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In the original introduction to the word meme in the last chapter of 'The Selfish Gene,' I did actually use the metaphor of a 'virus.' So when anybody talks about something going viral on the Internet, that is exactly what a meme is, and it looks as though the word has been appropriated for a subset of that.
An Internet meme is a hijacking of the original idea. Instead of mutating by random change and spreading by a form of Darwinian selection, Internet memes are altered deliberately by human creativity. There is no attempt at accuracy of copying, as with genes - and as with memes in their original version.
The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.
God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture.
When you get into statistical analysis, you don't really expect to achieve fame. Or to become an Internet meme. Or be parodied by 'The Onion' - or be the subject of a cartoon in 'The New Yorker.' I guess I'm kind of an outlier there.
The no-secrets era of social media makes one consider the built-in risk factor of nominating high-testosterone men to positions of power at all. Everyone is under too much scrutiny now to take a chance on candidates who suddenly blow up into a comic meme, a punchline, a ribald hashtag.
Any time you try to create an Internet meme, automatic fail. That's like the worst thing you can do.
The Strandbeest is a self-replicating meme, a brain virus. It infects the student's brain. In fact, the Strandbeest abuse students for their reproduction. For two years, this reproduction fell into a flow acceleration. Now, 3D printers produce walking mini Strandbeests.
Certainly almost everything we do and think is colored in some way by memes, but it is important to realize that not everything we experience is a meme. If I walk down the street and see a tree, the basic perception that's going on is not memetic.
I truly love 'Gangnam Style.' I guess it's a meme. I feel like it's one of the few times where the meme and the quality combines nicely.
As for memes, the word 'meme' is a cliche, which is to say it's already a meme. We all hear it all the time, and maybe we even have started to use it in ordinary speech. The man who invented it was Richard Dawkins, who was, not coincidentally, an evolutionary biologist. And he invented it as an analog for the gene.
Memes can be visual. Our image of George Washington is a meme. We don't actually have any idea what George Washington looked like. There are so many different portraits of him, and they're all different. But we have an image in our head, and that image is propagated from one place to another, from one person to another.
It's obviously funny to be a meme, so I could be down with it in that regard, but it also belittles one's art.
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