Memetics is the science of memes, the invisible but very real DNA of human ronaldweinland.info Virus of the Mind, Richard Brodie carefully builds on the work of scientists. richard brodie - virus of the ronaldweinland.info - Free download as .rtf), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Richard Brodie and others published Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme.
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Also by Richard Brodie. Getting Past OK: A Straightforward Guide to Having a Fantastic Life. ◇◇◇. Hay House Titles of Related Interest. YOU CAN HEAL. Virus of the Mind, The New Science of the Meme – Richard Brodie. Pages ronaldweinland.info The Whole-Brain Child. A summary of the book. Virus of the mind. The new science of the Meme. By Richard Brodie. Summary by Kim Hartman. This is a summary of what I think is the.
Dawkins suggested that an idea take religion for example propagates through a culture in much the same way as a virus replicates its genes. In the case of religion, it infects a host, who then passes on the meme through evangelism as opposed to sneezing on them. This way of looking at things is an interesting one, and it offers a new way of thinking about the way ideas travel through a population. Metaphors are useful in that they can help explain properties of the underlying object. You get into trouble when you begin treating the metaphor as if it were the thing itself. This brings us to the heart of the problem with Virus of the Mind.
This brings us to the heart of the problem with Virus of the Mind. Genes physically exist and have real physical properties; a meme does not exist, it is merely a metaphor. If Brodie had used the concept of the meme to illuminate and provide insight into the ways ideas can propagate through a population then Virus of the Mind may have been interesting.
Instead he takes the metaphor to absurd extremes and in the process loses the value that the metaphor presents. Later in the book Brodie loses all focus and makes a lame attempt to discuss evolutionary psychology, followed by an anti-government rant, a promotion of religion even though he acknowledges that it is a fairytale , wrapping the mess up with a little Zen and a 3 level system of human flourishing which resembles something you might find in Scientology.
And what happened to the 'meme' amidst the scattered thinking, unsupported opinion and odd deviations? Well, it seems we all need to re-program ourselves with our own custom memes so that we can become level 3 people Do not read further unless you are willing to be infected. The infection may affect the way you think in subtle or not-so-subtle ways; or even turn your current world view inside out.
So before I get into how mind viruses are spreading wildly throughout the world; infecting people with unwanted programming like the Michelangelo computer virus infects computers with selfdestruct instructions; I'll start with the good news.
The good news is that the long-awaited scientific theory unifying biology, psychology, and cognitive science is here. An interdisciplinary effort by scientists in all those fields over the last 20 years or so; really back to and Charles Darwin, if you like; has produced a new science called memetics.
The science of memetics is based on evolution. Darwin's theory of the evolution of species by natural selection utterly transformed the field of biology. Scientists are now applying modern evolutionary theory to the way the mind works, the way people learn and grow, the way culture progresses.
In so doing, the field of psychology will ultimately be as transformed by the scientists researching memetics as biology was by Darwin. For those of us who yearn to understand ourselves, learning about memetics gives us a huge amount of satisfaction.
I also believe that people who understand memetics will have an increasing advantage in life, especially in preventing themselves from being manipulated or taken advantage of. If you better understand how your mind works, you can better navigate through a world of increasingly subtle manipulation. Now the bad news. The bad news is that this book raises more questions than it answers. In particular, memetics has uncovered the existence of viruses of the mind, but gives us few insights into what to do about them.
Viruses of the mind have been with us throughout history, but are constantly. They are infectious pieces of our culture that spread rapidly throughout a population, altering people's thoughts and lives in their wake. They include everything from relatively harmless mind viruses, such as miniskirts and slang phrases, to mind viruses that seriously derail people's lives, such as the cycle of unwed mothers on welfare, the Crips and Bloods youth gangs and the Branch Davidian religious cult.
When these pieces of culture are ones we like, there's no problem. However, as the Michelangelo computer virus programs computers with instructions to destroy their data, viruses of the mind can program us to think and behave in ways that are destructive to our lives. This is the most surprising and most profound insight from the science of memetics: You catch thoughts; you get infected with them, both directly from other people and indirectly from viruses of the mind.
People don't seem to like the idea that they aren't in control of their thoughts. The reluctance of people to even consider this notion is probably the main reason the scientific work done so far is not better known.
As we'll see, ideas people don't like have a hard time catching on. Further compounding the problem, you don't immediately know whether the programming you get from a given mind virus is harmful or beneficial. Nobody ever joined a religious cult with the intention of getting brainwashed, moving to Guyana, and committing suicide. When the teenage Bill Gates caught the pokerplaying mind virus at Harvard, was that harmful because it kept him from his studies?
Or was it beneficial because it helped sway his decision to drop out, start Microsoft, and become a multibillionaire? That happens when one of the basic, underlying assumptions we've been living with changes, such as when we shifted from looking at the universe as revolving around the earth to the earth revolving around the sun.
Another shift occurred when Einstein discovered the relationships between space and time and between energy and matter. Each of these paradigm shifts took some time to penetrate the scientific community, and even longer to become accepted by the general public.
Viruses of the mind, and the whole science of memetics, represent a major paradigm shift in the science of the mind. Because understanding this new science involves a significant change in the way people think about the mind and culture, it has been difficult for people to grasp.
As with any paradigm shift, memetics doesn't fit into our existing way of looking.
The trick to learning a new paradigm is to set aside your current one while you're learning rather than attempt to fit the new knowledge into your existing model.
It won't fit! If you're willing to set aside your current thinking long enough to consider four concepts, some or all of which may be new to you, you'll be rewarded with an understanding of memetics.
With that understanding, I hope, comes a call to action for anyone concerned with the future of human life. The first concept; the star of the show; is the meme, which I introduce in Chapter 1 and which plays a leading role throughout this book.
The meme, which rhymes with "beam," is the basic building block of culture in the same way the gene is the basic building block of life. As I outline in Chapter 2, memes are not only the building blocks of culture on a large scale; making up countries, languages, religions; but also on a small scale: It's well known that viruses exist in biology and in the world of computers. Now we'll see how they show up in the world of mind and culture, the world of memetics. In Chapter 3, I'll draw parallels between the three different universes that viruses live in to show what we can expect from mind viruses in the future.
The third concept that contributes to this paradigm shift is evolution. Evolution is one of those words that many people use, thinking they are talking about the same thing, but really having different ideas of what evolution is and means. I'll discuss scientists' most current theory of evolution in Chapter 4, and how it applies to memes in Chapter 5.
The fourth concept necessary to understanding mind viruses is the new science of evolutionary psychology. This field examines the biases and mechanisms of our minds that evolved to support our survival and reproduction. Some of these biases take the form of psychological buttons that can be pushed to penetrate our mental defenses.
I called this part of the book "Crisis of the Mind" rather than simply "Introduction" because the former pushes more buttons: I called this book Virus of the Mind rather than Introduction to Memetics for the same reason. Currently a controversial topic, evolutionary psychology explores and explains many of the stereotypical differences between men and women, especially in the realm of mating behavior. Chapter 6 is about the mating part of evolutionary psychology; Chapter 7 covers the survival aspect.
Memetics builds on these four conceptual blocks to form a new paradigm of how culture evolved and is evolving. It illuminates a major decision point for humanity:. Will we allow natural selection to evolve us randomly, without regard for our happiness, satisfaction, or spirit?
Or will we seize the reins of our own evolution and pick a direction for ourselves? Memetics gives us the knowledge and power to direct our own evolution more than at any time in history. Now that we have that power, what will we do with it?
It's not a physical thing. Mind viruses are spread by something as simple as communicating. I discuss the ways we get programmed by mind viruses in Chapter 8. In a way, mind viruses are the price of one of the freedoms most dear to us: The more freedom there is to put forth any communication, the more welcoming the environment for mind viruses.
Some mind viruses arise spontaneously, as I discuss in Chapters 9 and 10; some are created intentionally, as I cover in Chapter But all of them share one thing in common:. Once created, a virus of the mind gains a life independent of its creator and evolves quickly to infect as many people as possible.
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