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 Epistemology, Language and Culture: A Non-Adaptationist, Systems Theoretical Approach by Nathalie Gontier (Editor), Jean Paul van Bendegem (Editor), Diederik Aerts (Editor) (2010)
For the first time in history, scholars working on language and culture from within an evolutionary epistemological framework, and thereby emphasizing complementary or deviating theories of the Modern Synthesis, were brought together. Of course there have been excellent conferences on Evolutionary Epistemology in the past, as well as numerous conferences on the topics of Language and Culture. However, until now these disciplines had not been brought together into one all-encompassing conference. Moreover, previously there never had been such stress on alternative and complementary theories of the Modern Synthesis. Today we know that natural selection and evolution are far from synonymous and that they do not explain isomorphic phenomena in the world. ‘Taking Darwin seriously’ is the way to go, but today the time has come to take alternative and complementary theories that developed after the Modern Synthesis, equally seriously, and, furthermore, to examine how language and culture can merit from these diverse disciplines. As this volume will make clear, a specific inter- and transdisciplinary approach is one of the next crucial steps that needs to be taken, if we ever want to unravel the secrets of phenomena such as language and culture. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Evolutionary Archaeology
Evolutionary historical and sociological studies
Evolutionary Linguistics
Evolutionary Religious Studies
The Religion Virus: Why We Believe in God: An Evolutionist Explains Religion's Incredible Hold on Humanity by Craig A. James (2010)
Why do some beliefs become extinct while others adapt and flourish? James shows us how genetic evolution and cultural evolution, though operating at different rates, are one and the same. Recent science has gone a long way toward explaining the origin of religious belief in evolutionary terms, but Craig James has cracked open the mystery of its tenacity. Religion does not exist for us, it exists for its own sake. Like a selfish gene or a parasite, the religion virus catches a free ride in the minds of our species, infecting our history and culture. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
The Evolution of God by Robert Wright (2010)
Straddling popular science, ancient history, and theology, this ambitious work sets out to resolve not only the clash of civilizations between the Judeo-Christian West and the Muslim world but also the clash between science and religion. Tracking the continual transformation of faith from the Stone Age to the Information Age, Wright, a self-described materialist, best known for his work on evolutionary psychology, free trade, and game theory, postulates that religious world views are becoming more open, compassionate, and synthesized. Occasionally, his prescriptions can seem obvious—for instance, that members of the different Abrahamic faiths should think of their religions as “having been involved, all along, in the same undertaking.” But his core argument, that religion is getting “better” with each passing aeon, is enthralling. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Evolutionary Economics
Evolutionary Morality
Evolutionary innovation
Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson (2010)
This book suggests that new ideas emerge more easily from accidents or errors in research or in thinking processes, much as mutations occur in evolution, than they do from academic or monolithic thought processes where the proponents-such as in Religions or Politics where rigid beliefs and convictions fiercely guard their dogmas from the slightest possibility of 'error'. A fascinating theory well researched and carefully crafted. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Technological evolution
What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly (2010)
Verbalizing visceral feelings about technology, whether attraction or repulsion, Kelly explores the 'technium,' his term for the globalized, interconnected stage of technological development. Arguing that the processes creating the technium are akin to those of biological evolution, Kelly devotes the opening sections of his exposition to that analogy, maintaining that the technium exhibits a similar tendency toward self-organizing complexity. Having defined the technium, Kelly addresses its discontents, as expressed by the Unabomber (although Kelly admits to trepidation in taking seriously the antitechnology screeds of a murderer) and then as lived by the allegedly technophobic Amish. From his observations and discussions with some Amish people, Kelly extracts some precepts of their attitudes toward gadgets, suggesting folk in the secular world can benefit from the Amish approach of treating tools as servants of self and society rather than as out-of-control masters. Exploring ramifications of technology on human welfare and achievement, Kelly arrives at an optimistic outlook that will interest many, coming, as it does, from the former editor of Wired magazine. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Evolutionary Musicology
Evolutionary Learning and Creativity
Evolutionary Marketing
Viral Explosions!: Proven Techniques to Expand, Explode, or Ignite Your Business or Brand Online by Peggy McColl, Michael Gerber (2010)
Internet growth has surpassed all projections and continues to expand every day. Those who are adapting to the online medium will reap the rewards for years to come and have the potential to grow their businesses and build their brands exponentially. Peggy McColl tells her story of discovering the power of online marketing to break through the clutter, capture a global customer base, and build her business. Using many examples and stories, Viral Explosions! gives you: A specific, proven program that even those who aren't techno-savvy can follow and tailor to their own goals. The vital differences and similarities between offline and online marketing that every marketer needs to know to be successful. The critical steps needed to build a global customer base, generate additional revenue, and foster customer loyalty...without having to leave the comfort of your home. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Beyond Viral: How to Attract Customers, Promote Your Brand, and Make Money with Online Video by Kevin Nalty and David Meerman Scott (2010)
Promote your product using the most visceral form of social media - online video. Learn how to create cost-effective videos, engage your customers, compel them to measurable behaviors (awareness, intent, and purchase), and sustain your brand online. Beyond Viral gives you the tools and tricks to successfully use online video to reach your business goals. Author Kevin Nalty is the only career marketer who doubles as one of the most-viewed YouTube comedians. Online video has huge potential, mostly untapped. Put your business at the forefront of this important medium with the proven methods described by Beyond Viral. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
And Then There's This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture by Bill Wasik (2010)
Focusing on the phenomenon of viral culture, Wasik, senior editor at Harper's magazine, reflects on his own Internet experiments, beginning with the creation of flash mobs, a pop phenomena of 2003. Wasik asked hundreds of people to gather in public for no apparent reason, and news of these gatherings that mysteriously coalesced and disbanded spread rabidly through blogs and e-mails. The groups were created by Wasik to explore the growing world of memes, ideas that spread through culture, colonizing all as widely and ruthlessly as [they] can. He examines other Internet sensations—the meteoric rise and fall of pop bands, guerrilla marketing and political blogs—relating how such nanostories contribute to growing cynicism in a media-saturated and consumer-savvy public. He draws on the work of Steven Levitt and Malcolm Gladwell to demonstrate that the desire to interpret the analysis of culture has outstripped the desire to understand the culture itself. Wasik's examples are culled from the trivial — e.g., ephemeral indie bands and forgettable ad campaigns — but his deft style and provocative insights keep the book significant. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Memetic self-help
Non-human animal culture
Memetic Algorithms
Handbook of Memetic Algorithms (Studies in Computational Intelligence) by Ferrante Neri, Carlos Cotta and Pablo Moscato (Editors) (2010)
Memetic Algorithms (MAs) are computational intelligence structures combining multiple and various operators in order to address optimization problems. The combination and interaction amongst operators evolves and promotes the diffusion of the most successful units and generates an algorithmic behavior which can handle complex objective functions and hard fitness landscapes. “Handbook of Memetic Algorithms” organizes, in a structured way, all the the most important results in the field of MAs since their earliest definition until now. A broad review including various algorithmic solutions as well as successful applications is included in this book. Each class of optimization problems, such as constrained optimization, multi-objective optimization, continuous vs combinatorial problems, uncertainties, are analysed separately and, for each problem, memetic recipes for tackling the difficulties are given with some successful examples. Although this book contains chapters written by multiple authors, a great attention has been given by the editors to make it a compact and smooth work which covers all the main areas of computational intelligence optimization. It is not only a necessary read for researchers working in the research area, but also a useful handbook for practitioners and engineers who need to address real-world optimization problems. In addition, the book structure makes it an interesting work also for graduate students and researchers is related fields of mathematics and computer science.
Anthropogeny (Human Evolution)
Genes, Memes, Culture, and Mental Illness: Toward an Integrative Model by Hoyle Leigh (2010)
What produces mental illness: genes, environment, both, neither? The answer can be found in memes - replicable units of information linking genes and environment in the memory and in culture whose effects on individual brain development can be benign or toxic. This book reconceptualizes mental disorders as products of stressful gene-meme interactions and introduces a biopsychosocial template for meme-based diagnosis and treatment. A range of therapeutic modalities, both broad-spectrum (meditation) and specific (cognitive-behavioral), for countering negative memes and their replication are considered, as are possibilities for memetic prevention strategies. In this book, the author outlines the roles of genes and memes in the evolution of the human brain; elucidates the creation, storage, and evolution of memes within individual brains; examines culture as a carrier and supplier of memes to the individual; provides examples of gene-meme interactions that can result in anxiety, depression, and other disorders; proposes a multiaxial gene-meme model for diagnosing mental illness; identifies areas of meme-based prevention for at-risk children; and defines specific syndromes in terms of memetic symptoms, genetic/ memetic development, and meme-based treatment. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending (2010)
A manifesto for and an example of a new kind of history, a biological history, and not just of the prehistoric era Scientists have long believed that the 'great leap forward' that occurred some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago in Europe marked the end of significant biological evolution in humans. In this stunning account of our evolutionary history, top scholars Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending reject this conventional wisdom and reveal that the human species has undergone a storm of genetic change much more recently. Human evolution in fact accelerated after civilisation arose, they contend, and these ongoing changes have played a pivotal role in human history. They argue that biology explains the expansion of the Indo-Europeans, the European conquest of the Americas, and European Jews' rise to intellectual prominence. In each of these cases, the key was recent genetic change: adult milk tolerance in the early Indo-Europeans that allowed for a new way of life, increased disease resistance among the Europeans settling America, and new versions of neurological genes among European Jews. Ranging across subjects as diverse as human domestication, Neanderthal hybridization, and IQ tests, Cochran and Harpending's analysis demonstrates convincingly that human genetics have changed and can continue to change much more rapidly than scientists have previously believed. A provocative and fascinating look at human evolution, "The 10,000 Year Explosion" reveals the ongoing interplay between culture and biology in the making of the human race. Note that this book is much more interested in genes than it is in memes. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
The Evolving Self: A Psychology for the Third Millennium by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2010)
This title aims to provide 'a deeper understanding of the direction in which life on earth has been going, and hence a clearer sense of what the meaning of one's own life might be.' The author believes that becoming an active, conscious part of the evolutionary process can give our lives meaning and joy. In fact, the fate of humanity in the next millennium depends on the kind of selves we become today. An interesting feature of this book is the space provided at the end of each chapter for readers to jot down their thoughts about the issues covered, though libraries might find this problematic. Csikszentmihalyi goes beyond the psychobabble and traces human behavior from the beginning of time and shows with great clarity why we do the things we do. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
Material Cultures, Material Minds: The Impact of Things on Human Thought, Society, and Evolution by Nicole Boivin (2010)
Material culture has been part of a distinctively human way of life for over two million years. Recent symbolic and social analyses have drawn much attention to the role of material culture in human society, emphasizing the representational and ideological aspects of the material world. These studies have, nonetheless, often overlooked how the very physicality of material culture and our material surroundings make them unique and distinctive from text and discourse. In this study, Nicole Boivin explores how the physicality of the material world shapes our thoughts, emotions, cosmological frameworks, social relations, and even our bodies. Focusing on the agency of material culture, she draws on the work of a diverse range of thinkers, from Marx and Merleau-Ponty to Darwin, while highlighting a wide selection of new studies in archaeology, cultural anthropology, history, cognitive science, and evolutionary biology. She asks what is distinctive about material culture compared to other aspects of human culture and presents a comprehensive overview of material agency that has much to offer to both scholars and students
The Emancipation of the Soul: Memes of Destiny in American Mythological Television by Philipp Kneis (2010)
Has a technical section on memetics. View on Google Books the book page, the author page, or the book contents.
E-Book only


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