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Are Memes & the Internet Creating a Cultural Singularity? (A PBS Idea Channel Video)

Here on the internet, we love us some memes. But where do they come from?

Yes we know, they are user generated. But to an internet layman, they seem to just appear, in HUGE quantities, ready for cultural consumption. Are they a sign of a “cultural singularity”?

Memes follow rules and code, are varied, self-referential, and seem to multiply at an ever increasing rate. It may seem like science fiction, but we’re close to a world where culture automatically and magically creates infinitely more culture.

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  • Oh good grief. The word “singularity” is becoming totally and completely devaluated. Soon I have no doubt we will see “singularity shakes” at the local drive-through.

  • I am afraid that this might be the price of going mainstream Samantha. The interpretations of an idea are rather proportional to the people interested and engaged in it. In fact, if I have learned anything after 80 interviews with “experts” in the field it is that there is a very broad variety of interpretations already… and as the Singularity goes more and more mainstream the number will only grow. So, yes, it is very probable that you will eventually get the opportunity to buy a “singularity shake…”

  • Lu Lu

    Getting alot of media trash is inevitable part of the road to Singularity.
    Let us hope that post-singularity superintelligences will put and enforce some regulations on these kind of mind-deteriorating stuff.

  • Jake

    I’m usually the guy bashing the ridiculous exaggerations people broadcast as ‘information’ that spread fear and chaos to the common layman… but a cultural singularity is a real concern that results from the rapid mental and technological evolution we’ve been experiencing over the last 60-110 years.

    My biggest passion is physics and astronomy so I respect for the word singularity and don’t like it thrown around in the verbal kerfuffle, mainly because so many people still have no idea what a singularity is, But in this case the usage is appropriate.

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