Memetics Books


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

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ImageTitle, author, date and description
Evolutionary Epistemology
Evolutionary Archaeology
Evolutionary historical and sociological studies
Secular Cycles by Peter Turchin and Sergey A. Nefedov (2009)
Many historical processes exhibit recurrent patterns of change. Century-long periods of population expansion come before long periods of stagnation and decline; the dynamics of prices mirror population oscillations; and states go through strong expansionist phases followed by periods of state failure, endemic sociopolitical instability, and territorial loss. Peter Turchin and Sergey Nefedov explore the dynamics and causal connections between such demographic, economic, and political variables in agrarian societies and offer detailed explanations for these long-term oscillations - what the authors call "secular cycles". Secular Cycles elaborates and expands upon the demographic-structural theory first advanced by Jack Goldstone, which provides an explanation of long-term oscillations. This book tests that theory's specific and quantitative predictions by tracing the dynamics of population numbers, prices and real wages, elite numbers and incomes, state finances, and sociopolitical instability. Turchin and Nefedov study societies in England, France, and Russia during the medieval and early modern periods, and look back at the Roman Republic and Empire. Incorporating theoretical and quantitative history, the authors examine a specific model of historical change and, more generally, investigate the utility of the dynamical systems approach in historical applications. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Evolutionary Linguistics
Evolutionary Religious Studies
The God Virus: How religion infects our lives and culture by Darrel W. Ray (2009)
What makes religion so powerful? How does it weave its way into our political system? Why do people believe and follow obvious religious charlatans? What makes people profess deep faith even as they act in ways that betray that faith? What makes people blind to the irrationalities of their religion yet clearly see those of others? If these questions interest you, this book will give you the tools to understand religion and its power in you, your family and your culture. For thousands of years, religion has woven its way through societies and people as if it were part and parcel to that society or person. In large measure it was left unexplained and unchallenged, it simply existed. Those who attempted to challenge and expose religion were often persecuted, excommunicated, shunned, or even executed. It could be fatal to explain that which the church, priest or imam said was unexplainable. Before the germ, viral and parasite theory of disease, physicians had no tools to understand disease and its propagation. Priests told people disease was a result of sin, Satan, evil spirits, etc. With the discovery of microbial actors, scientists gained new tools to study how it spreads. They could study infection strategies, immunity, epidemiology and much more. Suddenly the terrible diseases of the past were understandable. The plagues of Europe, yellow fever, small pox, pneumonia, tuberculosis, syphilis, etc. were now removed from the divine and placed squarely in the natural world. This book owes a great deal to Richard Dawkins concept of viruses of the mind, but it seeks to go a step further to personalize the concept of religion as a virus and show how these revolutionary ideas work in everyday life. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Religovirology: Meme Mechanics, Virology of Religion, and Refutation of Supernaturalism by Eric Bright (2009)
It is all about modeling. This time the model is invented to explain religion. One way of studying religions is to refer to the theological literature. The other way is studying religion as the subject of another science. In this context, we can scrutinize religion and reveal its internal mechanics in a meta-language. To do so, first we need to know why religion can be studied scientifically and why it is not untouchable. Trying to be as objective as human beings can be, we begin to see that religions behave in a way very familiar to biologists. There are organisms that behave in the same way, namely viruses. The similarity was first noted by Richard Dawkins in about 1976. I try to elaborate on that and see if a new science can emerge from Dawkins' 'dangerous idea.' Should that work, then we have started a new era of the demystification of religion. The resulting attempts will give birth to what I call Religovirology (read View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Evolutionary Economics
Evolutionary Morality
The Science of Ethics by Leslie Stephen (2009)
The author's only purely philosophical work - an examination of the possibility that the morality of an individual was the result of the demands of the survival of a social being and not, as widely held at the time the outcome of rational calculation or an inexplicable intuition. The agnostic, he held, must place morality on a scientific basis, and this means that there must be nothing in his ethics that is outside the competence of scientific enquiry. Brought up on John Stuart Mill and profoundly influenced by Darwin, Stephen attempted to cut through what he impatiently dismissed as academic debates about morality by showing that moral beliefs were the result neither of excessively rational utilitarian calculation nor of mysterious intuition but of the demands of the social organism in its struggle for survival. Leslie Stephen was the first serious critic of the novel, and he was also editor of the great Dictionary of National Biography from its beginning in 1882 until 1891. In 1859 he was ordained a minister. As a tutor at Cambridge his philosophical readings led him to skepticism, and later he relinquished his holy orders. He wrote several essays defending his agnostic position. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Evolutionary innovation
Innovation in Cultural Systems: Contributions from Evolutionary Anthropology (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology) by Michael J. O'Brien and Stephen J. Shennan (2009)
Leading scholars offer a range of perspectives on the roles played by innovation in the evolution of human culture. Available online. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Technological evolution
The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves by W. Brian Arthur (2009)
What is technology in its nature, in its deepest essence? Where does it come from? How does it evolve? With contagious enthusiasm, Arthur, an economics professor and a pioneer of complexity theory, tries to answer these and other questions in a style that is by turns sparkling and flat. Technology is self-creating, though it requires human agency to build it up and reproduce it. Yet technology evolves much like organisms evolve, and Arthur cannily applies Darwin's ideas to technologies and their growth. All technologies descend from earlier ones, and those that perform better and more efficiently than others are selected for future growth and development. But radical novelty in technology cannot be explained by this model of variation and selection, so Arthur argues that novel technologies arise by combination of existing technologies. For example, a hydroelectric power generator combines several main components - a reservoir to store water, an intake system, turbines driven by high-energy water flow, transformers to convert the power output to a higher voltage: groups of self-contained technologies - into a new technology. Arthur's arguments will likely alter the reader's way of thinking about technology and its relationship to humanity. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Evolutionary Musicology
Evolutionary Learning and Creativity
Evolutionary Marketing
The Social Media Marketing Book by Dan Zarrella (2009)
Are you looking to take advantage of social media for your business or organization? With easy-to-understand introductions to blogging, forums, opinion and review sites, and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, this book will help you choose the best -- and avoid the worst -- of the social web's unique marketing opportunities.The Social Media Marketing Book guides you through the maze of communities, platforms, and social media tools so you can decide which ones to use, and how to use them most effectively. With an objective approach and clear, straightforward language, Dan Zarrella, aka 'The Social Media & Marketing Scientist' shows you how to plan and implement campaigns intelligently, and then measure results and track return on investment. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the social web, this book will take you beyond the jargon to social media marketing mastery. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Viral Loop: From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves by Adam L. Penenberg (2009)
In this clear-eyed collection of case studies, Fast Company contributing writer and NYU journalism professor Penenberg examines the engine driving the growth of web 2.0 businesses like Flickr, YouTube and eBay to Facebook and Twitter: the viral loop. The concept behind a viral loop is simple-in order to use the product, you have to spread it, thus creating massive, user-driven growth cycles-after all, Penenberg explains, social networks like Facebook are worthless to a user if one's friends aren't also using the products. Viral loops are nothing new, of course, and Penenberg has certainly done his homework, tracing the concept back through its analog roots via entertaining and enlightening anecdotes about companies like Tupperware, which used 'parties' to turn ordinary housewives into an army of sales reps, to Charles Ponzi-yes, he of the Ponzi scheme, a viral scam recently taken to historic levels by Bernie Madoff. Penenberg truly succeeds, however, in showing how the viral loop has found its groove on the Internet, fueling a wave of billion-dollar companies all built on word of mouth-and, of course, user clicks. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature by Mark Earls (2009)
In 2003, the first white-painted bicycle shrine appeared on the streets of St Louis, Missouri, to commemorate a fallen rider. Soon, cities in other US states had their own versions; but today, we see these shrines in more than 80 cities around the world. Like the ‘cellotaphs’ – the rash of floral tributes that mark the site of road-accidents in the UK with cheap flowers and sentimental prose – this phenomenon seems to have come from nowhere and yet suddenly it is everywhere. How do you explain the explosion of cultural phenomena of things like this? Like the adoption of text messaging when there has been little or no active promotion of the behaviour? How a Mexican wave happens? The emergence of online communities? Unless you have a good explanation of how these kinds of things arise, you won’t have much chance of altering them. HERD explains that most of us have misunderstood the mechanics (the ‘how’) of mass behaviour because our thinking is shaped by misplaced notions of what it means to be human. This is why so many government initiatives struggle to create real change, why so much marketing money fails to drive sales, why most M&A programmes end up reducing shareholder value and most internal change projects don’t deliver lasting transformation. Mark Earls uses a diverse range of different sources, anecdotes and evidence – from the comic Peter Kay and urinal etiquette, to international rugby and the rise of new musical stars – to show that we are at heart a ‘we-species’, but one suffering from the ‘illusion of I’. In doing so, Earls challenges some of our deepest ideas to reveal the truth about who we are and what marketers, managers and governments can do to set about influencing mass behaviour. Bold in its conception and engaging in its execution, HERD offers the most radical new theory of consumer behaviour in a generation.
Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking by Andy Sernovitz, Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin (2009)
Master the art of word of mouth marketing with this practical hands-on guide. With straightforward advice and humor, marketing expert Andy Sernovitz will show you how the world's most respected and profitable companies get their best customers for free through the power of word of mouth. Learn the five essential steps that make word of mouth work and everything you need to get started using them. Understand the real purpose of blogs, communities, viral email, evangelists, and buzz--when to use them and how simple it is to make them work. Learn what sparks the irrepressible enthusiasm of Apple and TiVo fans. Understand why everyone is talking about a certain restaurant, car, band, or dry cleaner--and why other businesses and products are ignored. Discover why some products become huge successes without a penny of promotion--and why some multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns fail to get noticed. Open your eyes to a new way of doing business--that honest marketing makes more money, because customers who trust you will talk about you. Learn how to be the remarkable company that people want to share with their friends. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Memetic self-help
Non-human animal culture
The Question of Animal Culture by Kevin N. Laland, Bennett G. Galef, Kim Hill and Kristin E. Bonnie (2009)
Are the learning processes involved in the social inheritance of animals the same or different from those involved in the cultural transmission of humans? This book lifts the debate onto a level where it is possible to give an affirmative answer to the question of whether or not the antecedents of human culture can be found in other animals. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Memetic Algorithms
Multi-Objective Memetic Algorithms by Chi-Keong Goh, Yew-Soon Ong and Kay Chen Tan (2009)
The application of sophisticated evolutionary computing approaches for solving complex problems with multiple conflicting objectives in science and engineering have increased steadily in the recent years. Within this growing trend, Memetic algorithms are, perhaps, one of the most successful stories, having demonstrated better efficacy in dealing with multi-objective problems as compared to its conventional counterparts. Nonetheless, researchers are only beginning to realize the vast potential of multi-objective Memetic algorithm and there remain many open topics in its design. This book presents a very first comprehensive collection of works, written by leading researchers in the field, and reflects the current state-of-the-art in the theory and practice of multi-objective Memetic algorithms. 'Multi-Objective Memetic algorithms' is organized for a wide readership and will be a valuable reference for engineers, researchers, senior undergraduates and graduate students who are interested in the areas of Memetic algorithms and multi-objective optimization. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Distributed Memetic Algorithms for Graph-Theoretical Combinatorial Optimization Problems by Thomas Fischer (2009)
In this thesis, three different graph-theoretical combinatorial optimization problems have been addressed by memetic and distributed algorithms. These three problems include the well-known 'Travelling Salesman Problem' (TSP) and the two communication problems 'Optimum Communication Spanning Tree Problem' (OCST) and 'Routing and Wavelength Assignment Problem' (RWA). The focus of the research presented in this thesis was on developing techniques to handle large instances of the above problems, where 'large' refers to problem sizes larger than those addressed in related works or large enough to pose a challenge for state-of-the-art heuristic solvers. For the TSP, a large number of publications and algorithms are available, so here research centers on how to solve large problem instances either by reducing the size of problem instances by fixing edges of a problem instance or by distributing the computation in sets of cluster nodes. For the OCST, a given local search algorithm was modified to handle large problem instances. The new local search algorithm was embedded into a distributed memetic algorithm with problem-specific recombination operators. For the RWA, most components of a distributed memetic algorithm were developed for this thesis, including local search, recombination, and distribution. To handle large problem instances, the algorithm was enhanced by a multilevel component to reduce the problem size. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Anthropogeny (Human Evolution)
Memes of Translation: The Spread of Ideas in Translation Theory by Andrew Chesterman (2009)
This text covers such areas as survival machines for memes, the evolution of translation memes, from memes to norms, translation strategies, translation as theory, the development of traditional competence, and translation ethics.
No More War Memes: A practical, realistic program of cultural engineering to eliminate war from human society forever by Joe Rebholz (2009)
This book describes a practical program of cultural engineering that, over time, will eliminate war from human society forever. War is always a net loss to humanity, even though a few corporations and individuals may profit from it. So almost everyone should work to eliminate war. Wars are caused by war memes, ideas in people's minds, that lead them to war, contrary to their own self interest. We go to war because we are misled by our emotions, feelings, and limited thinking, based on war memes, which saturate most of our cultures. Using the latest results from psychology, neuroscience, sociology, political science, and cognitive linguistics, this book will show you how to identify, analyze, modify, or eliminate your war memes. More than 50 war memes are analyzed. The anti war movement can become a worldwide movement like the environmental movement, the anti slavery movement, and the women's liberation movements. We must eliminate war if humanity is to survive and prosper. Let's do it! View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
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