Re: Meme-set conflicts [was Re: some U.S. observations and notes]

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Sat Dec 15 2001 - 14:57:23 MST

On Sat, Dec 15, 2001 at 11:47:07AM -0800, Spike Jones wrote:
> > "Robert J. Bradbury" wrote: Now, Spike's more subtle
> > solution of "meme changing weapons" is perhaps even more
> > dangerous...
> > -- it is the adoption of non-rational coercive
> > approaches to changing "incorrect" meme-sets.
> Meme changing weapons would not necessarily be dangerous.
> Consider the meme "lay down your arms."

The problem with assuming some magical technological memeweapon solution
is, beside of course the rather obvious wishful thinking, that such a
weapon would likely not just be used for nice memes if it existed. Sure,
the developers and first appliers might be truly lovely people with
ideas we agree with 100%, using it to destroy militant Islam and other
evil memes. Then the weapon will be spread, and used for memes like
"Serbs, lay down your arms!", "Accept Christ as your Saviour!", "Destroy
the Capitalist System!", "Drink Coca Cola!" and "Relinquish Dangerous
Technology!". I think we all can imagine the truly awful mess that would
develop, until somebody finally managed to convince the entire world
about "Relinquish your meme weapons to me and obey ME as your

I think Spike is right about the kind of memewar that should be waged:
let Islam show its superiority through example, just as we should try to
show the superiority of our memes by example. No need to coerce people,
just give them a chance to convince everybody that their memes are the
best (according to some values) on a free memetic market. That of course
requires preventing coercion, which in itself is the only acceptable use
of coercive force.

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

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