virus: Fw: Major Technologies--Memetics

David McFadzean (
Sat, 23 Jan 1999 13:19:18 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Natasha Vita-More <> To: <> Date: Saturday, January 23, 1999 12:34 PM Subject: Re: Major Technologies--Memetics

>At 03:59 AM 1/23/99 -0800, James Ganong wrote:
>>OK, we've gone over several physical technologies so far, but what about
>>Could it ever be developed to the point of being an actual
>>technology/engineering discipline?
>>Why or why not? What could happen if it were so developed?
>There are probably several different takes on what a memetic engineer could
>As I see it, and for my purposes, a memetic engineer plans, manages and
>disburses ideas and skillfully maneuvers them in a direction(s). Thus, the
>slant is engineering as production. Since the word "engineer" refers to
>skills other than mechanical, civil or electrical; many professions are
>using the term to describe the planing, managing and maneuvering of tasks.
>"A good scientist is a person with original ideas. [A good artist is a
>person with original ideas.] A good engineer is a person who makes a design
>that works with as few original ideas as possible. There are no prima
>donnas in engineering." Freeman Dyson
>"engineering . . . is the art of doing that well with one dollar, which any
>bungler can do with two after a fashion. Arthur Mellen Wellington
>Memetic engineering works as a psychological undertaking, at least until we
>can really alter our brains and add on specific devices for developing and
>deploying ideas, as well as the insight and scrutiny for understanding
>society and communicating and make that a technology.
>For example, Chris Peterson (Foresight Institute) and I have discussed
>memetic engineering as an interpersonal skill (the ability to understand
>and assess people and society) and an ability to steer ideas, and sculpt
>ideas, in directions that are both education and constructive for a
>particular interest. Herein responsibility is taken in the production of
>ideas so that they are spawned in areas that are profitable to the ideas.
>Ideas can take on their own life, to be sure. (Chris, for example, may
>carefully listen to negative comments about nanotechnology and answers
>comments with a problem-solving mentality, while intending to sculpt
>positive ideas about nanotech. Crit Mediator can be used to welcomes
>individual comments and open up a dialogue. Here, an open understanding of
>what people think and a format to respond while listening to comments and
>addressing them in problem-solve mode.)
>While anyone who comes up with ideas and markets them fruitfully can spawn
>memes, I think actively pursing the engineering of ideas is memetic
>engineering. Now, the question, when looking at it in the
>above-interpretation, what are the skills needed to effectively engineer
>memes? You can take a look at my Memetic Toolkit, which I worked on while
>discussing the concept of memetic engineering with Chris. I didn't find it
>on the list, so I'll insert it here:
>Memetic Toolkit or engineering memes
>1. Listen
>2. Discern Cost Benefit Analysis
>3. Educate, Debate or Alienate
>4. Employ Critical Thinking
>5. Locate Common Ground of Interest
>6. Present Historical Parallels
>7. Practice Patience
>8. Ignite Curiosity
>9. Show Sense of Humor
>10. Engineer a Meme
>Natasha Vita-More:
>Transhumanist Art Centre - Home of Extropic Art:
>**NEW** Transhuman Culture InfoMark:
>PRESS RELEASE: "We are transhumans ..." Meme Orbits Saturn in 2004!
>"The best defense is an aesthetic offense."