The Meme Machine

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OUP Oxford, Mar 16, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 264 pages
10 Reviews
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 since The Origin of the Species appeared nearly 150 years ago.
In The Meme Machine Susan Blackmore 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, Blackmore 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, Blackmore 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 more.
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.

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The meme machine

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If Blackmore is correct, then imitation is much more than just the highest form of flattery--it is the basis of all human culture. "Memes" are hypothesized as discrete units of ideas or behaviors that ... Read full review

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I think that Susan Blackmore's The Meme Machine is a superb book and deserves more recognition for being the foundation on which dank memes stand on, without Ms. Blackmore's book The Meme Machine, we wouldn't be here, we are all creations of hers and this isn't real, we are all just dank memes. This book enlightened me and showed me that there is more to life than just internet porn and condom factories, Memes, are what life really is about, and the almighty meme machine named Susan Blackmore will deliver us from our meme sins 

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About the author (2000)

Susan Blackmore is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology, University of the West of England. The author of Dying to Live: Science and the Near Death Experience, she resides in Bristol, UK.