Re: Major Technologies--Memetics

Anders Sandberg (
26 Jan 1999 11:46:17 +0100

"Billy Brown" <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > You mean like the psychology of persuasion/attitude change or
> > advertisement psychology? Both are areas where quite a bit of serious
> > reasearch is going on. But most of it is non-memetic, i.e. relies on
> > direct exposure rather than spread from other people.
> Yes. These areas could eventually lead to real memetic engineering. The
> thing that is lacking now is predictability - 90% of everything is based on
> personal opinion, hunches, and guesswork. In principle it ought to be
> possible to put the field on a firmer footing than that.

Is it? Last time I looked, there were plenty of empirical studies. The problem seems to be how to create useful theories and frameworks, this is where more work is likely needed.

> > Actually, this is an interesting angle to add in the above fields, how
> > to create a mindset able to resist these methods. There are
> > publishable research papers in it :-)
> The subject deserves a lot more attention than it gets. Of course, I'm not
> sure how you would perform an experiment...

Perhaps something like cognitive therapy, you instruct one group of subjects in a certain mental technique or a schemata, another just gets a spiel about critical thinking and a third nothing, and then you expose them to a meme or other form of persuasion and study how many are convinced.

> This is a very long discussion to get into. I'm writing up a full
> explanation of my current theories about it at the moment - would you be
> interested in a copy?

Yes, certainly!

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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