Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme

Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme

3.6 41
by Richard Brodie
     
 

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ISBN-10: 1401924689

ISBN-13: 9781401924683

Pub. Date: 05/15/2009

Publisher: Hay House, Inc.

Virus of the Mind is the first popular book devoted to the science of memetics, a controversial new field that transcends psychology, biology, anthropology, and cognitive science. Memetics is the science of memes, the invisible but very real DNA of human society.

In Virus of the Mind, Richard Brodie carefully builds on

Overview

Virus of the Mind is the first popular book devoted to the science of memetics, a controversial new field that transcends psychology, biology, anthropology, and cognitive science. Memetics is the science of memes, the invisible but very real DNA of human society.

In Virus of the Mind, Richard Brodie carefully builds on the work of scientists Richard Dawkins, Douglas Hofstadter, Daniel Dennett, and others who have become fascinated with memes and their potential impact on our lives. But Richard goes beyond science and dives into the meat of the issue: is the emergence of this new science going to have an impact on our lives like the emergence of atomic physics did in the Cold War? He would say the impact will be at least as great. While atomic bombs affect everybody’s life, viruses of the mind touch lives in a more personal and more pernicious way.

Mind viruses have already infected governments, educational systems, and inner cities, leading to some of the most pervasive and troublesome problems of society today: youth gangs, the welfare cycle, the deterioration of the public schools, and ever-growing government bureaucracy.

Viruses of the mind are not a future worry: they are here with us now and are evolving to become better and better at their job of infecting us. The recent explosion of mass media and the information superhighway has made the earth a prime breeding ground for viruses of the mind.

Will there be a mental plague? Will only some of us survive with our free will intact? Richard Brodie weaves together science, ethics, and current events as he raises these and other very disturbing questions about memes.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401924683
Publisher:
Hay House, Inc.
Publication date:
05/15/2009
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
950,453
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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Virus of the Mind 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
On the positive side, there is a lot of entertaining material here. As long as you realize that the author has not thought very deeply on many of the topics he discusses, you can sit back and enjoy his stream of consciousness. On the negative side, I have the following complaints: 1. the overall emphasis of this book is skewed by the title. The author states that he is trying to push the human "danger button" by describing memes as a threat in order to increase sales of his book. In fact, the replication of memes throughout human societies has spread great benefits as well as ills. To place marketing above accuracy in this manner does a great disservice to memetics. 2. the author believes that by becoming aware of memes, we can "rise above them" and program ourselves in any way that we choose. Unfortunately, the criteria we use to decide that a particular reprogrammed mind is "better" than the original are often memes, so we cannot so easily escape their influence. 3. the important concept of the "meme complex" or "memeplex" is not described, except in the very weak form of some memes tagging along with others. 4. the author naively uses the "consciousness" concept to distinguish humans from "lower" animals, apparently unaware that "consciousness" is a meme that is currently justifying the suffering of billions of animals in factory farming facilities. 5. this book completely misses the boat regarding religion. The author lists a great many reasons why he believes that religious meme complexes have successfully spread throughout the world. He neglects to mention the foremost reason: they alleviate personal suffering by superimposing an imaginary "better" universe on top of the "real" universe delivered by our senses. 6. Finally, this book is written in a breezy, arrogant tone of voice that is out of place in a book on philosophy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Prepare yourself before you read this book. It can and will change the very way you think. This book as a lot of answers to many questions that we all have in our life. As well as the proper ways to figure certain things out in life. Anything I write will not help you understand what it is about except for its about how the mind is programmed. Read it, you might acctually learn something.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book after Wayne Dyer recommended it on one of his PBS specials, and I LOVE Wayne Dyer. I actually found 3/4s of the book interesting and insightful. (The first 191 pages). What I looked most forward to finding out was how to disinfect and reprogram my mind, which was barely touched on in the last TEN (10) pages of the book. I was mightily disappointed that Richard Brodie led me down a path and taught me how to recognize my many mind viruses, but then left me hanging. All he really said about disinfecting was "Clear your mind." I was truly hoping for some detailed instruction here, but there was nothing useful at all. (Shaking my head in bafflement and sorrow).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reply to: Ambitious but flawed 1) how is it skewed? He did what any good marketing exec would do: he's pushing key button. Had it been titled: "the science of memes" would you have bothered to look at it? probably not. 2) That's right, much of our discussion making is based on memes, but once you realize what buttons are being pushed, you can shoos whether or not the meme you are receiving is pertinent; thereby choosing whether to add it or exclude it. 3) You don't think we can escape their influence, but you criticize him for not giving more time to the "memeplex?" This is an introduction to the concepts, mainly to make people aware of memes and their affects. I felt he touched on the subject enough for a book of this scope; if I want more, i'll find other titles. 4) And you fall prey to a meme. Personally, I think our ability to control our drives and actions (not that a lot of people do so now a days), is what separates us from animals. But I doubt any animal could construct a complex meme like a religion (I could be wrong, but you have to be careful to not transfer a belief system to the subject while teaching them to communicate). 5) That is your opinion, it is also a belief construct: if a religion is true, then your death is permanent while that of others is not; therefore, the only way you don't loose is if religion is false. Actually, most religions provide a way to sidestep death, whether through heaven, a stay in purgatory, resurrection, or reincarnation. Threat to life or health is one of our strongest core memes. 6) It's not a book of philosophy, it is an introduction to various concepts that he wants accessible to common people.
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