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Old 06-02-2018, 05:24 AM   #31
Mike Wightman
 
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Default Re: THS 2120!

I think the structure and workings of the brain are perhaps a little bit better understood than you imagine:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-44321339
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Old 06-02-2018, 06:40 AM   #32
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You tend to be more "optimistic" with what's possible than many posters here.
I'm not saying it's impossible to Svengali nearly any individual with sufficient data.
But I am saying it's not possible to to do so to large groups of unrelated people with single memes, no matter the data or tech level.
Are you saying that it's impossible to write a memeplex persuasive enough that it'll convert large groups of people, and not only that, but also turn the converts into effective propagandists who pass it on without loss of effectiveness? Because we have examples of such memes propagating to such huge percentages of a population of people in real life. Christianity, Islam, Little Black Dress, Cylinder Hats, Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys. Memes which, according to your scepticism, just couldn't effectively affect such huge swaths of unrelated people, and yet did. Some of those affected significant minorities, others affected such overwhelming majorities that it became socially unacceptable or even legally persecutable to not be a carrier of some of those memes.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:07 AM   #33
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Are you saying that it's impossible to write a memeplex
If you include the phrases "deliberately, "consciously", "repeatably", "reliably" and "successfully to original intent" then yes, that's what I'm saying. I believe that all of your examples show the bias of counting the successes and ignoring the failures.

Just because hurricanes happen doesn't mean weather control is possible. It doesn't even mean that any one sapient agency was responsible for the hurricane's creation.
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:52 AM   #34
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If you include the phrases "deliberately, "consciously", "repeatably", "reliably" and "successfully to original intent" then yes, that's what I'm saying. I believe that all of your examples show the bias of counting the successes and ignoring the failures.

Just because hurricanes happen doesn't mean weather control is possible. It doesn't even mean that any one sapient agency was responsible for the hurricane's creation.
I'm counting successes because it's the first step of showing that such outcomes are possible in general. The second step is pointing out that the role of memetics is to tell which approaches lead to success and which to failure, e.g. what traits make a religion more likely to become popular in either the total population or under given constraints of a narrower demographic. Basically memetics as a setting element are written as a rejection of the treatment of society as some sort of Lovecraftian eternally-unknowable thing that no mere sapient can comprehend.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:16 PM   #35
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I' The second step is pointing out that the role of memetics is to tell which approaches lead to success and which to failure, e.g. what traits make a religion more likely to become popular in either the total population or under given constraints of a narrower demographic. Basically memetics as a setting element are written as a rejection of the treatment of society as some sort of Lovecraftian eternally-unknowable thing that no mere sapient can comprehend.
The main problem isn't lovecraftian incomprehensibility it's that the area of things to be studied is too large and too poorly known. You don't even have a full list of the successes much less the failed attempts.

You can't even tell if the successes came out the way they were designed to. Some of the successes really don't seem to have been "designed" at all. There are many cases where success quite obviously happened by accident or at least in a fashion that was totally unanticipated by the "designers"..
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:56 AM   #36
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Default Re: THS 2120!

Okay Fred rejects memetics. Meanwhile the rest of us are okay with them. So what new ideas in tech have come up since the THS setting came out that would give a revised setting a distinctive new flavor?
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:05 AM   #37
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The main problem isn't lovecraftian incomprehensibility it's that the area of things to be studied is too large and too poorly known. You don't even have a full list of the successes much less the failed attempts.
Well of course it's poorly known, and of course it looks insurmountable to our puny TL8 'eyes', much like molecular genetics was pretty much unknown a century ago and looked so big as to be inapproachable when it was first dealt with.

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
You can't even tell if the successes came out the way they were designed to. Some of the successes really don't seem to have been "designed" at all. There are many cases where success quite obviously happened by accident or at least in a fashion that was totally unanticipated by the "designers"..
For the most blatant example, spread of the religion seems to pretty obviously been a goal given that preaching started pretty much immediately after the religion's creation. Fashion designers generally want their designs to become popular; so do public musicians want their music to be liked by people.

And we are already witnessing some TL8 baby steps towards scientificising the understanding and sometimes direction of the spread of memes, with things like Google's and Facebooks algorithms, Target's predictions, ad companies checking MRIs to see which memes have what effects on a brain etc. But those are baby steps, which are two TLs behind THS' level, in a field where TL9 involves a paradigm-shifting discovery. And if you try to extrapolate future TLs beyond a paradigm-shift as a mere continuation of pre-shift TLs, you'll grossly underestimate the advancements.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:45 AM   #38
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For the most blatant example, spread of the religion seems to pretty obviously been a goal given that preaching started pretty much immediately after the religion's creation. Fashion designers generally want their designs to become popular; so do public musicians want their music to be liked by people.
It's not enough to count as proto-memetics to have an objective. There has to be a detailed plan for achieving that objective. If there was such a plan then after the dust settles you could evaluate how well the methods of that plan worked.

This would be science though perhaps with a lower-case "s". Or at least something like science. Historically any sort of detailed plan is rare and ones that survived contact with reality are rarer.
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Old 06-03-2018, 10:51 AM   #39
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Okay Fred rejects memetics. Meanwhile the rest of us are okay with them. So what new ideas in tech have come up since the THS setting came out that would give a revised setting a distinctive new flavor?
Fred is extremely skeptical of memetics.

For the rest of your question I think you would need to have some sort of technological area where the Real World is ahead of the TS timeline or at least making large amounts of progress in an unanticipated direction.

I regret to report that I know of no such area. I will avoid listing the areas where we are behind schedule for the TS timeline both because of length and the desire to avoid beign seen as solely negative.

Suffice it to say that Transhuman Space is extremely optimistic about scientific and technological development and reaiity is rather disappointing in comparison.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:50 AM   #40
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Default Re: THS 2120!

I thought it was the point to make THS the most optimistic setting 100 years in the future possible without getting silly. How closely SJG got with that is of course arguable as with all things opinion, but I assumed all levers set to 100% optimism was a setting goal and feature.
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