Themes and memes
Howard Bloom, was where I first read of memes (lucifer principle, by Howard K. Bloom), but he references Dawkins. We're at a point where propagation of memes, not genes, drives evolution (?) In any case, I notice a few memes spread throughout some of my reading recently.
In Manifold Time, Stephen Baxter, he describes how 'information' is the prime substance of the universe, not matter or energy. I read about this concept in The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil. Also, random noise is pure information, it cannot be simplified or compressed by any sort of algorithm. A checkerboard represents very little information: pattern, repeat.
The apocalyptic events in Manifold time affect the population of Earth in interesting ways, and this reminds me of descriptions of millennial hysteria from Questioning the Millennium, by Stephen Jay Gould.
Baxter's vision of the future is much more bleak than Kurzweil's. It's interesting to compare and contrast. While reading Kurzweil's ideas, I find myself wondering if we can keep up with his Utopian vision, or whether humans will freak out and blow each other up instead.