Pros: Well-defined terms, clear explanations
Cons: Chapter on disinfection could have used a little more detail
Rating: 4 out of 5
There is a theory that memes (”units of information in a mind whose existence influences events such that more copies of itself get created in other minds”) , like viruses, exist to replicate themselves and so must infect as many people as possible. This idea draws from ideas in the fields of psychology, biology, and anthropology, and Richard Brodie’s book is based on the work of several scientists including Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Douglas Hofstadter. He explores not only what memes are (from the perspective of various fields) but why they are so effective at replicating and infecting us. Brodie also examines how these viruses can be created, and how, knowing about these and how they’re created, we can disinfect ourselves and lead the lives we’ve always wanted to lead.