Re: Memes and Kemes (spoilers for Benford)

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 23 Jul 1997 10:43:34 +0200 (MET DST)

On Tue, 22 Jul 1997 wrote:

> In a message dated 97-07-22 05:39:07 EDT, Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > Memes are likely to remain, possibly in new forms. Replicating
> > information patterns seem to be the lifeblood of the singularity, so
> > they will definitely prosper. Whenever there is dense communications
> > and host systems they will have the opportunity to grow. Possibly new
> > levels of complexity can appear (like the 'kemes' mentioned in
> > _Sailing Bright Eternity_ by Gregory Benford: predatory
> > intelligent memes).
> How exactly do you create a keme?

Benford never went into any detail about it, and it was mainly an
imaginative plot device and something that fit well into the theme of
his pentalogy (the struggle and co-evolution of different phylums of
"life"). His basic idea seems to be that once you have sufficiently
rich "memospheres" where memes can thrive (like the Internet?),
predatory memes can appear, some kind of meta-lebel entities which
are not directly observable to the hosts of the memes (humans or
computers). In fact, since they somehow *eat* memes, we can't event
think or understand them. I seriously doubt that the last is
possible, but it is a fun idea that there could exist beings which we
are *by definition* unable to comprehend.

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