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!

Homily for the Festive Eucharist at the closing of the Episcopal Women's Caucus

The readings that we chose for the service tonight were all picked specifically for this service because they lift up the role of women ...