Virus of the Mind is the first popular book devoted to the science of memetics, a controversial new field that transcends psychology, biology, anthropology, and cognitive science. Memetics is the science of memes, the invisible but very real DNA of human society. In Virus of the Mind, Richard Brodie carefully builds on the work of scientists Richard Dawkins, Douglas Hofstadter, Daniel Dennett, and others who have become fascinated with memes and their potential impact on our lives. But Richard goes beyond science and dives into the meat of the issue: is the emergence of this new science going to have an impact on our lives like the emergence of atomic physics did in the Cold War? He would say the impact will be at least as great. While atomic bombs affect everybody’s life, viruses of the mind touch lives in a more personal and more pernicious way. Mind viruses have already infected governments, educational systems, and inner cities, leading to some of the most pervasive and troublesome problems of society today: youth gangs, the welfare cycle, the deterioration of the public schools, and ever?growing government bureaucracy. Viruses of the mind are not a future worry: they are here with us now and are evolving to become better and better at their job of infecting us. The recent explosion of mass media and the information superhighway has made the earth a prime breeding ground for viruses of the mind. Will there be a mental plague? Will only some of us survive with our free will intact? Richard Brodie weaves together science, ethics, and current events as he raises these and other very disturbing questions about memes.
Why does it feel as if our most challenging problems today- the worldwide recession, global warming, fast-spreading viruses, terrorism and poverty- aren't getting solved? What if our brain has limits that prevent it from solving such complex problems? If ancient civilisations collapsed because they, too, hit a cognitive limitation, are we headed for a similar collapse, and if so, can it be prevented? Using historical and modern-day examples, The Watchman's Rattle describes the cognitive gridlock that sets in when complexity races ahead of the brain's ability to manage it. Beginning with the Mayans, Khmer and Roman Empires, Costa shows how the tendency to find a quick fix to problems by focusing on symptoms instead of searching for permanent solutions, leads to frightening long-term consequences: Society's ability to solve its most challenging, intractable problems becomes gridlocked, progress slows and collapse ensues. But, as Costa reveals, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that the human brain can be retrained to comprehend, analyse and resolve massively complex problems. A process of intuitive thinking, which Neuroscientists refer to as 'insight'. Part history, part social science, part biology, The Watchman's Rattle is sure to provoke, engage and incite change.
Historical and Cognitive Studies in the Roman Cult of Mithras
Author: Luther H. Martin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
The Roman cult of Mithras was the most widely-dispersed and densely-distributed cult throughout the expanse of the Roman Empire from the end of the first until the fourth century AD, rivaling the early growth and development of Christianity during the same period. As its membership was largely drawn from the ranks of the military, its spread, but not its popularity is attributable largely to military deployments and re-deployments. Although mithraists left behind no written archival evidence, there is an abundance of iconographic finds. The only characteristic common to all Mithraic temples were the fundamental architecture of their design, and the cult image of Mithras slaying a bull. How were these two features so faithfully transmitted through the Empire by a non-centralized, non-hierarchical religious movement? The Minds of Mithraists: Historical and Cognitive Studies in the Roman Cult of Mithras addresses these questions as well as the relationship of Mithraism to Christianity, explanations of the significance of the tauroctony and of the rituals enacted in the mithraea, and explanations for the spread of Mithraism (and for its resistance in a few places). The unifying theme throughout is an investigation of the 'mind' of those engaged in the cult practices of this widespread ancient religion. These investigations represent traditional historical methods as well as more recent studies employing the insights of the cognitive sciences, demonstrating that cognitive historiography is a valuable methodological tool.
For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.
How to Turn the Tables and Win in Business and Lif
Author: Bill Wackermann
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Have you ever felt stuck in your career or in your personal life? Do you want to write new and exciting chapters to the story of your life? You just have to learn to flip the script. Few executives in media today are as well respected for their ability to turn a business or situation around as Bill Wackermann. As a leading executive in the publishing industry he is esteemed for his powerful combination of business ingenuity and innovative branding. The New York Times has heralded his work, stating, “Mr. Wackermann is becoming known for the offbeat campaigns he creates,” and Fashion Daily called him “Times Square’s turnaround artist.” His simple approach to this kind of transformation transcends the publishing industry, impacting the worlds of entertainment, fashion, and art. Here, in his hip lifestyle guide, he shows how to turn negative situations around and how to create new opportunities for business and personal growth. Through helpful tips and engaging stories, Wackermann empowers readers to embrace self-knowledge and be confident of their individual talents. With great energy and enthusiasm, he presents a clear and clever program for how people can turn their lives around, essentially discovering how to “flip the script” by identifying prospects where none existed and rewriting their personal stories for the better. He encourages readers to think of ways to turn every problem or situation around to their benefit. Packed with advice such as how to watch for potential openings that might be right in front of you or how to embrace a mantra of personal responsibility, his book draws on eye-opening stories from his life and the lives of friends and colleagues to show how readers can start to find success today. Flip the Script is a highly intuitive and engrossing guide for everyone from entry level to the corner office. Wackermann shares his results-oriented approach to life and business, which has taken him from brash young upstart to seasoned executive, making it clear to younger readers, in particular, that they too can seize the director’s chair and come out on top. *** I have read many books on how to succeed in business, and often, after reading them, I have been left wondering if the authors’ own experiences were relatable to the average person. The advice in many of the books tended to be either too scholarly or too complicated to incorporate into real life. The lack of a better-grounded, reality-based approach to guiding others to success inspired me to think about my own experiences. My success in life and business has come in the absence of any extraordinary opportunity or vision. Mine is a journey from a family of six children who struggled monthly to make ends meet to a career in one of publishing’s glittering ivory towers. From New York to Paris, from the world of fashion and beauty to the back lots of Hollywood, my success has come from “flipping the script” and creating opportunities where none existed. Flipping the script is my unique approach to turning tables and gaining control. — from Flip the Script
The Soft Edge is a one-of-a-kind history of the information revolution. In his lucid and direct style, Paul Levinson, historian and philosopher of media and communications, gives us more than just a history of information technologies. The Soft Edge is a book about theories on the evolution of technology, the effects that human choice has on this (r)evolution, and what's in store for us in the future. Paul Levinson's engaging voice guides us on a tour that explains how communications media have been responsible for major developments in history and for profound changes in our day-to-day lives. Levinson presents the intriguing argument that technology actually becomes more human. We see how information technologies are selected on the basis of how well they meet human needs. Why is email more like speech than print is? Why didn't the arrival of television destroy the radio? These and many more thought provoking questions are answered in The Soft Edge. Boldly extending and deepening the pathways blazed by McLuhan, Paul Levinson has provided us with a brilliant and exciting study of life with our old media, our new media, and the media still to come.
Why do video games fascinate kids so much that they will spend hours pursuing a difficult skill? Why don't they apply this kind of intensity to their school work? In their most penetrating and important work in years, these two leaders in the field of brain-based education build a bridge to the future of education with a dynamic model of teaching that works for all grade levels and in all cultural and ethnic groups. The authors' education model, the "Guided Experience Approach," is based on the way that biologists see learning as a totally natural, continuous interaction between perception and action. Natural Learning for a Connected World provides a practical, step-by-step description and successful examples from practice of this perception action cycle so that we can finally provide the learning environments essential for our children to thrive in the knowledge age.
Economists increasingly recognise that engagement with social ontology – the study of the basic subject matter and constitution of social reality - can facilitate more relevant analysis. This growing recognition amongst economists of the importance of social ontology is due very considerably to the work of members of the Cambridge Social Ontology Group. This volume brings together important papers by members of this group, some previously unpublished, in a collection that reveals the breadth and vitality of this Cambridge project. It provides a brilliant introduction to the central themes explored, perspectives sustained, insights achieved and how the project is moving forward. An initial set of papers examine how ontology is understood and justified within this Cambridge project and consider how it compares with prominent historical and contemporary alternatives. The majority of the included papers involve social ontological analysis being put to work directly in underlabouring for specific types of development in economics. The papers are grouped according to their contribution to clarifying and developing (i) various competing traditions and projects of modern economics, (ii) history of thought contributions, (iii) methodological concerns, (iv) ethics and (v) conceptions of particular aspects of social reality, including money, gender, technology and institutions. Background to and a brief history of the Cambridge group is provided in the Introduction. Social Ontology and Modern Economics will be of interest not only to economists but also philosophers of social science, social theorists and those eager to explore the nature of gender, social institutions and technology.
While much of the critical discussion about the emerging genre of 9/11 fiction has centred on the trauma of 9/11 and on novels by EuroAmerican writers, this book draws attention to the diversity of what might be meant by "post" -9/11 by exploring the themes of uncanny terror through a close reading of four "post" -9/11 South Asian diasporic fictions.