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

From: Phillip Huggan (
Date: Wed Sep 28 2005 - 11:16:38 MDT

Until better methods of dealing with the risks inherent from MM/AGI are devised, I don't think spreading the meme to the general public will do too much good. When the threats are better assessed, more personnel can be channeled towards safer research strategies without unknowingly contributing to suicidal research programmes. Acquiring hand-picked researchers and other desired personnel can be achieved without introducing panicky public backlash risks. To reach the public, more realistic sensory descriptions are needed to image the post-singularity world. CEV/Domains and magic genie MNT don't really promote a powerful psychological/emotional response in people.

Ben Goertzel <> wrote:<SNIP>

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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