13 January 2005

Meme

n: A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation);"memes are the cultural counterpart of genes"

Memes are contagious ideas, all competing for a share of our mind in a kind of Darwinian selection. Individual slogans, catch-phrases, melodies, icons, inventions, and fashions are all typical memes. As they evolve, they become better and better at distracting and diverting us from whatever we'd really like to be doing with our lives. They are a kind of Virus of the Mind, spreading as easily as any cold.

But still, it is what our culture, religion and modern life is based on. My favorite example of a crucial meme would be "fire" or more importantly, "how to make a fire." This is a behavioral meme, one which didn't necessarily need a word attached to it to spring up and spread, merely a demonstration for another to follow, but still something that could not be done on pure instinct. Once the meme was out there, it would have spread like wildfire, for obvious reasons...

But when you start to think of memes like that, behavioral memes, then you can begin to see how language itself, the idea of language, was a meme. Writing was a meme. And within those areas, more specific memes emerged.

And as a designer, it is basically my job to either create, or to pass on memes.

So here goes. (This is a passed on meme mind you.)

Instructions: Copy the list from the last person in the chain and link back to them, delete the names of the authors you don't have on your home library shelves and replace them with names of authors you do have. Bold the replacements.

Terry Pratchett
Douglas Adams
Robin Hobb
Jostein Gaarder
Charles de Lint
JRR Tolkien
C.S. Lewis
J.K. Rowling
Yann Martel

This is fairly trivial meme. Why exactly would I want to know which authors I have in common with someone I have never met? But still I have found this same meme on various other blogs. And now it is here. Mainly because 'everybody else is doing it'?

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6 Comments:

Blogger Jordan said...

How is one to find those meme of me by those who know me best?

5:55 PM, January 13, 2005  
Blogger jazz said...

hi onanymous, thanks for participating in my blog! You rock!

5:15 PM, January 14, 2005  
Blogger The Saturnyne said...

HEy! I love all the little additions you've put in yer blog... the world map down the bottom is awesome! I'm sooo gonna plagiarize a couple of these from ya. FAbulous!

S.x

8:30 AM, January 16, 2005  
Blogger Funky Fresh Freddie said...

You're hot.

9:27 AM, January 17, 2005  
Blogger Karen Funk Blocher said...

Interesting list, but that meme is little more than a literary chain letter. I don't do chain letters.

As I'm sure you're aware, the Internet, particularly blogs and email lists, is the more efficient generator and spreader of memees yet devised. So why do urband legends and conspiracy theories and Quizilla polls spread so much more successfully than what is true and important?

Karen

http://journals.aol.com/mavarin/MusingsfromMavarin/

10:21 AM, January 17, 2005  
Blogger Funky Fresh Freddie said...

YOU ARE HOT! MARRY ME!

11:49 AM, January 23, 2005  

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