Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The term Internet meme (rhymes with dream) is a neologism used to describe a catchphrase or concept that spreads in a faddish way from person to person via the Internet. (Wikipedia)

A neologism is a word, term, or phrase that has been recently created (or "coined"), often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts.......etc.

Dictionary.com is even more specific - a meme is a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.

And now that biology has been mentioned - Memes are the basic building blocks of our minds and culture, in the same way that genes are the basic building blocks of biological life.

According to Richard Dawkins this phenomenon is surely a catalyst in an ongoing cultural revolution.

The subject gets deeper and more fascinating, opening up new avenues of understanding, - but on the lighter side this method of transmitting information can be clever, amusing and creative, as well as intellectually challenging. Great entertainment, as witness the many fun memes that pop up like corked bottles while I am out surfing....

I found a "picture meme" on one of my regular visits to Pie in the Sky, which required that you use pictures from Photobucket to answer pre-set questions. When I visited the available pictures on Photobucket I found I was right out of my generational depth....WOW

Pie in the Sky had remarked on the possibility of creating a meme using pictures you had taken yourself, and that seemed to make the whole project more realistic. She issued a general invitation to participate, and I couldn't resist it...

So here goes.....

1, What is your current relationship status?




2. What is your current mood?What is your favourite band/singer


What kind of pets do you have?
Where do you live?

Where do you work?


What do you look like?

What do you drive?



What did you do last night?



What is your favourite T.V. show?
Describe yourself.



What are you doing tomorrow?


What is your name?


What is your favourite movie?




"Truth to tell," sez Husband, "this business of Memes is somewhat beyond my ken"

And I look at the definitions of memes and acknowledge that they are somewhat ponderous and there is a simpler explanation of the concept.

And so I sez " When millions of people huddle over their computers at night they tell stories and exchange information /misinformation through blogs and memes, surfing and stumbling, and in this way contribute to a vast surge in ideas, contacts and influence. The world becomes a village (somewhat raucous at times) and Marshall McLuhan gives a little sigh of contentment and turns over to sleep another 100 years. The building blocks of the mind accumulate and as we absorb and share on such a grand scale our culture gathers it all in, ferments a little - the world quivers slightly and changes its mores and its ways, - in more ways than one, if you will forgive the play on words.

Memes are the sparks from the campfires of ancient days, and the lingering stories of strangers passing through."

Well, this is what I think.

1 comment:

Fonnell said...

Very thought provoking. I see this in the Navajo stories I'm reading. The very act of sharing the community stories causing something in your self to adjust. In the Navajo way the stories are told to heal or help bring you back into harmony. But the story is told with sand pictures and it touches the person needing the harmony because as they gaze upon the sand painting that show the story and hear the chanting music they remember something common to them and they heal. I think that is what your photo story does too, offers up something we can see a common and a different path in and we feel in harmony. Did that comes across in an understandable way. It's a full and complex subject. Thanks for the neat information.