Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Meme Sex, Meme Mods, and Meme Fights

The title of this blog sums up the three things memes do when they interact. They can have sex (create a new meme), modify each other, or duke it out (killing one or both). I figured I could use more interesting terms to make the topic a bit more approachable.

When memes have sex they can create new memes. For example, when a flying squirrel meme (aka sugar gliders) has meme sex with a ninja meme, a flying attack squirrel meme may arise. Granted this one may be a bit out there, but the contribution of the parent memes is clear (plus it's fun to think about).

Memes modify each other. A religious meme on abortion may affect a political meme on abortion. A financial status meme may affect a potential car meme. A design for a laser cannon meme may shorten the time table on the global domination meme. The possibilities are endless.

Finally, memes duke it out all the time. And by duke it out, I mean to the death. A "I'm partying tonight" meme could easily be killed by the "I have to work tomorrow morning" meme (or possibly the other way around). Or more seriously, a evolutionism meme could kill a creationism meme.

All three of these things could happen within a single persons mind, or in the process of two people interacting. Either way, it can be fun to think about (or experiment with in your head, because meme sex can be fun).

Coming soon: Meme Replication!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What Do Memes Do?

Memes do three things:

  1. Survive by reproducing
  2. Mutate and become a new meme
  3. Interact with other memes to create new memes
Reproduction is done by the meme manifesting in various ways in a host. Mutation can happen in many different ways at different times in a meme's life. Interactions happen in a host with other memes which create all kinds of novel and unexpected new memes.

All of these points will be specifically discussed in my next few posts, but I like keeping them short for ease of understanding and maximum focus.

Friday, July 13, 2007

What's A Memeplex?

Memes usually are in groups. A group of memes is called a memeplex. Memeplexes tend to be transmitted as a whole, without the memes getting split up. Also, if a single meme in a memeplex is recalled by a person, other memes in the memeplex, or possibly the entire memeplex is often recalled. Finally, many of the same principles apply to both memes and memeplexes.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

What's a meme?

Most people have never heard of memes. A meme is any piece of information that can move from person to person. This includes many things like:

  • Thoughts and ideas
  • Beliefs
  • Actions
  • Feelings
  • Stories
  • Many other things
There are two major things that make information not a meme. One is if the information cannot move from person to person. The other is if it cannot be stored in a person's mind. Examples clarify these. What it is like to be me is information that cannot move to another person. A painting cannot be stored in a mind. Therefore, neither of these things are memes. However, description of what it is like to be me or of a painting are memes.