Presenter: Susan Blackmore, author of The Meme Machine.
History of life is a history of replicators.
Language is a parasite we've adapted to. It may have started out being harmful, but we've developed a symbiotic relationship with it.
First replicators were genes. Then memes. We now have temes (tech memes) are a third repliciator on our planet.
Don't think of intelligence, thinnk of replicators.
New Drake equation. Start with number of planets -- what fraction of those get a first replicator, a 2nd replicator, a 3rd?
Getting a new replicator is dangerous. We need to pull through each time. The 2nd replicator (memes) was dangerous -= big brains are painful: kills a lot of mothers and babies. Brains uses 20% of body energy for 2% of body weight; it may have nearly killed us off.
temes are just information -- they use humans to suck up planet's resources. Don't think we created the internet to benefit us; we are being being used by temes. It convenient for temes to piggyback on us because we replicate. But when temes can replicate without us, they will carry on without us.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.