Mon 27 Apr, 2009
It should be apparent to most thoughtful persons that, if one seeks to study memetic hazards, it may be wise to take precautions against becoming subject to the memetic concepts and structures represented therein.
One such desirable precaution to take is to inculcate within one’s own mind a sort of anti-meme–a vaccination against future hazards, as it were.
Taking up the practice of meditation, and learning how to quickly clear one’s mind of all thought, is perhaps the best method of producing this effect. Meditation is useful in other ways than merely purging active memetic structures from the mind and can have some desirable effects upon the psyche, but it is difficult for some people to enter the contemplative state that it demands in order to work properly.
I therefore propose a method of conditioning one’s own mind, taking advantage of certain naturally-occurring tendencies of the human mind in order to build for oneself a trigger for interrupting potentially hazardous thought processes–a sort of mind bleach, as it were.
Much like a biological vaccine, this entails introducing a slightly hazardous memetic structure into one’s own mind in a carefully controlled situation in order to bring about a certain immunoresponse.
The equipment required for this technique is reasonably easy to acquire, though one ingredient does require fairly careful consideration–that of the controlled hazard that will be used for the purging trigger.
Selection of an antimemetic agent should be approached with care. Ideally, this agent should be a short, viciously catchy song or jingle that the user is already familiar with from past exposure, and which the user will not mind having played over and over again. This author has had some success with Dschinghis Khan’s “Moskau” and with certain versions of “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” in the past.
The procedure for building the trigger is to use this agent as a wake-up alarm; it is generally possible to set one’s music-playing programs to begin playing a given song at a given time with some small investigation into the particulars of the program that the user has available.
By using this agent as a means of provoking a wakeful state, a Pavlovian response will be instilled into the user’s mind. Upon waking, the brain naturally “resets” to some degree–hence why it is difficult to remember dreams upon waking unless specific effort is made. Associating a memetic trigger with this waking state will, with care, provide a useful method for producing this state of mild forgetfulness upon demand; this state is useful for purging unwanted memetic constructs (e.g. songs stuck in one’s head; unwelcome images; nonsensical and illogical proposals) from the mind and creating a blank slate.
The unfortunate side-effect of this particular method is that the agent used to induce this state will tend to be a fairly constant presence in one’s mind during the inculcation process–hence why the choice of this agent must be approached with care, as a poor choice will result in significant mental stress during the adaptation process. As it may take several weeks for the proper triggering responses to be produced, avoiding the possibility this stress is preeminently important.
Use of this technique may be necessary for anyone seeking to studying memetic hazards, especially “in the wild,” lest they become subject to the potential dangers of such studies.