Re: AI's at risk from viral memes ??

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Wed Sep 19 2001 - 16:12:45 MDT

AI's at risk from viral memes ??From: Smigrodzki, Rafal
<<The book "Religion explained" (I forgot it's author's name), recently
discussed on this list, gives some coherent, detailed and quite compelling
answers to this question.
Our evolved neural mechanisms, mainly devoted to the analysis of social
interactions (intuitive psychology) are prone to recognize certain ideas as
"salient", leading to many inferences, and therefore likely to be remembered.
These ideas evolve over time and gain sophistication, co-opting many parts of
our brain in their spread. What starts as a vague idea of "ancestors" who know
of our misdeeds and can be bargained with, develops over a few thousand years
into a complicated system of rules and fantasies, intricately linked to the
fabric of the society, and supported by secondary types of interactions
(coalition building, formation of memetic "brand names", like Christianity,
and others).
Good book. I knew religion was silly since I was 7 years old but now I know
why it is so persistent.
The AI, if executed properly, could be just as impervious to Rev. Falwell's
blandishments as the staunchest infidels on our list, if not more.
Rafal Smigrodzki >>

Your summary of the situation is both incisive and accurate. As a staunch
infidel on this list, I look forward to the day when pure intelligence wipes
out all religious fanaticism once and for all.

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment

We won't move into a better future until we debunk religiosity, the most
regressive force now operating in society.

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