Virus of the Mind – Book Review

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Hello, I’m Alyssa, a designer and digital marketing consultant at Couple of Creatives. When I’m not busy building brands for businesses, you can find me curled up in a blanket with my nose in a book for hours, usually in the early morning before most people awake. 📖🐛

I just finished this book by Richard Brodie, a computer programmer and original author of Microsoft Word, called Virus of the Mind, The New Science of the Meme. He talks about how powerful ‘memes’ are at spreading ideas.

A ‘meme,’ as he defines it, is a unit of information that programs a person’s mind and influences others, so that more copies of itself keep generating.

He refers to evolutionary psychology and how instincts like sensing danger, eating and mating are mechanisms we have adapted to survive and reproduce to preserve our genes. However, he speculates that we have evolved to behave in a manor that signifies a greater purpose.

Humans have evolved over millions of years to acquire self-awareness—which he believes is the solution to some of the most pervasive problems in the world. With self-awareness, we can override certain impulses and control which ‘memes’ to adopt, so we can influence how we get programmed, and better achieve our pursuit of happiness.

He ends the book on the importance of our education system. The root of social change is in our programming, and how we get programmed begins at an early age in school.

What I like about this book is it encourages readers to question their own programming and understanding of what is true. In doing so, one realizes their power to influence and accept or reject what information gets programmed into our society.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone in marketing or communication, and to anyone interested in gaining a new perspective.

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