Snowcrash (SPOILER) - just read it and don't read this post if you haven't yet (fwd)

Date: Mon 13 Oct 2003 - 18:44:06 GMT

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    Here's a good quote from the December 03 Asimovs, from Charles Stross, a writer from Scotland, in a story set ten centuries in the future. Stross has a blog at

    "Humans are just barely intelligent tool users; Darwinian evolution selection stopped when languge and tool use converged, leaving the average hairy meme-carrier sadly deficient in smarts."

    Not as directly relevant but mildly amusing is:

    "The common mammalian neural chassis is easily upgraded to human-style intelligence in most species that carry a half-kilogram brain, and the descendents of a hundred ethics-challenged doctoral theses are now demanding human rights."

    Then a bit later:

    "The human memesphere is coming alive, although how long it will remain recognizably human is open question. The informational density of the inner planets is visibly closing in on Avagadro's number of bits per mole, one bit per atom, as the deconstructed dumb matter of the inner planets - except for Earth, preserved for now like a picturesque historical building stranded in an industrial park--is converted into computronium."

    Ray Recchia

    I wrote:

    >Richard Brodie writes:
    >> Ray wrote:
    >>> Good list. 'Snow Crash' by Neal Stephenson? It's a good SF
    >>> book but I don't recall anything more memetic about it than a
    >>> dozen other cyberpunk novels.
    >> It's quite cutting-edge regarding memes. It's set in a world where cultural
    >> viruses have taken over in a very amusing way, one of the biggest winners in
    >> cultural selection being the franchise pizza store, its memetic "DNA"
    >> contained in the ever-present three-ring binder constantly being consulted
    >> by employees. It also introduces the concept of the "namshub," a powerful
    >> mind virus. One of the main subplots is that a group of people is trying to
    >> design the perfect mind virus to take over the world.
    >I've read 'Snowcrash' There is also John Barnes' 'Century Next Door' where >people are taken over by invading mental constructs called memes. There >is Peter Watts' 'Maelstrom' which contains quite a bit about memes. There >is also Michael Swanwick's 'Griffin's Egg' etc. etc.
    >> I have quite a few other recommendations. Press the "Books" button at the
    >> top of
    >> Richard Brodie

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