Psychosocial Implication in Gamma Animation: Epimemetics for a Brave New World


Anthony Judge – TRANSCEND Media Service


The much cited novel by Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, 1931) is recognized as having anticipated many more recent problematic developments in society and its technologies. Huxley developed the argument in subsequent publications (Brave New World Revisited, 1958; Island, 1962). It is notably valued for its social criticism and for the implications of the distinction it makes between social castes: Alphas, Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. At the top of the caste system, Alphas and Betas perform the more intellectual jobs. Unlike the lower castes, they are not clones, allowing for more individual personalities. The lower three castes do more menial and standardized work and are usually clones. A “‎savage” was outside the integrated portions of society and its classes.

As social satire, the novel envisages a world in which the population of Gammas, and the lower castes, is deliberately accelerated by genetic engineering — consistent with continuing approaches to unconstrained population increase. The ever increasing inequalities between the well-endowed and the underprivileged of the novel are echoed in current concerns regarding the “1%”, as highlighted by the Occupy Movement (slogan: We are the 99%) and continuing social unrest. The fundamental issues have been articulated by Stèphane Hessel (Time for Outrage! 2011). The outcome of the protest has been analyzed by Noam Chomsky (Occupy, 2012), itself reviewed by Maria Popova (Occupy: Noam Chomsky’s Guide to the History and Practice of Protest, Brain Pickings, May 2012)

The concern in what follows is to consider the possibility of “Gamma animation”, reframed by aesthetic licence to provide catalytic mnemonic associations for more fruitful critical thinking regarding divisive processes in society and the possibilities they represent. A particular concern is the widespread tendency to exclusivism and demonisation, to assertions of what is deemed right from a particular perspective and a rejection (as dangerous) of alternative views variously promoted by others.

Huxley’s articulation of society into castes through genetic engineering (in the novel) is seen here as already well advanced — but in terms of memetic engineering (Alex Burns, Memetic Engineering, Disinformation, 15 May 2001). Aspects of the process have again been analyzed by Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: the political economy of the mass media (1988), co-written with Edward S. Herman.

The aesthetic licence is exploited here through animated depictions of a stylized variant of the Greek letter Gamma within a framework juxtaposing supposedly incommensurable attitudes. Allusion is also made to the role of both gamma brain waves and to gamma radiation as intimating the more fundamental consequences of more radical critical thinking for a psychosocial system in crisis — partially consequent on questionable attention to gamma in financial trading. Reference is also made to the cognitive implications of rituals of calligraphy in sacred languages — using gamma as one example, but with suggestions regarding the psychosocial implications of other letters, to be potentially understood as the basis of an “enwholing language” relevant to that crisis.


Current genetic concerns as a metaphor for current memetic realities
Divisive caricatures of complex psychosocial processes
Fourfold generic visual pattern of psychosocial dynamics
Reframing the scope for creative gamma animation
Genetic patterns as an indicative template for memetic patterns
Requisite confusion to engender an elusive functional literacy?
Epimemetics, biomimetics, epimimetics and biomemetics
Fruitful gamma resonance within a pattern of mnemonic associations?
Insights in terms of a “gamma” perspective



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 18 Mar 2013.

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