Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme (Paperback)
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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. 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.
About the Author
Richard Brodie is best known as the original author of Microsoft Word. His self-help book, Getting Past OK, is an international bestseller. His groundbreaking book on memes, Virus of the Mind, spent 52 weeks on the Amazon.com Hot 100 and is used as a text in many college courses. An accomplished speaker, Richard has appeared on dozens of television and radio shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show.Richard continues to pursue wide and varied interests, which he occasionally blogs about.
“Brodie is infectious, indeed, but hisvirus breeds truth. Those who ingest this book are at great risk of seeing how things really are.”
— Douglas Rushkoff, author of Media Virus! and Nothing Sacred
“This isn’t a book—it’s a mental adventure. Virus of the Mind stimulates, educates, and awakens you to what really happens to the things you see and hear. Buy it and study it.”
— Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible
“The true earmark of genius is taking a complex concept and making it simple (for people like me) to understand and, far more importantly, utilize. If the meme truly is fundamental to behavior (child imitates child, child imitates adult, world leader imitates world leader . . . ), then all of us need to spread memes with much greater intention—and care! Brodie’s humor makes this book a fun, absorbing, educational, and at times controversial read. Pick up this book, then give it to someone you love and you will spread a truly valuable Virus!”
— Kevin Hogan, Psy.D., co-author of Irresistible Attraction and author of The Psychology of Persuasion
“Virus of the Mind can do for memetics what Carl Sagan has done for astronomy and astrophysics with Cosmos.”
— Elan Moritz, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Memetic Research