Re: More kemes (was: Re: We luv the guv't)

Anders Sandberg (
21 Jan 1998 12:42:08 +0100

"Craig Presson" <> writes:

> Steve: "Suppose there were ideas that were like viruses, so that once
> you hear them, they take over your mental processes and you can't
> stop thinking of them?"
> Me: "I think there are plenty of ideas like that."
> Steve (conspiratorial whisper): "Right! And further suppose that the
> idea of a mental virus was one such ..."

Given how well the meme of memetics spreads, he seems to have been
quite right.

> ... and find a new set of much more efficient parasite programs running
> around "up" there ... <evil grin>. This says I should definitely keep
> working on data security, I'll always have work! Just imagine the
> disaster recovery plan for a Jupiter brain ...

Yes, I would be surprised if there were no cognitive parasites or
selfish replicators even among uploads; it is a big ecological niche
where there are already prototypes.

Making backups and reboots of Jupiter brains is an interesting
problem. Some RAID scheme might help preserve the data, but what do
you do when the central cognitive systems have been messed up? It
would be a mixture between system operations and psychology, on a
posthuman level.

Apropos replicators and jupiter brains (and rebooting of them), I
recommend Charles Stross' novel _Scratch Monkey_ (on the net at for one
look at the problem of expanding into an uploaded state where
selection pressures (for access to computing resources) become
significant. I don't really agree with his "ecological succession",
but it is a fun (if very dark) read.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y