Memetics Books

This is a collection of books related to the topic of memetics. The list is associated with my 2011 "Memetics" book - which is now available.

Memetics: Memes and the Science of Cultural Evolution by Tim Tyler (2011)
Memetics is the name commonly given to the study of memes - a term originally coined by Richard Dawkins to describe small inherited elements of human culture. Memes are the cultural equivalent of DNA genes - and memetics is the cultural equivalent of genetics. Memes have become ubiquitous in the modern world - but there has been relatively little proper scientific study of how they arise, spread and change - apparently due to turf wars within the social sciences and misguided resistance to Darwinian explanations being applied to human behaviour. However, with the modern explosion of internet memes, I think this is bound to change. With memes penetrating into every mass media channel, and with major companies riding on their coat tails for marketing purposes, social scientists will surely not be able to keep the subject at arm's length for much longer. This will be good - because an understanding of memes is important. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
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ImageTitle, author, date and description
Memetics / Cultural evolution
The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore (1999)
Blackmore is a parapsychologist who rejects the paranormal, a skeptical investigator of near-death experiences, and a practitioner of Zen. Her explanation of the science of the meme (memetics) is rigorously Darwinian. Because she is a careful thinker (though by no means dull or conventional), the reader ends up with a good idea of what memetics explains well and what it doesn't, and with many ideas about how it can be tested - the very hallmark of an excellent science book. Available online. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Darwinizing Culture: The Status of Memetics as a Science by Robert Aunger (Editor) (2001)
The publication in 1998 of Susan Blackmore's bestselling 'The Meme Machine' re-awakened the debate over the highly controversial field of memetics. In the past few years, there has been an explosion of interest in 'memes'. The one thing noticeably missing has been any kind of proper debate over the validity of a concept regarded by many as scientifically suspect. This book pits leading intellectuals, (both supporters and opponents of meme theory), against each other to battle it out, and state their case. With a forward by Daniel Dennett, and contributions form Dan Sperber, David Hll, Robert Boyd, Susan Blackmore, Henry Plotkin, and others, the result is a thrilling and challenging debate that will perhaps mark a turning point for the field, and for future research. Available online. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
The Mocking Memes: A Basis for Automated Intelligence by Evan Louis Sheehan (2006)
All scientific evidence supports the astonishing hypothesis that minds are brains and brains are biological machines. But, then, what sort of neural architecture accounts for the human ability to think? The answer logically follows from another astonishing hypothesis: There is no source of creativity anywhere in the universe other than the process of evolution. Such is the simple premise on which this book's description of all intelligence is based. Human thinking is thus reduced to a mechanistic process of neural firing patterns evolving. In this unique yet simple model of mind, memes are the currency of creative thought. All sorts of intelligence, from the creation of the universe all the way down to human thoughts, are explained as evolving patterns. Available online. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
The Selfish Meme: A Critical Reassessment by Kate Distin (2004)
Culture is a unique and fascinating aspect of the human species. How did it emerge and how does it develop? Richard Dawkins has suggested that culture evolves and that memes are the cultural replicators, subject to variation and selection in the same way as genes function in the biological world. In this sense human culture is the product of a mindless evolutionary algorithm. Does this imply that we are mere meme machines and that the conscious self is an illusion? Kate Distin extends and strengthens Dawkins's theory and presents a fully developed and workable concept of cultural DNA. She argues that culture's development can be seen both as the result of memetic evolution and as the product of human creativity. Memetic evolution is therefore compatible with the view of humans as conscious and intelligent. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
The Electric Meme: A New Theory of How We Think by Robert Aunger (2002)
Here, Cambridge anthropologist Aunger (Darwinizing Culture: The Status of Memetics as a Science) theorizes on the nature of this so-called 'thought gene.' In doing so, Aunger coins a term of his own, 'neuromemetics,' proposing that memes are in fact self-replicating electrical charges in the nodes of our brains. The author explains that the shift in perspective from Dawkins's purely social memetics to a memetics working at the intercellular level is akin to sociobiology's view of social behavior as a genetic trait subject to evolution. This is an ambitious book on a par with Susan Blackmore's The Meme Machine. Available online. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme by Richard Brodie (1995)
If you've ever wondered how and why people become robotically enslaved by advertising, religion, sexual fantasy, and cults, wonder no more. It's all because of 'mind viruses,' or 'memes,' and those who understand how to plant them into other's minds. This is the first truly accessible book about memes and how they make the world go 'round. Of course, like all good memes, the ideas in Brodie's book are double-edged swords. They can vaccinate against the effects of cognitive viruses, but could also be used by those seeking power to gain it even more effectively. If you don't want to be left behind in the coevolutionary arms race between infection and protection, read about memes. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Memes in Digital Culture by Limor Shifman (2013)
In this book, Limor Shifman investigates Internet memes and what they tell us about digital culture.Shifman discusses a series of well-known Internet memes -- including "Leave Britney Alone," the pepper-spraying cop, LOLCats, Scumbag Steve, and Occupy Wall Street's "We Are the 99 Percent." She offers a novel definition of Internet memes: digital content units with common characteristics, created with awareness of each other, and circulated, imitated, and transformed via the Internet by many users. She differentiates memes from virals; analyzes what makes memes and virals successful; describes popular meme genres; discusses memes as new modes of political participation in democratic and nondemocratic regimes; and examines memes as agents of globalization. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Beyond Nature and Nurture: Conceiving a Better Way to Understand Genes and Memes by Peter Baofu (2006)
Why are some individuals relatively more successful than others in achievement? And why are some countries (or regions), for that matter, relatively more successful than others in development? Contrary to the conventional wisdom held by many, Dr. Baofu argues that the nature-nurture debate is misleading and faulty, since his 'transcendent approach' is to show how and why the two are closely intertwined in producing the behavioral differences as often seen in individual human endeavors on the micro scale, and for that matter, in country (or regional) endeavors on the macro one - without, however, committing 'the compromise fallacy' as often seen in an in-between alternative. The debate also obscures something more tremendous in the long run, in relation to the emergence of what Dr. Baofu originally proposed as the 'post-human' world that humans have never known, when human genes will no longer exist. Human genes have their days numbered. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Memes by John Gunders Ph.D. and Damon Brown (2010)
Memes are 'viruses of the mind' - symbols, ideas, or practices that are transmitted through speech, gestures, and rituals. Understanding how symbols like the peace sign or ad slogans like 'Where's the beef?' or viral videos become part of our common culture has become a primary focus of sales and marketing companies across the globe. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Memes explains how memes work, how they spread, and what memes tell us about how we make sense of our world. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Culture, Nature, Memes by Thorsten Botz-Bornstein (2008)
This collection of essays on cognition, which involves continental as much as analytical approaches, attempts to observe cognitive processes in three areas: in culture, in nature, and in an area that can at least from some point of view be perceived as an in-between of culture and nature: memes. All authors introduce a certain dynamic input in cognitive theory, as they negotiate between the empirical and the conceptual, or between epistemology and the study of culture. In all chapters, culture, nature, and memes turn out to be dynamic in the sense of being non-essentialist, their significations and modulating functions always being multi-dimensional. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Ontopsychology and Memetics by Antonio Meneghetti (2003)
Proceedings of a 2002 memetics conference. Sue Blackmore's review was not positive. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Meme Warfare: How to Overthrow the Powers that Be on a Low Budget by Stephen DeVoy (2005)
An anarchist's cookbook for meme warfare: An overview of the concept of meme warfare and how it may be applied by activists. The author coined the term "meme warfare". The book is magazine-sized. Available online.
The Art of Memetics by Edward Wilson, Wes Unruh and Ray Carney (2011)
The Art of Memetics is a much needed text on memes and how ideas grow might and power and spread as if by magic. There is more actual magic in memes than I ever saw before reading this master text by Edward Wilson and Wes Unruh. If you want your ideas to spread, you'll read this book twice. Available in full online. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Spiral Guide to Meme by Jag S. (2011)
This book serves as an introductory guide to Meme and its types. The evolutionary principles of meme are discussed with explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. This spiral guide to Meme explains how Meme work, how they spread, and transmit. Meme are defined as cultural analogues to genes. Spiral guide uses a spiral model to enable the user through stages/cycles of topics. Spiral model most closely matches how learning really happens. Spiral guide takes an iterative approach rather than a linear approach. Each iteration is an independent capsule of knowledge.
Meme by Sean Sinjin (2005)
What is the nature of reality? Where did we come from? Is there a God? What is the point of life? Give your brain a shake and take on a radically new understanding of your world by joining author Sean Sinjin as he fills in the gaps in our contemporary understanding of everything from physics to religion, from the universe's birth to its death, and how to find happiness in the midst of all this seeming chaos. Meme pits science agains the supernatural in a final battle that can only end with the truth. Intentionally written with the layperson in mind, the entertaining analogies, diagrams, and clearly stated concepts construct a complete and purpose-filled perspective on what reality really is. An open mind and heart are the only prerequisites - but be warned, the concepts introduced herein can be quite overwhelming and may change your life forever.
Genes vs. memes: modes of integration for natural and cultural evolution in a holistic model by Walter A. Koch (1986)
N. Brockmeyer - 97 pages - poor availability. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Ontopsychology and Memetics by Antonio Meneghetti (2003)
A conference report?
Meme Media and Meme Market Architectures: Knowledge Media for Editing, Distributing, and Managing Intellectual Resources by Yuzuru Tanaka (2003)
This book provides an integrated view of the five kinds of enabling technologies in terms of knowledge media architectures: multimedia and hypermedia, object-oriented GUI and visual programming, reusable component software and component integration, network publishing and electronic commerce, and object-oriented and multimedia databases. The book is written based on the hypothesis that knowledge media work as genes, with their network publishing repository, working as a gene pool to accelerate the evolution of knowledge shared in our societies.
Dawn of the Neomodern: the Evolving Meme by Alan Peter Garfoot (Author) (2010)
A detailed and extensive work covering widely the nature of consciousness, mind control and the dynamics of freedom. Art, Inspiration, Aspiration, Education, Achievement and the underclass. Also touched is Ancient Greek metaphysics, the global unification of ideology and Humanism. Science, faith and Post-Humanism, Memetics as a paradigm & Hyperspatial Physics but most importantly the production of a new, clean, free energy social superstructure. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
The Complete Universe of Memes: Branches of Reality on The Reality Tree by Lloyd Whitling (2002)
A controversial 100 thousand word guide into worlds you never thought to explore. Whitling offers straight talk about memetics with a twist: how to recognize your own malignant memes, how to free yourself with evolutionary concepts, relevance of demons and angels, what are your lifetime aims (and why you probably don't know), and what is at stake. To quote from its author: 'My mind's filled with open cans of worms so I can induce others to go fishing.' A cogent, in-your-face challenge to current perceptions about the universe and Evolution as Creation's first cause. Can he pull this off? Yes! Go with him down many paths to the same destination. The fiery end of human life on earth may not be from bombs or plagues. Learn about what NASA is keeping their eyes on while we distract ourselves with petty jousts. Recent scientific discoveries and theories help you develop a personal lifeplan for an accomplishment-oriented existence you will enjoy. Read it. See for yourself. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Books with sections on memes/memetics
Human Behavioral Ecology
Historical (before 1975)
From Wikipedia
From Yuppies to Rickrolling: The Evolution of Cultural and Internet Memes and the Theory of Memetics by Beatriz Scaglia (2011)
Memetics as a theory is the study of the presence and strength of memes in the collective cultural mind. Memes are ideas or groupings, self-perceptions, and imitable practices. This book explores the more traditional cultural memes such as the preppy or yuppie labels based on fashion and socioeconomic status, as well as the newer meme phenomenons via the internet such as viral marketing, lolcat, and the viral video, plus much more. While the internet has revolutionized the definition of memes, the human nature supporting it remains the same. This book claims to be comipled from high-quality Wikipedia articles. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Memetics, including: Daniel Dennett, Hugo De Garis, The Selfish Gene, Viruses Of The Mind, Susan Blackmore, Meme Pool, Viral Marketing, Opinion ... Meme Hack, Sociocultural Evolution by Hephaestus Books (2011)
This particular book is a collaboration focused on Memetics.
More info: Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, which was originated by Richard Dawkins in the 1976 book The Selfish Gene. It purports to be an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. A meme, analogous to a gene, is an idea, belief, pattern of behaviour (etc.) which is "hosted" in one or more individual minds, and which can reproduce itself from mind to mind. Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen memetically as a meme reproducing itself. As with genetics, particularly under Dawkins's interpretation, a meme's success may be due its contribution to the effectiveness of its host (i.e., a the meme is a useful, beneficial idea), or may be "selfish", in which case it could be considered a "virus of the mind". Memetics is notable for sidestepping the traditional concern with the truth of ideas and beliefs.


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