the electric meme a new theory of how we think

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The Electric Meme

Author : Robert Aunger
ISBN : 9781476740560
Genre : Science
File Size : 20. 16 MB
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From biology to culture to the new new economy, the buzzword on everyone's lips is "meme." How do animals learn things? How does human culture evolve? How does viral marketing work? The answer to these disparate questions and even to what is the nature of thought itself is, simply, the meme. For decades researchers have been convinced that memes were The Next Big Thing for the understanding of society and ourselves. But no one has so far been able to define what they are. Until now. Here, for the first time, Robert Aunger outlines what a meme physically is, how memes originated, how they developed, and how they have made our brains into their survival systems. They are thoughts. They are parasites. They are in control. A meme is a distinct pattern of electrical charges in a node in our brains that reproduces a thousand times faster than a bacterium. Memes have found ways to leap from one brain to another. A number of them are being replicated in your brain as you read this paragraph. In 1976 the biologist Richard Dawkins suggested that all animals -- including humans -- are puppets and that genes hold the strings. That is, we are robots serving as life support for the genes that control us. And all they want to do is replicate themselves. But then, we do lots of things that don't seem to help genes replicate. We decide not to have children, we waste our time doing dangerous things like mountain climbing, or boring things like reading, or stupid things like smoking that don't seem to help genes get copied into the next generation. We do all sorts of cultural things for reasons that don't seem to have anything to do with genes. Fashions in sports, books, clothes, ideas, politics, lifestyles come and go and give our lives meaning, so how can we be gene robots? Dawkins recognized that something else was going on. We communicate with one another and we get ideas, and these ideas seem to have a life of their own. Maybe there was something called memes that were like thought genes. Maybe our bodies were gene robots and our minds were meme robots. That would mean that what we think is not the result of our own creativity, but rather the result of the evolutionary flow of memes as they wash through us. What is the biological reality of an idea with a life of its own? What is a thought gene? It's a meme. And no one before Robert Aunger has established what it physically must be. This elegant, paradigm-shifting analysis identifies how memes replicate in our brains, how they evolved, and how they use artifacts like books and photographs and advertisements to get from one brain to another. Destined to inflame arguments about free will, open doors to new ways of sharing our thoughts, and provide a revolutionary explanation of consciousness, The Electric Meme will change the way each of us thinks about our minds, our cultures, and our daily choices.

The Electric Meme

Author : Robert Aunger
ISBN : 9780743201506
Genre : Science
File Size : 44. 26 MB
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A cultural evolution scientist presents an outline of "meme," a distinct pattern of rapidly reproducing electrical charges in a brain node, citing their role in free will, human identity, consciousness, and society.

Darwinizing Culture

Author : Robert Aunger
ISBN : 0192632442
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 79. 9 MB
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'If you need a guide into the murky heat of memetics, look no further than the essays in Darwinizing Culture, which are a fine illustration of the murkiness at the heart of memetics, admirably framed by Bob Aunger's introduction and conclusion' New Scientist

Thought Contagion

Author : Aaron Lynch
ISBN : 0786725648
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 35. 23 MB
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Fans of Douglas Hofstadter, Daniel Bennet, and Richard Dawkins (as well as science buffs and readers of Wired Magazine) will revel in Aaron Lynch’s groundbreaking examination of memetics--the new study of how ideas and beliefs spread. What characterizes a meme is its capacity for displacing rival ideas and beliefs in an evolutionary drama that determines and changes the way people think. Exactly how do ideas spread, and what are the factors that make them genuine thought contagions? Why, for instance, do some beliefs spread throughout society, while others dwindle to extinction? What drives those intensely held beliefs that spawn ideological and political debates such as views on abortion and opinions about sex and sexuality?By drawing on examples from everyday life, Lynch develops a conceptual basis for understanding memetics. Memes evolve by natural selection in a process similar to that of Genes in evolutionary biology. What makes an idea a potent meme is how effectively it out-propagates other ideas. In memetic evolution, the "fittest ideas” are not always the truest or the most helpful, but the ones best at self replication.Thus, crash diets spread not because of lasting benefit, but by alternating episodes of dramatic weight loss and slow regain. Each sudden thinning provokes onlookers to ask, "How did you do it?” thereby manipulating them to experiment with the diet and in turn, spread it again. The faster the pounds return, the more often these people enter that disseminating phase, all of which favors outbreaks of the most pathogenic diets. Like a software virus traveling on the Internet or a flu strain passing through a city, thought contagions proliferate by programming for their own propagation. Lynch argues that certain beliefs spread like viruses and evolve like microbes, as mutant strains vie for more adherents and more hosts. In its most revolutionary aspect, memetics asks not how people accumulate ideas, but how ideas accumulate people. Readers of this intriguing theory will be amazed to discover that many popular beliefs about family, sex, politics, religion, health, and war have succeeded by their "fitness” as thought contagions.

Virus Of The Mind

Author : Richard Brodie
ISBN : 0963600125
Genre : Science
File Size : 24. 16 MB
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"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.

The Watchman S Rattle

Author : Rebecca Costa
ISBN : 9781593156503
Genre : Science
File Size : 88. 87 MB
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Why can't we solve our problems anymore? Why do threats such as the Gulf oil spill, worldwide recession, terrorism, and global warming suddenly seem unstoppable? Are there limits to the kinds of problems humans can solve? Rebecca Costa confronts- and offers a solution to-these questions in her highly anticipated and game-changing book, The Watchman's Rattle. Costa pulls headline for today's news to demonstrate how accelerating complexity quickly outpaces that rate at which the human brain can develop new capabilities. With compelling evidenced based on research in the rise and fall of Mayan, Khmer, and Roman empires, Costa shows how t ht tendency to find a quick solutions- leads to frightening long term consequence: Society's ability to solve its most challenging, intractable problems becomes gridlocked, progress slows, and collapse ensues. A provocative new voice in the tradition of thought leaders Thomas Friedman, Jared Diamond and Malcolm Gladwell, Costa reveals how we can reverse the downward spiral. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman's Rattle is sure to provoke, engage and incite change.

Invisible Influence

Author : Kevin Hogan
ISBN : 9781118620472
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 88. 15 MB
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"Invisible Influence is a masterpiece in understanding the science of influence and how to take it from convincing to compelling. Kevin Hogan shows you in plain English how to understand, apply, and master the science of persuasion. The book is brilliant— and you can be brilliantly persuasive. Buy the book, read the book, and implement the book." —Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible and The Little Book of Leadership "One eyebrow-raising, head-whacking, forehead-slapping technique after another. Anyone whose daily life depends on influencing people—in other words, everyone—should read this book. Buy copies for your friends and hide it from your enemies." —Richard Brodie, author of Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme "Master persuaders know that it's not really about the words you use or the moves you make—other people get persuaded because of what you think and how you feel. Kevin Hogan explains in delightfully clear detail how to make these master-persuader secrets work for you. Not only that, he also explains why all of this works, and he shows you the exact scientific research that proves it!" —David Garfinkel, author of Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich "Invisible Influence is a masterpiece. It will be the master influencer's reference book for the years to come. Invisible influence is like oxygen, you can't see it, but your life depends on it. In this book, you will discover the persuasion tactics that will compel your clients to say yes to you—again and again." —Roberto Monaco, www.influenceology.com "Dump the script—it's old news before the ink's dry. Trust yourself and use your new understanding of the ever-changing context to succeed. In his fascinating book, Hogan weaves established research findings into a handbook for successful influence. The guidelines are obvious but hidden, simple but profound. Understand them and you've mastered the complex and crucial art of persuasion." —William D. Crano, author of The Rules of Influence: Winning When You're in the Minority "Many write on the topic of persuasion. Precious few genuinely understand it. Kevin is one of those precious few. Read everything you can by him." —Mark Joyner, founder and CEO of Simpleology, www.simpleology.com

Wired For Thought

Author : Jeffrey M. Stibel
ISBN : 9781422152768
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 86. 93 MB
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In this age of hypercompetition, the Internet constitutes a powerful tool for inventing radical new business models that will leave your rivals scrambling. But as brain scientist and entrepreneur Jeffrey Stibel explains in Wired for Thought, you have to understand its true nature. The Internet is more than just a series of interconnected computer networks: it's the first real replication of the human brain outside the human body. To leverage its power, you first need to understand how the Internet has evolved to take on similarities to the brain. This engaging and provocative book provides the answer. Stibel lays out: - How networks have changed and what that implies for how people connect and form communities - What the Internet-and online business opportunities-will look like in the future - What the next stage of artificial intelligence will be and what opportunities it will present for businesses Stibel shows how exceptional companies are using their understanding of the Internet's brainlike powers to create competitive advantage-such as building more effective Web sites, predicting consumer behavior, leveraging social media, and creating a collective consciousness.

Sense And Goodness Without God

Author : Richard Carrier
ISBN : 1452059268
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 61. 6 MB
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If God does not exist, then what does? Is there good and evil, and should we care? How do we know what’s true anyway? And can we make any sense of this universe, or our own lives? Sense and Goodness answers all these questions in lavish detail, without complex jargon. A complete worldview is presented and defended, covering every subject from knowledge to art, from metaphysics to morality, from theology to politics. Topics include free will, the nature of the universe, the meaning of life, and much more, arguing from scientific evidence that there is only a physical, natural world without gods or spirits, but that we can still live a life of love, meaning, and joy.

The Complete Idiot S Guide To Memes

Author : Damon Brown
ISBN : 9781101444047
Genre : Reference
File Size : 90. 22 MB
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The ways of memes. Memes are "viruses of the mind" - symbols, ideas, or practices that are transmitted through speech, gestures, and rituals. Understanding how symbols like the peace sign or ad slogans like "Where's the beef?" or viral videos become part of our common culture has become a primary focus of sales and marketing companies across the globe. The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Memes explains how memes work, how they spread, and what memes tell us about how we make sense of our world. ?First book to cover all types of memes, including viral memes in the digital age ?Features the Most Influential Memes in History and the Ten Biggest Internet Memes

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