Thursday, March 15, 2007

Meme: What I Learned Today

Lately I've read blogs that refer to memes...but gave no real clue as to what a meme I had to look it up...

From the internet:

meme (mēm) n.
A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.

An idea which spreads.

and from Wikipedia:

The term "meme" (IPA: /miːm/, rhyming with "theme") was coined in 1976 by the biologist Richard Dawkins to refer to a "unit of cultural information" which can propagate from one mind to another in a manner analogous to genes (i.e., the units of genetic information).

Dawkins said, Examples of memes are tunes, catch-phrases, beliefs, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. A meme, he said, propagates itself as a unit of cultural evolution and diffusionanalogous in many ways to the behavior of the gene . Often memes propagate as more-or-less integrated cooperative sets or groups, referred to as memeplexes or meme-complexes.

The idea of memes has proved a successful meme in its own right, gaining a degree of penetration into popular culture which relatively few modern scientific theories achieve.
Proponents of memes suggest that memes evolve via natural selection — in a way very similar to Charles Darwin's ideas concerning biological evolution — on the premise that variation, mutation, competition, and "inheritance" influence their replicative success. For example, while one idea may become extinct, other ideas will survive, spread and mutate — for better or for worse — through modification.

Meme-theorists contend that memes most beneficial to their hosts will not necessarily survive; rather, those memes which replicate the most effectively spread best; which allows for the possibility that successful memes might prove detrimental to their hosts.

Blogs: a place for meming...
(is meming a word??)...
(according to "spellcheck" it is not...)

1 comment:

hipchickmamma said...

i LOVE your family of happy faces!

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