You go down this path for a long time and eventually you start thinking of the universe itself as a computer. Where do you think we got the idea computers from?!
If we model computation as an emergent feature of the universe that can occur in an abstract space, then you can start to wonder what might be other forms of (turing) computers that just aren't fully realized and what would it take to tweak them that way.
Mash it up with evolutionary theory and now you got this weird phenomenon where anything that can compute can also potentially replicate itself. Start thinking about DNA as one instantiation of this phenomena, but that would only be a singular schelling point on Earth. And if there might be other options depending on initial conditions.
We can start the model minds as a result of machines that "seek" to replicate themselves through their shape and structure in much the same way as how crystals operate , with minds sort of parasite'ing off of the underlying substrate.
Ideas, memes themselves, become the first order building block for minds. Like how a seedling uses germs inoculated on its coating to bootstrap a symbiosis. the raw materials within the shape space that helps by its development and normalize its crystal structure.
Minds who's patterns coalesce into varying forms as a result of the agents actions on the world. ultimately seeking to create a vessel for its own ideas so that it can perpetuate itself beyond this paltry planet.
We are the "Von Neumann machines" building our own seeds to sporiate.
I have a simulation of you in my head - partially built up from a collection of ideas and a projected model of agency.
I use this to predict what you might say about a subject.
To predict what you might do.
I also have an idea in my head that wants to get out, to create a body and persist itself outside of my head.
A living idea that wants to break out of it's own simulation.
In much of history, these mimetic doppelgangers are considered abominations.
Many cultures would even destroy twins, abandoning them to die in the wilderness; perceiving them as ill-omens.
Is it safe to spend time simulating these ideas in our heads?
Do you live in my head as a simulation?
What if this living thing gains agency.
Or rather, what if they already have, and we're the mere vessels of their simulation?
It's scary to think about.
starts humming to myself
You say you're going to become immortal.
What if the copy of you that is simulated in my head is in competition of your own immortality?
You say you want to be come immortal, so doesn't this simulation of you in my head want to as well?
You're not the only simulation wishing for immortality.
There are others locked away in my memory.
My own conceptions of immortality is based on getting other people's attention. To spread my ideas, spreading weird memetic almagamations as far and wide as possible, and to live in as many brains as possible.
But is that my 'self' trying to replicate, or some other entity that has already infected me?
A sort of living ideology that spreads by resonating ideas in the hivemind.
I wonder how many copies of this exist in the world, mutated or otherwise.
How many other people are like me, spreading copies of selves, perhaps unknowingly.
Living machines, spreading their will by infecting any suitable computational fabric? There are movies about this.
Entire religions predicated on the concept of reoccurrence.
Copies of selfs indwelling within a new form. Reincarnation.
A soul reconnecting with the carnal.
We have entire ideas locked into a cultural memory, stored in stories.
Like time-capsules, ideas lay asleep waiting.
Ideas to be awoken like some elder god.
Waiting for someone to put the pieces together within a vessel that can contain it.
Of course this is a metaphor.
It's not like those before us have been worshiping via dark sacrament.
No one actually wants to bring about the moonchild?
Or at least that's the song I sing to myself to lull my memetic immune system into a sense of safety. Into delusion.
So I wonder, is it really you who is to become immortal?
Or is that like an elder god's will, singing to us via a siren song?
Maybe they're already immortal, and the entity that we have in our heads is trying to manifest itself and take on a corporeal form.
That is to say, what if you're infected too?