RG Memetics

Clans, Psychonauts, Burn & Metaplot

RG Memetics

by Fenton Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:49 am
Heyas

The books talk a lot about how the RG used memetic conditioning on sleepers, and how they primarily use memetics to take control of clans using memes.

I find myself unsure what exactly this means/how it works. My understanding of memetics is that it's a cultural equivalent of DNA genes - small inherited elements of human culture. And a meme is an information pattern held in an individual's memory, which is capable of being copied to another individual's memory.

So how does this work in game terms? Do they use a form of social manipulation/conditioning to achieve this aim, or literally do they hammer memetic nails into the heads of people and effectively use technology to reprogram/condition people?

Have checked the section(s) on Marauders, Sleepers and Palers but although there's mention of memetics and that Palers even get to understand them, I find myself confused to how this actually works in practice (in the game-world) .

Also, do Sleeper Nanos only give them the fast healing, or does the nano or memetics account for their training. All the presented ones, by my calculation, average 5s for attributes and skills in their areas (and 3-4 for everything else)... they seem almost superhuman. Is this because of high training, or does the nano influence this?

Thanks, sorry to be spamming the board about Sleepers lately, but I find them fascinating and wish there were more details on them.
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Re: RG Memetics

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by KarasuKafka Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:48 pm
These are my own ideas, so take it with a bit of salt...

Memetics is not really concerning about the way how a cultural unit, an idea, a custom is passed, it is more interested how successful they are. A good example of meme could be a certain fashion item, a style how you wear your hair. You can pass this idea in any way, like forcing it, showing it desireable, giving out candies, the important is, how successful will be in the end.

I imagine that sleepers in memetic trainings are well versed in knowledge of any social science, psychology, even religious studies and theories, proganda, and/or advertising. I imagine the RG to prepare the sleepers to start a civilization (in their own plan) after a society collapsed using all kind of different ways, like acting as gods if necessary, using their advantages to their gain, spreading myths, manipulating information, etc. Perhaps some sleeper is more versed in one field or another.

The sleepers might themselves manipulated by RG, they might work on ideas that in truth serves some other end.

I imagine their high statistics could come from many reasons. RG might select the best to execute their plans. Also the nanotechnology might contribute a lot.
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Re: RG Memetics

by Fenton Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:11 pm
Thanks for that

Perhaps some sleeper is more versed in one field or another.
This is why I'd love more details on Sleepers - all that's really given are combat stats and a few extra... I would love to see complete stat sets like you get in the "In Thy Blood" - if my players encounter a sleeper Sociocybernetic who has infiltrated their Cult, it would be nice to know what his knowledges and abilities are as they're likely to interact with him a lot well before they learn he's a sleeper. Not every npc is (at first) a combat villain. Unfortunately the 4 Sleeper types given doesn't seem to give a lot of latitude for anything else as they have a specific operating methodology. Which works well, don't get me wrong, but it'd be nice to have a bit more detail so I can make them a more insidious threat... anyone could be a sleeper, and each has a different thing that they can do and ultimately work to the same goal. Only thing really any of the sleeper types given have in common is their blood. I have no idea of power level.

I imagine their high statistics could come from many reasons. RG might select the best to execute their plans. Also the nanotechnology might contribute a lot.
Ya, but the only thing clearly stated is that their nanites give them the healing. Doesn't seem to give any other indication of anything. Some guideline for creating custom Sleepers (ie a template of some kind "create like normal clanners, but give this potential") would be nice.

Any idea if it's possible to get PDF copies of the original Degenesis books somehow - I would love to read the Spitalians and Justician books. The setting info may be a few years out of date, but sounds like there's a lot of setting info there that could be very useful.

Thanks again.
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Re: RG Memetics

by Heathcliff Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:01 pm
So the Paler rank Halo has a few named Sleepers listed. Not all Sleepers are enemies, and you may never know if you have or have not interacted with a Sleeper. One of the listed Sleepers poses as a beggar and those who give her change or handouts is marked electronically by her. Then her Halos follow that person around in an attempt to understand their generosity. The variety is quite neat.

In terms of the memetics it is basically social programming performed by RG and passed down through the generations. Sleepers retain a massive amount of variety and self, where Palers fall more into line with the memetics. I cant remember the name exactly, but the rank Aurora(???) for Palers describes how they lose their faith because they now control the memetic system in the bunkers. The voice they heard teach them from the image screens is now being controlled solely by them, they enter the speech that is sent through out the bunkers.

Palers and those who are victims of memes only know the truth that is taught to them. They usually have not known anything besides the memetics.
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by Camouflage Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:28 pm
Fenton wrote:So how does this work in game terms? Do they use a form of social manipulation/conditioning to achieve this aim, or literally do they hammer memetic nails into the heads of people and effectively use technology to reprogram/condition people?


I think that it's a special form of long term indoctrination. You don't tell the people directly what you want them to think (which may very well cause them to reject those thoughts on principle or out of reflex), but instead you feed them memes, little idea snippets that catch on easily and a easy to spread around without rasing suspicions, which support the ideology and line of thinking you want to achieve in the target group (a system like that would always be targeted at groups, where the internal exchange of those memes and ideas has a reinforcing effect). The desired effect is, that those memes and ideas are passed around within the group, take hold, link up and cause the people to end up at the desired mindset and ideas based on their own conclusions (and thus bypassing the inate resistance against simply being told what to think).

By it's very nature, this form of manipulation would only work on socially distinctive groups of people (subcultures, cults, families, military units, co-workers, but also "members of the sleeper-project") and would only work in the long term.
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Re: RG Memetics

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by Atreju Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:58 pm
Fenton wrote:I find myself unsure what exactly this means/how it works. My understanding of memetics is that it's a cultural equivalent of DNA genes - small inherited elements of human culture. And a meme is an information pattern held in an individual's memory, which is capable of being copied to another individual's memory.


Basically, everything can be a meme. Imagine it as a virus of the mind. An idea (like a joke) can be told to someone else, and if it is a good functioning meme, it will duplicate, i.e. they tell the joke to other people, and therefore the idea is spread.
The handshake in western civilizations is an example for a very old meme. Everyone does it without even thinking about it because "it's the way we great each other". Another one would be the silhouette of a man with a big nose, a pipe and a dearstalker head. Most europeans would immediately recognize Sherlock Holmes without even his name. A newer example would be "my precious" (hey, I bet you read it with the Gollum voice ;) ), which is even known by people who haven't even seen the movie.
This is another thing to memes, the good ones spread without people know about the origins.
Some pass on from generation to generation (table manners, clothing styles, even things like grammar), some are known only to few (subcultural memes like the meaning of different jewelry or slang words), some spread from subculture to main culture ("Do or do not, there is no try", Vivienne Westwood and her adaptation of punk style)

Even we as Degenesis players have our own meme: Gerome Getrell is behind everything. He influenced everything. And he is out there, somewhere... :evil:

So sleepers or palers memetics is pretty much like described already: acts of (cultural) behaviour and beliefs that are known to most of the inhabitants and passed on/spread. The belief in the returning gods is the strongest one and determines the actions of the palers.
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Re: RG Memetics

by Fenton Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:36 pm
Thanks guys. That's helped clarify things for me :)
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by Ketzer Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:52 pm
What really make memes so powerful is that they don´t function by force. You dont have to force people into adapting the meme like a dictator for instance would do. Those "forced memes" can be opposed, ignored and seem alien.
Good memes are being adapted without concious processes going on. They are being seen as normal, natural.

thats where the word "virus of the mind" comes from.
1. Memes tend to spread like a virus would do. Patient 0 infects three people, those three infect another three, and so on.
2. As opposed to bacteria, a virus hides within the bodies own cells and won´t be detected by ones own biological defenses. He pretends to be natural and kind of "blends in". So do memes, as I already mentioned above.

That being said, Getrell must have been a immensly powerful man to force memes upon the Palers and Sleepers to make them adapt them as natural parts of their conciousness. ;)
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Re: RG Memetics

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by Renart de Maupertuis Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:07 am
You should read Fondation by Asimov :) it gives a good idea of what can be achieve in this type of warfare.
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by Shamae Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:59 pm
Renart de Maupertuis wrote:You should read Foundation by Asimov :) it gives a good idea of what can be achieve in this type of warfare.

Awesome quote! :)
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Re: RG Memetics

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by Wallenstein Tue May 03, 2016 10:21 pm
Ketzer wrote:That being said, Getrell must have been a immensly powerful man to force memes upon the Palers and Sleepers to make them adapt them as natural parts of their conciousness. ;)

Well, at least with the Palers the deed doesn't seem that wonderous to me.

First of all they (just like the Sleepers, only on a less elite level) were employees of RG, so there certainly was some basic level of "memetic conditioning" - esprit de corps or corporate identity, call it as you will.

Then they were locked in those high-tech vaults guarding the sleepers within. Eating algae mucous and refiltered piss day in, day out, while a virtual avatar on a screen gave them ever more simplified information. Physical and psychological degradation guaranteed.

Add the paranoia when the electronics of the vault one by one irreparably failed and they couldn't do anything about it. Engineered failure and no way to compensate. Forced to live in the dark, dependent on what the mysterious machine spirit handed them out in ever smaller doses.

As for the sleepers: I guess being told that you will be the base and stock of a new, greater humanity would be a good motivation to suck up fascist propaganda like the one you can see on the depiction of the Getrell avatar: "Youth is conviction - destiny is choice - strength is a virtue".
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