Aaron Lynch (
Sun, 13 Jul 1997 20:32:53 -0500

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Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 20:32:53 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
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For anyone who tuned in to ABC News expecting to see me talk about memetics
on June 18, I offer my apologies. The broadcast was rescheduled, and took
place on July 2. Anderson Cooper and Michelle Norris interviewed me for 6
minutes on hell memes, doomsday beliefs, anti-abortionism, and the Nazi
movement--all subjects covered in THOUGHT CONTAGION.

>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,"=
>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
> --Aaron
>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:

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