Essay On Thought Contagion. Explains Thought Contagion And Examples Of How Memes Effect The Mind. Teacher Of Class Was Very Impressed.

3423 words - 14 pages

Evolution Is No Longer Dependent Upon Random Mutation and Natural Selection: It Is We As Human Beings Who Will Determine The Survival and Future Evolution of All Forms of Life On Earth.Thought Contagion: 1. A self-spreading thought, idea, attitude, belief, or other brain-stored item of learned culture. 2. The process of ideas self-propagating in a population. 3. (Technical usage) A memory item, or portion of an individual's neurally stored information, whose causation depended critically upon prior instantiation of the same memory item in one or more other individuals. 4. (Technical usage) The process of repeated causation of new instantiations of memory items in which the causation of those new instantiations depended critically upon the prior instantiation of the same memory item in one or more other organisms' nervous systems.Everyone is familiar with genes: the biological code-carriers that program our corporal body by amino acid sequences in our DNA. Genes are the element of heredity that forms the base for the pattern of all life. But did you know that there is a parallel force inhabiting the human mind; that there is a living force in the realm of ideas, so abstract and deeply ingrained its existence has remained invisible to us until just recently?Just as genes travel from cell to cell generationally as they replicate, and fulminate physical changes, memes travel from mind to mind like viruses, infecting us with their concepts. Memes are changed by the mind, on the basis of an individual's vMEME*, thus evolving, and move from the carrier mind once again, infecting others. This is the thought contagion, the evolutionary epidemiology of ideas. This is the root of all of our thinking.Thought contagions are beliefs or ideas that "program" for their own spreading. Evolving like life forms, through evolution by natural selection, they vie forever-stronger influence in the human mind-ultimately affecting whole populations and societies.Thought contagion theory is the more formal concept given to the idea of "memes" (rhymes with 'deems'), coined and popularized by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish GeneK. Dawkins' original examples included catchphrases, clothes fashions, and new ways of building arches. For the purposes of this paper 'memes' will be used in lieu of the various terms needed to discuss formal thought contagion (There are a myriad of definitions given to the word 'meme', since when it was coined it wasn't given a specific definition. There is much debate as to how it should be defined, but for the purposes of this paper it will be equivalent to thought contagion theory.)Memes reproduce themselves through imitation; they interact with their surroundings and adapt to them; they mutate; they persist; and they defend themselves against each other. Memes evolve to fill the empty niches in their local environments that are, in this case, the surrounding belief systems and cultures of their natural hosts, namely, us. It is our...

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