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

From: pdugan (
Date: Wed Sep 28 2005 - 18:54:25 MDT

I concur it would not be entirely wise (or feasible) to broadcast singularity
memes at a thoroughly mainstream level. If we did, however, I would expect the
backlash to level out against a groundswell of grassroots support within five
years. So if Garreau's or Kurzweil's books, or other communicative efforts,
were to penetrate CNN discussion groups in the near future, we could expect
that by 2010 a lot of people who hear of the Singularity in highschool and
college will be very conscientous of it as they chose their career paths. It
would be interesting to conjecture the odds of the Bush administration
commisioning a government agency devoted to banning singularity tech.

   Another important thing to consider is that vestiges of transhumanism and
Singularity awareness have been scattered throughout popular culture since at
least the ninteen sixties. 2001: A Space Odyssey introduced the idea of man
using technology to make an evolutionary leap while post-modernism
subsequently spread the notion that the "human condition" is really a
configuration of data which evolves with our technology. Generation X grew up
in the wake of these memes, while generation Y literally spent much of their
youth playing videogames or being inundated with hyperreal MTV marketing.
Theres a big expanse between running through the streets shouting of
techno-apocalypse and sublty moving peoples minds with thoughtful yet
entertaining Singularity themed media. The cool thing about pop culture as a
venue is that the narrow minded people who are most likely to backlash tend to
be filtered out a priori.

   Patrick Dugan

>===== Original Message From "Stuart, Ian" <> =====
>>Why would we want to evangelize for singularity-related memes?
>>Do we know whether increase social exposure to these ideas
>>would hasten or delay singularity tech?
>I have to agree. Widespread dispersal of the singularity meme would be
>denounced by some, feared by most (think Rapture and end times and see
>the statistics for the number of people in the U.S. who think that
>evolution should be REPLACED by creationism in science classes),
>accepted by few, understood by a handful, and actively pursued by a
>number I could probably count to in a matter of minutes. I think that,
>in this particular case, the harm of stirring up the masses in some
>random direction far outweighs the good of attracting the few who would
>most benefit the cause of bringing about a Friendly Singularity. In
>fact, I would be very interested to see a breakout of shock level
>populations by country or region and see how the reactions played out in
>relation to shock level saturation. For instance, I would venture that
>in highly tech-oriented areas of the U.S. (Los Angeles, New York,
>Silicon Valley, etc. . .) the reaction would fall primarily towards the
>acceptance/understanding end of the spectrum, whilst here in rural
>Kentucky, shock panic and mass hysteria would ensue once the general
>populace grasped that the world as they know it is about to change
>drastically which, knowing the general mindset of my neighbors, is the
>ONLY conceivable outcome without a serious re-education campaign. In
>other words, it may be possible to start with today's children and
>prepare a majority of them for the concept of a singularity by the time
>they are 18, but based on the projections that I keep seeing bandied
>about, this may not be complete by the time full blown singularity is
>upon us.

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