Saturday, April 07, 2007

What's next for absurd memes?

In case you haven't been around in the last few years, and perhaps missed it. A meme
refers to a "unit of cultural information" which can propagate from one mind to another in a manner analogous to genes (i.e., the units of genetic information)
And on the Internet, this rather serious, intellectual definition from a social theory has come to mean something absurd that we blog about, or play around with.

Online memes arise from mistakes. Creative cuteness. Or just a desire to know more about oneself. If you travel in the right circles, everything seems to be part of a meme now -- obviously lists are, but also squid.

My question is, what's next? Where do you think the next absurdity is going to come from?



alejna said...

The answer to your question (and to many other questions): pants.

raincoaster said...

Why "absurdity"? A meme is a thought unit of any kind that has gone viral.

Lori said...

What I'm saying is that 'a thought unit of any kind that has gone viral' can be any number of interesting ideas -- but what most people draw attention to, and attach the word 'meme' to, are the weird and wonderful. LOL Cats are an absurd meme (note, of course, that I celebrate the absurd). Keith Obermann editorials often go viral, but we're more likely to attach the label 'meme' to a "5 Weird Things About Me" blog list than to something substantial... 'pants'. :-)

raincoaster said...

Well, "meme" has been abused by being associated with these horrible chain letter things, but that's a brand-new perversion of the perfectly respectable word. A meme is not inherently absurd.

Lori said...

Right. That's the point I'm making. (Note the adjective 'absurd' modifying the noun 'meme'...)

PJ said...

I've loved playing with the concept of memes since I read about them a few years ago. But I think they're inherently unpredictable (to the dismay of advertisers).

Happy Easter! ;-)

Lori said...

Good link, PJ. Missed out on the study of memes in university. Stopped at some semantics & semiotics. 'Twas enough for this rabbit.