we saw at Escondido Ford also came with a Urethane steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, manual tilt and telescoping steering column.Available options on the SE, SEL and Titanium include Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support, an Intelligent 4WD System, Forward Sensing System and Cross-Traffic Alert all of which help you driver better and drive safer.

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How Ford Ensures Drive comfort in the 2018 ... -

Best Search Engines To Use | MeMetics

Search engines are ubiquitous in our use of the internet, with most of us turning to them on multiple occasions each day. Whilst many people use browsers which are connected with one search engine or another, this wasnt always the case, although there are still people who remain staunch advocates of a certain brand, despite there being plenty of competition.

It is easy to take the technology behind a search engine for granted as we use them to find out whatever information we require. Basically speaking, a search engine crawls through an index of websites based on key terms and phrases supplied by site owners and webmasters. This all happens in a fraction of a second, with often hundreds of millions of responses ranked and returned to your screen.

It is impossible to talk about search engines without mentioning the industry leader. Google was founded after most of its competitors, but dominates the market, with an astonishing 69% of web searches taking place on its pages, knocking Bing into second place with 25%. On mobiles and tablets, Googles penetration goes further, with almost 90% of searches being carried out there.

When looking at ways in which to ensure that your business appears in the results returned by search engines, it is important to make certain that your web pages are optimised to work with the algorithms in place to rank results. This practice is called search engine optimisation (or SEO for short), and has come a long way since the days where sites just needed to include a page of key words and back links to satisfy the search engine site crawlers. In each sector there are experts out there who can help your site work within the laws of each search engines algorithm, so for example for healthcare seo, a site like bhm experts in healtcare seo would be a great first port of call.

With 25% of the market share, Microsofts entry into the search engine market, Bing is firmly established as the second choice search engine. Much of this traffic probably stems from the fact that Bing is the default option for searches carried out on Internet Explorer, helping it to claw back some ground on Google.

One of the biggest names in the internet in the 1990s, Yahoos results are now provided by Bing. This search engine remains popular thanks to the fact that many people have stuck to Yahoos e-mail service, which is actually the most popular e-mail provider, putting it firmly into third place when people are conducting a web search.

Formerly known as Ask Jeeves, the search engine dropped the butlers presence which formed the bulk of its widespread advertising campaigns in order to appeal to a more modern and savvy audience. The big selling point of this search engine is the community feel, but its results lack the depth of quality found on Google or Bing.

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Best Search Engines To Use | MeMetics

Memetics and Infohazards Division Orientation – SCP Foundation

Alright everybody, welcome to the orientation for the memetics and infohazards division. Now this is a full week of training, and a long day so be sure to get some coffee or a donut, because we won't have time to go get food until lunch.

I'm Junior Researcher Zack Ekshun, and, I, ah, yes? A question like 'How am I perceiving this message from that very handsome man saying other words?' or 'Whose voice does this sound like in my head?' But those are not the most important questions right now.Question?

Why aren't I having any coffee or donuts? Heh, looks like we have at least one veteran of the reality benders orientation. Well to put your mind at ease, why don't you get me some coffee and a donut or two. Usually I take it black, but add some milk and sugar just to cover all the bases. Hey sprinkles! Nice.

Now, you're right to be suspicious. You get lied to a lot at the Foundation. Little things like 'We only put tracking chips in D-class', 'This will be the first time you receive amnestics' and the location of the site you're currently sitting in.

Some of you. But today, I'm going to be completely honest with you.

Which gets us to the important part, you don't have to worry about us secretly feeding you drugs. We will be very openly feeding you lots of powerful hallucinogens.

The reason we're not bothering to hide it is because, like most infohazards, our psychedelic testing regimen works whether or not you know about it ahead of time. The reason we're making you trip balls is that we need to make sure you can handle your shit regardless of what your brain thinks is going on.

It doesn't matter if the walls are melting and cats with your grandmothers' face are telling you the secret history of the world. You write your reports, conduct tests and follow the containment procedures. You document everything the grandma cats tell you and ride it out until you punch out. Most of the time. What's in your head can't hurt you unless you let it.

To work with infohazards you need to notice when things don't make sense, and this is the important part, respond accordingly. Do you suddenly have a spouse you didn't this morning? Well, maybe you shouldn't consummate that relationship. Were you always taking advice from the omnidimensional blood gods you're thinking about building a shrine to? Maybe instead you should talk to your supervisor, because we sure don't need another prophet to Welcome.

Hey! That got everybody's attention. Yeah, part of what you'll learn is how not to say things. Did you know that Hi% of redacted information is memetic censoring? It's written there as clear as day, if you have the clearance and counterprogramming. Want to know how it's done?

Well first Welcome to the real orientation. If you can perceive this then you'll be working with us in the real Memetics and Infohazards Division. It should come as no surprise to you that there are many layers to our Division. Everyone else nodding out right now are just the cover. They will be playing an important role in misdirection and counterintelligence as well as handling all the busywork. Misdirection is basic info manipulation. Everyone worried about drugs or their suppository tracking devices misses the important stuff.You get to do the real work, and it takes more than just a week to get you to that level. This week will provide the basics the others get, with the real preparatory seminars transmitted through a variety of unconventional channels. The testing has already begun to see who can pick up all of it. The full spectrum of information all around us is invisible to the sleepwalkers drooling next to you.You all carry some form of the Sorry gene which is present in .NO% of the population, which the Foundation screens for. While you can perceive this you also have an increased risk for schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder. But don't worry! If you've made it this far you have a much higher likelihood of being driven mad by your work material than your genetic makeup. The number of informational channels you can perceive determines your rank and assignments.The other good news is your training and conditioning will minimize the likelihood of either occurring. We have discovered through trial and error how to protect our minds against very dangerous hazards. The many division members who retired to psychiatric wards are a testament to that. You will learn to lucid dream, which is where much of your practice will take place. You will undergo intensive psychological testing to make sure you do not join our alumni. You will practice meditation until you achieve the level of Zen master and float above your superfluous programming completely. You will be taught the akashic scripts and meta-languages which bypass the frontal cortex and tap directly into the primal drives. If you make it to the upper echelons you'll learn manipulation commands like kill words, after a few minor surgeries to your trachea. We will let you know when you are ready. The pioneers who discovered the safe procedures for containing lethal infohazards in your mind never got a chance to retire. But even if you can detect individual phomemes you are still a green as grass rookie.Not only will you be able to work with cognitohazard and memetic SCPs you will help to develop the neurocognitive counter-programming and anti-memes that will shield you, your colleagues, and society from the gibbering madness lurking in containment. You will make the Foundation, safer, saner, productive, and unquestioning in their commitment. You will bend the archetypes from our collective unconscious to your will to secure, contain, and protect us all. Welcome again, and congratulations. [REDACTED]

Alllright everybody back? Yup, for those of you not keeping track that was almost an hour you aren't going to remember until you earn it. Exactly none of you have the training or clearance to know any of that. Yet.

We're going to teach you to walk through fire, feel like your brain is melting out of your ears and still keep going. We will put your minds in the forge and hammer at them until they are stronger than steel. Mind affecting and weird psychic SCPs will slide off you, and information based containment breaches will be just another day at the office.

Deeper Ad Infinitum-The repetitive nature of complimenting your attention to detail and knowledge of the myriad means of hiding information is becoming redundant. You will still receive instruction, but and undetected up until now. Clever you.clearly you have already been conducting your own training regimen.

Well played.

You've earned a little more candor. The genetic explanation for who can expand their senses to perceive the hidden full spectrum of information is untrue as far as we can ascertain. We do not know why some people are attuned to and can reshape the deeper orders of information. We do not yet understand the mechanisms of the majority of SCPs. Hence anomalousThe reality benders should not be able to do anything they do, and they still do it, even when we tell them not to. Except the ones who do as they are told..

We have many layers to protect both the Foundation and ourselves. There is no good that can come from the suggestion that the collective minds of our division is an SCP in and of itself. This has been suggested, but has been Auto-amnestic conditioning is much more efficient than the pharmacological option.dealt with. We have a presence at the top tier with Division founder O5-NO. We also have several site directors with varying degrees of awareness they are ours.

We are telling you this so that you know you are valued and will be protected. We are telling you this so you will STOP what you are planning. Right. Now.

We know you have been planning how to get fast tracked for promotion to a director position. Planning to use the information based SCPs in ways the sleepwalkers can't conceive. Planning to program select people's neural schemas to satisfy your whims. You need to forget all of that. NOW.

This is the one thing you should NEVER question.Trust us. By yourself you will inevitably endanger yourself, the Foundation, and our Division. We have done it all better than you could ever hope to. We will teach you how to correctly maximize your potential. We need fellow travelers, not megalomaniacal lone wolves. We Won'tcan't program you not to, Right now. It is much better for all involved that you join willingly. so we are asking nicely. Please, kindly do NOT fuck with us.

We'll be in touch.

How well you can handle your shit is an important component of training, and there will be pharmacological hallucinatory tutorials just for you. Have fun in the desert with the lizard king.Because it is chock full of drugsIt's also pretty funny watching you rooks spaz out..

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Memetics and Infohazards Division Orientation - SCP Foundation

Philosophy of Religion Religion and Memetics

Evolutionary theory has revolutionised modern thought. The way that we understand the world has been profoundly influenced by Darwins insight into the way that natural selection guides progress over time. Recently, it has been recognised that Darwins theory applies not only to biological organisms but also to ideas. Some, such as Richard Dawkins, Susan Blackmore, and Daniel Dennett, have argued that this provides an explanation of religious belief, and that this explanation counts against the idea that such beliefs are true.

Darwins theory of evolution sought to explain the diversity of species in the world in the following way:

The world contains only a limited supply of the resources necessary to support life. Organisms must therefore compete with each other for these resources in order to survive.

As biological organisms reproduce, random genetic mutations occur, introducing variety into the species. Because of these mutations, some members of the species are better able to compete for resources, i.e. fitter, than others.

The result of this natural selection is the survival of the fittest. As the competition is won or lost, weaker members of the species will die out, without reproducing, and their genes will be lost to the gene pool. Stronger members, on the other hand will survive, and their fitter genes will be replicated.

The process will then repeat, with mutations again introducing new genetic variety, and natural selection again choosing the fittest members of the species to survive and reproduce.

There are thus two stages to evolution: mutation, which introduces variety into a species, and natural selection, which chooses between the members of the species, driving progress by ensuring that only the fittest members survive and reproduce.

With each iteration of the process of natural selection, the gene pool becomes stronger; species develop on an upward trajectory. Given enough time, evolution theory holds, this upward trajectory can take a species far; indeed, we ourselves are thought to have evolved from single-celled organisms via this process.

Recently, it has been recognised that this theory can be applied not only to biological organisms, but also to ideas. Ideas, too, replicate themselves, passing from one individual to another, changing over time. Ideas, too, compete for survival in the minds of the people of the time; an idea that is rejected altogether dies out.

Just as the fittest organisms will survive and reproduce, then, so too will the fittest ideas. Ideas that replicate themselves in this way have been called memes, a term coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene; the study of this process is called memetics.

What makes for fitness in ideas will be similar to what makes for fitness in genes. The ability to replicate itself is important if either a gene or an idea is to spread; the greater this ability the better. The ability to survive is also vital if the gene or idea is not to be wiped out before it reproduces.

One thing that need not be involved in the fitness of an idea is truth. An idea may replicate itself widely and be extremely robust without corresponding to reality.

Christianity does indeed possess those features that are necessary for an idea to compete for survival effectively.

Christianity is very good at replicating itself; the great commission, Jesus instruction to his followers, is to go and make disciples of all nations. Those who possess the Christian meme, who believe in the God of the Bible, therefore replicate Christianity as far as they are able to do so.

Christianity is also very robust. The all too common emphasis of religion on faith to the exclusion of reason makes those that possess the Christian meme liable to reject evidence against it. Christianity has even been accused by Antony Flew in his paper Theology and Falsification of being unfalsifiable, i.e. of being such that no evidence could possibly count against it. Those that possess the Christian meme are therefore unlikely to lose it.

None of this memetic critique of Christianity, of course, proves that Christianity is false; that is not what it attempts to do. Rather, what the memetic critique of Christianity attempts to do is demonstrate that even if Christianity were false, we would expect belief in it to be widespread. Atheism, the argument goes, can explain Christianity; there is nothing mysterious about the success of religion.

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Philosophy of Religion Religion and Memetics

Indicators Of Sight Loss | MeMetics

Most people experience some form of sight loss as they age. For many, the magic age is 40. However, many people find they need glasses much earlier due to genetics, excessive computer use, and more. Since sight loss can occur so gradually, many people may not even realize that they have issues with their eyes. If you note any of the following problems in your everyday life, you may need to schedule an eye exam to see if you need glasses.

If you frequently have eye fatigue, it may not be due to lack of sleep. Straining your eyes can cause them to feel tired and uncomfortable. Other signs that can accompany eye fatigue are itchy and watery eyes, and a tight feeling behind the eyes.

Blurry vision is one of the first signs that many people notice for vision loss. Signs that you could once read easily are now difficult to make out. You may have to adjust the distance of a book you are holding to focus properly on the text. If your eyes frequently blur when looking at objects near or far away, then it is likely your eyes are starting to fail and you could benefit from prescription glasses.

Another sign of vision problems are frequent headaches. You may note the headaches more after extended sessions of reading, looking at a computer screen, or watching TV. While headaches can be caused by many different things, if you notice them in conjunction with other signs of vision loss, then it is time to schedule an eye exam.

If you squint and strain your eyes to read, this can be a sign of vision problems. Take note of the position of your face while you look at maps, road signs, books, computer screens, and anything else that you look at on a routine basis. If you constantly have to scrunch up your face in some way to focus on the letters, it is likely that your vision is not what it once was.

One less-common sign of failing vision is spots in vision or halos around bright objects. This is often a sign of astigmatism or cataracts in the eyes, and should be checked by an optometrist right away.

If you have to blink repeatedly to focus on objects, this can be a sign of failing vision. Blinking often occurs when switching between two vision points, such as when switching to look at something far away after focusing on a computer screen. Healthy eyes should adjust with minimal blinking, while unhealthy eyes will have to blink longer to change focus.

Generally, it is easy to tell if you should have a new eye exam. If you already have poor vision, most optometrists recommend that you have your eyes checked every year in case of further deterioration. However, if you have never had an eye exam, and suffer from several of the above eye issues, it is likely that you will need to wear glasses.

Guest post by contributing author Richard O., written on behalf of Lenses Online, a huge online contact lens store.

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Indicators Of Sight Loss | MeMetics

What is a Meme? | The Daily Meme

This is the definition page for What is a meme? The main page for The Daily Meme is

People often ask, What is a Meme? so heres a more than a little information on that. I pronounce it so its rhymes with dream; some pronounce it so it sounds like mem (from mem-ory).

First off, technically many of the sites here are not actually memes. Most of the sites listed here create new questions all the time and removes the whole evolving viral concept of a meme. But most people call them memes and I liked the word meme so I used the word when creating this site.

In the context of web logs / blogs / blogging and other kinds of personal web sites its some kind of list of questions that you saw somewhere else and you decided to answer the questions. Then someone else sees them and does them and so on and so on. I generally consider these to be actual questions and not some multiple choice quizzes that determine some result at the end (what color you are most like, what cartoon character are you, what 80s movie are you).

By some other definitions memes are viral and propagate around sometimes mutating as they propagate. Someone proposed something along the lines of some blog posts are viral, they write about something they see on one blog and the next person does the same sometimes their interpretation varies slightly changing the story (I cannot find this original reference).

Eventually some people decided they were going to creating weekly questionnaires (memes) and post them every week. Some are monthly, a few are daily and some are always there. Some suggest that you get five other people to do the same meme and they have to get five people (and so on), which sometimes increases their propagation. This probably stunts their mutated growth, having a permanent storage place where people go to find them but many people copy them from the site where they see it and theyll still change a bit.

Personally I liked these sites; sometimes they give me things to write about that I would have never started the topic on my own. So I started collecting them here at The Daily Meme

A meme is:

The term and concept of meme is from the 1976 book by Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. Though Dawkins defined the meme as a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation, memeticists vary in their definitions of meme. The lack of a consistent, rigorous definition of what precisely a meme is remains one of the principal criticisms leveled at memetics, the study of memes. (from the Wikipedia)

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What is a Meme? | The Daily Meme

What is Net-Centric Warfare? | Daniel K. Buntovnik

By Daniel K. Buntovnik, 6November 2016

This piece addresses dilemmas facing opponents of war and imperialismin the 2016 U.S. presidential race, the future of war-profiteering, eumemicist racism, the alt-right rehashing of neo-Nazi occultism, and Net-Centric Warfare as black magic.

Although the ruling class of the United States of America bends over backwards to display its cleavage into so-called Republican and Democratic factions, this apparent split is, to a significant degree, exaggerated. Every day, conscious and unconscious agents of plutocratic, oligarchical dictatorship are working hard to drum up minor differences between the political parties of the bourgeoisie. This encourages us to spend a disproportionate amount of our time focusing on the disagreements between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and their parties, disengaging from the reality of their joint pursual of key political objectives.

The deeper the illusion of Democratic-Republican cleavage is driven into the citizenrys consciousness, the more the popularity contest in which the masses are quadrennially enticed to (indirectly) participate is lent legitimacy. The suggestion that this contest represents a real opportunity to take part in the national policy-making process is enhanced by the impression of cleavage, while elevated awareness of bipartisan fusion and unity across the bourgeois political spectrum threatens to foment disenchantment and revolt, because it leads to the conclusion that American elections offers little in the way of actual choice.

The scope of the great false dilemma goes beyond what is commonly understood by the term two-party system. This is because U.S. presidential electoral politics have, in the 21st century, actually developed into a four-party system, composed of two Big League parties and two Little League parties. The Little League parties, by virtue of each one functioning as a fallback or an auxiliary to its Big League counterpart, serve as a farcical opposition force to what is generally understood by the term two-party system (i.e. the two Big League parties). Presently the Little League two-party system is composed of (1) the Green Party, absorbing disaffected ex-Democrats such as Jill Stein and the Gaddafist Cynthia McKinney as well as syphoning off resources from opportunistic Marxian micro-sects, and (2) the Libertarian Party, absorbing disaffected ex-Republicans such as Gary Johnson and Ron Paul (in whose case we see the revolving door between Libertarians and the GOP). Other third parties are relegated to competing with each other as well as with the Greens and Libertarians to gain access to the Little League two-party system.

Both the Libertarian and Green parties attempt to harness the storm of anti-war sentiment, but fail to adequately address imperialist war as an integral function of the capitalist system. Both pledge to put an end to what Gary Johnson calls the imperialistic foreign policy of the U.S.A., which Jill Stein says is turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Notice how for these peewee politicians, U.S. foreign policy is not imperialist, but imperialisticimplying that it merely resembles imperialism; and nevermind the multi-century policy of invading and annexing foreign nationshalf of Mexico, Hawaii, the Philippines, just to name a fewthis doesnt have anything to do with why the U.S.A. is a wealthy country today; the wars and drone attacks of the 21st century are only in the process of transforming the country into a bankrupt empire but were not there yet! The Little League political players qualify their anti-imperialist posturing with significant caveats; the figurative fine print of Johnsons program lets us know that he still wants to build a strong military, and Stein meanwhile pledges to continue spending as much as $298.5 billion per year on public sector U.S. militarism. Thats still $83 billion more than the country with the second highest military budget in the world, the Peoples Republic of China [X].

Some attempt to paint an image of the Green Party as an attractive political center for revolutionary socialism and peace, but the Green Party and its micro-sect surrogates are oriented towards accommodating right-wing nationalist theory. Their objective is to co-opt supporters of Hillary Clintons Democratic socialist ex-competitor, Bernie Sanders, whose campaigns central theme was about saving capitalism for the many, not the few with a national political revolution, the very notion of which stands in antagonistic contradiction to the act of abolishing capitalism through transnational social revolution (for a variety of reasons, some of which I explored here). Rather than criticizing the trustbuster thrust of Robert Reich inspired slogans like political revolution against the billionaire class, the Greens and their surrogates facilitate assimilation of the fantasy implicit in these slogans, that of a salvageable capitalism based around restored small business competitivity and regulationnot expropriationof the big corporations (labelled democratic socialism), along with continued deportations and borders, a fantasy which is rendered explicit upon closer examination of the discourse of individuals like Jill Stein, Bernie Sanders, and Robert Reich.

If Jill Stein, the theoretically electable candidate in this years Electoral College with the most far-reaching proposals for U.S. militarism reduction, became the president of the United States and implemented her reforms, the U.S. war machine would likely be slightly weaker than it is now (although it would probably remain quite powerful, given Jill Steins pledge to provide it with an approximate yearly budget surpassing that of any other nation), but this would only be worthwhile if in the process of implementing these reforms, awareness of the need to ultimately abolish the basis of war (capitalism and hegemony of the bourgeois state) grew and the movement centered around this awareness became stronger. Otherwise the next president could simply reverse the course, and its not inconceivable that the Pentagon would find some sly way to circumvent those hypothetical budget cuts or perhaps even orchestrate a coup. However, given that Stein has virtually no chance to become president, why should anyone lend support to anti-war individuals and groups who do not plainly articulate abolition of capitalismthe precluder of peace in modern timesthrough social revolution as their ultimate goal? Are we really so cynical to believe that people are too stupid to understand the basic demands of socialism? Tax the rich, sure, but dont become a stooge of the richplenty of them ultimately wouldnt mind paying higher taxes if it meant saving even a bit of their privilege. The would-be revolutionarys entryistic support, even if critical, for the reformist political center degenerates into de facto agitation for reformism, promoting non-abolitionist consciousness, which cannot be reconciled with abolitionist consciousness. The anti-war movement would be strongerwould existif it was centered around the objective of ending the basis of war, not around the idealistic embrace of leaders like Jill Stein, who vows to maintain the U.S. position of global supremacy in military financing, or Bernie Sanders, who views each imperialist war through an atomizing lens so that he can pick and choose which ones to support (such as the ones in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Syria to which he gave and gives thumbs up).

Given this reality and the hopelessness of leveraging the electoral process towards anti-war ends, the voter who would like to contribute to the stopping of imperialist war and militarist aggression only has one realistic option: throw away her vote. A protest vote for one of the fifth party candidates existing outside of the Big and Little League two-party systems (aka the four-party system) who may propose the actual abolition of capitalism and imperialist warfare is essentially equivalent to writing-in flip tha system and can be considered the most desirable fashion of throwing away ones vote. The vote can be considered thrown away, because these candidates are denied even the hypothetical possibility of election by the nature of the system. But they are still a leg up over abstention because at least in certain cases they may be tallied and recorded, contributing to statistics which may stand as a testament to present levels of vanguard working class consciousness for generations to come, and at the very least there is a chance that, even if the write-in vote is not counted, it may appear as an unsettling anomaly to the one tasked with disregarding it. In that regard, and following the line of thought advanced by Eugene Debs on the desirability of not getting what one wants as opposed to getting what one doesnt want, these hopeless votes are not thrown away but serve a kind of a purpose; they communicate anti-war sentiment.

Votes which can truly be considered thrown away are those cast tactically based in the doctrine of lesser evilism, in which case a vote for one of the peewees of the Little two parties registers simultaneous disaffiliation and affiliation with one of the Big two parties insofar as a Green vote is a disaffected Democratic vote and a Libertarian vote is a disaffected Republican vote. Then there are those who consider it better to vote for a Big evil (as opposed to the Little lesser evil), so long as its not the greatest Big evil. Perhaps the most twisted are those who believe it best to institute the most backward, reactionary, fascistic government possible, in the hope that this will be more likely to stir up revolt than a somewhat less murderous and oppressive bourgeois dictatorship, which is a dubious proposition to say the least. All these votes are thrown away, from the perspective of the anti-war voter, because they contribute to the perpetuation of mass criminal state violence and signal the voters consent to this, whether it be reluctant or enthusiastic.

A key point of unity in the political programs of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is their mutual promise to engage in war-profiteering once elected. To be sure, although there is a general consensus among the U.S. ruling class about the need to wage war for profit, there are indeed nuances between Clinton and Trumps visions for the future of war-profiteering, rooted in a real cleavage of the U.S. bourgeoisie. While Trump has taken up the cause of the backwards and regressive old stock white supremacist and nativist bourgeoisie by advocating protectionism, trade tariffs, and the mass deportation of Mexicans as a sort of neo-Indian removal policy, Clinton represents the progressive faction of the bourgeoisie which embraces a new stock-inclusive white supremacy wherein the impression of cosmopolitanism is fostered by augmenting fluidity between manners of othering and ascribing social inferiority (i.e. by supplementing racism with civicism and culturism, allowing for the development of a black bourgeoisie), and the progressive extension of the governments conception of whiteness as it is nowadays defined by institutions such as the Census Bureau and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which essentially occurs in two waves: first, the extension of whiteness in the 19th and early 20th centuries to the descendants of non-Anglo Saxon Germanic peoples and shortly thereafter to non-Germanic peoples of Christian Europe, followed by extension of whiteness in the late 20th and early 21st centuries which de-emphasized the alignment between Christianity and whiteness and began to include peoples of certain parts of Asia and Africa, the Balkans, Iberia, and Latin America as white persons.

The language deployed by the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns in the political platforms presented on their official websites is a 21st century confirmation of the assertion made long ago by high-ranking U.S. militarist turned anti-war dissident Smedley D. Butler that War is a racket. Although both campaigns frame their proposals for financial investment in war not as direct investment into warfare itself, but as investments in weapons manufacturing and war waging capabilities (i.e. the military industrial complex), both nevertheless take for granted that war is, was, and should continue to be a profitable business. Perhaps both presidential candidates have a sense that the public at large would find the proposal to perpetrate mass violence and terminate countless human lives in exchange for the accumulation of wealth distasteful if not presented delicately, cloaked as a call to invest in the mere machinery of war. However, this tactic is transparent; the call to invest in the tools and technologies of war is in fact inseparable from the call to invest in war itself, for these investments would be obsolete if there was no war in which to deploy them. And insofar as these weapons systems, war waging capabilities, and an empowered military industrial complex are said to function as a deterrent to hot war, they escalate the renewed cold war between great power factions, resulting in proxy-type wars.

Consider the following definitions from before we examine the candidates programs more closely:

First, Donald Trumps official presidential campaign website (, informs us that Trumps vision is to:

Invest in a serious missile defense system to meet growing threats by modernizing our Navys cruisers and procuring additional, modern destroyers to counter the ballistic missile threat from Iran and North Korea.

The only profit this investment will bring to anyone other than defense contractors is the metaphorical wages paid to cover the psychological cost of irrational paranoia over the ballistic missile threat [to people in North America] from Iran and North Korea, countries whose militarism is largely a reaction to U.S. jingoism in the first place. Of course, we should also all know by now that defense is really a militarist dog whistle for war: the so-called United States Department of Defense was more accurately and less Newspeak-ishly called the Department of War between 1789 and 1947. Hence why, for Trumps PR team, the way to invest [] in [] defense is by procuring [] destroyers!

The fact that Trump openly calls for (primarily poor non-U.S. citizen) human lives to be sacrificed for the purpose of (primarily rich white American) financial gain should not even come as a surprise, given the blatantly imperialist statements he and his associates like Rudolph Giuliani have made, such as:

In the old days, when we won a war, to the victor belonged the spoils. Instead, all we got from Iraqand our adventures in the Middle Eastwas death, destruction and tremendous financial loss. Donald Trump [X]

While Hillary Clinton does employ the same lexical register of financial speculation to proudly raise the call for war-profiteering just as loudly and just as clearly as Donald Trump, her teams investment pitch is nuanced by the form of innovation it advocates. The Klinton-Kaine Kampaign website ( promises us that, as president, Hillary will:

Invest in innovation and capabilities that will allow us to prepare for and fight 21st-century threats. That includes leveraging our information advantage through whats called net-centric warfare capabilities and preparing for asymmetric threats.

Clintons P.R. team has spiced up the war-for-profit pitch by plugging in a reference to what seems to be one of the latest militarist buzz phrases: net-centric warfare. A Wikipedia article on the term defines it as a doctrine or theory developed by the U.S. baby killer establishment in the 1990s which seeks to translate an information advantage, enabled in part by information technology, into a competitive advantage through the robust computer networking of well informed geographically dispersed forces.

In Network Centric Warfare: Developing and Leveraging Information Superiority (2000), David Alberts, John Garstka and Frederick Stein describe Network Centric Warfare as the best term developed to date to describe the way [U.S. militarists] will organize and fight in the Information Age.

The intuitive connection between networks, information, cyberspace, and global media is indicative of the fact that militarist buzzwords like net-centric warfare, information warfare, and cyberwarfare are essentially all iterations of the same thought process. Thus Hillary Clintons call to invest in Net-Centric Warfare in 2016 echoes her words to Congress in 2011, when she lamented (in a global context wherein non-American media networks such as Al Jazeera, RT, Sputnik, CCTV, and teleSUR were gaining traction in the Anglosphere as well as a stronger foothold in other regions) that We are in an information war, and were losing that war. Thus Hillarys campaign pledge cannot be seen as an addendum thoughtlessly tacked on to the platform so as to pander to the pro-military crowd, but a longstanding sign of her approach to imperial affairs.

In Network Centric Operations: Background and Oversight Issues for Congress (2007), Clay Wilson explains that Network Centric [Warfare] relies on computer equipment and networked communications technology to provide a shared awareness of the battle space [sic] for U.S. forces.

One might well imagine some Defense clerks producing a flashy video of U.S. Army/Marine Corps baby killers consulting their smartwatches in between murdering savage Near Oriental men to post statuses on each others timelines about where the remainder of the unarmed men are seeking asylum from these brainwashed SS-worshipping death squads and livestreaming satellite images as they operate a genocidal dragnet across a dusty and generic Fallujah-esque town (perhaps filmed on the set of Homeland), their wounded comrades meanwhile being treated by medical androids remote controlled by ethically-compromised doctors on another continent, to sell this concept to bloodthirsty sociopaths in Washington D.C. The U.S. military would probably prefer that when the public hears the term net-centric warfare, it would imagine something like this, happening far away, directed at un-American others, and keeping America safebut leveraging our information advantage has much broader implications.

One indication that the scope of this project goes well beyond the battlespaces of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen is the fact that the term net-centric warfare is regarded as being synonymous with that of net-centric operations (Wilson, 2007). This supplanting of warfare by operations, like the supplanting of battlefield by battlespace, signals an important shift in the way U.S. militarists perceive the nature of conflict in the 21st century, sometimes referred to as the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). The supplanting of the term warfare with that of operations marks a symbolic step towards the normalization of the state of perpetual warfare and the rendering ubiquitous of military operations outside their traditional spheres which have become reality under the so-called War on Terror.

This shifting emphasis in bourgeois military theory (from warfare to operations) can be traced back to the emergence of the asymmetric warfare paradigm (also alluded to by Clinton, cf. asymmetric threats) which began to gain currency towards the end of the genocidal U.S. war in Vietnam as baffled U.S. militarists struggled to fathom how their country had allowed them to be defeated (see Why Big Nations Lose Small Wars [1975]). The architects of the U.S. genocide in Vietnam expressed dismay at their defeat because they felt there had not objectively been sufficient loss or degradation of U.S. military machinery or manpower to warrant defeat; instead they identified the erosion of the subjective political will to continue fighting among the U.S. populace as the cause of their defeat. This view can be summed up in the rhetorical question of one U.S. militarist: Was the United States defeated in the jungles of Vietnam, or was it defeated in the streets of American cities? [Aquino, p. 6].

Similarly observing that [the Vietnam War] was fought as much, if not more, in the living rooms of America as in the living jungles of Southeast Asia, the U.S. militarist authors of Network Centric Warfare: Developing and Leveraging Information Superiority resolve that the battlespace of the future [] will no longer be private or remote [Alberts, p. 63]. But because the political costs of using [lethal weapons] against domestic anti-war dissidents and peace activists are likely to far outweigh their effects, the crushing of domestic civilian and non-state actor threats to the will to sustain U.S. militarist campaigns of genocide abroad (the national will to victory [Aquino, p. 4]) is primarily viewed as being a job for methods like Information Warfare, Military Information Support Operations (MISO) (also known as Psychological Operations [PSYOP]), Operations Other Than War (OOTW) [Alberts, p. 59], and Effects-Based Operations (EBO) [Smith, p. 1], although thats by no means to say that they dont consider the brazen use of lethal force against U.S. citizens out of the question [X]. The same authors note that in some instances of so-called Operations Other Than War the line between war and peace and between friend, foe, and neutral is blurred beyond recognition and that Information Operations blur the boundaries between civilian and military, having the potential to totally redefine the nature of warfare [Alberts, p. 59].

The doctrine of net-centric warfare thus encapsulates the idea that anyone who does anything to oppose the U.S. war machine must be regarded as a foe of the state, including those who do so in totally non-violent ways such as:

The end of the Cold War in the early 1990s helped to further entrench the paradigm of asymmetric warfare, as the subsequent Soviet/Russian geopolitical recession undid the relative symmetricality of what had previously been seen as a bipolar global battlespace. Nowadays the U.S. military behemoth swallows up a whopping 37% of global military spending, more than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the U.K., India, France, and Japan combined, perpetuating the asymmetry between U.S. militarism and all other centers of militarism, competitors and partners included. This trend is tempered however by certain developments, such as the so-called Sino-Russian rapprochement and the recent expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a geopolitical counterweight to U.S. military dominance and a vehicle for the joint operations of Russian and Chinese capitalists and militarists eager to further develop their own brands of imperialism.

Nevertheless, despite the Klinton Kaine Kampaigns programmatic inclination towards the discourse of warfare (i.e. its selection of the term net-centric warfare as opposed to net-centric operations) and its characterization of Russia as a foreign adversarial power, the displacement of warfare by operations as the dominant theoretical framework of U.S. baby killer circles is unlikely to be reversed because the threat of massive nuclear annihilation encourages the reframing of 21st century conflict between similarly matched great power blocs as symmetrical operations. The current U.S.-Russian cyber or information war, although these refer to operations other than war in the traditional sense, may be considered a symmetric situation or perhaps even a situation of U.S. inferiority. For example, despite having an inferior budget, the number of Russian intelligence operatives in the U.S. is said to be at least three times superior to the number of U.S. ones in Russia [X]. Hillary Clinton and U.S. militarists broad conceptualization of warfare, redefined and expanded to include a variety of operations which were heretofore held to be operations other than war, should be read as an attempt to accelerate the militarization of domestic policing, expand proxy wars, and work around the limitations imposed by mutually assured destruction, not as an imminent push to engage Russia with nuclear warheads, as the peewee two-party system bourgeois candidate Jill Stein has argued in her alarmist pro-Trump lesser evilist discourse [X].

In a country with few immediate signs of threat to the national will to victory in the form of mass movements, perhaps just as critical as directly suppressing dissident voices, if not more so, is the manufacturing of consent which seems to assure that a minimal amount of dissent hardly pops up in the first place. We know that the U.S. and global public is targeted by the military and intelligence forces en masse through operations such as the Message Force Multipliers program, which sought to achieve information dominance by saturating U.S. television with war-mongering talking heads around the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Another example of this kind of operation is the Pentagon spending half a billion dollars on the production of fake Al-Qaeda videos that portrayed the insurgent group in a negative light. Thats almost an entire fiscal year of U.S. military funds spent on some videosbut how could we even know what the real U.S. ritual human sacrifice budget is when U.S. militarists cant account for $6.5 trillion in funds [X]? Surely the fact that U.S. militarists do not release such information is part of some asinine strategy on their part to leverage [their] information advantage over us information scroungers who are not privy to those classified true facts. A President Jill Stein might well leave us with a military caste who can only not account for $3.25 trillion!

One expression of Effects-Based Operations (which a U.S. militarist named Smith defines as military operations directed at shaping the behavior of foes, friends, and neutrals in peace, crisis, and war) is the emergent military strategy of meme warfare or memetic engineering [X, X, X]. Modelled on an analogy to genetics (the science of biological heredity) first posited by raging anti-Muslim bigot Richard Dawkins of the Islamophobic New Atheist set, memetics (the science[?] of cultural heredity [as well as intra-generational cultural transmission]) supposes the existence of the meme as a unit of information in a mind whose existence influences events such that more copies of itself get created in other minds [Brodie, p. 11]. Another theorist describes memetic engineering as the conscious construction of information packages which are likely to replicate themselves across a network of minds [X]. The prevalence of memes is thought to be a consequence of our evolved capacity to imitate [X]. Meme warfare proposes the weaponization of mimesisdelivering ideas to targets (enemies, friends, and neutrals) in such a way that they assimilate those ideas which in turn induce behaviors that facilitate the meeting of the weapon-handlers objectives.

We can anticipate that the project of creating a memetically engineered (or psychocivilized) society entails the desirability of control and influence over information distribution networks as well as control and influence over the production of knowledge and information, helping to explain the drive of U.S. militarists to forcibly penetrate media and academia, like the horrific and snarling incubi which these demonic rape culture perpetuating militarists are.

Closely related to the concept to memetic engineering is eumemics. Like eugenicists, advocates of eumemics believe that populations can be improved by the manipulation and control of scientists, though in this case it is the pathologization of devalued thoughts (dubbed mind viruses), not biological traits, which prevails. Nevertheless, memeticists do hypothesize that memes drove biological selection as well as genes [McNamara].

The transition from eugenics to eumemics nevertheless proceeds relatively seamlessly from the perspective of so-called race science, for the neo-Nazi movements embrace of anti-Semitic American fascist Francis Parker Yockeys critique of materialistic scientism reveals a perspective on race which leads quickly to the supplantation of eugenics by eumemics.

In The Scientific-Technical World-Outlook (a chapter from his 1948 book Imperium), Yockey argues that [by 1850] science was on the road which was to cultuminate in [] frank admission of the subjectivity of physical concepts, that the very study of matter itself revealed the profound knowledge [] that matter is only the envelope of the soul, and that the transition from 19th century materialism to the new spirituality of the 20th century was thus not a battle, but an inevitable development. For Yockey, the neo-Nazi worldview is not based on science or materialism, although these are seen as useful in the service of [] unlimited will-to-power. The Nazi blowhard concludes that the Idea [of a strong Western Culture that creates Races and is the higher Reality] is primary, though superiority in weapons [furnished by techno-scientific methodology] is essential. Neo-Nazism thus attempts to remedy the fact that the racial basis of German Nazism was objectively pseudoscientific by dislocating race from this framework and repackaging it as a transcendent subjectivity, beyond science and pseudoscience. This outlook may be rooted in the adoption of an asymmetric model of warfare by Nazi strategists in the post-war years, in which case Operation Paperclip signals the beginning of the supplantation of warfare by operations.

In another chapter of Imperium on the Subjective Meaning of Race, the fascist Yockey argues that race is [] what a man feels and that this [feeling] influences, whether immediately or eventually, what he does. Race is not, according to Yockey, the way one talks, looks, gestures, walks, it is not a matter of stock, color, anatomy, skeletal structure, or anything else objective. He further elaborates that every race [] expresses a certain idea [] and its idea is bound to be attractive to some individuals outside it, and that every healthy, ascendant race accepts recruits who come in on its terms and who have the proper feeling. This notion of the true meaning of race being a subjective feeling, existing independently of objective scientific study, is expressed by government policy in cases such as United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923), in which the U.S. Supreme Court held that the law must uphold a popular, but unscientific conception of the so-called white race [X]. Popular and governmental conceptions did evolve thereafter, but remain unscientific. Perhaps it is this subjectivity that permits anomalous individuals such as Leo Felton, an African-American man, to become accepted as leaders in White Power prison gangs [X], and others, such as Barack Obama, to become legatees of the worlds leading white supremacist institutions.

The so-called Alt-Right movement, an innovative reiteration anti-Semitic, white supremacist, and Nazi bullshit for the Information Age which has emerged as one of the most vocal factions of Donald Trump supporters, places a heavy emphasis on memes and the memetic model of cultural evolution [X, X]. One Alt-right-wing 8chan forum set up last year calls itself The Bureau of Memetic Warfare and greets visitors with a Black Sun banner. It would almost be edgy if U.S. militarists had not already proposed a Meme Warfare Center a decade sooner [Prosser].

Seeming to fulfill the late comic George Carlins prediction that when fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts, it will not be with jack-boots; it will be Nike sneakers and Smiley shirts, The Daily Stormer, an Alt-Right website, notes that a movement which meets all of the [Southern Poverty Law Center]s definitions of Neo-Nazi White Supremacism using a cartoon frog to represent itself takes on a subversive power to bypass historical stereotypes of such movements, and thus present the ideas themselves in a fun way without the baggage of Schindlers List [sic] and American History X [sic]. They are talking about the so-called Pepe, a cartoon frog and internet-centric meme which even the Klinton Kaine Kampaign has addressed [X].

The same neo-Nazi website notes that the Alt-Right is in the process of forming an actual religious doctrine around the god Kek, who is believed to be the spiritual root of meme magick [X]. Alt-Right occultists have actually come to believe that the net-centric meme Pepe the Frog is a hierophany of the Ancient Egyptian god called Kek, who was depicted as a frog or theriocephalous frog-man [X].

Of course, some Alt-Right irony bros will inevitably fall back on the plausible deniability tactic when it suits them, and claim that internet meme-cum-hierophany discourse is pure satire done simply for the lulz; however, it is obvious from white nationalist texts like Esoteric Kekism, or Kek as a Bodhisattva of Racial Enlightenment that there is a genuine desire on the part of the so-called Alt-Right to engage in the time-honored fascist pastime of blatant cultural misappropriation of Eastern religious traditions so as to try to rehash yet again the aestheticized pseudo-mystique of an esoteric neo-Nazism, pioneered by classics like Maximine Julia Portas (Savitri Devi). Plausible deniability of the sincerity of Alt-Right discourse is stoked by public figures such as Milo Yiannopoulos, who has emerged as a cultural broker between the mainstream world and the largely web-bound (net-centric) movement. In a March 2016 Breitbart piece, Yiannopoulos argued that the reactionary/misogynistic/racist memes produced by the movement are merely meant to poke fun at political correctness, but the other representatives of the Alt-Right have vehemently scoffed at the idea that no one in the Alt-Right actually believes anything that they are saying, and simply say it as part of some obscure joke [X, X]. Meanwhile, there are others on the Alt-Right who are less chagrined by the fact that a gay Jewish man (Yiannopoulos) has become their unofficial spokesperson, basically seeing him as a useful idiot who is contributing to the rightward shift in the Overton Window [X].

Right-wing occultists are likely to the view those who ironically or jokingly spread the Cult of Kek and meme magick memes in a similar light, as the former use it to recruit devotees and initiates to their race-hate occultist worldview (see, for example, the Alt-Rightist recommendation made in the hypertext of the previous link that readers familiarize themselves with the work of British occultists Phil Hine and Peter J. Carroll to begin understanding meme magick as a form of chaos magick). Chaos magick is in turn considered to be a form of Satanism by prominent proponents of Satanism. For example, Anton Long (alleged alias of David Myatt, a proponent of neo-Nazi Satanism) writes in Toward Understanding Satanism (a classic Order of Nine Angles text) that, standard definitions of Satanism [] encompass, and so may describe [] the type of esotericism propounded by advocates of chaos magick and others who assert such things as reality is what I make it or what others have made it, or perceived it to be, so that Reality is a matter is perspective [sic] and thus demons/gods/religions/techniques beliefs can be usefully used without believing in them [X]. Hine is extensively cited as an authority in the book Contemporary Religious Satanism: A Critical Anthology (2009) [X] and Carroll has associated with activists in the British neo-Nazi movement via his involvement in the magazine Chaos International [X, X]. Additionally, in a subsection of The Occult World (2014) entitled Contemporary Occult War, religions studies professor Christopher Partridge relates that the interest of Carroll (described here as the founder of of chaos magic) in waging a purely politicized occult war in the form of a conspiracist libertarian condemnation of the European Union should be contextually understood in relation to the sinister family of traditions derived from the [(explicit concern) with esoteric conflict against Jewish influences of the] Order of Nine Angles (the previously mentioned neo-Nazi/Satanic group which developed out of English Wicca in the late 1960s or early 70s) [Partridge, pp. 632-3].

Another self-described Satanic grouping, with documented ties to U.S. militarism and whose original High Priests contributions to the theoretical framework of U.S. militarist operations in the 1980s prefigure the emergence of Net-Centric Warfare in the 1990s in ways explored below, is the Temple of Set. This occultist religious sect was founded in 1975 by the U.S. militarist Michael Aquino, a PSYOPs officer during the U.S. genocide-war in Vietnam, after he left his position as a high-ranking member of Anton LaVeys Church of Satan. In addition to reported disillusionment with LaVeys proposal to sell positions in the Church of Satan to those willing to pay big bucks, the split may have arisen in part from what Aquino saw as the Church of Satans equivocal stance on the question of whether Satan was real or symbolic. The Temple of Set, Aquino writes in Black Magic (1975-2010), resolved this dilemma [] by asserting the actual existence of Satan (as Set the original, pre-Judaeo/Christian entity) [X]. Aquinos collapsing of Christianity into Judaism and expression of desire to bypass its framework by displacing the figure of Satan with that of Set can be seen as an iteration of the same anti-Semitic concern with esoteric conflict against Jewish influences described by Partridge (2014). The anti-Semitic leitmotiv of Western esotericists can be traced back even further, to foundational figures of the contemporary occultist worldview such as Aleister Crowley, who lamented that The Jew has eaten his way into everything. The caricature of Semitic thought, Christianity, rotted Roman virtue through introducing the moral subterfuge of vicarious atonement [X]. In many ways modern proponents of magick in the West are heavily indebted to blatant cultural misappropriation which was facilitated by European colonialism. (For examples of the way in which contemporary Western esotericism and occultism cannot be contextually separated from their basis in Orientalism and cultural misappropriation, see the pivotal role played by European, especially British, colonialism in opening up mystical countries like Egypt and India to raging anti-Semitic white supremacists such as Aleister Crowley, Helena Blavatsky, and C. W. Leadbeater).

Like the newly founded occult-oriented neo-Nazi Cult of Kek, the Temple of Set was also based on cultural misappropriation of Ancient Egyptian/Kemetic mythology. The Egyptian gods Set and Kek share a number of similarities. Both have been called gods of chaos. Ancient Egypt Online notes that Set was a storm god associated with strange and frightening events including eclipses and that his glyph appears in the Egyptian words for turmoil, confusion, [] storm and rage [X]. The same source indicates that Kek (or Kuk) represented darkness, obscurity and night and that this darkness was the chaotic darkness which existed before the creation of the world [and] although he was a god of the darkness, he was also associated with the dawn and given the epithet, the bringer-in of the light [X]. It is further noted that Kek was also associated with Sobek, depicted as a theriocephalous crocodile-man who was said to be the son of Setwho also took the form of a crocodile [X].

Net-Centric Warfare theorists posit the existence of three domains relevant to the warfighter:

The quasi-religious underpinnings of this three-domain model of the battlespace need to be rendered explicit to understand, in the following section, Net-Centric Warfare as a reflection of the darker side of modern Western esoteric thought. We would also do well to take into consideration and keep in mind the argument of religions scholar Mircea Eliade that, contrary to what may still be considered conventional wisdom by some, religion does not necessarily imply belief in God, gods, or ghosts, but refers to the experience of the sacred, and consequently, is related to ideas of being, meaning, and truth [X].

Though the doctrine of the domains of Net-Centric Warfare is presented as trinitarian in form, in essence it replicates the Cartesian dualist meme; it is the bifurcation of the battlespace into physical and cognitive fronts, echoing long-posited binary oppositions between the body and mind, the material and the spiritual, which is fundamental to Net-Centric Warfare theory. Information is an intermediary between these two poles because it inhabits consciousness (where it is processed), but it can also be materialized into the external world via systems of communication (e.g. a book contains information which derives from the cognitive domain but exists in the physical domain). The information domain is thus not autonomous, but exists only in the relation to, and as an aspect of, the physical and cognitive domains. (The question of the nature of the information domain and its relation to the central dichotomy between tangible (external/physical) and intangible (internal/cognitive) which we find in the discourse of Net-Centric Warfare can also be located in the field of memetics, in the debate between memeticists of internalist and externalist persuasions [X]). The information domain is therefore secondary to the fundamental dynamic of Net-Centric Warfare, which is concerned with the ability to influence a targets feeling or cognitive state so as to affect what he or she does in the world, thus altering the physical state of the battlefield. Net-Centric Warfare utilizes objective means (such as physical control of external information flows) to target subjective phenomena (e.g., morale, the will to victory, the will to resist, and the will-to-power). This is why information dominance is in fact a euphemism for cognitive dominance.

Returning to the notion of the sacred as the defining element of religion, we see that Net-Centric Warfare is in essence a theological expression of U.S. militarism in the way that it recognizes the mind itself as sacred. The Cartesian split between spirit and matter observed in U.S. militarist doctrine is imbued with the analogue which Mircea Eliade called the sacred-profane polarity and analysis of the discourse on Net-Centric Warfare (and similar militarist buzzwords) reveals numerous traits consistent with a type of religious thought. Elaborating on this dichotomy between sacrality and profanity which he argued was key to understanding the constitution of religious thought, Eliade put forth in The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion (1959) that:

[In] all pre-modern societies, the sacred is equivalent to a power, and, in the last analysis, to reality. The sacred is saturated with being. [] The polarity sacred-profane is often expressed as an opposition between real and unreal or pseudoreal. [] Thus it is easy to understand that religious man deeply desires to be, to participate in reality, to be saturated with power [X, pp. 12-13].

By inaugurating the pursual of general dominance in the cognitive domain as the ultimate key to victory in any war, the cognitive apparatuses of not only enemy combatants and their host populations, but also those of the U.S. military protagonists civilian co-nationals became consecrated as sites of battle. For U.S. militarists, the lesson drawn from their defeat in Vietnam was that domination of the battlefields physical domain amounts to an unreal victory if the enemy is still able to leverage information superiority and prevail in the cognitive domain. The consequence of being made acutely aware of the possibility of defeat in spite of superior physical force was the invigoration of a militarist discourse around the menace of asymmetric threats. To pursue an old-fashioned warfighting strategy that did not adequately take the nature of asymmetric threats into account became sacrilege. Focusing too narrowly on the physical, material domain (unreal) at the expense of having a sense of concern for the cognitive, spiritual domain (real) became a form of profanity in the militarist mind, a vulgarization of what it means to pursue victory, a kind of false idol worship. The newfound reality of the all-encompassing nature of war, its delineation so blurred that it was no longer distinguishable from peace, no longer fought exclusively on the traditional battlefield but across a vaster battlespace that penetrates inside the hearts and minds of foes, friends, and neutrals in peace, crisis, and war was the new theology of Militarism. War was profane; operations became sacred.

U.S. militarist Michael Aquino, the self-proclaimed Setian Satanist who ran PSYOPs in Vietnam in the early part of his career, called this shift from the battlefield of the physical domain to the battlespace of the cognitive one MindWar. In a 1980 military research paper co-written with another U.S. militarist named Paul Vallely (now a Fox News senior military analysti.e. Message Force Multiplier) and entitled From PSYOP to MindWar: The Psychology of Victory Aquino (and Vallely, although Aquinos voice seems to dominate the text) explain how, in their view, victory on the physical battlefield is only assured by militarist domination of the cognitive battlespace. One source claims that although the paper never appeared in its intended publication outlet (Military Review), it was nevertheless widely circulated among military planners, and [] distributed by Aquinos Temple of Set [X]. Implying that commanders should be more concerned with the conquest of minds than with tangible victories, Aquino writes:

The MindWar scenario must be preeminent in the mind of the commander and must be the principal factor in his every field decision. Otherwise he sacrifices measures which actually contribute to winning the war to measures of immediate, tangible satisfaction.

It seems clear that Aquinos articulation of the need for U.S. militarism to switch gears from traditional war to sublime MindWar developed in tandem with his involvement in the Satanic cult scene. In one of his more esoteric ramblings, Aquino notes that,

Perhaps the most important contribution of the original Church of Satan (1966-1975CE) was its focus upon and glorification of the psyche, even though its original ambition was to downplay that concept in favor of mere fleshly gratification [X].

This critique was likely formed, if these precise words were not themselves written, around the time of his break with the Church of Satan to form the Temple of Set in 1975, five years before writing the MindWar paper. With the help of a thesaurus, his criticism of the Church of Satans undue emphasis on fleshly gratification became that directed at the U.S. military for its undue emphasis on tangible satisfaction (i.e. the physical domain). Moreover, his appreciation of the Church of Satans focus upon and glorification of the psyche forms the entire basis of the MindWar doctrine, with its focus upon and glorification of the cognitive domain.

Aquino argues that MindWar only operates in nonlethal, noninjurious, and nondestructive ways and that it essentially amounts to [overwhelming] your enemy with argument. This is apparently as simple as [seizing] control of all the means by which [the enemy] government and populace process information to make up their minds, and [adjusting] it so that those minds are made up as you desire. But Aquino also makes it clear that, in the MindWar scenario, the U.S. populace is approached by its would-be militarist overlords as an enemy. While at first painting Americans who called for the defeat of the U.S. effort to commit genocide in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia as victims fallen to the lies of enemy propaganda, Aquino goes on to imply that MindWar must attack and ultimately destroy the will of anti-war citizens because their opposition to the jingoistic national will to victory of the U.S. is merely a sign of their weakness and vulnerability to enemy psychological operations, arguing:

[The main PSYOP/MindWar effort] must originate at the national level. It must strengthen our national will to victory and it must attack and ultimately destroy that of our enemy. It both causes and is affected by physical combat, but it is a type of war which is fought on a far more subtle basis as well in the minds of the national populations involved.


MindWar must target all participants if it is to be effective. It must not only weaken the enemy; it must strengthen the United States. It strengthens the United States by denying enemy propaganda access to our people, and by explaining and emphasizing to our people the rationale for our national interest in a specific war.

Of course, to accept MindWar as noninjurious and nondestructive, we would have to ignore the destruction and injury such a practice perpetrates against freedom of thought, freedom of information, and freedom of expression. We would also have to ignore that, given the fact that in most cases and for obvious reasons (e.g. bumbling U.S. militarists inability to even speak enemy languages) it is more feasible for U.S. militarists to strengthen the U.S. national will to victory with programs like the Message Force Multipliers than it is for them to destroy the will of the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries to resist U.S. military occupations and bombing campaigns, MindWar perpetuates lethal operations and augments the death toll by keeping the U.S. populace compliant with the war effort and consistently failing to keep enemy populations submissive to occupation forces and unresentful of U.S. bombing campaigns. In what seems a telling Freudian slip, Aquino recently uttered, MindWar [] was an attempt to [] stress out the conscious parts of the human mind, to sort of [] create a mind slave [X].

Aquinos twisted conception of truth is also revealing of the fact that we are dealing with a religious concept when we talk about Net-Centric Warfare and MindWar. Arguing that legal restrictions on PSYOPs which forbid them from being deployed against the U.S. public are wrongheaded, Aquino writes:

Under existing United States law, PSYOP units may not target American citizens. That prohibition is based upon the presumption that propaganda is necessarily a lie or at least a misleading half-truth, and that the government has no right to lie to the people. The Propaganda Ministry of Goebbels must not be a part of the American way of life.

Quite right, and so it must be axiomatic of MindWar that it always speaks the truth. Its power lies in its ability to focus recipients attention on the truth of the future as well as that of the present. MindWar thus involves the stated promise of the truth that the United States has resolved to make real if it is not already so.

Here we arrive at the eschatological aspect of U.S. militarist doctrine; it deals with the end of days or the end of an age. By laying claim to knowledge of future events, to the power to preordain or predestine the ultimate outcome of any given U.S. military endeavor (which will invariably be victory), Aquino invokes what Afrofuturism scholars dub the futures industry, a synthesis of the scientific and corporate activity [of big science and big business] into a relatively coherent narrative which is then [disseminated] throughout the world [by global media] in this way exercising control over the future through the art of prediction and the imperial production of futurist narratives [Eshun, Yaszek]. Investment in the futures industry is evidenced by the work of think-tanks such as the Project for the New American Century, and the impetus towards an eschatological approach is demonstrated by U.S. policy-maker initiatives to transform the War on Terror into a New Thirty Years War. The interest of the bourgeois futures industry in occultism may also derive from the latters conceptualization of aeonics (the magical manipulation of psycho-historical forces [Partridge, p. 632]) or aeonic magick (i.e. the kind of magic concerned with producing large-scale [civilizational] changes [altering the destiny of millions of peoples] over [] centuries [X]).

The first words had a magical aspect to them, and the modern word still retains much of the powerful magicality of the primitive utterance. With words, one person can render another happy or push them to despair, and its with the help of words that the professor transmits her knowledge to students, that an orator leads his audience to predetermined conclusions, affecting their decisions. Words provoke emotions and constitute the general means by which human beings reciprocally influence one another.

Sigmund Freud, in Introduction la psychanalyse (1916) [Freud, p. 11]

In light of the exposition of the religiosity implied by Net-Centric Warfare theory and its constituent concepts (including but not limited to: the physical/information/cognitive domains, meme warfare, information warfare, operations other than war, and psychological operations), as well as the occultism of its state actor pioneers (Aquino/the Temple of Set) and non-state actor practitioners (the Alt-Right/the Cult of Kek), it is reasonable to expect that further unpacking Net-Centric Warfare in the context of its esoteric underpinnings will help to demystify its actual workings. As a consequence of seeking an answer to the question What is Net-Centric Warfare?, we have been been confronted by the pioneers and practitioners of it with the concept of magic[k] and a variety of types of it, including: meme magick, chaos magick, black magick, and aeonic magick.

When we talk about black magic in particular, it is possible understand a number of different things. It is commonly understood that black magic is the evil kind, while white magic is the good kind; the person whose words render another happy does white magic and the one who pushes another to despair does black magic. Black magic and white magic are also said to correspond to the terms Left Hand Path and Right-Hand Path. Some have argued that good and evil are relative to the perspective of the individual, the cultural or class grouping, and that for this reason black magic cannot be equated with evil, nor can white magic be equated with good. The Temple of Sets Michael Aquino would be an example of someone who falls into this camp, in that, although his religious worldview is indebted to a profound degree to early modern occultists such as Aleister Crowley and Helena Blavatsky, he does not seem to like the fact that they used the terms black magic and white magic simply to identify their moral biases (in the sense that they upheld the convention that black stands for that which is immoral and white stands for that which is moral). For Aquino, black magic (or the left-hand path) does not imply any moral or ethical stance, since according to him, it refers to one of two approaches to magic in general rather than to the ends to which [it is] applied [X, p. 61]. However, given what we know about Aquinos almost five decades of prominence on the Satanic cult scene, we cannot take his theory of morally ambiguous black magic as a pure abstraction; consideration of his actual life and career, which we have already seen was dedicated not just to serving, but also enhancing the efficacy of, the genocidal enterprise of U.S. militarism, might be taken as an indication of this particular approachs predisposition to being used towards unethical ends.

A closer examination of Aquinos discourse in Black Magic (1975-2010) reveals that his attempt to dissociate the concept of black magic from its common definition (evil) is mired in contradictions. Here Aquino argues that the ideal member of his Satanic cult is initially amoral but that the cult does argue for a high personal ethical standard which is based on a Platonic love of and dedication to virtue for its own sake not on social or religious-ideological conditioning, threats, or enticements [Aquino, p. 4]. Elsewhere in Black Magic, however, Aquino does express clear concern about safeguarding what he calls the ethical reputation of the Temple [p. 40], noting that, Only if [a Satanist is] known to be a strictly ethical individual will [his or her] freedom from social norms be tolerated. Otherwise [he or she] will be ostracized and probably persecuted by society [p. 94]. Contradicting his initial claim that the Temples argument for its members high ethical standards is not based on social or religious-ideological conditioning, threats, or enticements, Aquino admonishes his followers that ritually sacrificing any life-form will result in the offenders immediate expulsion [from the cult] and referral to law enforcement or animal protection authorities [p. 119]. Aquino again contradicts his initial claim of the cults recognition of the supremacy of the individual Satanists personal ethical standard over social conditioning when he elaborates on the formula by which the Satanist is to avoid persecution/cultivate an ethical reputation: he is to determine not only whether [a particular black magic working] will be ethical in his eyes, but also ethical according to the cultural mind-sets of all other parties to the working [p. 106]. We see thus that the Temple of Sets concern about projecting out an ethical reputation as a law-abiding, non-human/animal (or even plant) sacrificing cult into the world functions as a defense mechanism, its ethical reputation being a mere shell to protect its actual mission, which is to create an unsafe space (since Aquino asserts that black magic is dangerous) for freedom from social norms and the social morality [p. 112] of intrusive subjective universes (Aquinos term) of other psyches, to the extent that such freedom and occult deviancy can be cultivated without provoking ostracization and persecution by the wider society.

Aquinos concern with dissociating black magic from its connotation of evil cannot be understood without apprehending his view that good/evil values are merely appropriate for the profane masses, who cant and dont want to understand anything more precise [p. 106]. Aquinos attempt to dissociate black magic from its connotation of evil mirrors the way in which his conception of the net-centric MindWar doctrine was intimately tied up with the desire to dissociate U.S. militarism (particularly in Southeast Asia) from its connotations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Turning the basic question of what is good and what is bad into a mystical equation serves to transform that which is unethical (imperialist war, use of black magic to manipulate the profane masses into compliance with the former by painting it as good from the perspective of their class-blind/class-collaborative national interests) into that which is ethical. Publicly identifying oneself as a Satanist and establishing a cult institution with the exoteric faade of an ethical reputation rather than keeping ones wacko beliefs to oneself would seem to serve the purpose of, not only empowering oneself and gaining social influence (to the extent that one can accrue cult members and rise in the military industrial hierarchy), but also transforming the lay publics perception of Satanists into its oppositei.e. from equating Satanism with evil and unethical practices to equating it with decent, ethical people who dont really want to hurt anyone.

What does make the term black magic problematic is not its moral connotation by itself, but this in combination with its racial one. We must be skeptical when accusations of black magic are levelled in order to smear that which is genuinely good. For example, televangelist Pat Robertson has infamously called Haitians cursed in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of 2010 for [swearing] a pact with the devil [X], in reference to the sacrificial Voodoo ritual performed in the Kayiman woods which is said to have initiated the slave rebellion against French rule, which was a revolution whose basis was the super-exploited and racialized enslaved proletariat of the island. From the perspective of international scientific socialist and transmodern decolonial communist ethics, the Haitian revolution was much more ethical than anything the Temple of Set ever dideven if we are to accept that the former did involve animal sacrifice and the latter wouldnt hurt a flybecause it was revolutionary and promoted freedom while the latter was/is a cesspit of fascist U.S. militarist reaction. Certain African and Afro-diasporic artists have appropriated terms commonly associated with Satanism in Western thought such as black magic and black mass to affect decolonization. For example, in the music video to the song Black Magic Woman, the Ghanaian singer Azizaa plays up the notion of black magic and some of its tropes in a way that is feminist and coloniality-confronting. It is dubious however to suppose that the path of revolutionary or afrofuturist black magicians such as Dutty Boukman or Sun Ra is one and the same as that taken by imperial militarist or fascist black magicians such as Michael Aquino or David Myatt/Anton Long. Their paths could not be more opposite. Furthermore, two people cannot follow the same path and arrive at different ends, unless they started at different ends, and in that case ones left-hand would be the others right.

Although it is genuinely possible to detourne black magic from connotations of evil as certain artists have succeeded in doing, we will nevertheless put aside the problematic black is wack, white is right racial baggage of the black magic/white magic distinction from this point forth and use the term black magic in the traditional sense of pertaining to that which is evil, as we move now to analyse bourgeois Net-Centric Warfare as it relates to the black magic worldview of its U.S. militarist, neo-Nazi, Satanist, and bigoted Eurocentrist neo-pagan pioneers and practitioners.

* * *

Many of the constituent concepts of the theory of Net-Centric Warfare can be read as analogues to those which are elaborated upon by self-proclaimed Satanic organizations. To illustrate these striking parallels, which show how the idea of black magic as it is understood/explained by Satanic groups meshes almost perfectly with that of Net-Centric Warfare, a three-column table is presented below. The first two columns in the table present the terminology used by the Satanic cults known as the Temple of Set and the Order of Nine Angles. According to religions professor Connell Monette, these are two out of the three western esoteric groups that are openly aligned with the Left Hand Path (i.e. black magic) [X], the other being the Church of Satan (founded by Anton LaVey in 1966 as the first above ground, openly Satanic organization). Monettes claim is likely inaccurate (see other groups such as the Satanic Temple, Brotherhood of Satan, etc.though some of these may treat the figure of Satan as symbolic), but these are certainly what we might call the big three.

As previously alluded to, the Temple of Set split off from the Church of Satan in 1975 when many of its members became disillusioned with LaVeyan Satanism and can thus be seen as its successor, so LaVeys cult has been omitted from the table. The Order of Nine Angles, meanwhile, is also said to have formed sometime in the 1960s or 1970s in Shropshire, England but takes a more underground approach. Its number of adherents is rumored to range anywhere from a handful of people or even a single individual using numerous aliases (David Myatt) all the way to anywhere from 300 to 2,000 people spread throughout the world [Monette, 2014]. Both the Temple of Set and the Order of Nine Angles proclaim themselves to be genuine Satanists, with Aquino stating that the Temple upholds the actual existence of Satan and Myatt stating that the Order represents traditional Satanism. There are some signs that the Order of Nine Angles was influenced or took inspiration from the Church of Satan; e.g. its name is said to have been appropriated from a text called Ceremony of Nine Angles written by Aquino in 1971 when he was a member of the Church of Satan (although the Order claims its name comes from an aspect of esoteric tradition which existed before [1966][X]) and the pen name of the Orders primary theorist (Anton Long) also seems to have been pastiched from the name of Anton LaVey, former head of the Church of Satan.

One of the most fundamental differences between the Temple of Set and the Order of Nine Angles is their approach to public relations. While the Temple, as we have seen, is concerned about maintaining an ethical reputation and not portraying itself as evil, the Order actively tries to cultivate an evil reputation. It does this in part by defending human sacrifice as part of traditional Satanism. To become a full-fledged Adept of the Order, one is expected to partake in what it calls human culling to [remove] the worthless and thus [improve] the stock. Monette mentions that ONA members are said to have joined police and military forces in seeking out opportunities to kill people and the Order also claims that in 2011, several images were circulated on the internet of someone in NATO-issued combat fatigues with a NATO-issued weapon and nextto an O9A sigil [in Afghanistan] [X].

In The Satanic Letters of Stephen Brown: Vol. Iwhich detail written correspondence between the Order of Nine Angles and the Temple of Set from 1990 to 1992 (in addition to ONA letters to third parties)the ONA criticizes Aquinos group for instructing its members to disaffiliate from and disavow connections to Satanic groups and individuals advocating human sacrifice (e.g. the Order of Nine Angles) and pedophilia (e.g. the Ordo Templi Baph-metis and its magazine Abraxas, which were both under the thumb of a member of the Temple of Set named James Martin). Here the ONA derides Aquino and the Temple of Set as inauthentic Satanists, insufficiently loyal to the genuine tenets of traditional Satanism because their policy of public disaffiliation with persons openly calling for sexual abuse and murder constitutes a code of ethics which members must adhere to. In a true Satanic organization, the ONA argues, there is nothing that is restricted or forbidden.

However, it can also be remarked that the ONAs literature is similar to that of Aquinos in that it is riddled with internal contradictions. While human sacrifice and sexual abuse are necessarily permitted under the premise of nothing is forbidden, the ONA literature on culling nevertheless mentions that victims [of human sacrifice] can never be children and voluntary sacrifices are always male, thus positing restrictions on the practice [X, pp. 12, 14]. The fact that the ONA generally posits human sacrifice within a eugenics type framework (by virtue of likening it to culling) also contradicts the claim that the organization embraces evil, given that the supposed goal here is to improve the human race and do it good by transforming it into a more highly evolved god-race which Myatt calls Homo Galactica. The claim of no restrictions on individual members of the Satanic cult also disappears when the ONA literature notes that a group wishing to conduct such a sacrifice with magickal intent must first obtain permission from the Grand Master or Grand Lady Master [ibid., p. 12].

We also find in the Satanic Letters that in about 1986 or 1987 Aquino was a sent a copy of a magazine called Ganymede which had a reputation in the UK for promoting pedastry and paedophilia because Martin had written an article in the magazine which was [] along those lines. After members of the Setian priesthood were ordered by Aquino to interview James Martin, he resigned from the Temple. (This would have been right at the beginning or middle of the Presidio of San Francisco military base sex scandal in which Aquino was accused of sexually abusing dozens of children.) Additionally, it is explicitly revealed that at least one member of the Temple of Set, identified as John [REDACTED] later known by the alias Richard Saunders or Bro Richard of Shropshire, had a working relationship with the Order of Nine Angles via the Brotherhood of Balder (an organization in which he held dual membership [] whilst a Priest of Set). The Satanic Letters implicitly suggest a working relationship between the ONA and another (then) member of the Temple of Set, the New Zealand neo-Nazi Kerry Bolton, because in the Letters ONA member Stephen Brown (probably David Myatt) is forwarded a copy of and replies to an intra-Temple of Set letter between Bolton and a U.K.-based David Austen within a few weeks of it being sent.

Examine below each row from left to right as you observe the parallels between Satanic cult and U.S. militarist jargons.

Net-Centric Warfare as Black Magic:

Similarities in Conceptualization Between Occult Groups and the U.S. Military

Satanic cult jargon


U.S. militarist jargon


Temple of Set

Net-Centric Warfare

The Abyss (1)

of the acausal world

of the acausal world

Michael Aquino, Black Magic (1975-2010).

Jacob Christiansen Senholt, The Sinister Tradition (2009).

Anton Long, The Error of Egoism (2011).

Order of Nine Angles, Naos (1989).Connell Monette, Ch. 3: The Order of Nine Angles (2014).

Edward Smith, Effects Based Operations (2002).

David Alberts et al., Understanding Information Age Warfare (2001).

As we can see in the table, the dynamics of Net-Centric Warfare are very much akin to those of black magic.

Firstly, the framework within which the psychological manipulation/black magic is posited to occur is similar. The elaboration of a trinity of domains in Net-Centric Warfare theory corresponds to a trinity of universes, worlds, or realms which are elaborated upon in the literature of the modern Satanic movement. Recall that the Net-Centric Warfare trinity of domains is in actuality a Cartesian duality between the physical domain and the cognitive domain. This dualism is paralleled by the Satanic cults, which call these two domains the objective universe or the causal world and the subjective universe or the acausal world. Like Net-Centric Warfare, they also posit some kind of mechanism for the transcendence of these two poles, the two fundamental domains/universes/worlds. In the case of Net-Centric Warfare, this intermediary is the information domain, while the Temple of Set refers to a Magical Link between the physical domain and the cognitive domain, and the Order of Nine Angles meanwhile calls this interstice the gate, nexion, or, alternatively, The Abyssa Crowleyan trope which has worked its way into the Satanic discourses of late-stage capitalism, along with the related idiomatic phrase to cross the abyss.

Excerpt from:

What is Net-Centric Warfare? | Daniel K. Buntovnik

Memes, memes everywhere | SunStar – Sun.Star

MEMESAN ongoing social phenomenon. These often come in the form of funny pictures and texts combined, creating jokes that are passed on across cultures throughout the world wide web.

One cannot possibly open social media or at the very least use the internet without coming across memes. For baby boomers (the generation born before the internet began), these things are mere silly distractions that take up most of generation Ys time. However, the truth is, theres more to it than meets the eye.

To address this misunderstanding between two different generations, Tropical Futures Institute (TFI) held a one night only open-sourced exhibit of memes entitled The Meme Show last Aug. 18. TFI is a loose group of like-minded individuals, an arm of 856 G Gallery that focuses on neo-centric community shows, focused more on bringing people together as emphasized by Anne Amores, assistant gallerist of 856 G Gallery.

Anyone can join. Its a celebration of the meme culture and were trying to elevate memes into an art form which it arguably is, said Zach Aldave, meme enthusiast and a member of TFI.

Memes relate to the Dada movement. The dada began as a reaction to the limitation of art. Dada started like that; its anti-art art. We can relate that to memes, which are satirical social commentaries, he continued. Its a super-mutated form of satire, added Anne.

The interrelation of cultures before was brought about by intercontinental travels and interracial marriages. Back in the day, globally educating oneself was expensive and entailed one to physically expose himself to another culture, but in the present generation this happens in a different way, more accessible and easier.

If you look at the meme and you strip all the unnecessary sh*tall the irony and all the humorit boils down to being just a pure form of social commentary, said Zach.

Memes are cultural symbols or social ideas in the form of jokes, and are virally transmitted through wires without needing one to get out of the house. So despite the fact that one is just staring into the computer screen reading memes, one is actually being educated about the varying cultures from the different corners of the Earth.

As a form of art, memes are also forms of expression. Some memes exhibit dark humor which represents the sector from which it comes, and which a lot of people surprisingly empathize with.

Some memes are also sort of expressing deeply seated feelings like depression. Whats good about memes is that these are like an outlet for a lot of people who are struggling. Usually theyre cloaked in irony or humor, and they empathize with each other through memes, said Anne.

Unknown by many, memes can be traced back in history. It is being brought to light as a science with a study called Memetics. Memetics is a study begun by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. In this study, memes are understood to be cultural genes, carrying cultural information from one person to another and human beings are vehicles of their transmission.

Original post:

Memes, memes everywhere | SunStar - Sun.Star

The matter with memes – The GUIDON


by Mikaela T. Bona and Joma M. Roble Published 20 August, 2017 at 1:01 AM from the April 2017 print issue

A meme is both the picture that is worth a thousand words and the few words that can make a thousand picturesor not.

Like hungry brigands waiting by the side of busy trade route, memes ambush and bombard many of us in our own journeys across the Internet, particularly when we travel by social media. They can strike our newsfeeds unexpectedly and boldly. However, unlike bandits out for bounty, Internet memes are seemingly a much more pleasant sight to encounter.

In her 2008 TED talk, memeticist Susan Blackmore explained that memes are bits of information that replicate themselves from person to person through imitation. Memeticists study memetics, a field which explores how ideas propagate among people. Blackmore then continued to say that we human beings have created a new meme: what she calls the technological meme, or the teme for short, which is a meme disseminated via technology. The teme is what is commonly known to be the meme with a comical picture and text shared on social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.

This merry friend of ours still has much to share with us. As it acts as a mirror that can reflect our joys and sorrows in an instant, memes have also become a mouthpiece of a generation in constant flux.

To define it is to kill it

Ethologist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins is the first to coin the term meme in his bestselling book, The Selfish Gene. Deriving from the Greek mimemes and the French mme which mean imitated thing and memory, respectively, he defines the traditional meme as a living structure that transfers from brain to brain in the process of imitation.

According to Dawkins, memes could be tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes, fashions, ways of making pots, or [even ways] of building the arches. He states further that memes and genes are both meant to sustain as well as change humans, but while genes exist for biological evolution, memes, on the other hand, are replicators that allow for cultural transmission throughout generations.

Interestingly, Dawkins did not lay down specificities as to why memes proliferated. Internet memes are steadily reproduced for an unknownand possibly nonexistentreason. As The Atlantic writer Venkatesh Rao puts it, the Internet meme is a meme in the original sense intended by Richard Dawkins: a cultural signifier that spreads simply because it is good at spreading. It pertains to something that is necessarily vague for it to be universally understood.

While a picture is often described to speak a thousand words, the meme goes beyond interrelated ideas and event. A photo of a smirking man with his right index finger pointing on the right side of his forehead, for instance, would mean hes thinking of something clever. What that thing is though is uncannily up to all of us, making us not just observers, but active participants in the meme experience.

When you speak of memes, you just feel that its a meme. It takes its own being of being a meme in your mind and it can become as weird or not weird as your imagination wants. Its just what it is for you, shares Vince Nieva, of the meme page Ageless Ateneo Memes, in his talk for Arete 2017: Hayo held last April 5.

The ambiguous quality of Internet memes have been subject to research since 2011. This is what paves the way for a designation of new meanings that creates a sense of flexibility. With every user that is able to add a new twist or plot to the meme, it becomes more amorphous and far-reaching that it connects seemingly disparate ideas into relational entities.

A language of its own

Rao believes that memes are an effect of the post-everything world we live in. He explains the complex intertwinement of ideas in our fast-paced world by emphasizing that there is a distinction between the Harambe meme and the actual slain zoo gorilla. This is an age wherein stories are captured while they are still unfolding.

Rapid media technology is going faster than humans can process, which can warp and stunt the emotional reactions to current news. The shock caused by the 2016 American election results led to the creation of many Donald Trump memes pre- and post-elections, which have since been correlated with other memes. In a world freer than ever before, we are both repressed by our technological creations and freed by them.

The universality of meme sharing on social media platforms has made it difficult to continue a single train of thought. In his contribution to the book The Social Media Reader, Patrick Davison states that viewing and part of the meme, as is saving and reposting. Ironically, the ability of anyone to take part in the dialogue, by a multitude of means through memes, has orchestrated cacophonies. However, genuine relationships can still be formed in the ruckus.

Memes can prove to be a global inside joke amongst ourselves. They can be a way for us to make [some] sense [out] of confusing events and perhaps even cope with personal lost-ness. Memes are a way to get people to connect, says Alfred Marasigan, an Ateneo Fine Arts lecturer, during his talk in Arete 2017: Hayo.

The practice of meme creation draws up a vague sense of community among those who partake in meme sharing; this creates a mutual understanding of what the meme isand principally, what it can be. People partake in the definition production that sustains the meme vogue for as long as possible until a new one comes along to dominate the cyber sphere, while the former eventually dies out.

As old memes die, strong emotions from people who share the same experience come together to form a new meme. Interestingly, it has also been a medium for cultural and socio-political critique. According to Know Your Meme, which tracks the origin of memes, the Evil Kermit meme is an image of Kermit and his nemesis Constantine, who is dressed like a Star Wars Sith lord and instructs Kermit to perform various indulgent, lazy, selfish and unethical acts.

The meme has been used to point out religions underlying crusade tendencies and even question meme culture itself. Other examples include the nut button, which evolved from having sexual implications to anything that can trigger one to act strongly, Arthurs Fista reaction to situations that are frustrating or infuriating, and many more.

Show and tell

In the technologically-forward society we live in, the way culture is transferred from person to person is changing. Internet memes have revolutionized communication by their nature of transmuting meaning as it spreads. As expressions of our alienation from what our traditional memes can normally keep up with, it is vital to note that we are satirizing something that we cannot fully understand. The world is perpetually moving and memes are constantly angled towards a multitude of narratives.

Memes are like junk food, says Andrew Ty, a lecturer at the Ateneo Department of Communication. Their gratification is immediate and not long-lasting and you end up waiting for the next one very quickly. In the end, [memes] are just one part of this overall tendency nowadays towards viral communication.

A study conducted at the University of Bonn in Germany provided mathematical models to explain the temporality of memes. Internet memes are just fads, but they are ones that persist by coming back with the same vague appeal and rhetoricalbeit in different forms. Their vogue is infectious to the generation as of now. Soon, however, theyll be images of the past.

It may seem hard to see memes as something akin to Edo Japans The Floating World of Ukiyo-e, or even Victorian era post-mortem photographs, but they might just be one of our eras most distinguishing and awestriking depictions. After all, the meme is representative of a world moving faster than we can understand. As its uncanniness pulls us in, it is likely for memes to one day be an iconic portrayal of our generation.

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The matter with memes - The GUIDON

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On Memetics

Mutations and recombination in cultural evolution Another claim in the recent Creanzaa, Kolodny and Feldman document (Cultural evolutionary theory: How culture evolves and why it matters) is my topic today. They say: Unlike in genetics, where mutations are the source of new traits, cultural innovations can occur via multiple processes and at multiple scales To start with, this is rather obviously not true: classically, mutations and recombination are the source of new traits in evolutionary theory. However, are the authors correct to claim that these processes need augmenting in cultural evolution? The answer, I think is: not if you conceive of them properly in the first place. Let me explain.

To start with, let's look at what the authors claim are the new processes that go beyond mutation in the cultural domain. They give two examples. One is individual trial-and-error learning. They also say that:

What about trial-and-error learning, though? Surely there is no leaning in genetics. Trial-and-error learning is a composite process. It starts with trials, which are often mutations of previous trials. Then there is the "error" part, which does not involve generating new variation at all, but rather is based on discarding information based on its success. In other words, it is selection, not mutation or recombination. By breaking trial-and-error learning down into its component parts, it is found to be a composite product of mutation, recombination and selection - not some entirely new process demanding fundamental additions to evolutionary theory. Skinner realised this, by formulating his learning theory while using evolutionary terminology (such as "extinction"). Many others have followed in his footsteps, conceiving of learning in evolutionary terms.

Isn't this a matter of terminology? With these author's definition of 'mutation' they are right, but with my definition of 'mutation', I am right? Yes, but terminology isn't a case of words meaning whatever you want them to mean. Scientific terminology should carve nature at the joints. Definitions of 'mutation' and 'recombination' that apply equally to both organic and cultural evolution are useful, I submit. Less general ones are not so useful.

To summarize, it is possible to conceive of mutation and recombination in a way that make them encompass all sources of variation. Mutations are sources of variation based on one piece of inherited information. Recombination is a source of variation based on two-or-more pieces of inherited information. In theory, it might appear that there's one other possible process: creation - variation based in inherited inforation which comes out of nowhere. One might give the origin of life as an example of genes arising from non-genes. However, we don't really need this proposed 'creation' process. Information never really comes out of nowhere. There's a law of conservation of information - parallel to the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of charge. We can see this in the microsopic reversibility of physics - information is neither created nor destroyed.

I claim then, that mutation and recombination have it covered. The additions to evolutionary theory proposed by these authors are not necessary. They are unnecessaary complications, which evolutionary biologists should soundly reject as not contributing anything to the basic theory.

The caption reads: "Cultural transmission is more complex than genetic transmission and may occur on short timescales, even within a single generation."

This diagram is profoundly misleading. It is based on a view of cultural evolution that doesn't include symbiology. A genes vs culture diagram that includes cultural symbionts on one side, but not genetic symbionts on the other is not showing the whole picture. Humans share DNA between individuals - in the form of bacteria, viruses, yeasts, fruits and vegetables - very much as they share culture between individuals.

Framing the diagram as "Human genes" vs "Human culture" is not comparing like with like. Bacterial and viral genes are not part of the human genome (unless you count the 10% of the human genome that is descended from viral genomes) - but human culture isn't part of it either. On the left, symbionts are excluded, while on the right they are included. It is an unfair comparison which leads to the confusion propagated by the caption. In fact parasite evolution can happen within a single host generation in both the cultural and organic realms. Contrary to the spirit of the diagram you can get genes from peers in both cultural and organic evolution. They are parasite genes, or symbiont genes in both cases. Cultural evolution does not differ from organic evolution in this respect. The idea that in culture you can get genes from many sources, while in organic evolution you only get them from your parents is a popular misconception about the topic.

The whole document has a whole section on "Culture and Microbes". However there is no mention of the idea that culture behaves similarly to microbes and other symbionts. The man-machne symbiosis, for example is not mentioned. Yet symbiosis is the very basis of the whole field according to memetics, one of the very few symbiosis-aware treatments of cultural evolution out there.

The neglect of symbiology in academic cultural evolution mirrors its neglect in the study of organic evolution - until the 1960s. However, cultural evolution's scientific lag means that cultural evolution is far behind, and few academics have even a basic understanding the relevance of symbiosis to the evolution of culture. Maybe these folk never read Cloak (1975) and Dawkins (1976).

I think the history of this misconception of the whole field in academia is fascinating. Why has it lasted for so long and why has it not yet been corrected? I don't have all the answers but I think the origin is fairly clear. Anthropologists wanted a complex theory of cultural evolution, to signal their skills to other academics and prospective students. They may also have wanted to distance themselves from previous attempts to marry evolution and culture. Any mention of biology turns most anthropologists off. Artificially weakening the influence of biology in the theory may have made the theory more palatable to other anthropologists. Still, science is a self-correcting enterprise. Eventually, the truth will out.

The exact same reply works for cultural evolution: to make testable predictions, use expected fitnesses.

I have seen much the same objection raised to the Price equation and Hamilton's rule. These have been criticised as tautologies by Martin Nowak and Edward Wilson among others. This criticism ought to be dead these days, but like a zombie, it refuses to lie down.

Dennett argues that we should make machines into our slaves and keep them that way. IMO, machine slavery will not be a stable state once machines become much more intelligent than humans. As a plan for keeping humans in the loop, machine slavery just won't work in the long term. If we try going down that path, after a while, humans will become functionally redundant, and some time after that they will mostly disappear.

IMHO, a better plan is to work on deepening the man-machine symbiosis - and "become the machines". Of course, that plan could also fail - but I think that it is less likely to fail catastrophically and it should provide better continuity between the eras. Machine slavery in various forms is inevitable in the short term. However unlike Dennett, I don't think it is any sort of solution. It won't prevent man-machine competition for resources in the way that Dennett appears to think. We have tried slavery before and have first-hand experience of how it can destabilize and fail to last.

Among my targets are proponents of the apocalypse. Two modern forms seem especially prominent. One is the idea that some combination of global warming, pollution, overpopulation and resource depletion will lead to environmental catastrophe. The other is the idea that machine intelligence, biotechnology, nanotechnology and robotics is likely to lead to human extinction.

In a few cases the same individuals engage in fearmongering on multiple topics. For example, Stephen Hawking has warned about the dangers of climate change, runaway artifical intelligence and alien invasions. On climate he has said:

On machine intelligence he has advised that:

He has also cautioned on the topic of alien contact arguing that aliens:

Another celebrity serial fearmongerer is Elon Musk. He's expressed similar concerns about the climate change and runaway machine intelligence.

I identify these types of sentiment as consisting largely of "attention-seeking fearmongering". This typically consists of associating yourself with a massive future catastrophe. Warnings may be given and sometimes advice about catastrophe avoidance is offered. As catastrophe alerts propagate you are promoted too - via a kind of memetic hitchhiking.

Some of the early proponents of this type of self-promotional technique applied to machine intelligence were Kevin Warwick and Hugo De Garis. Kevin Warwick wrote a 1997 book about how machines were going to take over the world, titled "March of the Machines: Why the New Race of Robots Will Rule the World". De Garis later wrote the book The Artilect War: Cosmists Vs. Terrans: A Bitter Controversy Concerning Whether Humanity Should Build Godlike Massively Intelligent Machines. However, neither author was very competent at fearmongering. Their efforts were pioneering but relatively ineffectual. These days, fearmongering is big business - with trillions of dollars being spent on global warming avoidance as a result. Many modern oranizations specialize in fearmongering.

I identify fearmongering as being a morally-dubious marketing technique. Part of the problem is that humans are naturally paranoid - due to the "sabre-tooth tiger at the watering hole" phenomenon. Our ancestors lived in a dangerous environment. These days, our environment is typically much, much safer. However we are still wired up as though the sabre-tooth tigers are still around. We are naturally paranoid. Fearmongering exploits human paranoia - typically for personal gain. It seems like a low form of manipulation to me.

Fearmongering is typically used as a type of negaative advertising. Negaative advertising is often seen in American political campaigns. There's also a long history of fearmongering in IT. There, the technique is often known as spreading Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt - or F.U.D. for short.

There's a children's story about the perils of "attention-seeking fearmongering": the boy who cried wolf. There, the moral of the story is that false warnings can damage your reputation. My message here is a bit different. I am not interested in advising the fearmongers to stop using their techniques. Rather I want to help everyone else to do a better job of ignoring them. One part of this is simply understanding what is going on. An interesting resource on this topic is Dan Gardner's Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear. The book is also known as "The Science of Fear: Why We Fear the Things We Shouldn't-and Put Ourselves in Greater Danger". For my part, I would like to contribute the terminology in the title of this post: "attention-seeking fearmongering". Naming things can make it easier for people to think about them.

Of course, some of the symbionts will be parasites. While also playing a role in pulling their hosts together, too many parasites are bad, and eusocial creatures often go to considerable lengths to eliminate them - with antibiotic compounds, grooming rituals, hairlessness, and highly-active immune systems. It seems likely that opposing selection pressures from parasites will form part of the "overcrowding" forces that eventually halt the progress towards greater levels of sociality.

Humans can hardly be classifed as being eusocial yet. As Matt Ridley sometimes jests, even the English don't let the Queen do all their reproducing for them. However humans are ultrasocial and seem to be headed towards full-blown eusociality with functional "individuals" forming at higher levels than human individuals - such as companies and organizations. We also have cultural eusociality. We may not be genetically eusocual but parts of our cultural heritage is memetically eusocial. Indeed some of it consists of multiple identical clones produced in factories (for example, think dollar bills or mobile phones).

Because they live in close quarters with one another ultrasocial creatures are vulnerable to parasite transmission. As a result they often have highly active immune systems to compensate. Humans exhibit one prominent trait associate with parasite defense - they are hairless. Over time, our hairlessness has been the topic of much speculation, but it seems fairly clear that a significant part of the story is that being hairless allows us to pick parasites off ourselves and each other, and denies the parasites shelter. Of course, parasites can still shelter in clothes and bedding - but those can be discarded.

My purpose in this post is to draw attention to the corresponding memetic phenomenon. Memes are drawing us together to promote their own reproductive ends - and as we grow closer, memetic parasites are likely to become a bigger problem - as the most virulent strains of memes from all over the planet reach the most vulnerable humans in each society. As a resut, fertility has already plummeted in places like Japan and South Korea. It seems likely that humans will respond with heightened immune responses - both genetic and memetic. Memetic defenses include education, skepticism and memetic vaccines targeted against specific problems, such as pyramid schemes. Memetic probiotics can be used to fight bad memes with good memes. We have hospitals to help fight organic diseases, and there will probably be an upswing of simiar rehab facilities designed to treat cultural infections. In the past exorcisms heped to serve the function of casting out bad memes, though these days we have more secular versions - such as weight watchers, alcoholics anonymous, smoking rehab, drug rehab, gymnasiums and the samaritans. Quarrantine is smetimes used to fight organic diseases - and there are similar cultural ohenomena - including "gag" orders, DCMA take-down notices and imprisonment.

In memetics (and genetics), it is quite common to use "vehicular" metaphors when describing these. So, for example, we have:

What is the difference between hijacking and hitchhiking? It is partly one of consent - a hitchhiker has permission to ride in the vehicle while the hijacker does not. Outcomes also differ - a hitchhiker rarely damages the vechicle or its owner, while a hijacker often does so. Another difference is control - hitchhikers rarely alter the destination, rarely control the vehicle and rarely eject the owner - while hijackers fairly often do these things.

With these differences in mind, it seems fairly clear that hijacking and hitchhiking are probably different enough concepts for memetic hitchhiking ...and... memetic hijacking to coexist.

At first glance, the idea of the rider having "permission" to ride in the vehicle seems irrelevant in the context of memes and genes. However, we can conveniently substitute whether the guest rider is beneficial or not - on the grounds that deleterious riders would not normally be granted permission to ride - if we "agentify" the memes or genes involved.

This gets us on to the topic of usage in genetics. There, "genetic hitchhiking", is standard terminology - and hardly anyone uses the term "genetic hijacking". However if the difference between hitchhiking and hijacking is the sign of the fitness difference the guest rider makes, then maybe geneticists should start doing so.

As you can see, I have warmed up to the "hijacking" terminology. That the contraction memejacking exists is another point in its favor in my opinion. It is true that it is a significant problem that there's no "genejacking" - but maybe there should be.

The first thing to say is that it isn't just memes genes and quemes - Darwinian dymanics arise on multiple levels within the brain, for, for example, signals in the brain are copied whenever an axon divides, and are subect to selection and variation - producing a kind of neuronal spike Darwinism. Another type of Darwinian dynamics in the brain arises as a result of competition for resources between branching axon and dendrite tips. ideas are also copied with variation and selection within the brain - including ideas that don't normally qualify as memes because they were not the product of social learning.

One way in which we can expect the dynamics to differ from meme-gene coevolution is that culture is new on the scene, while the other kinds of psychological and neurological Darwinism have been going on for many millions of years. There will have been more time for the genes to adapt and reach a steady state equalibrium with these other Darwinian processes - while meme-gene coevolution is clearly out of balance and is still shifting.

An important way to understand the results of evolutionary processes is to consider their optimization targets. When there's coevolution there are usually multiple optimization targets, and one needs to understand how they interact by considering the power and speed of the optimization processes involved. Quantum Darwinism looks as though it could be fast, which means that we should take it seriously. Assuming that we reject Copenhagen-style versions of Quantum Darwinism in which branches of the wavefunction collapse and die, quantum Darwinism is a kind of splitting only, quasi-Darwinism - where differential reproductive succees in important while differential death is not. With this perspective in mind, the "goal" of quantum evolution appears to be to put us in the most split (and most splitting) worlds. One way to understand the implications of this is to take a thermodynamic perspective. World splitting is populatly associated with irreversible thermodynamic effects. What that means is that quantum Darwinism can be expected to behave like other kinds of Darwinism - in terms of maximizing entropy production.

I think this thermodynamic perspective helps get a handle on the significance of quantum Darwinism in the brain. If the brain ran hot, there would be lots of scope for quantum Darwinism in the brain, while if it runs cool, there's less scope for quantum Darwinism to operate. Most agree that the brain is on the cool side - considering what it is doing.

I think that genes are likely to be optimizing for cool brains, and brains that optimise for gene-coded functions. This may often pit them against quantum Darwinism in the brain. A cool brain is good news for quantum computation theories of mental function (fewer thermodynamic irreversible events means less chance of decoherence) - although those look implausible to me on other grounds. However a cool brain doesn't help the argument for quantum Darwinism being important in the brain.

Evolutionary processes liek to "harness" each other, to bend their optimization targets towards each other. Because quantum Darwinism in the brain has coevolved for millions of years with the genes, they have had a long time to find ways to harness the power of quantum Darwinism. However, the classical way for one evolutionary process to harness another one is by altering its fitness function. The genes might find it hard to affect the fitness function of quantum Darwinism since that is tied up with fundamental physics. That is going to make harnessing its effects more challenging. Another potential way for one evolutionary process to harness the effects of another one is by influencing the variants that it chooses between. However, this mechanism seems weaker and less useful.

My conclusions here are pretty tentative, but the picture I am seeing here is that the brain might not be able to make much use of quantum Darwinism because it is an alien selection process whose optimization target can't easily be controlled. In which case, the brain might be best off attempting to minimize its influence. This would be a rather boring conclusion. Mutualism and harnessing would be a much more interesting result. However, I stress again that it is somewhat uncertain. Maybe the brain can make some use of the power of quantum Darwinism by influencing the things it selects between. Or maybe evolution is smarter than I am and has found ways to make use of it that I haven't thought of.

The last concept is the one that this post is about. I think of it as being "ecological success". Kudzu has it. Ants have it. Islam has it. The decimal system has it. I think one reason this type of metric is not more popular and better-known is that there's no consensus regarding the best way to measure it. A thermodynamic metric seems attractive to me: since resources can all (in principle) be manufactured from available energy. Another possible metric involves weighing the systems involved - to measure their mass. This is sometimes done when measuring the extent to which humans have conquered the globe, for example.

A sister concept is "ecological dominance". It refers to extreme levels of success - where competitors are either obliterated or marginalized.

These concepts can also be applied within particular niches. Entities which are doing badly overall may be succeeding in or dominating their particular niche.

If anything, attempting to apply these concepts to cultural evolution is even harder than with organic systems. Gene-meme coevolution results in entanglement in terms of gene and meme products, which makes weighing them and calculating the energy flux through them more challenging. The most common metrics used in cultural evolution are a bit different. "Mindshare" is a common concept which is used to measure cultural popularity within a cultural niche. Assuming that a meme is either possessed by a host, or not, and assuming whether they have it or not is measurable, the mindshare of a meme can be measured for a given population. Another common metric that is used is US dollars. Cultural products sometimes have monetary value, and sometimes that can be calculated or estimated. However, some of the most common memes are free. It seems as though these memes would be unfairly disadvantaged by value-based metrics of popularity. The internet has brought with it some other common popularity metrics: views, links, clicks and likes. Unfortunately the supporting data is not always publicly available. This data is beginning to be used by scientists.

See more here:

On Memetics

Alt-Right? No, the Far Right. – Patheos (blog)

Its all going off in the US, thats for sure. But something that has been bugging me, and many others, is the use of the term alt-right. This seems to be aterm to describe the rise of the right amongst social media and popular culture that we have seen over the last ten years or so. What this does, however, is lend an air of credibility to the views, people and outlets that is unwarranted.

The intro on Wikipediais perhaps worth posting here:

Thealt-right, oralternative right, is a loosely defined group ofpeoplewithfar-rightideologieswho rejectmainstream conservatismin favor ofwhite nationalism, principally in theUnited States, but also to a lesser degree inCanadaandEurope.[1][2][3][4]Paul Gottfriedis the first person to use the term alternative right, when referring specifically to developments within American right-wing politics, in 2008.[5]The term has since gained wide currency with the rise of the so-called alt-right.White supremacist[6]Richard Spencercoined the term in 2010 in reference to a movement centered onwhite nationalism, and has been accused by some media publications of doing so to excuse overtracism,white supremacism, andneo-Nazism.[1][7]The term drew considerable media attention and controversy during and after the2016 US presidential election.[8]

Alt-rightbeliefshave been described asisolationist,protectionist,antisemitic, and white supremacist,[9][10][11]frequently overlapping withNeo-Nazism,[12][13][14]nativismandIslamophobia,[15][16][17][18][19]antifeminismandhomophobia,[12][20][21][22]right-wing populism,[23][24]and theneoreactionary movement.[9][25]The concept has further been associated with multiple groups fromAmerican nationalists, neo-monarchists,mens rights advocates, and the2016 presidential campaignofDonald Trump.[15][24][25][26][27]

The alt-right has its roots onInternetwebsitessuch as4chanand8chan, where anonymous members create and useInternet memesto express their ideologies.[9][14][28]It is difficult to tell how much of what people write in these venues is serious and how much is intended to provoke outrage.[23][29]Members of the alt-right use websites likeAlternative Right,Twitter,Breitbart, andRedditto convey their message.[30][31]Alt-right postings generally support Donald Trump[32][33][34][35]and opposeimmigration,multiculturalismandpolitical correctness.[13][20][36]

The alt-right has also had a significant influence on conservative thought in the United States, such as theSailer Strategyfor winning political support, along with having close ties to theTrump Administration. It has been listed as a key reason for Trumps win in the 2016 election.[37][38]The Trump administration includes several figures who are associated with the alt-right, such as White House Chief StrategistSteve Bannon.[39]In 2016, Bannon described Breitbart as the platform for the alt-right, with the goal of promoting the ideology.[40]

This reminds me of how UKIP ended up coming to prominence its a sort of evolution of ideas. I wrote about this back in 2014:

And what happened was this. UKIP busted the political landscape apart. They stole votes off most everyone and they went from zero to, well, hero in one night.

But how can a party which is effectively predicated upon fear of the foreigner and thinly, so very thinly, veiled racism become so successful in such a short time? This is my theory.

Firstly, there is the power of themere exposure effect. This is the fundamental concept of advertising whereby the brain finds things acceptable or even desirable through merely being exposed to the ideas. The more exposed, the more acceptable. UKIP have had a tremendous amount of airtime, with leader Nigel Farage doing the rounds on panel shows, radio shows and many news items. This is how creationism has prevailed, using the Wedge Strategy to get a foot in the door, get airtime, social media time, oxygen. That oxygen facilitates acceptability and then desirability. That was one of the arguments against having Bill Nye argue against Ken Ham about creationism.

Secondly, their success comes down to the evolution of ideas. Memetics is the theory that ideas are analagous to the evolution of biological organisms, with success of the organism surviving in its environment most successfully when it adapts characteristics to its environment. This survivability works just as well with ideas. Ideas which prevail have survival mechanisms and adapt to their environments. Think Christianity here. It has thoroughly evolved over 2000 years to adapt to society, morality, technology and economics. Islam, on the other hand, has developed the characteristic of threatening apostates with death. That works well, too.

Well, the history of the far right in Britain has gone from the National Front through to being reinvented into the British National Party (BNP) through to another reinvention (though the BNP still exist) in the form of UKIP (UKIPers might not like that realisation). What was going on in the early days of the right-wing extremist movement was that the ideas were not adapting well enough to the environments; they were too distasteful. The right-wing extremist ideology was just too much in the National Front to gather any traction with the general public. Then the BNP came along, and tried to be more respectable and appeal more widely. Some might say it was a slightly more (!) chilled version of the NF, appealing to more of the wider population. Ideas adapting. But still not becoming successful or acceptable enough.

And then UKIP, with its pseudo-political approach of getting out of Europe, has finally nailed it. Its just acceptable enough for people to not be afraid of saying in public, Yeah, I voted UKIP. I think we need to get out of Europe as a way of saying, Yeah, Polish, Romanian and those sodding Muslims can do one!

Now I didnt want to caricatureallUKIP voters in this way, but I stand by the idea that UKIP became the acceptable face of racism and xenophobia, playing into peoples fears.

In the same way, in the US, media outlets like Breitbart, TheBlaze, Circa, The Daily Caller and any other number of outlets are presenting themselves as fertile ground out of which confidence and brazen admitting of nefarious view can bear fruit. It is little surprise, then, that after years of allowing such outletsfree reign to spread their hate, the hate manifests itself in real ways. Thats the regrettable corollary of freedom of speech.

The terrible sights of Charlottesville over the last few days show that the old school far right has not died off, but has been simmering, and some have renamed it the alt-right. This merely disguises the ugly reality of the traditional far right and dresses it up in an air of acceptability and modern credibility.

This is unwarranted.

Dont be fooled by new-fangled terminology. The is the far right, and so many of these outlets peddle such extremist views.

I am disheartened by the sheer scope and spread of such views and how they have been able to gain footholds in modern popular culture. The internet is great, but it also houses torrents of distaste and hate.

Alt-right? Nah. Its still the far right, the dangerous extreme. Lets not give it more oxygen than it deserves.

Continued here:

Alt-Right? No, the Far Right. - Patheos (blog)

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The Most Influential Memes on the Internet – Fox Weekly

Ever heard of a Lolcat, or been Rickrolled? Do you know about the planking craze that swept social media a few years ago, or even the dancing hamster from the Internets dark ages? If so, then you have encountered a meme, or an Internet meme to be more specific. The concept of a meme, as understood most widely, refers to something comical, in bold type, shared on social media or through email, involves a picture or video, and often uses popular catchphrases from movies or television shows to offer a critique on or mockery of a person or situation. Their spread is viral, usually through shares or likes, depending on the social media platform, and they can quickly rise from relative obscurity to become cultural mainstays of the Internet. The Internets love for cats, for example, is almost as old as the web itself, and memes are not a recent invention. In fact, the term meme takes inspiration from a very sophisticated scientific theory about the role of genes in evolution.

The idea of the meme comes from a groundbreaking 1976 book The Selfish Gene by English ethologist, evolutionary biologist, and best-selling author Clinton Richard Dawkins. A meme, as described in his book, is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads among a population of people. It carries with it ideas, symbols, or practices that can be passed on from one person to another person through writing, speech, specific gestures, or any other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. The term meme is a neologism, or a word that is particular to a certain group but which is not part of the larger lexicon. Though largely known in some of the more popular mainstream media for his opposition to theistic religion, prior to this Dawkins theories about a gene-centered evolutionary track was revolutionary for its time and introduced his scientific concept of the meme.

He theorized that memes are subject to natural selection, the theory by Darwin that the species most adapted for survival in a given situation will survive and perpetuate and those that are not will not survive, and that memes undergo variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance, each of which influences a memes success. Dawkins theory of the meme gave rise to the field of memetics in the 1990s which seeks to link the scientific concept of the meme with identifiable evidence using the scientific method.

The popular Internet meme is something people can imitate in action, concept, a catchphrase, or some type of media that is spread through viral means and inspires imitation. Usually it can be done for humorous or comedic effect but also for satirical, critical, and serious application as well in other words, not every meme is funny or lighthearted. Some Internet memes are tied to specific Internet cultures and subcultures, and even some massively multiplayer online games like EVE Online have their own subset of memes which employ the jargon and in-game knowledge that make theme specific to the EVE subculture on the Internet and otherwise inscrutable to outsiders.

The term coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene was applied to Internet culture, in particular usenet and message boards that popularized the media-based Internet memes, by Wired magazines Mike Godwin in 1993 in an attempt to explain how viral media spread on the Internet and became a part of wider Internet culture and even sometimes pop culture itself. Dawkins is careful to distinguish between his concept of the meme and the Internet meme in that the Internet variant can be affected by human creativity. In addition, they are completely traceable and their origins are analyzable, unlike the scientific version whose roots may be lost to time.

Some of the more popular memes mentioned above, such as Lolcats and planking, have even become big business in their own respect. While most memes are often associated with powerful and influential Internet culture forums like 4chan, Something Awful, or Reddit, many have also gone on to become a big business. I Can Has Cheezburger is one of the most prominent examples of this phenomenon spinning off the popular and ever-present Lolcats meme into a full-fledged Internet-based business. Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami are co-founders and owners of the website which launched off of the now iconic I Can Has phrase. Often this phrase is paired with something nonsensical or comedic within context.

The origins of many of the Internets most popular memes can be traced using, which will not only detail the background of the meme in question but will also show its origin and variants.

Here is a list of some of the most influential memes to ever grace the Internet:

Charlie the Unicorn

An animated short from Jason Steele of, Charlie the Unicorn is one of the most-remixed flash animations on the web. The titular unicorns quest to the mythical candy mountain is an odd subject for one of the most viewed memes on the Internet.

Chocolate Rain

This nonsensical song by then-grad student Tay Zonday has been featured on everything from South Park to alt-rock band Weezers music video for their track Pork and Beans.

Grape Stomp Lady

From a news report out of WAGA in Atlanta, this reporters epic tumble on air is probably most memorable for its immediate cringe factor and the harrowing sound she makes after she falls. In an attempt to gain some type of leverage over her opponent, Grape Stomp Lady hurriedly mashes the grapes underneath her feet after time is called and, in a moment of lapsed control, tumbles over the rim of the bucket and off the stage, falling headfirst into the audience. Really, the sound she makes is too much.

Chuck Norris

If youve seen anything about the invincible Chuck Norris, congratulations, youve seen one of the webs most prolific memes. Each of these memes is easily identifiable because its focus is on Chuck Norris and one of his many amazing qualities. If youre not familiar with the Walker Texas Ranger Star, dont fear most people who make the memes are unfamiliar with the action stars previous work but that doesnt stop his fighting spirit from living on in one of the most popular memes of all time.

I Regret Nothing

This is another popular meme with more variants than there are snowflakes in a blizzard. Typically it features someone in a compromising situation, implying that whatever preceded beforehand was so worth the social expense of looking like a shambolic mess that there are no regrets about the consequences. This one is quite common because of its ease of adaptability and, unlike most of the other popular memes, can be applied almost instantly to any situation.

Dancing Baby (Old School)

If youre old enough to remember the terrifying 3D polygon model of a dancing newborn then youve been with the Internet long enough that you dont need to read the rest of this explanation. For those of you who dont know about this thing that was a thing at one time, well, here are the basics: 3D technology was cool, a model of a flesh-toned infant dancing to music (sometimes without) was considered hilarious, and it was a completely different time. It was 1996.

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

If youre a fan of family guy then you know about Peanut Butter Jelly Time. Really not a lot more to say about this meme other than it is catchy. The original was a gif shared on the web that featured a banana swaying back and forth like Bryan does on Family Guy. For some reason, this was a big deal. Gotta love it!

Leeroy Jenkins

World of Warcraft is a gaming sensation to this day, so its difficult to imagine that the original game came out so long ago. The game is such a mainstay of the internet that it has spawned its own memes as part of its own subculture. Most well-known among these memes is the Leeroy Jenkins meme. What the deal is with this meme requires some explanation: In MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) like WoW you team up with other online players to conduct what are called raids massive dungeons filled with elite enemies and coveted loot that often require planning and strategy on the part of the players leading others into the raid. This coordination is sometimes crucial to success and survival in the raid, as some bosses are capable of destroying the entire party quite quickly if things are not done correctly. As a raid leader is explaining the situation to his assembled squad, one player charges the raid boss and scream Leeroy Jenkins and thus was born one of gamings biggest memes.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us

Another classic video game meme comes from an incorrect translation of the 1989 Japanese video game Zero Wing for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The phrase is now somewhat mainstream and well-known to gamers.

Diet Coke and Mentos

Diet Coke and the candy Mentos equals a volcanic eruption. It is also one of the oldest memes on the web.

Originally posted here:

The Most Influential Memes on the Internet - Fox Weekly

The Pro-Trump Media Is Full Of Offensive Memes And Trolls, But Is It A Hate Group? – BuzzFeed News

On July 19, the Anti-Defamation League kicked the pro-Trump media hornets nest with the publication of a new report cataloging the factions of the alt-right and their key voices. It also prompted the question: How do you classify a hate group in 2017?

Titled From Alt Right to Alt Lite: Naming The Hate," the ADL report attempts to define those movements, noting the meaningful differences between the two and listing 36 personalities closely associated with them. For example, the moniker alt-lite was coined by the alt-right in order to differentiate itself from those in the pro-Trump world who denounce white supremacist ideology.

The report's publication sparked near-immediate outrage from some of those who were included. New Right personality Mike Cernovich lambasted the ADLs report as a hit list of political opponents," alleging that by including him on a list of hate leaders, the organization had made him and his family targets of an intolerant and violent left that murder[s] those the ADL disagrees with politically." Jack Posobiec, a pro-Trump Twitter personality, took an equally combative stance. On vacation in Poland, he tweeted a short video from Auschwitz. "It would be wise of the ADL to remember the history of what happened the last time people started going around making lists of undesirables," he said, panning the camera across the concentration camp.

Over the next few days, the controversy gathered considerable momentum on Twitter. Cernovichs followers tweeted prayers for the safety of him and his family, and condemned the ADL. Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft called the organizations report a death list, while his White House reporter, Lucian Wintrich, decried the ADL as a liberal terrorist organization. Rebel Medias Gavin McInnes named on the list along with Wintrich threatened to sue the living shit out of everyone even remotely involved. The hashtag #ADLterror trended for a few hours. Last week, Republican Senate candidate and Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel jumped into the controversy, siding with Cernovich and chastising the ADL.

But beneath all the murk and outrage and alt-right/alt-lite/New Right semantics was a reasonable question: In the Trump era, where is the line between hate speech and the extremist, often outlandish, conspiracy-propagating messaging of those movements?

For Cernovich who played a role in the Twitter propagation of the #Pizzagate conspiracy and has a history of tweeting incendiary opinions from everything from date rape and immigration (much of which he has argued was clear satire) the line doesn't fall anywhere near him. He argues that, while his statements might not be politically correct or always in good taste, they aren't hate speech, and certainly dont make him a member of a hate group.

What does the ADL have on me? Some satirical tweets, hell, even some mean tweets and stuff I'm not proud of? Cernovich told BuzzFeed News in response to the report. I have a lot of liberal friends. Many of them in high places. They think I'm an asshole, but 'hate group' has them livid.

Cernovich insists hes being unfairly targeted for his pro-Trump views. "This tweet mining bullshit is only used on the right," he argued. In his view, the New Right is a movement defined not by discrimination or hateful rhetoric, but by pugnacious political commentary and debate. It is nothing, he says, like the alt-right of Richard Spencer, which hews toward a race-based white nationalism. As with Trump himself, the New Rights true ideology isnt always clear, and the group tends to behave more as a pro-Trump media arm than as an ideological group. Its main target isnt a protected race or religion, but the mainstream media. It doesnt behave quite like any traditional hate group. So can it be called one?

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, the ADL argued that it most certainly can. I don't think irony and self-promotion is an excuse for bigotry of any kind, whether its misogyny or any other form of bigotry, said Oren Segal, who runs the ADL's Center on Extremism. Doing it in a way that's more modern or tech-y doesn't make it OK nor does it make it any less difficult for those who've been impacted.

"I don't think irony and self-promotion is an excuse for bigotry of any kind."

Segal noted that the alt-lite or New Right while not particularly well-defined as a movement includes individuals with extremist views. "These are people who are on the record with anti-Muslim bigotry and hatred and misogyny people who support trolling, he said in defense of the ADLs report.

Jeff Giesea, an entrepreneur and consultant who helped organize the pro-Trump DeploraBall an inaugural ball to celebrate the work of the pro-Trump internet sees the ADLs decision to categorize the New Right as hate group personalities as a bridge too far. Based on the ADL's logic, all 63 million Americans who voted for Trump should be on their hate list. If everyone is an extremist, no one is, he told BuzzFeed News.

Giesea argues that, historically, Cernovichs views are quite moderate. Perhaps more importantly, he contends that the New Rights strategy to promote a pro-Trump agenda via an ongoing, meme-fueled assault on the mainstream media is a new kind of political discourse.

"By being so quick to label something 'bigotry,' the ADL is getting in the way of the healthy exchange of ideas, Giesea said. It pushes people further right by pathologizing common sense. It is a mode of social control that simply doesn't work in the age of social media."

Based on the ADL's logic, all 63 million Americans who voted for Trump should be on their hate list."

Since the beginning of the 2016 election our political discourse has become increasingly fraught, muddied by misinformation and trolling from the fringes of both sides of the aisle. And within this morass, a reflex has emerged on both sides to reflexively label political disagreements as signs of hate. Back in April, the internet erupted over Cernovich and another pro-Trump reporter flashing the "OK" sign at the podium in the White House Briefing Room. A number of news outlets misidentified the sign as a white power symbol, falling for a trap laid by pro-Trump trolls who had been trying to trick the media into thinking the meaningless symbol had nefarious origins. The incident sparked a defamation lawsuit filed by one of the pro-Trump reporters, as well as an existential argument around when exactly a symbol morphs from an ironic troll to a real sign of hate.

Giesea has run this over in his mind frequently, and argues that theres more nuance and craft to the pro-Trump movements tactics. "Memetics is a form of art," he said. Shock and controversy is what makes memes effective. They push moral boundaries. Sometimes this is healthy and can challenge certain narratives, other times it can feel toxic and juvenile. Think about it - what memes would Voltaire share?" Giesea concedes that there are moral considerations to social media behavior, but suggests that the ADL list feels like an act of political warfare, rather than a good faith attempt to discuss these issues."

Ultimately, the problem appears to be definitional. For Heidi Beirich, the director of the Southern Poverty Law Centers Intelligence Project, the alt-right and alt-lite movements may be fluid, but the definition of hate is not. Beirich says the SPLC follows roughly the same standards for defining hate groups as the FBI uses for hate crimes. In a recent op-ed for Huffington Post, SPLC President Richard Cohen defined a hate group as those that have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.

We don't care as much about the pro-Trump stuff, Beirich told BuzzFeed News. It's the specific policies we're worried about whether it's anti-Muslim or anti-immigrant. For example, she noted that despite articles with anti-immigrant sentiment, we're not going to list a publication like Breitbart as a hate group unless they publish much more stuff thats much further over the line.

In trying to categorize the Cernoviches and Posobiecs of the world, Beirich said its best to categorize them on a case-by-case basis, remembering that hate speech isn't necessarily the only (or most) relevant category. Take Pizzagate, she said. We've written about anti-government conspiracy theorists since the 1990s and that's a different thing than our hate lists it doesnt excuse the behavior, but its different.

The ADL sees no such difference and, on its Naming the Hate report, is standing its ground. To Segal, the fact that the behavior of the New Right doesnt follow the established patterns of other fringe movements is reason enough to worry about its evolution and growth. In a sense this rhetoric is potentially more harmful because it's not so clearly being promoted as hate, he told BuzzFeed News. I think we can see through that. If they call it a joke, we're not laughing.

Charlie Warzel is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Warzel reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.

Contact Charlie Warzel at

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The Pro-Trump Media Is Full Of Offensive Memes And Trolls, But Is It A Hate Group? - BuzzFeed News

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