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 Memetic Engineering on Alpha Centauri

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Join date : 2010-07-25
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Location : Maryland

PostSubject: Memetic Engineering on Alpha Centauri   Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:33 pm

The practice of direct memetic engineering to influence behavior from governments on Alpha Centauri is extremely pervasive, and the transmission of these memes is very thorough in Centauri media and is funded through energy spending on Psych. Memetic engineering refers to the manipulation and introduction of memes - units of cultural inheritance - and has become a major topic of study on Chiron. It has had a major, but extremely subtle effect on the populace. Primarily, it used for practical purposes - preventing self destructive behaviors, mostly - but it can be used for somewhat less benign purposes. For example, one can consider the fact that each faction is centered around one ideology, and at the base of these ideologies are collections of memes that trace their origins from the time period of Planetfall and beyond. Each faction deliberately keeps these memes strong among their populace and attempts to shield their population from the memes of other factions - in a sense, memetic warfare. This creates a generally stabilizing effect and allows factions a degree of control beyond what less refined methods can provide. However, in some cases major changes are made to the structure of a faction, whether politically, economically, or culturally, and occasionally large shifts in the dominant memes are engineered by the factions - a delicate and resource consuming process.

These memes, though important, are but a few of the existing ones on Chiron. One meme that has recently been introduced throughout Chiron is the meme of Centauri exceptionalism - that is to say, that the Centauri were unique for being able to settle a planet like Chiron under such difficult circumstances, and to take pride in doing so. The reason for the introduction of this meme was simple - all of the faction leaders saw the inferiority of the size of the population base Alpha Centauri had compared to other nations and desired to do something that would influence Centauris negatively against emigration. Ultimately it was decided among them that the creation of a Centauri exceptionalism meme (already common among some factions) would be the most efficient method of combating such an issue, and thus it was introduced by the memetic engineers of all the factions into the population. It took effect quickly and desire to emigrate to other nations died down fairly soon after. This is but one of many examples of memetic engineering among the populace.

Naturally, memetic engineering raises questions on personal freedom and individual rights. It could be considered as an intrusion on the right of individual thought, and indeed as a result of this the Peacekeeping Forces generally has the least pervasive memetic engineering of all the factions. However, it has always gone on in some form in human history, though usually of a cruder form than the refined methods used on Alpha Centauri, so in that sense it could simply be considered a refinement of Old Earth's propaganda and advertisements. In general, however, general consensus is that its benefits outweighs its drawbacks and that the usage of memetic engineering is preferable to cruder methods of coercion (although in some factions coercion still is commonly used even with the presence of heavy memetic engineering). In any case, even if factions do not attempt to introduce new memes, they at least try to keep the current ones in circulation and shield their own constituents. As a result, the field is ever developing. Those who are in the know know just how much of an effect memetic engineering has had on Chiron and will continue to have on Chiron and even the galaxy at large.

(OOC: Yeah, I just felt like I needed the writing exercise. Also, now you realize that life on Chiron isn't peaches-and-cream even in the "free" factions Razz)
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