Re: Extropian Form Letter (was: an exhortation to action)

Eliezer Yudkowsky (
Sun, 01 Dec 1996 15:05:50 -0600

> "Memetic engineering" seems, from where I sit, to be functionally
> equivalent to "sales".

Almost, but not quite. A meme is a self-advertising product. The
design loop includes not just presentation but also content, and the
idea is supposed to be retained in memory, prominent, and can spread to

Your list is taken to heart, though.

> Maybe you would. If you have a reference work on memetic engineering,
> please point me to it so I can read and understand and critique
> according to those criteria; otherwise, I'll use the ones I have.

> Alternatively, see if you can find a psychological treatise on the
> contents of the meme set that Hitler was pushing (which I think
> actually fits the outline I presented above, at least loosely).
> If you can think of a meme set that was more virulent (or one that
> even came close in print, since I am so bold as to presume that you
> have neither Hitler's charisma nor his budget), study that one (and
> let me know which one you think it is).

I know how Hitler's meme set worked.
I do not intend to put self-righteousness into the Singularity meme in
any form or function, even if it means the meme will not survive. If I
decide that the meme will at some point become self-righteous whether I
like it or not, and will replicate from there whether I like it or not,
I may introduce enough self-righteousness to give it vitality and try to
set it up so that no other self-righteousness may infect it.

--       Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I know.