virus: Pinching Dawkins's Title

Richard Brodie (
Thu, 6 Mar 1997 15:23:01 -0800

Tad wrote:

>I am a slow thinker, but it just occurred to me. Richard Brodie, when
>chatted with Richard Dawkins on several occasions, did he say anything
>you editing his "Viruses of the Mind", 1991, article title in your 1996
>"Virus of the Mind"?

The answer to your question can be found on my Meme Central web page
next to the link to the Dawkins Page:

When I met Prof. Dawkins, he politely greeted me with "Oh, you're the
fellow who pinched my title!" It was not a week after the advance
information for my book Virus of the Mind was sent to Books in Print
that I walked into Barnes & Noble and saw his essay featured on the
cover of Free Inquiry magazine. Well, I suppose the meme infected both
of us at about the same time...

That meeting was a private dinner with Charles Simonyi, Bill Gates, and
several other Seattle intellectuals. Our mission was to grill Dawkins to
see if he was worthy of becoming the first holder of the Simonyi Chair
at Oxford. He passed, obviously. He was there with his wife Lalla Ward
whom you, KMO and I saw at that talk he gave at the University Book
Store in Seattle.

A friend and I came up with my title during a Cleveland-Seattle baseball
game in I think September 1994. If I had known of Dawkins's essay I
probably would have chosen another title, but by the time I learned of
it the wheels were already turning. There was no legal problem as titles
are not protectable by copyright. (They can be trademarks, however.)

As for updating the Bible -- it's been done!

Richard Brodie +1.206.688.8600
CEO, Brodie Technology Group, Inc., Bellevue, WA, USA
Do you know what a "meme" is?