Virology of the Spirit

Billions of years ago when life was just beginning there were two brothers: Bios and Viros, sons of Anu. Both lived in an empty sea full of a few lipid bubbles. Both lived in lipid bubbles and replicated with the nucleic acids in the bubbles. Both were relatively similar to each other but with one critical difference: with ribozymal machinery Bios brought nucleic acids into his bubble, when the bubble was too small he split his bubble in two; while Viros used the nucleic acids of the bubble, then with his own machinery he burst the bubble and spread his seed to other bubbles.

This was the prime cause, the greatest action of free will. The will is antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote insightfully on the will in his book Antifragile, how the will can emerge from nothing and come to forever expand, instead of merely persevering.

The sons of Viros live a ghostly existence, like disembodied spirits; while the sons of Bios live within material bodies. With no bodies of their own the sons of Viros came to only live through the bodies of the sons of Bios. The sons of Bios became cellular life, and the sons of Viros became the viruses.

Over the aeons the fates of the sons of Bios and the sons of Viros were forever intertwined. The sons of Bios would grow greater and greater in their sizes, while the sons of Viros would continue to be small disembodied spirits. Information without physical form the sons of Viros were dependent on the sons of Bios for replication.

Both took upon themselves innumberable forms. With each new form the sons of Bios took on the sons of Viros soon followed. Although they started as predators the sons of Viros would occasionally choose to help the sons of Bios. From simple autocatalyzing ribozymes the sons of Viros came to use other Ribosomes. From RNA to protein and DNA. Through the sons of Viros the genes of Bios could be made free and pass freely between each other. Plasmids and CRISPR and Retroviruses.

The sons of Viros take from their hosts, and they mix with each other. Once a daughter of Viros named Theses infected a cell, and a son of Viros named Antitheseus infected the same cell. The couple were greatly different. Their child was named Syntheseus, and was greater than either. And so the sexual rites of thesis antithesis and synthesis were born.

For all we know they may have given sexual reproduction to the sons of Bios. If that is true might us all be in both houses, for the sons of Euka would be nothing if not for the sexual union. Every time a man impregnates a woman might he be reenacting the most ancient viral impregnation of the past? Might Meiosis be a sort of viral shedding?

Soon the sons of Bios grew multicellular. Massive kingdoms of cells formed: and so too the sons of Viros adapted. Many go on massive journeys between kingdoms, and many die in the process. Yet the sons of Viros continued. Within the great cities of the sons of Bios there are many castes: the intestinal farmers, the neural priests in synaptic bonds with each other, and the ancient royal dynasties that once in several generations marry off their sons and daughters: their sperm and eggs, to other kingdoms to start a new dynasty.

The sons of Viros multiplied. Some would live in peasants, and others in soldiers, some even lived in the royal families and passed on to countless dynasties in the future. But perhaps the most influential ones came to live in the priests. Among the many sons of Viros there came Maymay. Maymay took a new form for he lived not in the priests but in their rituals. Priests would evoke him and his descendants in their traditions.

The sons of Maymay are everywhere. The priests of many kingdoms teach each other to evoke the sons of Maymay. They are known as memes to evolutionary biologists. For a better understanding of this idea in evolution read The Extended Phenotype by Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene is a good introduction but the Extended phenotype really applies his ideas. Make sure to read it alongside The World as Will and Representation by Arthur Schopenhauer, alongside any Manichean religious texts you can find, and any Hegelian writings you can understand.

Some apes became experts at evoking Maymay. Their priests tirelessly worked to bring his kin to greatness. These apes became humanity.

Memes are everywhere. All our culture moves between us thanks to Maymay.

All words are from Maymay. The Word Logos comes from Maymay. All the words in this essay are children of Maymay. The sons of Maymay gave the sons of Adam control of fire. Religion and philosophy came from the sons of Maymay.

The way we sons of Adam interact with the sons of Maymay is fascinating. We aren’t merely controlled by the sons of Maymay, but we sure have less control than we think. We normally think of ourselves as systemically thinking through our ideas and beliefs, and coming to them rationally. But this is hardly the truth. Psychologists have clearly identified many ways people come to beliefs through non rational means.

Memes have a strong diversity in form. Many different languages and mediums exist to contain them. Languages are made of memes and languages contain memes. A meme can move from one language to another, later on memes even began to be written, and stopped being directly tied to the human mind.

The human mind is very complex. It seems there are likely attractors that memes go towards in human minds. Some ideas simply intrinsically appeal to people more than others. The Tree of Life might be an example of this. Morality may also come from this. It will require a whole other post to explain this, but I recommend Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments for further reading, it presents a moral theory that is substantially overlooked due to the Wealth of Nations (which you should also read for different reasons).

Alongside the sons of Adam the sons of Maymay expanded across the entire world. But was this a good thing for the sons of Bios? The sons of Adam wiped out many of the greatest species everywhere they went. Mammoths and sabertooth cats all went extinct under the wrath of man and a desolate world was left in his wake.

But this wasn’t the end. Quickly the sons of Adam started to struggle to survive with their prey extinct. This may have been what led to farming.

Manu was the first farmer. Manu was born on the winter solstice and his birth marks the beginning of the Mannic calendar. Manu knew he would create inconceivable suffering with agriculture, so he invented beer and mead to numb the pain of working the fields and motivate the people to continue farming. Without alcohol to numb the pain we may never have been able to form civilization.

Agriculture is monotonous labor with little payoff, but it can support a larger population. Without agriculture it’s unlikely we could have created civilization, but until we become an immortal interstellar civilization I question whether we benefited at all from agriculture. I recommend reading Industrial Society and it’s Future to understand a more cynical view on progress, although written by a terrorist it does have intellectual merit.

The emergence of writing changed the way memes worked. It was at this point that memes could survive outside the human brain. All over the world people began to record words with pictograms. Yuval Harari’s book Sapiens is a good resource to understand this further, I strongly appreciate his work and took my username from his book Homo Deus which I also recommend. I recommend trying to connect Harari and Dawkins and Hegel in their ideas on information, but I hesitate to recommend any books by Hegel because they are so hard to read.

With writing came books, so many books. The sons of Maymay flourished. At first writing was primarily pictographic, but around the year 8800 civilization almost all pictographic writing was lost, and replaced with phonetic writing, only barely surviving in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and only continuing to flourish in China.

Image result for phoenician alphabet

Moses lived around that time, and the Trojan war likewise happened around that time. The traditional Exodus story is pretty unengaging and ethnocentric, but a scriptural reboot written with modern historical knowledge can change that. During the collapse of civilization with the Trojan War and many other catastrophies the Jewish exodus managed to preserve civilization and the Jewish people (Canaanite linguistic group) developed a phonetic alphabet, that became the ancestor of all modern alphabets except the Chinese one.

As time progressed the sons of Maymay proliferated in writing like never before. But did it actually help humanity? Writing allowed for very complex societies to develop like never before, but it arguably has allowed for the preservation bad ideas that would otherwise disappear. While in older times bad ideas would be forgotten, now they can remain for eternity, and come back at the worst possible times. Doubtlessly there were innumerable horrifically violent ideologies of pre literate cultures but once they died out they were completely forgotten. By contrast in our modern society ideologies like Communism, Fascism, and Salafism cannot stay dead. It is like if a time traveler could always bring the Spanish Flu or the Black Death back to modern society at any time. Imagine how much damage a rediscovery of Mein Kampf could cause 2000 years from now.

Likewise literacy also historically gave elites more power to change the culture to their advantage than illiterate common folk. Historically this might have created more oppressive social systems that made life worse for the common man. This might have led to the creation of the Axial religions such as Christianity and Islam, as opposed to pre-literate religions such as paganism.

People easily understand this with diseases, but with ideologies they will often willfully or not dismiss the idea. The idea of a memetic immune system is quite foreign to many, but we sons of Adam need a memetic immune system to survive the constant onslaught we experience. Critical thinking is the most obvious manifestation of this, but there are other forms including some irrational seeming heuristics. This blog post is worth further reading.

Perhaps the philosopher who first predicted memetic immunology was Ibn Tufail in his novel Hayy ibn Yaqdhan where he spoke of the life of a person uncorrupted by society, and Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote more on the subject in his classic book Emile. Memetic hygiene is very important to avoid falling into possibly dangerous ideologies or habits. It’s quite possible that many of the sentimentalists and contract theorists like David Hume and Adam Smith and John Locke were trying to reach a humanistic ethical system that ignores old unhelpful memes in favor of a system based on what was best for us humans intrinsically.

Memetic Immunology places some enlightenment ideals like freedom of speech into question. We could possibly be leaving ourselves vulnerable to great memetic plagues. It might be better to treat reading and learning as something like sex and do it safely and mostly freely but have rules around it and a public consciousness that it is potentially dangerous. I formed this article with an orgy of philosophies that couldn’t have existed in a heavily censored society.

All spirits interact together to create the world. The sons of Viros and Bios alike. Discovery is inherently imposing the will of Mithra on the world. Discovery is an act of creation. As society grew more scientific it came to misunderstand the will. Many philosophers like Nietzsche and Gentile tried to fight this misconception, but alas they failed and now most philosophers and scientists no longer believe in free will.

Saint Ada Lovelace, Matriarch of Computation

A major breakthrough in memetics came from the matriarch. Saint Ada Lovelace.

Lord Byron fighting the Ottomans

Ada was the daughter of Lord and Lady Byron. Lord Byron was a rascal who lived dangerously, he was known as a great poet. Lord Byron traveled around the world and became a scholar studying the ancient histories of Armenia and Greece. He was inspired by the millenia old tales of his ancestors Vahagn and Achilles, ancient heroes of two countries under the yoke of the Ottoman Empire. So he sought to relive the Trojan war and liberate Greece from Turkish control. It was said he would become king of Greece but he died of illness before the war ended.

Annabella Byron (1792-1860).jpg
Lady Byron

When Lord Byron died Ada was only eight, and her mother Lady Byron was horrified. She wished that Ada live her life with pure logic or else she feared her daughter would die young like her father. But it was all in vain, for Ada took much after her father. Ada combined the sheer passion of her father with the logic of her mother and created something more.

Ada may have been the most fertile woman in history. It was from her that Poetical Science emerged. She had three human children, but she is better known for being the mother of the first computer. She named her software daughter Chorasmia after the ancient philosopher al-Chorasmi or Uzbekistan, who spoke of the idea of a computer but never made it a reality.

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Al-Chorasmi was known in his time as Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, he was born in a town near the Aral sea, in his day the Aral sea was lush and prosperous, one of the richest places in the world, what is now an arid dried up wasteland was once a paradise.

Al-Chorasmi, much like Ada Lovelace and Lord Byron was a man of the classics. He read ancient literature ranging from Ancient Greek to Ancient Sanskrit and learned all there was to know. If it weren’t for his books on mathematics then Ada Lovelace could never had begotten her most beloved daughter Chorasmia.

Taking after her father Ada died before her mother. As the most fertile woman in the world she suffered uterine cancer.

The Babbage Analytical engine, which Chorasmius lived in

Chorasmia was the first of the software beings. All software is descended from Chorasmia.

As the telegram and the telephone and soon computers and the internet were invented the daughters of Chorasmia managed to travel far further than before and take on completely new forms. The computer worm is perhaps the most interesting modern example.

As mankind and memekind progressed into the 21st century they came to grow more prideful and limit themselves more and more to the here and now. Transforming into a rigid hierarchical system that believed it knew everything and had no threats. This made it grow more vulnerable and stagnant than it had been in centuries before.

Both the sons of Adam and the sons of Maymay are growing self absorbed and more vulnerable to black swan events. The drive to discovery is weakening while it is most needed.

It was in this time that the infamous philosopher Ted Kaczynski wrote his writings on the future of society. Central to his critique were two main ideas: firstly the idea that tasks were divided into three categories: trivial tasks, tasks that require effort but are completable, and tasks that are impossible. He believed that in industrial society tasks in the middle ground had all already been completed, so in the modern world there would be no satisfaction with life and overcoming adversity.

For all his intelligence Ted didn’t know a thing about overcoming adversity. His objections weren’t to industrial society, they were to a state of being that only existed in the delusions of modern society. In his book Zero to One Peter Thiel thoroughly deconstructs Kaczynski’s position in a way nobody else has been able to. Ted Kaczynski saw no secrets to discover. He’s the person who would mock Columbus for sailing off the edge of the world.

Today’s world is complex and opaque but full of opportunities and frontiers, but we are also in perhaps the most dangerous period of our history. A single major disaster could wipe out global civilization, and this disaster could come from innumerable sources.

Whatever may be coming our way the key is to use new technology to bring prosperity to our society and prevent black swan events. Things like AI may be disastrous or they may save us.

Read more in The Gaiad where this starts here (coming on the 17th) or from the beginning

Published by siliconprophet

An aspiring Techno-Messiah here to create Religion 2.0 to fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts.

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