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124 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Meme Machine
Susan Blackmore's bold and fascinating book "The Meme Machine" pushes the new theory of memetics farther than anyone else has, including its originator Richard Dawkins. The reader should already be well-acquainted with the concepts of memes and Universal Darwinism before tackling this book. Those who are not would do well to first read Dawkins' The Selfish...
Published on August 1, 2000 by Panini

57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's All About Imitation
It is exciting that Oxford has come out with a book on memetics, and Blackmore does a nice job of fleshing out the basics. The Meme Machine follows through on Dawkins' (1976) fascinating suggestion that culture, like biology, evolves through the processes of variation, selection, and replication. It explores how viewing culture as a hereditary system can shed light on...
Published on March 14, 1999 by Liane Gabora ( )

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124 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Meme Machine, August 1, 2000
Susan Blackmore's bold and fascinating book "The Meme Machine" pushes the new theory of memetics farther than anyone else has, including its originator Richard Dawkins. The reader should already be well-acquainted with the concepts of memes and Universal Darwinism before tackling this book. Those who are not would do well to first read Dawkins' The Selfish Gene (and even better to also read Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea).
Dawkins himself wrote the Foreword to this book, giving it his enthusiastic endorsement, and providing some enlightening remarks about the origin of the meme concept. He concedes however, that his original intentions were quite a bit more modest, and that Blackmore has carried the concept further than he had envisioned.
The central thesis of this book is that imitation is what makes humans truly different from other animals, and what drives almost all aspects of human culture. A meme then, is a unit of imitation. Anything that can be passed from one person to another through imitation -- such as a song, a poem, a cookie recipe, fashion, the idea of building a bridge or making pottery -- is an example of a meme. From the meme's point of view, Blackmore claims, we humans are simply "meme machines", copying memes from one brain to another.
This book is highly speculative. That doesn't mean it's wrong. It just means the claims have not been proven scientifically. To Blackmore's credit she does clearly highlight the areas of speculation. She also points out the testable predictions made by her theory, and describes possible experiments that could be performed to validate or falsify them.
One such prediction is that specific neural mechanisms would be found in the brain that support imitation -- the key requirement for replication of memes. The recent discovery of mirror neurons seems to satisfy this prediction and provide a powerful validation of the theory.
This book is ambitious. It purports to be nothing less than a comprehensive scientific theory which answers such major scientific questions as the "big brain" problem, and the evolutionary origins of language, altruism, and religion -- all currently unresolved problems. Blackmore's presentation of these issues to be persuasive and insightful, though in some instances she has overstated her case. For example, while memes may have been a significant causal factor in the origin of language, it is not necessary to adopt a purely non-functional explanation for language.
The most controversial part of the book is likely to the last two chapters, where Blackmore discusses the concept of the "self", the real you which holds beliefs, desires, and intentions. Like Dennett, Blackmore believes the idea of a "self" is an illusion but unlike Dennett she does not see it as benign and a practical necessity. In her view, the illusion of the self (what she calls the "ultimate memeplex") obscures and distorts consciousness, and advocates adopting a Zen-like view to actively repel the self illusion.
After having read the book you may feel, that Blackmore has gone too far; that she has pulled some sleight-of-hand and come up with an outlandish conclusion. However, upon further reflection, the thoughtful reader will be forced to admit that Blackmore has made a forceful case and told at least a plausible, if not utterly convincing story.<P....
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57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's All About Imitation, March 14, 1999
This review is from: The Meme Machine (Hardcover)
It is exciting that Oxford has come out with a book on memetics, and Blackmore does a nice job of fleshing out the basics. The Meme Machine follows through on Dawkins' (1976) fascinating suggestion that culture, like biology, evolves through the processes of variation, selection, and replication. It explores how viewing culture as a hereditary system can shed light on many aspects of the human experience, such as why we gossip, believe in alien abduction, and get enthusiastic about sex. (Though the chapter titled 'An orgasm saved my life' never gets around to explaining how an orgasm saved someone's life.)
Her central thesis is that what makes humans unique is their ability to imitate, and she takes the 'imitation is where it's at' thesis very seriously. The idea is: once humans became able to imitate, ideas could be transmitted, and cultural evolution took off. Unfortunately, there are deep problems with this proposal. First, the claim that animals don't imitate is highly controversial, and current consensus seems to sway in the opposite direction. (An article by Byrne & Russon in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 21, 1998, and accompanying commentary, provide an insightful review.) Second, Blackmore correctly notes that the archeological record reveals a sudden INCREASE in tool variety. However, if imitation were the bottleneck, then prior to the origin of culture there would have been variation everywhere, and the onset of imitation would have funneled this variation in the most useful directions, i.e. variety would have DECREASED. The evidence is, in fact, consistent with the thesis that creativity, rather than imitation, was the bottleneck to culture.
The 'imitation drives culture' hypothesis leads Blackmore to restrict the definition of a meme to something that can be transmitted from one human to another by imitation. So, for example, if a child learns to peal a banana by watching her mother, a meme has replicated. But if the child learns this skill from a cartoon character on tv, no replication has taken place. By the end of the book (particularly in the chapter on the internet) she eases up on this a bit. Human-made artifacts now seem to play a role in her vision, though elements of the natural world still don't. Thus if a child gets the idea for how to peal a banana by watching the petals of a flower unfold, her flower-inspired 'how to peal a banana' meme is NOT transmittable. In the blink of an eye, Blackmore discards the possibility that any experience can be food for thought and thus food for culture, on the grounds that it is "extremely confusing" (p. 45). The worldview impled by the Shroedinger equation is extremely confusing too, but its batting average as a predictor of experimental outcomes is unsurpassed. 'Confusing' is not synonymous with 'wrong'.
Blackmore also claims that "perceptions and emotions are not memes because they are ours alone and we may never pass them on" (p. 15). It follows that the feeling evoked by a painting of a stormy night at sea has no relationship to what the artist was feeling at the time... that a teacher's attitude of compassion has no impact on the cultural dynamics of the classroom. Thus it is not clear how Blackmore's narrow definition of meme clears up the confusion.
Readers should be aware that, despite the Oxford label, the book the book does not reflect the current level of sophistocation in the field. It presents many ideas without referencing where they were first introduced, or mentioning influencial work in the area (e.g. memetic altruism, memetic explanations of the origin of culture, memes & language, memes & the internet, etc.). Blackmore does not delve deep into evolutionary theory, on the grounds that borrowing concepts from biology could lead cultural theorists astray. To my mind, this is like ignoring what we already know about snow skis when developing the first prototype for waterskis. In fact there is some disparity between the 'science rules' attitude and the lack of theory or data. If the title leads you to expect material on computer models, cognitive science, complexity, information theory, etc. you will be disappointed. There isn't much on the workings of the memetic machinery. But if you like examples of manipulative memes, you will find it interesting. And the potential significance of memetics should not be underestimated. It is not inconceivable that the next century will usher forth more books on cultural evolution than this century has on biological evolution.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Piques the interest for a future science, December 9, 1999
This review is from: The Meme Machine (Hardcover)
This book is a little too ambitious. Although Blackmore does not succeed in making the case for a science of memetics, she does a fantastic job trying to. With things like "Campbell's rule" and copying of instructions vs. copying of the product, she makes some good conceptual headway. She provides some good behaviorist insight on true imitation as a potential basis for memetic theory. The speculative field of memetics has yet to pull all the threads together, though Blackmore does a very good job setting the stage. I think the field as a whole could use a lot more immersion in cognitive science beyond the interesting forays of Daniel Dennett("Darwin's Dangerous Idea" highly recommended). I think the cognitive roles of language while not overlooked, could use more attention. In this vein I recommend to those interested to read "Philosophy in the Flesh" by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, after you finish "The Meme Machine."
The Meme Machine reads very well. It doesn't leave me seeing how memetics will get from here (speculative) to there (real science), but it leaves me thinking that there must be a way. Blackmore backs up her own ideas with some good scientific background, but doesn't lay any real empirical foundations for a science of memetics. I think until we have a better idea of the neurological organization underpinning our conceptual thinking that foundation will not appear. For some possible headway on that, again I suggest you read "Philosophy in the Flesh" after you read "The Meme Machine." I think perhaps both of these books may be converging on some similar problems from different perspectives.
I think Blackmore sets some goals that are entirely too ambitious, and fails to achieve them. Instead of laying a foundation, she merely piques our interest. Don't let that stop you from enjoying "The Meme Machine." It is very interesting. Read this book. You will be glad that you did.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Femme du meme, January 1, 2000
This review is from: The Meme Machine (Hardcover)
Philosophy should leave everything as it is -- Wittgenstein
Susan Blackwell's tour de force, 'Meme Machine', leaves everything as it is. There are no tricks of words, there's no technical jargon, everything's in plain ENglish. As it turns out, her account hangs together quite well.
For humans, besides DNA, there is a 2nd replicating entity, the meme. A meme is a communicable brain program or unit of human behavior and is, in fact, communicated (replicated) via the uniquely human faculty for imitation.
Selfish genes replicate in a chemical environment, selfish memes replicate in a neural environment (today's computer viruses replicate in electronic environments). When we consider evolution we're as justified in metaphorically ascribing intentions to memes as to genes*.
Leaving her progenitors, Dawkins and Dennett, in the dust, Blackwell argues that meme evolution and gene evolution interact and this is responsible for several Baldwin** effects, among which big brains, homosexualism, and the language instinct.
She makes the startling claim that true altruism is possible, that under the influence of memes people can behave selfsacrificially. Somewhat less controversially, she concludes that consciousness, freewill, god, etc are illusions that benefit the propagation of genes and memes.
She ends with some fashionable suggestions on how to make life bearable once the monstrous truth of her theory has sunk in: If you meditate and empty your mind you can come to live in peace with the idea that YOU dont exist, that youre only some genes and memes replicating.
Then there's the picture of Susan Blackmore on the back flap. Attractive, smart looking, 40ish punkette. Hair painted flaming red!
* There's nothing new in Blackmore's use of the intention metaphor in connection with genes and memes, everybody does it. Still, the metaphor may sometimes not apply and leave us to conclude what we shouldnt.
** The Baldwin effect is a way genetic evolution can be made to seem as if by Lamarckian forces, ie, inheritance of acquired characteristics.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An unconvincing and useless new myth, September 20, 2010
Dear prospective reader! Here's a little test for you to find out if you will like this book We've got two versions of the same story: which version do you prefer?
A: Human brains invented printing in order to facilitate communication and to spread ideas more easily.
B: In order to replicate themselves more easily, Books (and the ideas encoded in them) made human brains invent printing .

The book of Susan Blackmore is all about version B, applied to all kinds of cultural phenomena (= memes). Memes (i.e. tunes , poems, behaviour, recipes etc...), we are told, are the true Agents. They enter human being like viruses enter bodies, hijacking them in order to replicate themselves. Humans are their puppets ; memes pull the strings. According to Blackmore, memes even created our big brain and our language to enhance processing and replicating capacities (how strange! the Upper Palaeolithic evolution, with all its inventions of art, tools etc. took place 100,000 years AFTER the human brain had reached its modern size. Therefore, logically the driving force of memes must have been hidden for 100,000 years, maybe as spirits, acting from some transcendental realm of Platonic Ideas? )

In Blackmore's system, it all boils down to imitation. As human beings with our social brain we imitate other people right from the first days of our live (unless the child suffers from autism). Imitation is compulsive, but the object of imitation is not given but (unconsciously) chosen. To imitate is not to copy, but to adapt something to my world, according to principles of my existence. Those who present imitation as a equivalent for (genetic) mitosis reveal their ignorance of the last thirty years of research in psychology. The mind is constantly `cooking the facts', modifying incoming stimuli according to its needs, even on the perceptual level. We've left the Skinner-Box long, long ago!

Does a tune copy itself when I keep it in mind and then whistle it to my friend? Is the tune the Agent? Blackmore thinks so. Psychologists disagree. All the tune (or any other cultural unit like a recipe of a soup or a fashion fad) can do is appealing to the brain, and something inside the brain (certainly not the conscious Subject; we agree that we have scrapped that long ago), with all its needs, preferences, desires, emotions etc.. decides whether it likes the tune or not, whether it will memorize it, and spread it to other people. A tune in itself has no qualities that make it stick in the mind. It's the mind that invests the tune with certain qualities that makes it sticky.

Did the meme "baggy pants" hijack the brain of millions of kids? No: millions of kids desperately want to be cool. If they are puppets (and I think they are), it's their desire to be an accepted member of their peer-group that is pulling the strings, not the Meme `baggy pants' or `hip-hop music'. Memes are on the receiving end of this desire, if they correspond to anything, it's the phenotype, not the genes. They are signs, not agents.
That's the reason why likening memes to viruses is such a bad metaphor: viruses do hijack their hosts, and the host is at the mercy of the virus (if the immune system fails). But a brain confronted with a pesty meme can just say "I'd prefer not to" and the meme is helpless.

Memes (=> Culture) and genes (=> biology) can collide in their interests. We knew that fact before. But Blackmore gives it a weird twist: just have a look at her explanation for birth-control : memes and genes fight over women's life and time: those who invest in rearing offspring cannot be busy spreading memes. But modern birth-control means that memes have won the battle: modern women are more and more participating in cultural and economic activities, therefore spreading more memes than those who stay in the kitchen with kids clutching their skirts. Blackmore sums it up: Sex has been taken over by memes. Really? I'd say: Sex has been taken over by fun for fun's sake! Having as much sex as one can get without worrying about the outcome is certainly a much stronger incentive than being an efficient instrument of meme proliferation. (By the way: in traditional `Western' societies like Japan or Spain, where women are leading a more hidden life, - i.e. not conducive to meme replication - the birth-rate is much lower than in modern societies like Sweden , where women are almost equal to men when it comes to their presence in the economy or the media. These facts can't be accounted for by memetics. You have to take a closer look at the details, but details are necessarily drowned in the insipid soup of Imitation-Spreads-Memes. That's the basic flaw: the would-be master-key of cultural studies offers insufficient explanations, on all levels of description)

Memeticists are driven by the desire to provide a master-key explanation for everything in culture, like Darwin's theory of Natural Selection, where everything boils down to variation, heredity and selection, makes sense of the evolution of living structures. But unfortunately there is no such thing as The Theory of Cultural Selection or The Great Unified Theory for Cultural Evolution. What we call culture (and its units, the memes) is at the crossroads of biology, economy, psychology and maybe a dozen other fields that all generate or influence a certain meme.

Conclusion: Memetics is just one of those intellectual fads that keep popping up now and then, like Deconstructionism in the Seventies. Although memeticists use scientific language, their concepts are totally useless in a scientific context. Richard Dawkins all started it as a nice intellectual game, a metaphor ("contagious ideas"; "this tune keeps haunting me"). But in Blackmore's book, MEME is a metaphor running wild, an analogy hopelessly blown out of proportion. .
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to the field, March 27, 2002
John August (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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Susan Blackmore's THE MEME MACHINE is a terrific and very accessible introduction to the nascent field of memetics. She tackles a complicated subject with remarkable precision and clarity, and avoids the insidious trap of creating new jargon to suit her needs. After reading a lot of books on linguists, brain science, and other peripheral fields, this was exactly the book I was looking for.
The term "memetics" sounds a lot like "genetics," and the similarity is not accidental. Working off ideas championed by Richard Dawkins in THE SELFISH GENE, memetics looks at the way ideas can spread and replicate in ways much like -- but not exactly like -- biological evolution. Dawkins urged readers to take a "gene's-eye view," where evolution is driven by genes competing to be copied. This theory will be familiar to anyone who has read Dawkins, or his contemporaries like Pinker or Gould. Blackmore skillfully summarizes the basic ideas, and Dawkins himself writes an introduction.
Just as genetics focuses on the gene, memetics centers around the "meme," which can be thought of as a unit of information. Examples of memes can include stone tool-making, language, the song "Happy Birthday," democracy, or last year's out-of-nowhere "all your base are belong to us." What matters is not the content of the meme per se, but how effectively the meme can get itself copied. Just like a gene can only survive by putting itself into a new generation, a meme can only prosper by squeezing itself in new brains. In that way, memes are like mental viruses, but without necessarily negative effects.
The exact means by which memes spread from brain to brain can vary: speech, writing, art, etc. The common thread is imitation, a uniquely human skill Blackmore and others argue can explain why humans have progressed so far beyond what could be expected through biological evolution alone. In fact, Blackmore asserts that memes can help answer one of the nagging questions in human development: how did our brains get to be so big? Her answer is that bigger brains can store more memes, which in turn allowed bigger-brained humans to outcompete their smaller-brained kin.
After setting up the basic theories of memetics, and addressing recurring criticisms, Blackmore investigates some of the common touchstones of sociobiology: sex, altruism, religion and consciousness. In every instance, her meme's-eye view provides a lot of insight, and her sense of humor makes the whole process more enjoyable.
Like a professor cramming too much into the final class of the semester, Blackmore stretches too far in the last chapter, aiming for closure and a sense of what-it-all-means that isn't really supported by the rest of the book. But by that point we're already mad about her, and ready to sign up for any other class she teaches.
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126 of 166 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ideas Unbound, December 22, 1999
This review is from: The Meme Machine (Hardcover)
We are not alone. At least not according to Susan Blackmore, author of "The Meme Machine". As we merrily go about our lives, eating, sleeping, and above all reproducing, other agents are simultaneously populating our planet, spreading throughout cities, countries, and continents. But these are not some sort of alien invader that she is talking about (though she does dedicate a chapter to alien abductions), nor are they any kind of dangerous biological agent escaped from a government research lab. They are simply ideas, or to use the term coined by biologist Richard Dawkins, 'memes'.
The term meme has been defined in as many different ways as writers who have used it. The one thing that all have in common is that a meme is a unit of cultural evolution. Examples can include things as diverse as behaviours, catchy tunes, ideas, and fashions. For Blackmore, the defining feature is that a meme is a unit of imitation. Cultural traits pass from person to person via imitation, and this 'thing' which is passed on is what she defines as a meme.
The early parts of the book are dedicated to espousing Blackmore's view of the role that memes play in the evolution of culture. They are, according to the author, replicators, in much the same way as genes. Like genes, they possess all the basic characteristics needed for evolutionary behaviour, that is they vary, they are selected according to this variance, and when copied they retain at least some of the content of the original. And like genes, memes will spread according to their success at reproducing in the environment in which they find themselves - translated in this case as the rate at which they can get themselves imitated. This precept is then later used as the basis for explaining everything from why we find it so difficult to empty our minds of thoughts, to why so many people believe in life after death, to why theories of alien abductions and conspiracies have become so prevalent in recent years.
These early chapters are amongst the most flawed in the book. The few problems she raises with memes are largely skirted around and avoided, rather than being properly addressed. Much more importantly, she completely fails to mention some of the most significant attacks that can be raised against a theory of memetics. For example, cultural evolution clearly does not seem to evolve in the same blind manner as biological evolution. We seldom imitate others' ideas in any sort of a strict rote manner. Rather we first create or censor, merge ideas, or individuate concepts of interest to us. In short, it seems intuitively obvious that ideas do not replicate themselves, we replicate them, and this we do according to our own personal agendas, not suffering under the dictates of the ideas themselves. Surely this is the sort of issue that Blackmore should address if she plans on establishing a convincing basis for a scientific framework for memetics?
The following chapters proceed to outline some of the implications that Blackmore sees as following from her theory of memes, as well as giving memetic explanations for several problems in sociobiology. The ideas are interesting, if highly speculative, and are illustrated with numerous colourful anecdotes and debunks of popular myths (did you know, for example, that Eskimos do not in fact have fifty different words for snow?). Beginning with a memetic explanation of why we have big brains, she proceeds through understanding the origins of language, the coevolution of memes and genes, sexual behaviour, altruism, religion, and more. In each case, memes are argued to be the driving force, shaping both our culture and to a lesser extent our genetic structure itself. Why did language originate? Because memes for language use are able to replicate with a higher degree of fidelity than is otherwise possible. Why are humans ever altruistic? Because nice people are more likely to be imitated than nasty people, so the altruism meme has more opportunities for replication. But time and again, Blackmore fails to give any empirical backing for her ideas. She can neither give us any good reasons for rejecting a more conventional, sociobiological explanation of the situations she describes, nor can she provide us with evidence in support of her own claims. Many ideas for future experiments are given, but until such research is conducted her own ideas must remain firmly in the realm of imaginative speculation.
The final chapters of the book move towards the philosophical implications that Blackmore sees arising from the adoption of a theory of memetics. Are memes relevant to our concepts of personal identity, responsibility, and free will? It is at this point that the book degrades from being simply speculative, to nothing short of pseudo-scientific sermonising. By the final chapter, Blackmore has given up any pretense of science, and is intent instead on preaching the one true path to enlightenment. Only by truly understanding and adopting a memetic point of view, or so she tells us, can we hope to find peace and happiness. In my opinion, these final sections serve no purpose other than to undermine the credibility of the author.
Overall, a mostly interesting read for those curious about the evolution of culture - just don't expect to find too many new ideas worth taking seriously.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At play in the fields of the memes, October 8, 2000
R. E. Peterson (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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Blackmore romps across the memetic landscape like a puppy after a butterfly, and it is only when she worries over a bone of contention here or there that the results are less than delightful. If you read this book as an explication of sound scientific principles, you may be misled and -- worse! -- put off by tedious bone-worrying. So feel free to skip the occasional bit of tedium (I'm thinking particularly of material in the chapter "Three problems with memes") and go for the big ideas: why our brains are so big, why we talk so much, and most importantly, who we think we are.
I'd read nothing about memes before The Meme Machine and only a little about Universal Darwinism, but I found that Blackmore explained the principles well enough for argument's sake. When she hits her stride toward the latter half of the book, proof by hand-waving becomes the rule, and that's all to the benefit of the idea fest.
The ideas in the final chapters about memes of the self are well worth entertaining though sometimes self-contradictory (pun intended). I can admit to having an experience of self-shifting that can only be described as mystical -- enjoyable for me, but some might find it disturbing to have fundamental concepts of "selfness" discarded. For more ideas along these lines, I'd recommend The Invented Reality, ed. by Paul Watzlawick, and The User Illusion by Tor Nrretranders.
At the risk of making The Meme Machine sound like a pop-psych book (it's not), I'd add that the meme's-eye view allowed me to see that I had acquired world-view beliefs that were unhelpful and even psychologically destructive. "Meme-izing" these beliefs isolated them and rendered them harmless. Memes can indeed behave like psycho-viruses, but understanding memes offers a cure.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The meme's-eye view, April 29, 2001
Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman (Duke University; Durham, NC, United States) - See all my reviews
This book is not always an easy one to follow, but I believe that is because its ideas are so rich and sometimes counter-intuitive. Blackmore is trying to perform a feat that is a cross between Darwin's introduction of the idea evolution, and Dawkins' "selfish gene" revolution, and I think she does a remarkable job.
I do not expect her to be right about everything (neither was Darwin), but her book accomplishes the goal of pushing the reader to think from the perspective of a meme. As someone who's read quite a bit of evolutionary theory and sociobiology, time and time again I caught myself thinking about memes as being on a "leash" held by genes, as she puts it, and time and time again Blackmore helped me cut the leash and understand another possibility.
Some of her ideas and explanations may turn out not to hold water--for example, perhaps altruistic behavior in humans *is* adequately explained by genetic considerations and memetics is unnecessary--but she does her best to state testable hypotheses for this very reason. The most important thing to walk away with is the ability to reason from a meme's-eye perspective, which I think this book explicates nicely.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking, August 25, 2001
The premise of memetics is absolutely fascinating. Little nuggets of cultural information that replicate analogous to genes in biology. Very interesting idea with lots of interesting secondary and tertiary consequences. This is true whether you believe in it as a science or not. If nothing else, memetics can provide a very different way of thinking about the evolution of language and as a way to describe the construction of thought. However, Blackmore sometimes oversells in her effort to establish memetics as "genuine" science. For example, I found the distinction of memetics from social learning tenuous at times. It's an interesting read, but you can get the main gist from the first third of the book.
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The Meme Machine
The Meme Machine by Susan J. Blackmore (Hardcover - April 8, 1999)
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