Daily Departures

Departing daily from the ordinary objects of my thoughts.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Explanation of 'meme'

Thus far, a few people (person 1, person 2, and person 3) have responded to my tagging then in my 4-meme post. One thing that there responses have in common is that they both question what 'meme' means. I'm going to explain.

The wikipedia has two bits of information that I did not know about meme's; namely,
The term "meme" ([mi?m] in the IPA; rhymes with "theme"), derived from the Greek word mimema, "something imitated" often refers to a piece of information passed from one mind to another. The term first came into popular use with the publication of the book The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins in 1976.
The wikipedia entry is quite extensive, but instead of saying what it says, let me instead way what I took the term to mean (which is roughly confirmed by the wikipedia entry).

'Meme' is the social analogue of 'gene'. The idea is pretty simple, each complete meme will contain information that is unique to the person who answers the questions. The questions remain nearly constant from generation to generation, only occasionally with mutations--as in the changing of a question. So, normally the questions are the consistent structure, the answers tie the particular meme to a particular person. The '4' identifies something about the structure of this particular meme--in this case, the number of answers required per question.

Clear enough?

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