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Showing posts from July 16, 2013

Invasion of the Mind Snatchers

In 1976 Richard Dawkins made the interesting observation that ideas—such as views, fashions, beliefs, practices, theories—behaved like genes: the successful ones survive. Concepts that thrive are not necessarily the benevolent, but simply the ones that spread and adapt well with their host ecosystem: human minds. Thoughts that survive are not always in our best interest; some ideas—selfish, fearful, biased ideations—thrive by engaging the most fearful regions the brain, driving us to distraction via conscious repetition, while activating and tensing our underlying sympathetic nervous system. 
Some concepts, difficult to defend in isolation, endure because they interact well with other views and opinions. For example: ‘there should be no limits to how much an individual can accumulate and consume’ is difficult to defend when examined alone, but it integrates well with other ideas prevalent in capitalist environments, and so it perseveres.
As genes are a set of instructions that determ…