Richard Brodie’s Virus of the Mind
One of the first descriptions of memetics designed for a popular audience was Richard Brodie’s 1996 book, Virus of the Mind: The New Science of the Meme. Brodie was a computer programmer at Microsoft when he became interested in memetics.
The book is really a simple introduction to memetics, broadly speaking from an evolutionary psychology perspective.
Brodie claimed that the book could have been called Introduction to Memetics but that the actual title “pushes more buttons: it attracts more attention and more people will read it.” This amusing admission illustrates a point that Brodie makes throughout the book: that the most powerful memes are the ones that are based on the primordial human drives of fear, ...