The Meme Machine

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Mar 16, 2000 - Science - 288 pages
10 Reviews
Humans are extraordinary creatures, with the unique ability among animals to imitate and so copy from one another ideas, habits, skills, behaviours, inventions, songs, and stories. These are all memes, a term first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene. Memes, like genes, are replicators, and this enthralling book is an investigation of whether this link between genes and memes can lead to important discoveries about the nature of the inner self. Confronting the deepest questions about our inner selves, with all our emotions, memories, beliefs, and decisions, Susan Blackmore makes a compelling case for the theory that the inner self is merely an illusion created by the memes for the sake of replication.
 

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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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On May 28, 2016, a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe, a 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla. Fearing for the boy's life, a zoo worker shot and killed Harambe. The incident was recorded on video and received broad international coverage and commentary, including controversy over the choice to kill Harambe. A number of primatologists and conservationists wrote later that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that it highlighted the danger of zoo animals in close proximity to humans and the need for better standards of care.[1][2] 

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Contents

1 Strange creatures
1
2 Universal Darwinism
10
3 The evolution of culture
24
4 Taking the memes eye view
37
5 Three problems with memes
53
6 The big brain
67
7 The origins of language
82
8 Memegene coevolution
93
12 A memetic theory of altruism
147
13 The altruism trick
162
14 Memes of the New Age
175
15 Religions as memeplexes
187
16 Into the Internet
204
17 The ultimate memeplex
219
18 Out of the meme race
235
References
247

9 The limits of sociobiology
108
10 An orgasm saved my life
121
11 Sex in the modern world
132

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