The Spectrum of Identity

Topics: Memetics, Susan Blackmore, The Meme Machine Pages: 4 (1292 words) Published: November 17, 2013
The Spectrum of Identity
Identity is a spectrum, from the fundamental elements of a human being to the extraordinary attributes that distinguish one individual from the next, no matter how close those peas in the pod may be. In the novelette Anthem, by Ayn Rand, the protagonist Equality 7-2521 finds himself on a pursuit for his own identity in the suppressed society that he dwells in. Relatively, psychologist Susan Blackmore suggests in the first chapter of her book The Meme Machine that as humans, we mimic others to learn and improve, as an evolutionary advantage, potentially limiting or expanding the dimension of our identity. On another standpoint, author Lauren Slater wrote an article “Who Holds the Clicker” that discusses a technological development in which electrodes are implanted into the brains of candidates with mental disorders, curing them or potentially putting them in a position of mind control. In the process of individuals searching for their identities, they must keep in mind that they are shaping their own identities, which belong to no one else and are certainly not for others to control.

Primarily, an individual's identity is shaped by himself, though certain social factors may be in control of others. In the non-fiction article “Who Holds the Clicker,” Lauren Slater proceeds to refute the concern that, in the process of psychiatrists simply “targeting symptoms” with brain implants, these programmers potentially control the mind and shape the social identity of the people (8). Such a degree of management over another individual’s mind seems almost…superficial. It is evident, from the narration and feelings of Mario, a prime subject used in the research of this project, that he was in complete control of his the social aspects of his life in terms of knowing and establishing who he was in his life: a husband, a father, a patient who was being helped. He felt the changes and knew he was applying them to his future. As the author describes...

Cited: Blackmore, Susan. "Strange Creatures." The Meme Machine. Dr. Susan Blackmore. 10 Nov. 2003. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Rand, Ayn. Anthem. New York: Signet, 1995. Print.
Slater, Lauren. "Who Holds the Clicker?" Mother Jones. MotherJones.com, Nov. 2005. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
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