Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's all in a Meme


Batgirl's Tea Party by Joey Weiser

What's a meme? I saw it mentioned and had to look it up! What got me curious was the Great Batgirl Meme of '06 someone pointed me to. Evidently, one artist redesigned Batgirl's costume and hundreds of artists did the same. That evolved into Fat Bat Cat drawings by a bunch of artists. It is interesting how creative ideas spread -- and how one artist's action can inspire creativity in other artists. Anyway, you learn something new every day, and here's what I've learned today!

A meme (pronounced /miːm/)[1] comprises any idea or behavior that can pass from one person to another by learning or imitation. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, gestures, practices, fashions, habits, songs, and dances. Memes propagate themselves and can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus.

Richard Dawkins coined the word "meme" as a neologism in his book The Selfish Gene (1976) to describe how one might extend evolutionary principles to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. He gave as examples melodies, catch-phrases, beliefs (notably religious belief, clothing/fashion, and the technology of building arches).[2]

Something very interesting to me is that the word for self-replication is a shortened form of the Greek word mimeme -- which looks a lot like Mini-Me!

So that's a meme, but basically in internet jargon basically in internet-jargon it means like a game that people play on blogs where one person posts something and then their friends do the same and so on and so forth.

4 comments:

anna said...

I want another kitty - A nice, fat one. Trixie hates me.

Ben said...

Andy, your posts are always fun, inspirational, and informative. But I must tell you something, from one teacher to another--I cringe whenever you use Wikipedia as a source ;-)

Andrew Wales said...

You are so right! I humbly accept your constructive criticism. From now on I plan to hunt down more reliable sources!

Andrew Wales said...

Trixie is mad at you for moving away. When Marissa spends the night somewhere, she makes us all suffer.