The science-fictional motif of lethal, infectious information - bad memes - is a fascinating one, with an extended history. One of the earliest instances is Robert W. Chambers's 'The King in Yellow' from 1895. Chambers's conceit is a malevolent play: read beyond Act II, and you go mad.
CO2 is the exhaling breath of our civilization, literally... Changing that pattern requires a scope, a scale, a speed of change that is beyond what we have done in the past.
I once knew a house rather like The Land of Smiles - an old house occupied by a varied collection of young people, mainly students. However none of these people were true models for the characters in the book, though their way of life may have been.
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