The Meme Machine

What is a meme First coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene , a meme is any idea, behavior, or skill that can be transferred from one person to another by imitation stories, fashions, inventions, recipes, songs, ways of plowing a field or throwing a baseball or making a sculpture The meme is also one of the most important and controversial concepts to emerge sWhat is a meme First coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene , a meme is any idea, behavior, or skill that can be transferred from one person to another by imitation stories, fashions, inventions, recipes, songs, ways of plowing a field or throwing a baseball or making a sculpture The meme is also one of the most important and controversial concepts to emerge since The Origin of the Species appeared nearly 150 years ago.In The Meme Machine Susan Black boldly asserts Just as the design of our bodies can be understood only in terms of natural selection, so the design of our minds can be understood only in terms of memetic selection Indeed, Black shows that once our distant ancestors acquired the crucial ability to imitate, a second kind of natural selection began, a survival of the fittest amongst competing ideas and behaviors Ideas and behaviors that proved most adaptive making tools, for example, or using language survived and flourished, replicating themselves in as many minds as possible These memes then passed themselves on from generation to generation by helping to ensure that the genes of those who acquired them also survived and reproduced Applying this theory to many aspects of human life, Black offers brilliant explanations for why we live in cities, why we talk so much, why we can t stop thinking, why we behave altruistically, how we choose our mates, and much .With controversial implications for our religious beliefs, our free will, our very sense of self, The Meme Machine offers a provocative theory everyone will soon be talking about.
The Meme Machine What is a meme First coined by Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene a meme is any idea behavior or skill that can be transferred from one person to another by imitation stories fashions invention

  • Title: The Meme Machine
  • Author: Susan Blackmore Richard Dawkins
  • ISBN: 9780192862129
  • Page: 486
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Meme Machine Popular Science Fulfillment by FBA is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in s fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Diabeetus Know Your Meme Meme Status Confirmed Type Advertisement Year Origin YouTube Tags tv, commercial, mainstream, catchphrase, pronunciation Additional References Encyclopedia Dramatica Urban Dictionary About Diabeetus is an exploitable soundbite stemming from a TV advertisement for the medical supplies company Liberty Medical Featuring the American actor Wilford Brimley who Internet meme An Internet meme, commonly known as just a meme m i m MEEM , is an activity, concept, catchphrase, or piece of media that spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via the Internet An Internet meme usually takes the form of an image traditionally an image macro , GIF or video.It may be just a word or phrase, sometimes including intentional misspellings Meme A meme m i m MEEM is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices, that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable Prince Charles Calls Queen Mummy and Her Reaction Is Epic The Queen of England had a high profile nd birthday party at Royal Albert Hall Saturday night to mark her th birthday since she ascended the throne in She also ascended to meme status Palmer Luckey The Facebook Near Billionaire Secretly LUCKEY DAY Palmer Luckey The Facebook Near Billionaire Secretly Funding Trump s Meme Machine Palmer Luckey founder of Oculus is funding a The Office Stare Machine What is this The Office Stare Machine showcases every single time a character speechlessly breaks the th wall and stares at the camera It then indexes those stares into an interactive machine encompassing the full range of human emotional expression. Techmeme Sources Apple plans an April or May launch date for its video streaming service, but Netflix won t participate and HBO hasn t committed Apple is targeting April to debut a new streaming product that will include original content free for Apple device owners and a Jeff Bezos meme shows how much he s changed Business Insider This meme showing how much billionaire Jeff Bezos has changed over the years is going viral Drake God s Plan Funny Memes Parody Rapper s Time Drake, forever your slam dunk meme machine, has become an inspiration for online fun again, and this time it s emotional. In his feel good February music video God s Plan, the rapper

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    1. If you want to criticise a book you can’t go too far wrong if you call it ‘reductionist’. As Steven Weinberg points out in his book,Dreams of a Final Theory it is odd that people should think that reductionism is the perfect one word put down for a theory – given how incredibly successful reductionism has proven in Physics.My problem is when a theory that might work quite well at one level of explanation is expanded to include other levels of explanation that do not have the same necessi [...]

    2. There is an old maxim, "The theory that explains everything explains nothing." This sums up the problem with memetics as a "science." Whenever I see a memetic explanation for some phenomenon, it always seems to either be completely incorrect or simply repackaging a result already well-known within the social sciences in pseudo-biological jargon. The same applies to Susan Blackmore's The Meme Machine.Blackmore completely drops the meme-gene analogy, a smart move considering that it was untenable [...]

    3. OK, Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly about this book.The good:1. She does a good job of summarizing the body of literature on evolutionary models of the spread of information (i.e. other people's work). The relevant chapters, therefore, are a good introduction to the subject. 2. The chapter on alien abduction is sensitive, fair, and careful about its subject (those with the illusion that they were abducted by aliens).The bad:Every thing else, i.e. her own theories. Example. Her theory of w [...]

    4. Despite its age (which becomes apparent only in a select few chapters that focus on the Internet and neuroscience), and despite that I disagree with a number of the author's contentions, I really enjoyed this book. Blackmore presents a comprehensive understanding of memes, those cultural self-replicators that drive much of our behaviour in our modern social world. She makes use of a host well-articulated descriptions, examples, and scientific narratives, offering fairly weighted arguments for mo [...]

    5. Pretentious, dull and pseudo-intellectualism at its worst. The Meme Machine over-analyzes things that frankly I couldn't care less about. However, other readers may still really enjoy this book.

    6. All of our brains for an environment where Memes (basically ideas) reproduce by being copied from person to person. Memes evolve and compete. Some dwindle (go out of fashion) some rapidly spread across the globe. This book is a solid introduction to Memes (which I believe are a useful way to think about human thought). I had high hopes based on a brilliant TED video by Susan Blackmore, but I enjoyed this book less than I expected.Early on the book makes many statements to counter arguments made [...]

    7. This book is in my top ten books that have influenced my world view. As a biologist i understand that nothing in nature makes sense unless looked upon in the light of evolution. This book along with Selfish genes by Dawkins opned my eyes to kultural evolution and memes as the unit. I have re read it several times. Memes before internet cats to over the expression.

    8. Dawkins briefly introduced the term 'meme' in The Selfish Gene in 1976, principally to show that the process of natural selection was not dependent on a particular underlying 'technology' such as genes. Blackmore here expands on his thought, at the core of which is the recognition that the spread and persistence of an idea is not dependent solely on its utility: for instance, I have in my head advertising jingles from decades ago, possession of which never served my interest and has long since c [...]

    9. The Meme Machine lays out the foundation for a new science or at least it tries too. And fails.Blackmore is a wonderfully knowledgeable author, and the varied topics she dives in to while illustrating and describing her meme theory is one the reasons this book is still somewhat worthwhile.But as for her theory, it just is too hard to swallow. Somehow the replicator function of memes is crucial in order to distinguish them as evolutionary, but then it turns out to be impossible to consistently de [...]

    10. This book is amazing. I highly recommend it. It is non-fiction and can be a little dry, so let me give you the hard sell.This book is basically Susan Blackmore's PHD thesis on memetic evolution. Okay, are you sold?Topics touched upon in this book:* How do you explain homosexual lifestyle in the face of evolution* What is fashion* Why/How does tool making evolve* Why are religions so powerful* How/why does advertising work* How can you stop you monkey mindIt's been 5 months, so I might be missing [...]

    11. I'm very happy I read this book, and I have a very high respect for Mrs. Blackmore's book. I've rarely read a book so honest about the claims it makes. Blackmore is always very careful to note that her theories and conjectures are frequently just that, and always suggests ways in which they may be disproven, or proven. It's refreshingly honest and at the same time, given the paucity of actual evidence it can work with, remarkably convincing. Definitely give it a shot.

    12. This book was worth the read. While in many ways it struggled with the burden of proof and lack of research into the field of memes, and as a result came across as a pseudo-scientific approach at debunking all sorts of current thinking, it is put together well and really walks the reader to the rather shocking conclusion.

    13. First watch the video, afterwards perhaps read the book, or don'tted/talks/susan_blackmYou can also find all sorts of interesting information on Susan Blackmores' website: susanblackmore/ To all of you who are interested in memes, I would advise to start with the video. If you want to study further, see if you want to read this book. First, the book dates from 1999. Research into the brain has evolved a lot since then, and on internet Facebook did not even exist, while nowadays it is becoming cl [...]

    14. There are two senses of the word “meme.” You might say there are two versions of the meme for “meme.” Probably most people know the term as lingo for an Internet theme. Cats are a persistent, practically deathless meme; it’s already been some years since an august researcher announced that “The Internet is made of cats.” Most memes on the net, though, are short-lived. Twerking was briefly a hot meme but is now—I hope—almost forgotten, like planking. There was a spell when fans [...]

    15. In fact, it is you if Blackmore's ideas reflect reality, as the self is a very questionable and slippery thing, probably illusory, whereas the continual chatter that goes on in most of our heads must consist of a soup of parasitic replicators that sneak in via televisions and newspapers and hijack our neural circuitry to force us to make more televisions and newspapers.I had a bit of an internal fight over how to rate this book, at one point thinking it would merit a neutral three stars. By the [...]

    16. Plenty of ideas about the world of memes and their implications. Good points: -Defining memeplexes as groups of memes that coexist and that determine the environment in which certain memes would succeed while others fail - Showing that imitation is a learning model that very few animals have and that could have notorious advantages for the spread of both memes and genes. - Making a case that memes act for their own selfish interest. - Her division of "copying the product" and "copying the instru [...]

    17. We, human beings, are products of our environment. This sounds like something a Marxist-inspired social scientist would say. But in this book Susan Blackmore argues for the same case, but probably will find these same social scientists (and all political correct thinkers with them) in her way. The main thesis of this book is as follows.Human beings, like all animals, plants, funci, bacteria and protozoa on this planet, are products of biological evolution. Our 'design' comes from the algorithmic [...]

    18. Mixed thoughts on this. I think Ms. Blackmore has some good substance to her memetics theory, but there are points where she gets too fuzzy, and her explanations didn't convince me completely of its merits. She compares the replication of memes to that of genes, requiring fidelity, fecundity and longevity. I haven't bought off on their fecundity, much less the fidelity of memetic replication, but as this is not my field, I'll just keep thinking. It took me mulling over the whole when near the en [...]

    19. This book was an astonishing surprise! I picked this up when I noticed that the definition I was using for the word "meme" differed from what folks on Facebook seemed to be using. I did some research, this book caught my eye, and I thought it would be a good read to deepen and solidify my understanding of the meme hypothesis, and that it did. Dr. Blackmore is an intense believer in the meme hypothesis, an hypothesis treated with some skepticism in the academic world. But where the book takes a s [...]

    20. This is the seminal text of the nascent theory of memetics. It proposes a universal-Darwinian model of culture with imitated behaviors as the replicating units. This model allows us to see culture and behavior as living, evolving, complex systems of countless networked interacting units - a type of model familiar from evolution, cognitive neuroscience, and complexity science generally. One important insight provided by this new way of understanding cultural change is the realization that culture [...]

    21. Interesting theory albeit ultimately just an amalgamation of conjecture. A good portion of the book is the author just surmising and making bold claims with no proof to back it all up whatsoever. Nevertheless, there are some good points made about how ideas can shape our personality and environment. A worthy read, but I'm not sold on it as a whole.

    22. I had a mixed reaction from reading this book. I found much of it interesting and useful, but at times it seemed a little far fetched and I became skeptical.In general, I think meme is useful as a new term for old ideas to remove old associations and perhaps look at multiple ideas that would not normally be associated in a new and interesting ways, as competing memes.

    23. An excellent introduction to the science of human cultural transmission of information, examined as an extension of principles of evolution by natural selection within the human mind.

    24. La "Macchiana del Memi" di Susan Blackmore è un saggio meraviglioso, uno di quei libri destinati ad influenzare il pensiero umano per lunghissimo tempo. L'autrice parte dal presupposto che ciò che vediamo nel comportamento umano non può essere il solo risultato dell'evoluzione genetica. Fenomeni come l'altruismo fine a se stesso, il sesso nel mondo odierno, la religione, ecc. non possono che essere il risultato di un processo evolutivo basato su di un differente replicatore, il meme. Il termi [...]

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