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Memes – A brief information capsule.

Memes are very controversial issues in many scientific research circles, as well as in certain disciplines such as psychology and neuroscience.  To effectively offer an explanation as to why memes are one of the most contentious concepts available today, it is important to define, loosely if need be, what a meme is:   The following two definitions are accurate for their own purpose and following, but definition one is the concept our class has been discussing and attempting to understand.

  1. An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
  2. An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.

If an individual is able to start fire to supply his family warmth, hot water, and a hot meal, other people will soon mimic his actions because the results are evident, the results are facing them without the possibility of a scam, or some misunderstanding.  If the other people need fire for any reason, all they have to do is mimic the first individual and his success will replicate throughout the society at hand.  This may seem like a simplified explanation, and in the larger context it is, but simplicity is what makes replication so powerful, and this in turn offers to the astute observer, the endless possibilities of memes.  Memes are not simply used for life and survival only.  The ability to mimic a behavior to generate music, or a new dance, or a new way of sharing a story are elements that have occurred from ancient times up to the present day 2012.  The study of memes is powerful and offers us many clues as to why people are compelled to do what they do, and why others shy away from being more active even though they too possess the right to mimic, create, and advance something worthwhile for the greater good.

It is probably a good idea to know your meme… you never know when it might strike a pose!




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