(I shamelessly stole that title from an episode of Futurama and I don't care who knows it.)
Things I have learnt in the year and a bit I’ve been blogging. Part 1: The Meme.
What is a Meme?
A Meme is a social/cultural concept or idea that evolves and changes as it passes from one person’s imagination to another’s. For instance, person A writes a list of ten things they would quite like to do. Person B reads this list and it sparks their imagination. Person B then writes a list of ten things that they fully intend doing before they die. Person C reads this and writes a list of the 10 things that everybody should do before they die. Or A, B, and C all read the same list and come up with three completely different ideas sparked by the original.
What isn’t a Meme?
It isn’t a set of tasks that you pass on to selected people. “This is a fun thing to do, pass it on to six friends”. We have all had them thrust upon us, done them and passed them on because they are a bit of fun and sometimes quite interesting. But as it doesn’t evolve or have a life of it’s own is it truly a Meme?
It also isn’t a funny video or picture, which you pass on to everybody you know. If you watch the behind the scenes tour of the set on The IT Crowd, Series 3, DVD Graham Linehan can be heard to say while pointing at a funny picture on the wall “This is a meme that was going around” (or words to that effect.)
Why does my head hurt?
Because while writing this post I’m starting to wonder if the Meme could itself be a Meme. A cultural concept which is evolving as it passes from one brain to another. So that it could be all of the above things or none of them and tomorrow could be something different. Maybe a Meme is more complicated than anybody realises and what it is actually is a concept which defies definition by constantly evolving and redefining itself. An Idea that can never be defined!
Is that blood coming out of my ears?
See You Soon.