The Power of Groups (part IV) – Dimensions

In summary the power of groups can be viewed in several different dimensions.

Using Part I metrics we can observe simply how much money, votes, or brute force and organization wields

Using Part II metrics we can examine resources base, but more importantly, the channels for wielding these resources (schools, news media, institutions)

With Part III metrics we can see how the balance of the group contract exists between members of the group and the whole.

The Part III metrics will go something like this:

How much do members of the group feel that they are sacrificing vs. how much they are afforded by membership. This is necessarily subjective. For example, being an american I feel like I give up very little and get a lot. This is not always straight forward because of the sunk costs of building identity. Sometimes giving up more to an organization makes it harder to leave, this is due to status and identify factors of participation.

In part IV (now). It is important to go back to basic meme metrics and apply them to groups. Afterall, many times the boundaries of a group are ideological.

Recall, that basic meme factors back from the particle model and previous posts are:

1) Attaining (joining): This has to do with barriers to entry, frequency of encounter, and context.

2) Retaining (stickiness): This has to do with level of commitment, and how embedded the meme is in the minds and identities of the membership.

3) Spreading (evangelism): This is the degree to which act to spread the ideology, membership or influence of the contagious principles of membership.

I just stumbled on a term that hopefully captures the memetic nature of groups. Let’s call it “Meme-bership”. This is to get to the point that people who spread memes are not just individuals, that the foundation of a memeplex is strengthened when holders identify themselves as a collective.

This outline needs extensive research and examples to be verified, but I’m satisfied with the thought experiments which I am withholding to justify this post.

Let’s do a quick run through for something easy like ” the catholic church”

  • part I: billions of dollars and billions of people
  • Part II: centralized power in the vatican, system of churches, and clergy as channels for doctrine
  • Part III: Strong group contract, giving up sunday mornings, adhere to principle, believe in Jesus and attain everlasting salvation.
  • Part IV: Strong evangelism and stickiness, low barriers to entry.

I was going to do another one for fox next, but I think almost all of the answers are the same. These dimensions of group evaluation help us understand why some groups are so successful at spreading the meme-bership ideology.



About livingthememe

engineer and armchair philosopher
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