Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 17:39:02 +0100 (MET)

On Tue, 28 Jan 1997 wrote:

> I have recieved this annoying memo several times ovber the past week.
> Seems these WILDFIRE humor things, unlike the old FAX office ones, spread
> infectiously, incredibly quickly; now they are even showing up on the lists -

The Internet is a medium where copying is simpler, faster, cheaper and
less costly than in an office or with a fax-machine. This makes this kind
of memes much more virulent on the Net. I guess that if we ever develop
broadband telepathy, they will become truly frightening :-)

> and in response to the thread earlier- can we spread positive memes thru
> humor, perhaps if a transhuman one was funny enough it could be read by
> millions, anyone here funny enough to put together a Extropian chain-humor
> post?

A fascinating idea! I'll hope to be able to publish my essay on how to
create a good meme in >Hx #2 (March 1).

In the meantime, here are a few things to work on:

Bait: it should be funny to read, catchy and understandable. It should
not trigger any counter-memes directly.

It should be possible to remember the gist of it easily.

Hook: It should promote its replication. This can be done by just being
funny (people will spontaneously copy it), by explicitly asking for copies
(irritating) and implicitly suggesting thhat it should be spread (sneaky
and very efficient).

Make it easily spreadable on the Net.

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