By Chance Lunceford, Logocentrifual
People aren’t drawn in by a technical manual, even a very clearly written one, they’re drawn in by memorable characters in a compelling story.
I’ve been learning and writing and speaking an awful lot about memetics.
Why is that, do you think?
Is it because I want to take over 4Chan or Reddit? Is it because I want to convince lots of people to wear a stupid fucking hat (pink/red whatever) and run for president?
It’s because I have a deep fascination with the world and how it works, and with extracting useful tools as the fruits of my fascination, and a compelling drive to share those tools with others.
So, after becoming aware that there was a lot more to memetic manipulation than a funny meme on the internet, I dived in and began to research and consume information on memetics and weaponized narrative.
What I discovered startled me.
Think of it this way: Who needs bullets if you can convince somebody they’re already dead, or even better, that it wouldn’t matter one way or the other?
The modern battlefield, though in many respects it always has been, is the mind. The weapons are stories, and the ammunition is memes.
How does this work?
Depends on who’s telling the story and why. If your goal is to sow discord, confusion and misdirection, then one excellent strategy is the firehose approach:
Keep spraying a constant stream of detrimental narratives through every available communication medium, automated wherever possible, and pouring additional resources those narratives that gain attention and engagement.
This needs to be an agile process to be optimal, because the speed of ideas and the brevity of attention spans means that there will be very few long-running narratives of any great note.
Thus, any narrative strategy must be able to both influence, if not directly design, the next chapter of the infinite story and to direct and redirect all available resources into flooding the new narrative nexus with attention.
An approach more suited to those who’s purpose is less about bringing down an enemy and more about shepherding and protecting a message is to corral your narrative within the framework of the principles guiding and giving shape to your message.
Principles are something that I’ve written extensively about, and this is because living by a code of conduct allows you to make decisions and respond to situations based upon an overarching framework.
The stronger your commitment to your principles, the more consistent and obvious will the choices before you be.
It is this approach of optimization within the bounds of rules that I suggest to anyone who will listen. There are many tools that can be used to influence other people, and if you practice them unrestrained by any sort of guiding ethic then you’ll influence people in a way that will be detrimental to them.
If you do this, it will haunt you.
Unless you’re a psychopath, but even so you would do well to remember that cooperative and symbiotic organisms are more resilient and fare better across the long term than parasites and organisms prone to solitude.
So, where are we at with all this so far?
- Narrative weapons are being fired at you constantly
- These weapons are so powerful that governments, major corporations, and powerful influences in every public forum use memetic tools and the power of story to build the momentum and permission to enact their agendas
- You don’t have to be living in someone else’s story
- You can write your own story
- To do this most effectively, you must use the same tools that would otherwise be influencing you without regard to your best interests
- Operating within the framework of principles will increase the consistency, efficiency and capacity for self-direction by giving shape to your experience and limiting the scope of the decision matrix
Take a step back and look at what you’re responding to.
Do you really give a shit about that politician’s personal life? Do you actually care about that law which was passed in <insert location x> that outlaws <insert whatever>? Is it really worth your time to entertain for more than a distracted moment what <insert celebrity> eats for their fucking breakfast?
You’ve got to remove yourself from the momentum of the narrative locomotion going on all around you. There’s no reason you should be letting the stories in circulation have free reign within the confines of your mind.
Your mind is the seat of your character, and the ideas it processes leave parts of themselves in the tapestry of your logos. Should you allow ideas and stories unmitigated use of your mind, then you will be shaped into the type of character that serves the aims of the dominant narratives.
This is not to say that dominant or submissive narratives are inherently good or bad, just that an examination of the contents and intent of the narratives you’re exposed to, combined with an analysis of the ramifications tied to the vehicles in which the narrative lines are carried, will lead you to a more fruitful, intentional, and self-directed life.
You can choose to go along with a story you’re told, of course, there’s nothing wrong with accepting a story line into your own life’s story, just be sure you’ve examined whether or not if aligns with your principles.
If it does, fine, run with it until you’re given reason to alter your perspective.
If it doesn’t, cut it loose and don’t let nostalgia or a desire to connect with the flows of popular attention get in the way of living according to your own best measure of truth.
Pad the deck.
You’ve got to understand that there is a space set aside, to a greater or lesser extent, in each person to accept and integrate stories and live according to their arc.
As a human being, a large part of the manner in which you communicate with the world around you, and the metrics by which you measure your own standing and purpose in it, are wrapped up in a complex narrative tapestry that is weaved by your mind’s attempts to connect to and place itself within the world in which it finds itself.
This is an ordering process, and without it, the richness of connection and meaning in each of our lives would not be possible.
The storytelling impulse within each of us is a grand gift indeed.
But you must determine carefully the threads of story which you allow to be threaded in the warp and the weft. You can always paint or dye the tapestry to create what pictures you may, but the medium upon which you paint your imagination must be well-wrought if your art is to last.
Thus, you must decide for yourself which story-threads you will integrate into the depths of your psyche and guide your subconscious drives and your conscious fascination.
There are many heroes in the dusty annals of the library of history, all you need do is select the threads and weave. It does require effort and attention, of course, for so does anything difficult and thus worth doing in this world, but that is no reason to stymie your selections.
The only tools we truly have to navigate the world are our attention and our effort. The extent to which you squander either is the extent to which you limit your own potential.
Here are some threads, in question form, which I suggest you find room for within the weaving of your tapestry:
- What shape will you claim?
- Who will you trust?
- Who will you love?
- From where have you begun, and where will you end?
- Will you be free?
- Who is your master?
- What is it that you serve?
- What is it that you seek?
- To whom do you speak?
- To whom do you listen?
There are many more questions you could ask yourself to further inform your own perception of your life’s story. I’ll leave that to you for now.
Declare your intentions.
There’s a weird thing that happens when you announce yourself to the world.
It tests you.
There’s a massive upswell of energy that rises to meet your declaration, and within that wave are the obstacles that you must overcome mixed together with the solutions to help you do so.
Very often, both obstacles and solutions present themselves as people.
By declaring your intentions, you will see enemies and allies make themselves know almost immediately. The ones who present themselves first are typically not the most influential though.
Masters play a subtle game.
If you’ve overcome some of the first-order obstacles and have conducted yourself well with the emissaries of change, then the demon-lords and the archangels will make themselves known to you.
This is a sign that you’ve created a compelling story.
Powerful people are attracted to powerful stories. This is because a powerful story can knock their story out of the position of primacy, or it can align itself with their story and widen the stream of power that flows through their hands and amplify their ability to influence events around them.
Thus, you will have forces seeking to crush your momentum, or to increase your inertia.
This is valuable.
Knowing your enemies allows you to determine where your weak points are and the form the attacks against you will coalesce around.
An enemy has an essence, characteristics, and these features will determine the ways in which their power can be expressed. This will allow you to bolster defenses in the areas that are most likely to be assailed.
Knowing who your potential allies are and comprehending their nature is also of massive benefit.
There are layers of growth, paradigmatic levels, and the nature of your benefactors power and the directions they cast it in will help you to understand where the gates to the next level lie, and to whom you will have to prove your value before you’re allowed through.
By understanding where your weaknesses and vulnerabilities are, combined with an understanding of where your potential and momentum are pointing to, you can make great strides towards your vision while protecting yourself form those who would see your vision destroyed.
Time for a bit of clarity.
You don’t need to announce every single aspect of everything you’re doing. In fact, that would be highly ill-advised.
You likely already realize that if you announce all of your plans, then your enemies will have more possible angles of attack, and you will have less ability to manage variables and predict attack strategies.
Here’s a good rule to consider:
Tell people nothing but the truth, and only as much of that as it requires to accomplish your purpose.
Truth is a valuable resource, and you ought to manage its movement in much the same way as your wealth.
Attack the attack.
There are only so many stories that can possibly stick to your memeplex, and there are an even smaller subset of stories that will have significantly detrimental effects upon your life.
The list is longer than many might assume, and this is why so many missteps are made by so many who spend time in the public eye.
Of course, in the last few years, the number of people spending time in the public eye has skyrocketed into the millions and billions.
One of the most powerful strategies to combat the public takedown tactics employed by the more vengeful and vindictive among us is to anticipate possible avenues of attack and to attack their legitimacy before they even become a problem.
Of course, if you’re painting a picture of one sort of life in the public forums, and then it is discovered that your actual life is actually almost nothing like your public persona, well…
Shit is not going to go well for you.
So, if you really hope to defend yourself from the ability to be taken out by some “Shocking Revelation, Read On” type situation, then you’re going to need to be in alignment with your public message to a very high degree.
If this is not the case, stop lying and go fix your message then come back and finish the article, if not then realize this:
If you are living in accordance with your principles and message, and are not doing anything significantly illegal, then the attempts by your enemies to slander you will have no basis in any reality you are not prepared to confront and you’ll be able to argue against their point with genuine intention and informed belief.
This is a good position to be in.
Especially after some time, because then, as long as you’ve been consistently living according to the dictates of your message, you’ll have seen every kind of attack that will come your way and have great facility in dispensing with them.
Bring it together.
Look, there’re a million more pieces to this, and strategy is an infinite game of exponential complexity.
But there are underlying principles that govern much of our society, even if the interactions based upon those principles can be complex beyond understanding, but by understanding the rules of the game much can be gained.
Think of narrative architecture in the same manner as you think of physics:
There are concrete underlying rules that govern the interactions of the emergent features of the substrate over which the rules are both enmeshed within and governing over.
Though these rules give rise to the infinite complexity and expanse of existence, we can create powerful tools and modes of being by aligning and exploiting the nature of the interactions between the governing forces, and these creations allow us to manipulate the world around us to the advantage of our intentions.
This is exactly the same way the the rules of narrative influence work, but we were not overtly aware of these rules in the western public discourse until the last 70-100 years.
There have, of course, always been those who understood the rules and the underlying mechanisms of action that could be manipulated to induce a high probability of specific outcomes, but they kept that information to themselves.
The ubiquity of the modern communication networks, and the rapid and limitless access to information of any and every kind, combined with an intentionally sown field of distrust and confusion, means that there are many waking up to the reality of the tools used by those who have been manipulating their lives behind the scenes for their entire lives.
This revelation has sent the world reeling.
Guard yourself and prepare yourself for the reality of the true battlefield, because it takes place in your mind.
Thank you for reading.
Chance Lunceford, Logocentrifugal