I was sitting in a coffee shop on Saturday night listening to music that wasn’t exactly what you’d call my cup of tea, when I was struck with a thought.
The difference between myself and the people that liked this music was memetic. They had been exposed to something along the way to develop their taste in stuff like this. There had been voluntary memetic consumption choices made to lead them here.
Now, what if parents had the option to encode those memetic choices onto the mind of a child? We identify the neuron firing patterns that are associated with certain memories and types of behavior, then we sell them back to parents. You end up with a build-your-own person, quite literally.
In my mind’s eye, the reality of a procedure like this would cause further stratification of society. The Red/Blue, Conservative/Liberal bullshit would become not something you chose, but something you were born into. Society would collapse back down into small pockets of narrowly accepted memetic combinations. Much in the same way that dozens of gangs ruled the streets of New York City in the late 1800s.
Thoughts would literally fight for survival on the streets.
Which, in this context goes even farther to beg the question, “Are we nothing more than very elaborate convances for information?”
A question that, as time goes on, I’m having a hard time justifying any answer but, “Yes.”