Genius of the Beast
—JAMES BURKE, author and director of Connections
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“It’s an extraordinary book, exhilaratingly-written and masterfully-researched. I couldn’t put it down.”
James Burke, creator and host of seven BBC TV series, including Connections.
“Brilliant and powerful.”
Edgar Mitchell, sixth man to walk on the Moon, pilot of Apollo 14’s Lunar Module, and founder of The Institute of Noetic Sciences.
“Impressive and stimulating. A tremendously enjoyable book.”
James Fallows, National Correspondent for The Atlantic, Chairman of the Board of the New America Foundation, five-time finalist for the American Book Award, former White House speechwriter, author of Blind Into Baghdad and Postcards from Tomorrow Square: Reports from China.
“Howard Bloom’s newest book nails it once and for all. Hard to believe a book could clarify and illuminate everything swirling through and around our beleaguered selves, but this one does it!”
Richard Foreman, MacArthur Genius award-winner, founder of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater and the man the New York Times calls the “gray wizard of experimental theater.”
“Read with delight this terrific book in which Bloom re-writes the history of the West and shows us what capitalism is really all about–or what at its best it demands of us and how it rewards our innermost natures. Bloom is a thinker of the order of Herbert Spencer or Henri Bergson–he tries to see the whole picture from the origin of the universe through the origin of life to the origins of humanity and the continuity of the creativity of the cosmos in our personal and social behavior. His insights along the way are mind-churning: his portrayal of Plato’s real genius as a marketer is brilliant. The bacteria who poisoned their environment and thus moved evolution upward…what a metaphor. Columbus’ greatest skill was marketing not navigation, the role of tea rituals, and the tale of soap, all are wonderful. I’ve been writing about Max Weber and ‘the spirit of capitalism’ and it makes me even more aware of the brilliance of Bloom’s argument about what is in the beast and how it can be tapped: capitalism does not just emerge from the Protestant ethic but from the nature of the human animal and its cosmic inheritance. Let’s hope this side of the beast can win out over its parochial and narrow other self that longs for the safety of the tribe. But about the West at its best, he’s right: Capitalism = Service. An amazing and brilliant book.”
Robin Fox, founder of the Anthropology Department at Rutgers University, former director of research for the H. F. Guggenheim Foundation, co-author of The Imperial Animal and author of Kinship and Marriage.
“Pure poetry, divinely begotten. It’s a struggle of visions wine and wafer to become the real world’s flesh and blood. I am convinced that Howard Bloom is the reincarnation of Plato. This beast is absolutely captivating; a godsend.”
Mark Lamonica, author of Rio L. A and Junk yard dogs and William Shakespeare.
“It will grab you by the throat and shake your fundamental perceptions of life.”
Robert D. Steel, former CIA clandestine case officer for extremist targets, creator Marine Corps Intelligence Center, CEO of OSS.Net, Inc., author of On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World, #1 non-fiction reviewer at Amazon.com.
“Capitalism de- and reconstructed–capitalism with a heart–and brain: Howard Bloom’s new book marshals his vast knowledge of history, deep cultural experience and broad scientific understanding to argue for a new way. Ever since I sent away for a marketing book in the eighties whose major advice was how much money you could make marketing marketing books, I was skeptical. But marketing genius Howard Bloom may have written the greatest marketing book ever–one that puts capitalism in its cosmic context.”
Dorion Sagan, author of Acquiring Genomes: A Theory Of The Origin Of Species (with Lynn Margulis) and Notes from the Holocene: A Brief History of the Future.
“I imagine Howard Bloom’s eyes laughing as he takes a sledgehammer to smash yet another giant icon: this time it’s the sacred cow of capitalist macroeconomic theory. But when the dust clears — and he’s colorfully reconstructed the history of Western Civilization through the eyes of his latest mega-idea, it turns out capitalism is a good thing after all. We were all just wrong about why! Howard remains one of my favorite sources of new memes. Don’t miss this one.”
Richard Brodie, author, Virus of the Mind: the New Science of the Meme and original author of Microsoft Word
“Bloom is a brilliant synthesizer who connects the dots so the rest of us can see.”
Paul Herr, author of Primal Management and Inventor of The Horsepower SurveyTM
“At last a consistent free-flowing unmutilated vision for those who want to see the connection between physics, emotions, business and society. Some Bloomian terms and concepts (like reperception, messianic capitalism, cycles of boom and crash, and the universe feeling out her possibilities) have already invaded my everyday speech. This is exactly what we need: a science book meant for action and an action manual rooted in science.”
Pascal Jouxtel, partner, Eurogroup Institute, Paris, author of Comment les systmes pondent.
“Howard Bloom has created a masterpiece! This book is the ‘aha moment’ that everyone needs and is deeply yearning for.”
Barbara Annis, CEO, Barbara Annis & Associates, author of Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business and Same Words Different Language: How Men and Women Misunderstand each other at Work and What to do About it.
“Howard Bloom’s books are a gift to civilization. The Genius of the Beast is the best business history I’ve read, and I’ve read many. It does resonate to my frequency! It does.”
Alex Lightman, author of Brave New Unwired World: The Digital Big Bang and the Infinite Internet, CTO, FutureMax Group, CTO, Intergovernment Renewable Energy Organization.
“If the world pays attention to Howard Bloom, the future of capitalism and the future of the world will change.”
Bob Krone, Provost, Kepler Space University
“A delightful and insightful rollercoaster ride into the future of capitalism, ripe with Howard Bloom’s trademark gusto for kaleidoscopic adventure on the frontiers of history, biology, physics, marketing, economics, and management.”
Nova Spivak, CEO and Founder of Twine.com, the world’s leading pioneer of semantic webs.
“Bloom makes a culture rock and roll as he blows away past myths, present cul-de-sacs, and future blind alleys. If the safest place in any crisis is always the hard truth, Bloom doesn’t hesitate to tell us what’s real, what works, and how we can escape the mess we are in. Pay heed!”
Don Edward Beck, Ph. D. Chairman, Global Centers for Human Emergence, co-author Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership and Change.
“There is a resonating message in The Genius of the Beast. The human being is front and center in history. Front and center in the past, present, and future. That human being is our client. The Genius of the Beast explains the centrality of understanding our client’s emotions. It explains the paramount importance of delivering outcomes that satisfy those emotions, and of delivering those outcomes in an ethical manner. This message is fundamental in a time when there’s a fracture in the investment business as we continue the shift towards retirement management. The old normal does not fit the current situation anymore. There are too many unsolved problems. There are too many unsolvable problems. The investment profession needs a new language. Traditional finance and economics described the client in terms of rational utility. That language is no longer good enough. We need new words that help us understand our clients’ emotional needs. That’s why we’ve put The Genius of the Beast in our advanced curriculum for Retirement Management Analysts and have cited it in our own book, RIIA’s Advisory Process: How To Benefit From â€˜The View Across The Silos.'”
Francois Gadenne, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director, The Retirement Income Industry Association. Co-author of How To Benefit From “The View Across The Silos.”
“Howard Bloom personifies America’s entrepreneurial genius; following him will lead us to a new world of wealth creation.”
Rich Kirby, President, Kepler Space University
“In The Genius of the Beast, Howard Bloom achieves what he has set out to doâ€”articulating a thoroughly secular call to what amounts to a spiritual mission. By tracing the capitalist impulse to innovate all the way back to its humble origins in bacteria and ants, Bloom conveys a powerful moral and evolutionary imperative for us to reinvent ourselvesâ€”and reinvigorate this systemâ€”for the sake of our collective future.”
Andrew Cohen, founder EnlightenNext
“I’m a Christian and Bloom is an atheist. But he brilliantly nails the divine nature that drives us toward creation and rest. The Genius of the Beast is a secular epiphany.”
Brace E. Barber, President/CEO Decipherst, Inc. and author of No Excuse Leadership.
click photo for a trip through art, evolution, and history
scroll down for
The Evolution of Mass Mind:
From the Big Bang To the 21st Century
by Howard Bloom
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“Howard Bloom may just be the new Stephen Hawking, only he’s not interested in science alone; he’s interested in the soul.” Aaron Hicklin–Gear
“A soaring song of songs about the amorous origins of the world, and its almost medieval urge to copulate.” Kevin Kelly, Editor-at-Large,
“I have met God, and he lives in Brooklyn. …Howard Bloom is next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Freud, and Buckminster Fuller…he is going to change the way we see ourselves and everything around us.” Richard Metzger, creative director, The Disinformation Company, host of Channel4 TV Britain’s Disinfo Nation
“For those who worry that our ingenuity has upset nature’s equilibrium, Bloom has a message that is both reassuring and sobering. ‘We are nature incarnate,’ he writes. ‘We are tools of her probings and if, indeed, we suffer and we fail, from our lessons she will learn which way in the future not to turn.'”
courtesy of NSSDC Photo Gallery
click on photo for a grand tour of the cosmos
Howard Bloom’s first book, The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into The Forces of History, was a shock to those who believe that the greed of genes turns us into selfish loners. But Bloom’s second volume, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, will come as an even bigger surprise. Says Elizabeth Loftus, past president of the American Psychological Society: “Howard Bloom’s Global Brain is filled with scientific firsts. It is the first book to make a strong, solidly backed, and theoretically original case that we do not live the lonely lives of selfish beings driven by selfish genes, but are parts of a larger whole. It is the first to propose that sociality was implicit in the start of the universe–the Big Bang. Global Brain is the first book to present strong evidence that evolutionary, biological, perceptual, and emotional mechanisms have made us parts of a social learning machine–a mass mind which includes all species of life, not just humankind. It is the first to take this idea out of the realm of mysticism and into the sphere of hard-nosed, data-derived reality. And it is one of the few books which carry off such grand visions with energy, excitement, and keen insight.”
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Global Brain says that a world-wide web has been with us since the first moments of life, and that global connectivity isn’t a product of our technology, it’s built into our biology. It’s in our cells, our bodies, and our brains.
“A modern-day prophet, Bloom compels us to admit that evolution is a team sport. This is a picture of the universe in which human emotions find their basis in the survival of matter, and the atoms themselves are held together with love. I am awestruck.” Douglas Rushkoff-author of Media Virus, Coercion, and Ecstasy Club
Global Brain tells scientific tales so vivid and so little-known they scintillate. The book zooms in on the birth of the first communal intelligence in colonies of cyanobacteria 3.5 billion years ago. A single bacterial society in those days of a spanking-new earth held trillions of members, all hyperlinked by a chemical communication code…and all working together to literally reengineer their genes. Each colony upped the level of microbial ingenuity by broadcasting data-laden macromolecules over the span of continents and seas. Using this global information-web, bacteria pioneered the first planet-straddling research and development system eons before the emergence of brains.
This may sound like far-fetched fantasy, but it’s not. Says National Medal of Science-winning biologist Lynn Margulis, Global Brain is “a stunning commitment to scientific evidence.” The Washington Post’s Michael Shermer adds that, Global Brain is “meticulously researched, and beautifully written.” And Amazon.com science editor Rob Lightner says that, “Author Howard Bloom, believed by many to be R. Buckminster Fuller’s intellectual heir, takes the reader on a dizzying tour of the universe, from its original subatomic particle network to the unimaginable data-processing power of intergalactic communication…The reader is swept up in Bloom’s vision of the power of mass minds and, before long, can’t help seeing the similarities between ecosystems, street gangs, and the Internet. [Global Brain is] as exciting as the best science fiction and as convincing as the best research paper.”
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Here’s how Publisher’s Weekly sums Global Brain up: “Blooms debut. The Lucifer Principle sought the biological basis for human evil. Now Bloom is after even bigger game. While cyber-thinkers claim the Internet is bringing us toward some sort of worldwide mind, Bloom believes we’ve had one all along. Drawing on information theory, debates within evolutionary’ biology, and research psychology (among other disciplines), Bloom understands the development of life on Earth as a series of achievements in collective information processing. He stands up for ‘group selection’ (a minority view among evolutionists) and traces cooperation among organisms-and competition between groups-throughout the history of evolution. ‘Creative webs’ of early microorganisms teamed up to go after food sources: modern colonies of E. coli bacteria seem to program themselves for useful, nonrandom mutations. Octopi ‘teach’ one another to avoid aversive stimuli. Ancient Sparta killed its weakest infants; Athens educated them. Each of these is a social learning system. And each such system relies on several functions. ‘Conformity enforcers’ keep most group members doing the same things; ‘diversity generators’ seek out new things; ‘resource shifters’ help the system alter itself to favor new things that work. In Bloom’s model, bowling leagues, bacteria, bees, Belgium and brains all behave in similar ways. …fascinating, …ambitious, [and] amply footnotedï¿½Bloom’s concept of collective information processing may startle skeptical readers with its explanatory’ power.”
continued on next page…along with Stone Age beauties and one of the strangest Cambrian beasts you’ve ever seen…
click photo below to dive into the microworld
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photo Colony of Paenibacillus vortex bacteria Courtesy of Eshel Ben-Jacob Bacterial Cybernetics Group
They live in megalopolises, carve out empires, and are the world’s swiftest innovators.
They’re not the Chinese, the Japanese, or Americans. They’re bacteria.
For a trip into
bacteria’s “creative web,”
click on photo above.
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