The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood - Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 11 Summary and Analysis

Chapter 11 is called "Into the Meme Pool (You Parasitize My Brain)." One of the concepts that Dawkins proposed in "The Selfish Gene" is the idea of a meme. Memes take many forms, but are ideas or other bits of information that pass from person to person and are replicated through imitation.

Gleick gives some examples of memes. They might be ideas. Dawkins suggested that the belief in God is a meme that has survived by replication for many generations. Tunes might be memes, such as the opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Catchphrases like "Survival of the fittest" and "Read my lips" are memes. Images can be memes, too, such as the Mona Lisa.

Memes can mutate and be manipulated, Gleick explains, but they are messages that are independent of the people who propogate them. With the Internet, they are stored...

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