*The grave of Baden-Powell bears the engraved black hole
diagram of the beloved Intergalactic Scouting Movement.


Since fin-de-siecle Paris, when the Decadent poets and their Symoblist loves ran amok in the streets, occidental humans have been in search of a new paradigm in togetherness. It is no secret that all humans want to belong to something greater than themselves. We act this survival instinct out in a number of unhealthy and unsophisticated ways. Sometimes we join religious groups we don't have faith in, hoping that we can be part of making the world a better place through compassion or love. Other times we coach little league or join the PTA. Some of us even join country clubs, or political parties. By far the most extreme and phenomenal of these performances of 'togetherness' occurs when some of us join art collectives.

Art Collectives
The art collective as we know it today evolved from the ashes of the of Dada, Constructivism, Futurism and Surrealist movements. When Andre Breton dismissed a few key members of the Surrealist Group, the movement-less artists formed an art collective the likes of which the world had never seen, the College of 'Pataphysics. These french intellectuals decided it was prudent to form an organization dedicated to the study and eventual meta-study of the science of imaginary solutions, 'pataphysics. 'Pataphysics, of course, was initiated by the French fin-de-siecle author Alfred Jarry, in several of his plays, novels and poems.

College of 'Pataphysics
The College of 'Pataphysics thrived and soon hosted one of the most bizarre membership rosters of all time: Macel Duchamp, the Marx Brothers, Raymond Queneau, Jean Ferry, MC Escher, Jean Dubuffet, and the most bizarre of all, Lutembi and Mata Mata, a crocodile and tortoise respectively. The college occulted itself in the seventies with a promise to de-occult in the year 2000, which it did, according to Jean Baudrillard.

Emergence of Art Collectives as a Common Practice
Following in the footsteps of these brave art collective enthusiasts, many groups in occidental and even a few in oriental artistic circles began to emerge: Fluxus, Gutai, Vienna Actionists, Lettriste International, Situationist International, and the London Psychogeographical Association. By the end of the 20th century more diverse and bizarre collectives had emerged: Museum of Jurassic Technology, Church of Stop Shopping, Center for Tactical Magic, Association of Autonomous Astronauts, and even the Yes Men.

While all this was going on another phenomenon was occurring, that of scouting. All over the world youth scouting was on the rise. Scouting is said to have been formed in part due to the initiatives of Baden Powell. Scouting was a good way to involve kids in the workings of their own cultures and even expose them to other modes of cultural thinking, albeit through the rose-tinted glasses of scoutmasters. Scouting proliferated so well due to its memetic structure. It was a hierarchical award system, and like a college, after a certain level of learning and work, a young scout could become a mature scoutmaster. This is not unlike a black belt or becoming an officer, or even being published or included in the top rungs of the inner workings of an art collective.

Code Word: Togetherness
Seeing as how I was already a member of an art collective known to the world as the Meme-Rider Media Team. I decided it would be prudent to initiate an endeavour to merge both art collectivity and scouting, to form an ultimate form of togetherness. It would combine the headiness and theoretical aspirations of art collectivity, with their unique tenacity and desire to change the world through art with the award and merit based programs of scouting which elected to employ pedagogy and play. The code word for it all was togetherness. And what I call it is Pata-Memetic Scouting, which is the new paradigm for both scouting and art collectivity.

Initial Phases and the Politics of Exclusion
In thinking of how I wanted to structure a scouting group that could also function as an art collective, I had to sort out a few of the key components of the togetherness of scouting and collectivity, that of exclusion. If you are going to have a group of people it creates a binary, those in the group and those outside of the group. The College of 'Pataphysics, knowing full well the woes of exclusion designed their college to include the entire world, a world whose population according to the college was comprised entirely of 'pataphysicians who were either conscious of this fact or not. So, their binary was whether people knew they were members of the college or not. Those who were conscious paid dues to the college and would eat dinner with other members and even had the exclusive right to a member of the college present at their funeral. The only down side was that the only way to officially refuse membership was to commit suicide in front of a panel of representatives from the College of 'Pataphysics proper. The rest of the world, or those who were unconscious of their station as 'pataphyscians simply lived their lives in ignorance. So, back to pata-memetic scouting--instead of binaries, I have chosen for an open source form of scouting, one that is completely maleable in the hands of whoever choses to take hold of it. In the short and sweet, it is a modified form of togetherness, where people do something together then pat themselves on the back with a little material reward, award, or whatever. My desired outcome for this project, which I intend to spend a good portion of my life working with, is to offer the world the autonomous pleasures of both scouting and art collectivity at the same time without regard to politics of identity such as gender, orientation, nationality, ethnicity, beliefs, sanity or philosophy, etc.

Organization Solutions for Pata-Memetic Scout Groups

Pata-Memetic Scouting
Pata-Memetic Scouting is a contraction of several notions, one is a 'pataphysical meta-meme. A meta-meme is a meme about memes. A pata-meme, then using the definition of 'pataphysics, which is the science of imaginary solutions extending as far beyond metaphysics as metaphysics extends beyond physics; extends as far beyond meta-memes as meta-memes extend beyond memes. And scouting is a memetic strategy using merit based or otherwise award driven social/ political/ semiotic/ cultural/ artistic indoctrination. Scouting is a way of making others use memes according to the well-established norms and mores a 'scoutmaster' would hold true.

Alternating and non-hierarchical positions for pata-memetic scouts:

*Patrol Leader
*Defensive End
*Other, etc

and optionally for those under the age of 8:

*Water Bears
*Sea Monkies
*Other, etc.

Pata-memetic scouts form autonomous scouting outfits that can be:

*Sleeper Cells
*Think Tanks
*Media/ Information Societies
*Adventure Squads
*Defense Leagues
*Other, etc.

Derives, Hikes, Quests, Journeys and Walkabouts

Start by Walking
One of the most common forms of art collective or scout collective activities is that of walking around a place as an activity. Walks come in all shapes, sizes and forms. But every once in a while, scouts or artists will invent new ways of walking that completely rewrite the paradigm of walking activities.

The derive was originated by an art collective called Situationist International. They are mostly anarchists interested in redefining the way humans exist through the reworking of systems. One of their methods of doing so is called the derive. It is a form of walking that reroutes the city or urban space by constructing rules of movement, or purposefully placing walkers in unfamiliar spaces, so they must readjust and thus can experience a familiar city as if it were new, or if the space were indeed unfamiliar, a vertigonous sense of wonder was achieved.

A common practice in scouting is the hike. A hike is a rural activity, usually in the wilderness, mountains, woods, or even on formally set apart hiking paths. It is a great way to get out there and experience nature. Equipment ususally becomes important for hikes, becuase they are done in the wilderness. Hikers must often carry their own water or food. Hiking produces a sense of self-awareness and independence, and for some even a deep sense of being at one with nature.

Quests are a very special form of both hiking, the derive and traveling. Quests are initiated when there becomes a dire need for someone or a small band of people to venture off into the unknown to either collect something from an unknown realm or to return something that belongs in an unknown realm. Often times it is advisible to quest with a group. When a group of organisms decide to embark on a quest, that group is called a fellowship, and there are several ways that fellowships can be organized.

Journeys are introspective quests, usually without destinations. They can be anywhere from millions of light years in length to a simple vision or dream. Journeys are perhaps the most misunderstood of all movement oriented activity, and it takes a very learned journeyperson to explain the uniqueness of journeying.

Walkabouts are a type of movement in space that can be a quest, a journey, an expedition, or even a hunting party. The one thing that makes a walkabout unique though is that those on walkabout use a pyschogeographic pivot. That is, they are never lost, because of a telekenetic connection point they have at their home, which stays with them for the length of their walkabout.

Prefixes, Suffixes, Words and Other Language Games

Language Games
Scouts and art collectives alike both have highly sophisticated forms of language games. They start by picking a word, usually a concept or activity, such as modernism or camping. Added to this word prefixes and/ or suffixes will be added to help elucidate or otherwise enhance or question the very notion of the word itself. Take the prefix 'post' for example. Post-moodernism, or post-camping would be your result. If one adds a suffix at this point, say 'plex', one would get, post-modernism-plex or post-camping-plex. The meanings of all of these words can be greatly modified using simple language games to produce wildly effective and interesting new concepts or activities.

here is a list of effective prefixes one could use:


Here is a list of highly effective suffixes:


Words Themselves
There is no short list of words that would be highly effective for use in pata-memetic scouting, because every word, behavior, style, usage, symbol, fear, desire or dream is memetically sound for using in a language game. It is akin to the magnet game where there are literally thousands upon thousands of words to chose from and any arrangement of them seems like perfect poetry. I wouldn't even recommend staying on a single topic, but rather mix things up to the point of total and absolute complexity. Intensely complex notions tend to be much more reasonable to conduct pata-memetic scouting with, because they don't easily preconclude an outcome.

Other Language Games
Pata-memetic scouts should feel free to use all languages in what ever means they see fit. Remember that words are abstract sets of sounds that have no real relation to what the signified really is. Sometimes one doesn't even need to use a word, simply combining prefixes and suffixes will do, such as in 'transology' or 'postism'. Or one can even combine more than one or two prefixes and suffixes on the same word to create some of the most effective hybrids, like with 'post-trans-pata-memeticismnessgate'.

Derbies, Classics, Grand Prix, Regattas and Other Races

The Derby
The derby is one of the best ways for scouting collectives to get together and enjoy some comraderie and compassionate competition. The derby is a race involving car like pods. For the most part a derby will consist of homemade racing vehicles on homemade tracks. A nice deviation from the traditional derby is the so-called 'demolition derby' where the name of the game is not to win a series of consecutive races, but to survive a series of prepared collisions. The Futurist art collective was big into derby style racing, especially demolition derbies. The most well-known derby associated with scouting is the infamous 'pinewood derby' where wooden cars are made and raced on plastic wheels.

The Classic
Classics are an odd group in scout collective racing. Classics traditionally refer to balloon racing, and any number of balloon styles can accomodate these races. Homemade aeronautic devices can also be place squarely in the camp of classic racing, such as rockets, planes, helicopters, and any number of remote controlled flying devices.

The Grand Prix
The largest and most obscene of all races is the grand prix, so noted for its heavy use of a grand prize, usually a cup or chalise. These races are usually done in homemade vehicles with a human driver, so much of the grand prix itself involves the sport of racing, where the physical presence of the driver is just as important as the object that is racing.

The Regatta
Regattas are the great boat races, usually wind powered. Traditionally scout collectives create the raingutter regatta scenarios, where raingutters are outfitted with a liquid to race home spun boats in, using their own breath as the wind power for the boats.

Other Races
The idea of getting collectives together to race each other is one of fellowship and togetherness, it is not so much that objects are placed into battles of speed or strength with each other as much as friendships are made. So, to this end, a race is a good excuse to get together and share ideas, feelings, and the ocassional homemade racing project. So any form of racing is really just as valid as any other.

Some suggestions for racing forms:

*grand prix
*demolition derby
*get together
*field day
*clam bake
*other, etc.

Some suggestions of things to race:

*small animals
*time machines
*other vegetables
*frozen tofu
*movement machines
*hot rods
*magic carpets
*other, etc.

Antics, Hoaxes, Capers, and Other Various Operational Strategies for Disguise

Memetically speaking antics are a set of behaviors one uses to form performances of personality. Learning to cultivate a strong sense of antics, or how to give the illusion of confusion of antics helps the meme-scout spread memes more effectively in the larger scheme of things, and creates a firmer, more clear base from which to ride memetic strategies with.

Hoaxing is one of the most exquisite forms of trickery from which to set memetic strategies loose from. Most hoaxers, as they are called, are conscious of the fact that they are fooling people, usually towards auto-advantageous ends. A good hoax is one that is not easily detected. Falsified findings of reputable organizations is one thing, but exposing spiritualism, by performing hoaxes on hoaxers in gloriously pata-memetic.

The caper is a long and complex set of antics and hoaxing. It is what an opera or musical is to a sing along song. The scope of a well executed caper can be just as enthralling as a lunar landing. Capers are built around notions of alter-egos, secret identities, and meme-riding. It is really only the territory of truly experienced meme-rider of meme-scouts to pull off a successful and interesting caper. Legality issues become less significant when dealing in the realm of capers because of the sheer artistry of a good caper. It is not illegal, it is extreme aesthetic behavior being done for the betterment of the whole wide world.

Other Various Operational Strategies for Disguise
We live in a time of punctums. It is exceptionally difficult to figure out what is what and who is really who. Multiple and altering identities are more common today than ever in human history. We also live in a time where humans are on the thresholds of evolving beyond the human paradigm. The question of who we are is ultimately unanswerable one. The one thing we can remain certain and true to is how we disguise ourselves. There are an infinite amount of ways and varieties of doing so, and it is part of pata-memetic scouting to continually invent and reinvent modes and operational strategies for disguise.

Merit Badges, Insignias, Medals, Patches and Other Forms of Demarcation

Merit Badges
Merit badges are probably the easiest way for pata-memetic scouting groups and scouting collectives to materially award themselves for activities. Merit badges are especially useful because they indicate a specific set or singular activity that does not imply rank, but rather symbolizes accomplishments. In the end, merit badges offer a way for collecting the physical presence of previously performed activities and a chance for the scout to discuss how, who, where and what for their earning of that particular merit badge. Merit badges can also be continuously invented and reinvented for performances of hybrid activities or for a melange of interests and studies.

Insignias are demarcations which set a person within the democratic strictures of a particular sub-set within a culture. Within the organizational models of pata-memetic scouting, insignias simply designate a certain set of temporary or semi-temporary identities. Say, if a meme-scout is temporarily working under the structure of being a bricoleusse or a transhuman--an insignia is a way to display for the whole world to see, the various sets of memetic strategies that one is holding firmer to at that given point in time.

Medals are awarded to those who have perfomed completely selfless acts. The medal is an honor bestowed on people after such heroic performances. In a way the medal is a memory model that can be a sign of the appreciation others have for your efforts, actions and various other performances.

Patches, writ large are symbols of literally anything. The patch is a good way to display memetic strategies or to symbolize the interests of any one particular scouting collective. They can be commemorative, decorative, instructive, confrontational, and even didactic. Anything goes with patches, they are a great way to express one's self, or to express a larger form of togetherness, that of a group think, meta-meme or meme-plex, such as identity affiliations or belief structures, or significance sectors within cultures and societies. Patches are an especially valuable tool for those engaged in counter-culture or alternative culture strategies.

Other Forms of Demarcation
To these ends various forms of demarcation can be used in scouting collectives for any means or purposes the collective qualifies as necessary. In a perfect world, these decisions would be made unanimously and democratically, and without any form of divination or divine intervention. Demarcations are human enterprises that are ways we award or reward others for accomplishments and achievements. In pata-memetic scouting, research, body knowledge and adventures are all equal and play a significant role in the development of those involved in the activities of autonomous scouting collectives.