Just a few weeks ago, the Less Wrong basilisk was still an obscure concept, notable mostly as a mysterious in-joke at the forum where it first briefly saw light. I considered myself to be moving slowly towards a formal refutation that could be posted here; and then maybe the moderators there would finally permit open discussion.
Today the basilisk is still obscure, but it has definitely escaped control. Twitter tells me there have been 14 tweets about it in the past 24 hours. It’s the top “bookmark” in the latest blog-post by the novelist Warren Ellis. This is all due to the RationalWiki article, “Roko’s basilisk”, a spin-off of the RW article on Less Wrong. I had imagined that the basilisk might get its 15 minutes of subcultural fame, and then go on to become a meme increasingly divorced from its original form; but I didn’t imagine that it would happen this quickly.