Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Meme or Meme

Memes. Since I first started to read blogs, which only predates the birth of this blog by a few months, I have been seeing these things referred to as memes. Due to the “Ohhh! Ohhh! Look at me! Look at me!” nature of the memes I have seen, I wondered if the name meme somehow referred to memory or if it was a play on the pronoun me. I decided the only thing to do was consult that modern Oracle of Apollo, Wikipedia, and find out what the out of work psychology majors (usually it is history majors, but not this week) had written there for my perusal.

At first the Meme article seemed a bit more high-brow than the information I was after. Self-propagating units of cultural evolution? What, like when Moon Unit Zappa decides to have a music career? Any piece of information passed from one mind to another? Huh? This either means that everything we learn from an outside source is a meme OR they can only be shared through some sort of Vulcanesque mind-link, and while I read a lot of fiction and I am not the biggest fan of reality, I am down to Earth enough to be fairly certain we cannot, yet, directly connect mind-to-mind (although I admit, twins can be FREAKY.) And then they cleared everything up for me by pointing out that the term has come into popular use to describe internet phenomena such as the “All your base are belong to us” bit of Engrish silliness and other such things. So while a meme is all the high-brow things mentioned above, including anything not learned through experience, it is also those irritating surveys in which people tell you their favorite color (blue) and favorite drink (an even tie between Guinness and a Snakebite). I solemnly swear to keep the instances of those memes to a minimum here.

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