Memetics: The 10 Suggestions

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Jan 02 2000 - 10:21:33 MST

(Derived from "3.3: Memetics strategy" in "The Plan to Singularity")

The Ten Suggestions of Transhumanist Memetics:

1. Thou shalt ask thine audience to take thy subject matter seriously,
nor shalt thou offend them with ostentatious incredulity.

2. Thou shalt not lose thy sense of humor.

3. Thou shalt convey sufficient future shock that thy audience feels
it, but not sufficient that thy audience runs screaming into the night.

4. Thou shalt not fight on thy opponent's grounds; nor shalt thou
permit thy interview to conform to the script which a technophobe
expects; nor shalt thou answer incredulity with cowardice or cliches;
but thou shalt break all these patterns by the application of future shock.

5. If thou hast strong emotions on a subject, thou shalt unashamedly
make thy audience feel them.

6. Thou shalt not use arguments which thine audience hath been trained
to find unacceptable within themselves; thou shalt first offer not
immortality and wealth, but knowledge and an end to suffering by the poor.

7. Thou shalt counter reflexive pseudoreligious arguments by appealing
to higher emotions of transhumanism; yea the quest to heal the world,
the courage to face the necessary unknown, the holiness of watching the
birth of a new mind, all these things thou shalt convey; but thou shalt
not rail against superstition and foolishness, for thy audience will not
change themselves utterly on thy say-so.

8. Thou shalt include Web references, for thou knowest full well that
thou canst not cover thy subject fully in 2500 words.

9. Thou shalt not include endless caveats as thy scientific training
urges thee, for thou hast not the room, and thy audience knows it; but
thou shalt include thy caveats in the aforesaid Web pages.

10. That which you say, that thing shall be true; yea, each emotion and
cognitive structure which thou dost construct shall be invariant under
the impact of the whole story.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Typing in Dvorak         Programming with Patterns  Writing in gender-neutral
Voting for Libertarians  Heading for Singularity    There Is A Better Way

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