virus of the mind

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virus of the mind

Unread post by hidesert » Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:07 pm

This post may be a bit premature only that I haven't finished reading the book I found yesterday at Barnes and Noble. It is entitled "Virus of the Mind" by Richard Brodie. It discusses meme (rhymes with beam) and the theory that a meme is a basic building block of culture like the gene is the basic building block of life. Nevertheless, this book originally published in 1996 and now 3rd edition is 2009 and advertised as seen on PBS. Thr author discusses memes and how sales, advertisers, companies, religions, governments, politicians, etc. utilize these tactics as well as how sometimes, these memes can evolve independantly of its creator. Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting read. What has primarily upset me about the whole RSE thing is that even though I did not buy into it to the extreme some of my friends have, I, nevertheless, did by into it more than I liked (money is energy and where I spend it does say more about me than I'd like to openly admit). Anyway, I've always considered myself intelligent and with common sense. I have a 4 year degree, 4.0 gpa, graduated in top 1% of my university, have excellent critical thinking skills... despite my involvement at RSE! So I was not happy with the fact that I was bamboolzed and I betrayed my common sense! This book explains that process of "bamboozeling" (my word). This book can easily be appled to the techniques utilized at RSE (you won't see this in the Quantum cafe!) as well as many, many other aspects of our society (television, advertising, journalism, conspracy theories, government, politics, religion, etc.) The author does emphasize that this is all theory and not a truth, that memes are one way to understand our world, and that knowledge of memes opens up enormous possibiities for understanding many problems we might consider impossible. The author writes that if you have a better understand how your mind works, you can better navigate through a world of increasingly subtle manipulation. He does write that the book will raise more questions than it answers. I think where this book has so far helped me is in the understanding of people/culture and how easily people regardless of education, stature, intelligence, culture and "openmindedness" are manipulated and (it seems to me) how we are trained to betray ourselves.

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Unread post by Caterpillar » Fri Mar 05, 2010 5:29 am

Hello Hidesert

Thank you for the recommendation. Sounds like a great book.

Here?s some related info (video & article) about memes from a previous post that you may be interested in: ... .php?t=930

Cult researchers have shown that intelligent and well-educated people are recruited into cults. I can understand their research in the recruiting process and manipulation techniques used but I also have moments of being embarrassed that I once believed in a 35,000 year old being and walked around blindfolded in spite of my college qualifications.


Many cult members are doctors, lawyers, professors, and high profile celebrities--responsible citizens. This is why some cults have survived for decades and functioned efficiently despite a high turnover rate, public disapproval and angry parents. ... al431.html

Many RSE students have gone to college according to this 1996 study of RSE students.

Quote from RSE:

Who is the typical Ramtha student?

In 1996, Constance A. Jones, a Fulbright scholar who teaches at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, visited the school three times. Jones drew this demographic picture of the Ramtha School from the 540 students she sampled:

A high number of students have college and post-graduate degrees.

Of the sample, half earn less than $20,000, despite their education.

The average age is 41 years old.

Most are former city dwellers who left to live in or near Yelm. "Leaving the city is about accommodating their changing values," Jones said. "Most of the students have intentionally chosen to leave prestigious and high-income jobs and live with fewer resources. "Money, prestige and fame are not as important as living closer to the land." ... tudent.stm

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