Xylemicarious's Reviews > The Meme Machine

The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore
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's review
May 26, 2011

really liked it

Pretty awesome, this book introduced me to how ridiculously powerful and intuitive meme theory is, although some parts near the end started to stretch things a bit. But it does have THE best explanation I have ever heard for how and why humans got their big, complicated brains (It's a really elegant and beautiful description that I can't do much justice to here, but long story short: memes were born). And yes, in case you hadn't realized, the meme machines of the title are humans. It's a pretty friggin' interesting book, and heck, Dawkins likes it. But I don't think too many of Dawkins's writings take the meme idea to its furthest conclusions, which is what Blackmore tries to do. Like I said, it gets kind of fuzzy in some parts near the ends, but mostly her logic is impeccable. It only fails when she starts getting into the spots where the science itself is softer. Mostly forgivable in other words, and entirely worth reading if you can keep an open yet critical mind.

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Reed If you're interested in the evolution of the human brain, check out The Accidental Mind by David Linden. I saw a lecture of his and it was pretty awesome.

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