Aaron Lynch (
Wed, 11 Jun 1997 15:55:55 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 15:55:55 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>

Someone on this list asked me to post the time and day for my radio
interview with Dorian Devins on "The Green Room," a program where Richard
Dawkins has also appeared.=20

My Green Room session will be on Monday, at 7:20 ET. It airs on WFMU 91.1
FM and 90.1 FM in the New York and New Jersey area. It is also available by
internet at As there are numerous way for
internet listening to fail, I suggest that anyone who definitely wants to
listen test their configuration several days in advance of the broadcast.
The discussion will include a general intro to Thought Contagion Theory,
and will probably go into such topics as American militias, "the Cult," etc.

I will also be on ABC News "World News Now," which airs for 2 hours on late
Tuesday PM/Early Wednesday AM unless a truck bomb goes off and blasts me
off that day's show and onto the next. The show is extremely casual,
(jackets forbidden), and they told me to keep it simple. But I'm welcome to
dive right into controversial subjects, as well as tell memetic jokes. It
will probably be 5 minutes of talk-show like format. (American and European
science documentary producers have also contacted me about doing more "in
depth" discussions of memetics on TV, but this could take some time to



Many of you already know about the first all-memetics book endorsed by
Richard Dawkins from coverage on in Newsweek, NPR, and other sources. For
those who don=92t, the book is:

How Belief Spreads Through Society
The New Science of Memes.

More information, including the opening chapter, table of contents, and
related papers, are at:

>From the THOUGHT CONTAGION web page:

Thought Contagion examines a powerful class of beliefs, called memes,
that "program" for their own re-transmission=97ultimately affecting whole
societies. By their strong effects on how we live, such beliefs secure
self-propagation by inducing proselytism, abundant child raising, dropout
prevention, and competition suppression. Memes harnessing these human
functions most effectively win out over weaker variants. Evolving like life
forms, through evolution by natural selection, thought contagions vie for
ever stronger influence in human lives. Especially powerful in matters of
religion, sexuality, reproductive issues, family life, and health, thought
contagions already reach deeply into our personal lives.

Online Chapter: An online version of Chapter 1 introduces Thought Contagion
Theory and applies it to such topics as: Amish farming, masturbation
taboos, arms races, apocalyptic religion, militant Islam, Mormonism, and

Originality: In a world where the phrase "new paradigm" has become clich=E9,
and where "high concept" books form a crowded genre, Thought Contagion
officially opens a new branch of knowledge in the Library of Congress
catalog system. They might have called the subject "Memetics," but with the
word still missing from American dictionaries, they called it "Contagion
(Social Psychology)."=20


"One of the most important new ideas of our times is that of 'memes,'--the
vision of ideas as autonomous entities, leaping from brain to brain in much
the same way that viruses leap from body to body, spreading and replicating
and 'infecting' the population of 'hosts.' This catchy metaphor has become
increasingly powerful and deep, and Aaron Lynch's book is in the vanguard
of efforts to clarify it and make it vivid for lay audiences. The very meme
of 'memes' is thus taking hold and spreading through the human ideosphere,
and it is my hope that Thought Contagion will be a primary vector in this
global epidemic. Luckily for us potential hosts, it is both benign and

"When I get down to writing The Selfish Meme, Aaron Lynch's admirable
Thought Contagion will undoubtedly be a prime source book for intriguing
examples and penetrating analyses."=20

"Memetics is a radical science, modeled on genetics, that cuts against the
grain of conventional and habitual thinking; Lynch does a fine job of
covering its pros and cons, exploring its range and making it accessible to
nonexpert readers."=20

"The book is intriguing, and its ideas are sure to spread."

BRIEF CONTENTS Detailed Table of Contents also available.

Chapter 1:=20
Self-Sent Messages and Mass Belief=20

Chapter 2:=20
A Missing Link: Memetics and the Social Sciences=20

Chapter 3:=20
Family Plans: Ideas that Win with Children=20

Chapter 4:=20
Sexually Transmitted Belief: The Clash of Freedom and Restriction=20

Chapter 5:=20
Successful Cults: Western Religion by Natural Selection=20

Chapter 6:=20
Prescription Beliefs: Thought Contagions and Health=20

Chapter 7:=20
Controversy: Thought Contagions in conflict

Thought Contagions of "Thought Contagion"




--Aaron Lynch

How Belief Spreads Through Society
The New Science of Memes
Basic Books. Info and free sample:


--Aaron Lynch

How Belief Spreads Through Society
The New Science of Memes
Basic Books. Info and free sample:

This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)