RE: What Makes An Idea Viral? (Seth Godin)

From: pdugan (
Date: Wed Sep 28 2005 - 10:59:13 MDT

Maybe SIAI's volunteering effort should include a symposium for
novelists/scriptwriters/media artists ect. whose themes and aesthetics center
around Singularitiarian ideas.

    Patrick Dugan

>===== Original Message From Ben Goertzel <> =====
>> No one "gets" an idea unless:
>> a. the first impression demands further investigation
>> b. they already understand the foundation ideas necessary to
>> get the new
>> idea
>> c. they trust or respect the sender enough to invest the time
>Obviously, the Singularity and related ideas discussed here fail on all
>three counts.
>Kurzweil is one spokesman who may have the reputation to overcome point c,
>but I guess even he can't overcome points a and b.
>"Singularity" sounds insane to most people and hence fails on point a), and
>the failure of the general public on point b) is obvious.
>Oh, well.
>Of all the ideas commonly discussed on this list, "existential risks" is IMO
>the one most likely to become a viral idea. People understand that
>naturally enough, and it may seem scary enough to demand further
>investigation, particularly in this period of terrorist-focused paranoia
>(here in the US).
>I agree with Mike Deering and others who have said so before that in order
>to get Singularitarian ideas across to the modern public -- if indeed that
>is desirable, which I'm not certain of -- some intelligent yet
>sensationalistic media dramatizations of the concept will be necessary.
>For instance, most people "get" the idea of time travel now due to movies
>like Back to the Future, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, Terminator, 12
>Monkeys, Time Bandits, and so forth. If a similar spate of films were to
>come out presenting various takes on the Singularity, then Singularitarian
>concepts would wend into the popular consciousness and we would score higher
>on points a) and b).
>-- Ben G

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