Re: Memetics: The 10 Suggestions

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Jan 04 2000 - 05:19:40 MST

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> writes:

> (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.

Well put. Now let's inscribe them on stone tablets and find some
misled transhumanists worshipping a golden cloned cheep and smite them

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

This point really is important to stress, far too many transhumanist
miss it and either scare away people or come across as space cadets.

> 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.

Here in out group we have a term for this: to squid someone. It comes
from Bruce Sterling:

        Oscar Valparaiso had once imagined politics as a chess
        game. His kind of chess game. Pawns, knights, and queens,
        powers and strategies, ranks and files, black squares and
        white squares. Studying this tape had cured him of that
        metaphor. Because this phenomenon on the tape was not a chess
        piece. It was there on the public chessboard all right, but it
        wasn't a rook or a bishop. It was a wet squid, a swarm of
        bees. It was a new entity that pursued its own orthogonal
        agenda, and vanished into the silent interstices of a deeply
        networked and increasingly nonlinear society.

        Bruce Sterling, Distraction

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

... although you should be in control of your emotions, not the
reverse. Feel the passion, use it, make other people flame with it,
but don't just become its vehicle and don't make others merely
vehicles for it.
> 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.

Which also implies the need for all of us to write these web pages.

So shall it be written, so shall it be.

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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