virus: Re: your mail

Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 3 Aug 1995 10:25:28 -0600

[I got permission from Anders to post his message to the list -dbm]


On Wed, 2 Aug 1995, David McFadzean wrote:

> p.s. You may also be interested in my Church of Virus
> (, the first transhuman religion.

Yes, I have seen it, and I really like the idea! It mirrors a few of my
own musings about how to deal with different beliefs as modern
communications bring them all into contact/conflict.

The problem is that previously we have had a lot of isolated memetic
environments, but now the environments shift, merge and divide based on
memetics too! This could lead to decreased diversity (as it usually does
in ecology when two different ecologies are merged), but if managed well
it might increase it instead.

What I have been thinking of is a meta-meme, loosely based on the
Prisoners Dilemma and Brin's essay about memes. It goes roughly like
this: "Accept the presence of all belief systems which accept your
presence", essentially a meme of tolerance. Hosts with this meme would
have reason to defend themselves together against all hosts who do not
accept it (or groups with the meme but incompatible beliefs), a distinct
advantage since it both provides protection, an internal memetic ecology
for other memes to spread and moves the conflict to the meta-meme level
instead (where there is presumably less competition).

What do you think?

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