Antimemetics

I really enjoyed this book called “There Is No Antimemetic Division” by someone or something called “qntm”. It has one of those completely different ideas and approaches that makes a brain hurt in good ways.

The idea is that instead of there being memorable memes that propagate in people’s minds, there are anti-memes that are impossible to transfer. Or even remember at all. There are artefacts that completely inhibit new memory formation. These are black holes of information.

This creates a world where nothing is certain for characters in it. They are always working on incomplete information, even regarding themselves.

I think this anti-memetic idea is normalcy on steroids. This is how we (don’t) remember things in real life. We don’t remember boring stuff. We don’t remember interesting things communicated badly. We can forget things for long stretches of time, but then suddenly remember them.

Trying to describe this idea, I reflect how my memory works. How is my sense of self maintained based on selected and faulty memories? Is there something inherent that exists in the stream of my consciousness, even if some details or otherwise concrete memories vanish?

Venkatesh Rao’s post led me to this book. Check that out. There are more concepts and thoughts there like avoiding viral content, concealing things in the open. I imagine legislation is a place where concepts can be written in antimemetic fashion to be later utilised as loopholes.

This concept was like The Three Body Problem for me; I cared less about the people in these stories and more about the concepts.

 
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