About the Author: Howard Bloom
“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.’”
“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 Magazine
“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
r. Christopher Boehm, Director of the Jane Goodall Research Center, says, “Howard Bloom should be taking notes on what he is doing virtually every minute of every day; he is literally making scientific history.”
Bloom specializes in a field without a name-a territory he calls “mass behavior.” He studies the mass movements of everything from quarks and stars to bacteria, tall tales, and television plots. In a single day he’s been known to probe the common patterns of receptors on a cell wall, of neurons whose mass flows make the mind, of hormones storm-tossing the emotions, and of the mass passions that generate politics, invention, art, and war. The sweeping views Bloom has derived from his flights across the frontiers that traditionally isolate the sciences impelled noted neurobiologist Walter Freeman, author of How Brains Make Up Their Minds, to proclaim, “I am speechless with admiration, overwhelmed by virtuosity.”
In his quest for evidence and insight, Bloom’s embarked on a series of scientific adventures as unexpected as Darwin’s six months riding herd on cattle among the cowboys of the Argentinean pampas. But before we get to the exploits, let’s cover the dry and dusty facts.
Howard Bloom is a Visiting Scholar at New York University, executive editor of the New Paradigm book series, a founding board member of the Epic of Evolution Society, and a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the National Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Society, the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, The International Society of Human Ethology, and the Academy of Political Science. He has been featured in every edition of Who’s Who in Science and Engineering since the publication’s inception.
Bloom is also the founder of two international scientific groups. The first was an academic circle called The Group Selection Squad,” whose efforts in the mid-1990s precipitated radical re-evaluations of neo-Darwinist dogma within the scientific community and in publications ranging from The New York Times and The Scientist to Science News and Natural History Magazine. The second group, launched in 1997, is The International Paleopsychology Project, a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to mapping out the evolution of complexity, sociality, emotion, perception, and mentation from the first 10(-32) second of the Big Bang to the present. Paleopsychology’s participants have included physicists, psychologists, microbiologists, paleontologists, entomologists, neuroscientists, paleoneurologists, invertebrate zoologists, and systems theorists.
Now for the adventures. Bloom plunged into microbiology and theoretical physics at the age of ten, collaborated in the creation of a computer that won a Westinghouse National Science Contest prize when he was thirteen, won an award for his participation in research on the immune system at the world’s largest cancer research center at the age of sixteen, and did research on programmed learning and Skinnerian techniques at Rutgers University’s Graduate Department of Education before entering his freshman year of college.
In 1968, Bloom graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from NYU, then turned down four graduate fellowships in clinical psychology and made a daring move for a budding scientist. He escaped academia and infiltrated the highest levels of pop culture. His goal? To research what he calls “the dark underbelly of mass emotion.”
First Bloom edited an experimental graphics/literary magazine that won two National Academy of Poets prizes. Then, he co-founded the leading avant-garde commercial art studio on the East Coast and was featured on the cover of Art Direction magazine. In 1971 he became head of a national music monthly, Circus, and was credited by veteran Rolling Stone editor Chet Flippo with inventing a new genre-the heavy metal magazine. In 1976, he founded The Howard Bloom Organization, Ltd. and worked closely with Michael Jackson, Prince, Bob Marley, John Cougar Mellencamp, Kiss, AC/DC, Run-D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Simon & Garfunkel, Diana Ross, and Bette Midler.
Bloom was a fearless explorer of pop subcultures, helping underground movements like punk, rap, disco, new age, and fusion-jazz get their footing. Few in the entertainment business realized that he was taking notes every inch of the way.
Bloom also tunneled into politics, writing position papers for two winning Congressional candidates, handling publicity for Amnesty International’s first benefit concert, overseeing publicity for the first Farm Aid benefit, and working with the United Negro College Fund, the National Black United Fund, and the NAACP. In 1986, he co-founded a national anti-censorship group, Music In Action, and went toe to toe with Tipper Gore and a group of Senators’ wives in a struggle to preserve the freedom of popular music’s artists and its fans.
In 1981, while he was moving toward the peak of the entertainment industry, Bloom quietly shifted back to evolutionary and social theory. The first fruit of his analysis was The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History (1995). The second was Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century (2000).
What are Bloom’s books about? The Lucifer Principle, now in its fourteenth printing, stakes out bold new territory. Evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson (co-author of Unto Others: The evolution and psychology of unselfish behavior) says Bloom “raced ahead of the timid scientific herd” with a “grand vision” that “we do strive as individuals, but we are also part of something larger than ourselves, with a complex physiology and mental life that we carry out but only dimly understand. That is the vision of evolution and human behavior found in The Lucifer Principle, and at the moment it can be found nowhere else.”
Kevin Kelly, Editor-at-Large of Wired, describes Bloom’s second book, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind From The Big Bang to the 21st Century, as, “A soaring song of songs about the amorous origins of the world, and its almost medieval urge to copulate.” Elizabeth Loftus, past-president of the American Psychological Society and author of Witness for the Defense and The Myth of Repressed Memory is more specific. “Howard Bloom’s Global Brain,” she says, “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.”
Bloom’s childhood hero, Albert Einstein, said that the mark of a genius is not his ability to come up with ideas only a handful of humans can understand, it’s his ability to make those concepts understandable to every intelligent reader. So Bloom’s theories may be original, but he writes them in a style that effervesces and scintillates. Says The Washington Post, “Readers will be mesmerized by the mirror Bloom holds to the human condition, and dumbfounded by the fusillade of eclectic data that arrives with the swiftness and intensity of a furious tennis volley. His style is effortless, engaging, witty and brisk….”
Concludes Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of Evolution’s End and The Crack in the Cosmic Egg, “I have finished Howard Bloom’s two books, The Lucifer Principle and Global Brain, in that order, and am seriously awed, near overwhelmed by the magnitude of what he has done. I never expected to see, in any form, from any sector, such an accomplishment. I doubt there is a stronger intellect than Bloom’s on the planet.”
“A fascinating new evolutionary theory
which could deeply change our view of life, and a new
worldview which could radically change
our interpretation of social structures.”
Howard Bloom’s latest book
The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century