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Ideas in Howard Bloom

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Howard Bloom is one interesting author. On his website is a quote from Richard Metzger, creative director, The Disinformation Company “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.”

Since I am from Brooklyn myself, the idea that God is from Brooklyn appeals to me in my more egocentric movements. I have to admit that I have sampled a bit from Howard Bloom’s books The Lucifer Principle and Global Brain but never devoured them whole. They reveal a man of ideas with a broad sweep.

No Gene is an Island” is a recent interview with Bloom by former Mondo 2000 editor RU Sirius.

Bloom is both an idealist as a philosopher and an advocate of science. He declares that “Reality is a Shared Hallucination” which makes him as much an idealist as Hegel. But then his emphasis on anatomical information centers such as the brain and the gene would suggest he is a materialistic philosopher of science.

The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History, Bloom’s first book, is along the lines of the Bloom’s inclination toward toward the primacy of biology and science and materiality. The book’s thesis is that there is a sociobiological proclivity that humans have for violence which is the “Lucifer principle.”

In his most recent book Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, Bloom starts with the same kind of emphasis on biological determinism he began with in Lucifer Principle. His basic theme in the book is that the earth and the evolving Internet are developing into a computer the size of the planet, a sort of “global brain” But in describing the entity that the earth is becoming, Bloom jumps from genes to memes. It is in his embrace of memetics&#8212an idea first put forth by socibiologist Richard Dawkins that he also takes the leap from materialism to a sort of emergent idealism.

Currently Howard Bloom is working on a new book with the working title: Reinventing Capitalism-Putting Soul In the Machine: A Quick Re-Vision Of Western Civilization which you can read more about here.

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About Bruce Eisner

  • Nick Jones

    I read this book, hoping for real insight into human violence, but all I found was another Social Darwinist tract. I’ll be tearing it apart on my own blog, if I ever get my ass in gear and get it started.

  • AlanWD40

    Is Howard related to the Lit Crit Harold Bloom?

  • I rather enjoyed The Lucifer Principle, although I think there was a lot more to it that “man is inclined to violence.” Social Darwinism? Maybe in Global Brain, which I haven’t read yet…

  • Ryan Brown

    Wait till you read Reinventing Capitalism… this cat’s the Real Deal.


  • Morgan Kinney

    It’s hardly as simple as “Social Darwinism.” Even the above author is wrong in saying “sociobiological,” because Bloom advances something much different – something I’ve found elsewhere called “Metasystem Transition Theory,” and perhaps also “Multi-level Selection Theory.” People are being pulled together through pressures for more efficient social systems, and in the service of that, individuals pay the price. It’s a grand version of it gets worse before it gets better, and it’s beautiful for being an idealism that is synchronized to realism.