I learned something today
Recently I learned something...I was talking about the cat meme below (I was saying it "meee meee") and J stopped, puzzled and asked me if it was like a "meme"...and then kindly told me where the term meme originates...along with...um...how to pronounce it properly...and it's actual meaning. Apparently meme has a long and interesting origin...not just a lolspeak shortened version of talking about your self...which I...um...actually thought it was. Soooo I thought I'd pass my newfound knowledge on to you...in the hopes that I'm not the only dolt out there who was unaware of meme being quite more profound and culturally developed as a concept. It's good to brighten up the place a bit once in a while.
According to Wikipedia:
"A meme (pronounced /miːm/) consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods and terms such as race, culture, and ethnicity. Memes propagate themselves and can move through a "culture" in a manner similar to the behavior of a virus. As a unit of cultural evolution, a meme in some ways resembles a gene. Richard Dawkins, in his book, The Selfish Gene, recounts how and why he coined the term meme to describe how one might extend Darwinian principles to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. He gave as examples tunes, catch-phrases, beliefs, clothing-fashions, and the technology of building arches.
The word meme first came into popular use with the publication of Dawkins's book The Selfish Gene in 1976. Dawkins based the word on a shortening of the Greek "mimeme" (something imitated), making it sound similar to "gene". Dawkins used the term to refer to any cultural entity that an observer might consider a replicator. He hypothesised that people could view many cultural entities as replicators, generally replicating through exposure to humans, who have evolved as efficient (though not perfect) copiers of information and behaviour. Memes do not always get copied perfectly, and might indeed become refined, combined or otherwise modified with other ideas, resulting in new memes. These memes may themselves prove more (or less) efficient replicators than their predecessors, thus providing a framework for a hypothesis of cultural evolution, analogous to the theory of biological evolution based on genes.
Dawkins defined the meme as "a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation", but memeticists in general promote varying definitions of the concept of the meme. The lack of a consistent, rigorous and precise understanding of what typically makes up one unit of cultural transmission remains a problem in debates about memetics."
So there you go.
Makes me wonder what else I "know" about that I don't actually know...or know how to pronounce. J is kind to not mock me too much when he points out something I don't know. He's good that way. Together we are on a constant quest to stop me from having my foot permanently stuck in my cheekpouch :)