How Memes Shape the Future, Best of TWT

Slide1Phil and Stephen explore the wonderful world of memetics.

If our world is increasingly made of data, is it possible to overestimate the importance of these sticky, self-reproducing ideas?

The future is made out of our ideas about the future (our memes), our actions now, and how those actions interact with the world within the context of the current state of technology.


Memes: idea viruses.

President Obama’s “Just Word’s” speech.

Memes: the lifeblood of politics

Early memes gave us civilization: fire, animal domestication, agriculture, and beer!

Songs — “Don’t worry, be Happy”

The chain letter– bait, a hook, and even negative consequences for not passing it on.

Jokes show how memes can mutate and evolve over time.
Urban legends — see Snopes

How Phil got so “infected by memes” at a Foresight Nanotech Vision weekend that he started the Speculist.

Aubrey de Grey: radical life extension is a meme that will save millions of lives.

[This show first aired September 9, 2008.]