A meme is the original term, not an abbreviation, pronounced meme, similar to gene, since both have the same basic idea of replicating themselves, and you will see why and how shortly.
Now, according to Richard Dawkins, “Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperm or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. If a scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and students. He mentions it in his articles and his lectures. If the idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from brain to brain.
Memes should be regarded as living structures, not just metaphorically but technically. When you plant a fertile meme in my mind, you literally parasitize my brain, turning it into a vehicle for the meme’s propagation in just the way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a host cell. And this isn’t just a way of talking–the meme for, say, ‘belief in life after death’ is actually realized physically, millions of times over, as a structure in the nervous systems of people all over the world.”
You can also consider, a meme as a contagious information pattern that replicates by parasitically infecting human minds and altering their behavior, causing them to propagate the pattern. An idea or information pattern is not a meme until it causes someone to replicate it, to repeat it to someone else. All transmitted knowledge is memetic, if it survives long after it’s source has perished. Memes don’t have to be ideas and information only, they can be behavioral as well. Such as “fire” or more importantly “how to make fire”. this is a behavioral meme, mind you, one which didn’t necessarily need a word attached to it to spring up and spread, merely a demonstration for another to follow. Once the meme was out there, it would have spread like wildfire, for obvious reasons. But when you start to think of memes like that-behavioral memes- then you begin to see how language itself, the idea of language, was a meme. Writing was a meme. And from within those areas, more specific memes emerged.
The book The Selfish Gene is about the acts of species and how they can affect what the next generations may act more like. Animals that act altruistically and sacrifice themselves for their own can’t pass on their behaviors. Animals that act selfishly and continue living can pass on their selfish acts. Our genes can tell us to act selfishly; we don’t need to obey though. A gene is defined as a ...
It is not farfetched to consider memes as a new life form, since they have the capability of surviving long enough to be accepted by a majority of people as firm beliefs or normal behavior.
Now, Dawkins, is the one who coined the term meme, and who started the whole “meme” but that was twenty four years ago, that alone is proof of memes. He has written many articles about the meme himself. But what was important that His theory of the MEME, was able to propagate itself into many a scientists mind who took it into deeper research and exploration. memes like genes, go through evolution, but the bases remain the same!
I think I have talked enough about memes, but if you like to read more you need to read first the eleventh chapter from Dawkins’ book “The selfish Gene”. There are many articles around, but I am excited about a particular new book that was published last year and which I can’t wait to read (once I am done with my exams, and after I finish the book about microbes and how they affect our lives, to the extreme sometimes…..here I go again, getting off course as usual) Anyway, it’s called The Meme Machine by a Dr. Susan Blackmore, what is so exciting about this is that Dawkins himself wrote the forward for this book!
Books read by adolescents contain both positive and negative values. Bleachers, by John Grisham is one book that contains many positive values. This book is about high school all-American Neely Crenshaw, who was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie ...