Ingrained in me is a rebellious need to resist cultural norms* and thwart those who pressure me to conform to popular behavior (ok so I blog, I’m not perfect). But I never understood why I resist, I just know that being a lemming** can be hazardous to your health. I’m almost certain this mentality of mine contributed heavily to the strength I mustered years ago to break away from the mental control of religion. I was reading an interesting post today on that very topic which linked to the definition of the word “meme.”
While reading it and relating it to the rampant fad of the same name in the blogosphere, I had to laugh out loud.
“…A meme…constitutes a theoretical unit of cultural information, the building block of culture or cultural evolution which spreads through diffusion propagating from one mind to another …Multiple memes may propagate as cooperative groups called memeplexes…”
“Meme-theorists contend that memes evolve by natural selection … So with memes, some ideas will propagate less successfully and become extinct, while others will survive, spread, and, for better or for worse, mutate. ‘Memeticists argue that the memes most beneficial to their hosts will not necessarily survive; rather, those memes that replicate the most effectively spread best, which allows for the possibility that successful memes may prove detrimental to their hosts.’ “
I knew it! The Internet is a highly influential participant in the continuing evolution of the human race. It’s a shame we aren’t using the meme phenomenon to propagate greater intelligence. Somehow, sharing with the blogospere your shoe size, porn name, or the date of your cat’s last bath is shameful in light of the memes of our ancestors (how to plant crops or make better shelters). Maybe I need to start a new, more useful meme fad. Any takers?
* Any day now I’m going to post the story of the CLF.
** just for you, Mr. Lady.