Digital Raven (digitalraven) wrote,
Digital Raven

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Memegineering for Fun and Profit

This is a simple thing called a Chinese Portrait. It has quite a history, and has been used in psychology. The idea is that you get to talk about yourself. There are nine questions, each starting with "If I were..." The answers themselves should preferably be short, but go nuts explaining them if you feel it merits doing so. If this does take off and others think it's really a rather fun idea, I would appreciate a link back[1]. Without further ado, I better start this off. I'm in an introspective mood, so these answers may seem weird and will probably change.

If I were...

A Natural phenomenon: A half-moon

Balanced between the light and the dark, the light of love and caring for my friends and desperately trying to make the world better, but the dark of depression at the state of the world and being unsure of myself. Revelations through introspection in the shadows of the mind, both good and bad.

A Metal: Copper

The first metal to be used to carry not only electricity but signal. Information. Carrying ideas without needing people to carry them.

An Animal: A raven

The many associations and symbolisms of the raven are contradictory. Fun-loving trickster one minute, harbinger of death the next. So many preconceptions yet not all of them can be true at once, or so people think. And of course, the flying.

A Mythological Being: A dragon

A lover of information both weird and mundane and a hoarder of knowledge, yet quick to anger and capable of breathing hot flames to be rid of irritations. Hard to approach to begin with, but worthwhile if one does not get burned.

A Famous Human Being: Fermat

I have a reason for choosing him, but there is not space enough in this journal. :) Rather, the maverick thinker, who formulates an idea and will seize upon it as true until it is demonstrated or proved otherwise but leaves others to do the slog work.

A Human Activity: Rational argument

Uncovering truth and testing ideas to make sure that they are not weak or based on falsehoods.

A Work of Art: Any graphical depiction of the Mandlebrot set

Infinite complexity in a seemingly simple pattern with hidden depths.

A Weapon: A glaive

A long reach, but usable for striking with point or edge rather than the humdrum hacking of the halberd. And it can be used to stun, rather than to kill.

An Object: A computer

A device which allows endless creation, be it scientific or artistic, without needing physical representation. A gateway to a whole new conceptual space as and when needed.

So take it and run with it on your journals.

So, why will this work? First, the quiz is personal. People love talking about themselves, and exhorting others to do the same. While it will not be as strong as memes which rely on others to give an outside perspective, the theorised propagation means will be the simplicity. It is a way to convey a lot of information. Second, it's associative. It's not overly hard to fill out, and lets people ramble in explanation only if they want to. Third, it's not time consuming. Sure, there are no pretty graphics to see or slots one is assigned to, but on the other hand it doesn't have the chance to skew the results. If you lie to the portrait, you lie to yourself more than others when you try to explain your reasoning.

[1]: Since people often ask me how, slip in something like "Pinched from/Created by/All pies eaten by <lj user="digitalraven">" into your entry.

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