virus: RE: MEME UPDATE #8: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Dan Van Der Werken (
Mon, 19 May 1997 17:37:53 -0700

I envy you. I wish I could meet with Drexler and Stephenson. If you
have the opportunity, please let Mr. Stephenson know I'm also a big fan
of his. I would like to have his email address if he has one.

I'll probably become a senior member of the Foresight Institute next
year and get to meet Dr. Drexler eventually. My father-in-law has a PhD
in Physics and plans to present a paper at the Fifth Foresight
Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology. I will be a co-presenter with
him (I'm helping some. I only have an MSEE). We're going to define
"bands of phenomena" for nanotechnology applications (if the paper's

Take Care.

Daniel F. Van Der Werken, Jr.
Escalation Engineer, Critical Problem Resolution

> The Diamond Age, or A Young Lady's Illustrated Primer
> by Neal Stephenson
> (Bantam, 1996)
> I haven't been a Fan of anyone for a long time. But I am now
> officially a Neal Stephenson Fan. Stephenson, who is my age and lives
> in my town and whom I am looking forward to meeting as soon as both of
> us can clear our schedules sufficiently, is a Good Writer who Gets
> Memetics. Such folks are rare as a sunny day in Seattle in April, and
> as such ought to be cherished, nourished, and all their books bought
> by the dozen and given to everyone you know with more than three
> firing neurons left.
> The "Diamond Age" of the title refers to the diamond fibers used in
> building materials in the coming age of nanotechnology (see Drexler,
> Engines Of Creation,
> The
> Primer refers to a one-on-one Artificial-Intelligence (AI) teaching
> tool that could conceivably solve what Stephenson and I both perceive
> as the biggest underlying problem in the world today: how to give any
> and all children the best possible education.
> As in Snow Crash, Stephenson illuminates a future as likely as any and
> as shocking to our complacent selves as it is realistic. The world of
> The Diamond Age is one in which deliberate memetic engineering has
> given birth to designed cultures, most noteworthy the neo-Victorians,
> in which philosopher-kings worthy of Plato decide not what values are
> True, or God-given, but what values make up a workable society. When a
> bootleg copy of the Primer accidentally falls into the hands of slum
> urchin Nell, she embarks on a solitary Pygmallion-esque adventure, her
> transformation a metaphor for the awakening of infant billions to
> higher consciousness.
> While the pages don't turn nearly as quickly as those of the
> fast-paced and comic Snow Crash, these pages are to be savored. Great
> literature isn't so much in the reading as in the recollecting. This
> is a book the memetic engineers of the next millennium will all have
> on their shelves.
> All the best memes,
> Richard
> Richard Brodie +1.425.688.8600
> CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA
> Do you know what a "meme" is?