What Information Wants

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Are humans just vehicles for memetic replication? A new series by Rhys Lindmark explores…

Humans love wrongly believing we’re the center of attention. We thought the earth was the center of the universe before Copernicus. We thought humans were a unique species before Darwin. Today we think that humans are the primary agents in the world. We are a superpredator with control over biology and technology. 

But what if we weren’t the primary decision-makers? In fact, we aren’t. Organisms are just vehicles for genetic replication. Humans are just vehicles for memetic replication. To understand the past and shape the future, we need to see the world from the meme’s perspective. Others will be surprised by yet another conspiracy theory, nationalist movement, or tech revolution. Meanwhile, you can just ask: What do memes want?

Rhys Lindmark is writing a book about how information flows and how it’s changing on the internet. In a series of salons, we will explore this content together, chapter by chapter, and get an inside look at the author’s creative process. Before each salon, Rhys will send out a rough draft of the chapter which will then be discussed during each session.

This series has 15 salons, running on the third Thursday of every month, at 5- 7pm PT


March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17, December 15, January 19, February 16, March 16, April 20

Depending on availability, the host might release tickets for each individual salon, too.

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1. Introduction
Why read this book? An overview of the narrative: A history of time, told from the perspective of information itself. An overview of the methodology: thinking systemically and evolutionarily.

March 3, 2022


Part I How Information Flowed Before The Meme

2. tHe biG BaNg: From Nothing, Everything
How The Universe Evolved Before Evolution
14 billion – 4 billion years ago

How gravity created macro structure: galaxies, stars, and the planets. How the electrostatic force created micro structure: combining elements into molecules. How molecules on earth led to the start of life.

April 21, 2022

3. Genes Wanna Make More Genes
How DNA Formed The Tree Of Life
4 billion years ago – 300,000 BCE

How the first replicators began. How the environment determines genes. How life has gotten better at accessing energy and transmitting information.

May 19, 2022

Part II Hi, I’m a meme! What do I wanna be when I grow up? 

300,000 BCE – Today

4. Memes Before They Were Cool
Spoken Virals in the Agrarian Age
300,000 BCE – 10,000 BCE

How imitation sets us apart from apes. How language enabled infinite ideas. How minds store ideas. How we covered the earth.

June 16, 2022

5. Wanna Make Something Up But Pretend It’s True?
Written Narratives in the Agricultural Age
10,000 BCE – 1500 CE

How agriculture gave us energy, brought us into cities, and forced the creation of impersonal trust through written symbols.

July 21, 2022

6. Hey Guys I Found A Bunch Of Flammable Stuff In The Ground So You Don’t Need To Work Anymore
Printed Knowledge in the Industrial Age
1500 CE – 1950 CE

How printing enabled the scientific revolution. How science enables industry, which gives us more energy. How science disrupted God.

August 18, 2022


Part III Because Internet

7. Omg, I Can Move At The Speed Of Light Now
The Information Revolution

How we created the telegraph, telephone, radio, TV, and the internet. How we developed a fundamental new unit, a bit of information. Web1, Web2, and Web3.

September 15, 2022

8. These Hoomans Sure Have Changed
Our Shifting Minds And Values

WEIRD vs. holistic psychology. Culture-psychology co-evolution. Expanding our moral circle to climate change, the global poor, and factory-farmed animals. 

October 20, 2022

Part IV Dank Memes on the Interwebz

9. The Zoomies
Internet Virals Run Amok

How virals spread. Challenges, hashtags, outrage, and post-truth. The fragility of the Arab Spring. The fall of mainstream media.

November 17, 2022

10. Want To Join The Grey Pill, My Pyramid Scheme Conspiracy Theory?
Narratives and Coordination in the Internet Age

Mobs vs. movements. New religions. MAGA, Social Justice, and Technoutopians. Communist China vs. the Capitalist West. Why QAnon works. The death of manufacturing consent. An abundance of narratives but a vacuum of metanarratives. Bitcoin and DAOs.

December 15, 2022

11. Tryna Remain Relevant
Knowledge On The Internet

Internet-native science. Fortified essays vs. junk news. How to get attention above the flood of information.

January 19, 2023


Part V Genes, Memes, and Cemes

12. Making The Memesphere Reasonable Again

Fixing memes by changing their homes. Changing our brains. Changing the feed. Shifting the attention economy to the wisdom economy. Tracking the global memesphere like we do with climate. Memetic engineering like we do with geoengineering. One narrative to rule them all

February 16, 2023

13. Rewriting Biology
How we’ll rewrite the biosphere. Wright’s Law for DNA sequencing and synthesis. Eliminating disease. Rewriting our supply chains for food and materials. The rise of the PC vs. the PB, a personal bioprinter. Moving atoms around the world. Climate.

March 16, 2023

14. What AI Wants
Why computer memes, cemes, are the third replicator. What cemes want. The basic science of understanding neural networks. Mechanistic interpretability and convergent evolution. AI alignment from a replicator perspective.

April 20, 2023

15. Conclusion

The future of genes, memes, and cemes. How to apply this in your own life. Directions for research and impact.

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