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 : 25. 98 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.

Bioaesthetics

Author : Carsten Strathausen
ISBN : 9781452955124
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 53. 33 MB
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In recent years, bioaesthetics has used the latest discoveries in evolutionary studies and neuroscience to provide new ways of looking at art and aesthetics. Carsten Strathausen’s remarkable exploration of this emerging field is the first comprehensive account of its ideas, as well as a timely critique of its limitations. Strathausen familiarizes readers with the basics of bioaesthetics, grounding them in its philosophical underpinnings while articulating its key components. Importantly, he delves into the longstanding problem of the “two cultures” that separate the arts and the sciences. Seeking to make bioaesthetics a more robust way of thinking, Strathausen then critiques it for failing to account for science’s historical and cultural assumptions. At its worst, he says, biologism reduces artworks to mere automatons that rubber-stamp pre-established scientific truths. Written with a sensitive understanding of science’s strengths, and willing to refute its best arguments, Bioaesthetics helps readers separate the sensible from the specious. At a time when humanities departments are shrinking—and when STEM education is on the rise—Bioaesthetics makes vital points about the limitations of science, while lodging a robust defense of the importance of the humanities.

Transversal Enterprises In The Drama Of Shakespeare And His Contemporaries

Author : B. Reynolds
ISBN : 9780230584570
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 27. 72 MB
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This study expands on Reynolds' 'transversal poetics' - the theory, methodology, and aesthetics developed in response to the need for an approach that fosters agency, creativity and conscientious scholarship and pedagogy. It offers new readings of plays by, amongst others, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Middleton, Webster and Greene.

The Discursive Power Of Memes In Digital Culture

Author : Bradley E. Wiggins
ISBN : 9780429960499
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 33. 15 MB
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Shared, posted, tweeted, commented upon, and discussed online as well as off-line, internet memes represent a new genre of online communication, and an understanding of their production, dissemination, and implications in the real world enables an improved ability to navigate digital culture. This book explores cases of cultural, economic, and political critique levied by the purposeful production and consumption of internet memes. Often images, animated GIFs, or videos are remixed in such a way to incorporate intertextual references, quite frequently to popular culture, alongside a joke or critique of some aspect of the human experience. Ideology, semiotics, and intertextuality coalesce in the book’s argument that internet memes represent a new form of meaning-making, and the rapidity by which they are produced and spread underscores their importance.

How To Explain A Brain

Author : Robert Sylwester
ISBN : 9781483361284
Genre : Education
File Size : 61. 24 MB
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Discover how the brain is organized and develops and how educators can use this emerging understanding of cognition to enhance student learning and the school environment.

Breaking The Spell

Author : Daniel C. Dennett
ISBN : 110121886X
Genre : Religion
File Size : 62. 56 MB
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For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.

Darwinian Creativity And Memetics

Author : Maria Kronfeldner
ISBN : 9781317544913
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 68. 20 MB
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Maria Kronfeldner examines how Darwinism has been used to explain novelty and change in culture through the Darwinian approach to creativity and the theory of memes. The first claims that creativity is based on a Darwinian process of blind variation and selection, while the latter claims that culture is based on and explained by units - memes - that are similar to genes. Both theories try to describe and explain mind and culture by applying Darwinism by way of analogies. Kronfeldner shows that the analogies involved in these theories lead to claims that give either wrong or at least no new descriptions or explanations of the phenomena at issue. Whereas the two approaches are usually defended or criticized on the basis that they are dangerous for our vision of ourselves, this book takes a different perspective: it questions the acuteness of these approaches. Darwinian theory is not like a dangerous wolf, hunting for our self image. Far from it, in the case of the two analogical applications addressed in this book, Darwinian theory is shown to behave more like a disoriented sheep in wolf's clothing.

Jung In The 21st Century Volume One

Author : John Ryan Haule
ISBN : 9781136844553
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 35. 53 MB
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This first volume provides an original overview of Jung’s work, demonstrating that it is fully compatible with contemporary views in science. It draws on a wide range of scientific disciplines including, evolution, neurobiology, primatology, archaeology and anthropology. Divided into three parts, areas of discussion include: evolution, archetype and behaviour individuation, complexes and theory of therapy Jung’s psyche and its neural substrate the transcendent function history of consciousness. Jung in the 21st Century Volume One: Evolution and Archetype will be an invaluable resource for all those in the field of analytical psychology, including students of Jung, psychoanalysts and psychotherapists with an interest in the meeting of Jung and science.

Virus Of The Mind

Author : Richard Brodie
ISBN : 0963600125
Genre : Science
File Size : 28. 23 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.

More Than You Know

Author : Michael J. Mauboussin
ISBN : 9780231513470
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 50. 24 MB
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Since its first publication, Michael J. Mauboussin's popular guide to wise investing has been translated into eight languages and has been named best business book by BusinessWeek and best economics book by Strategy+Business. Now updated to reflect current research and expanded to include new chapters on investment philosophy, psychology, and strategy and science as they pertain to money management, this volume is more than ever the best chance to know more than the average investor. Offering invaluable tools to better understand the concepts of choice and risk, More Than You Know is a unique blend of practical advice and sound theory, sampling from a wide variety of sources and disciplines. Mauboussin builds on the ideas of visionaries, including Warren Buffett and E. O. Wilson, but also finds wisdom in a broad and deep range of fields, such as casino gambling, horse racing, psychology, and evolutionary biology. He analyzes the strategies of poker experts David Sklansky and Puggy Pearson and pinpoints parallels between mate selection in guppies and stock market booms. For this edition, Mauboussin includes fresh thoughts on human cognition, management assessment, game theory, the role of intuition, and the mechanisms driving the market's mood swings, and explains what these topics tell us about smart investing. More Than You Know is written with the professional investor in mind but extends far beyond the world of economics and finance. Mauboussin groups his essays into four parts-Investment Philosophy, Psychology of Investing, Innovation and Competitive Strategy, and Science and Complexity Theory-and he includes substantial references for further reading. A true eye-opener, More Than You Know shows how a multidisciplinary approach that pays close attention to process and the psychology of decision making offers the best chance for long-term financial results.

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