Thursday, March 22, 2007

A meme, an invite from the County Clerk to participate!

The County clerk on his blog Lake County has started a meme with the theme of "5 Crazy Things You've ACTUALLY Done That Only Gardening Addict Would Understand (or admit to)."

Not being internet worldly, I didn't know what a meme was so I looked it up on Wikipedia which was not enlightening. I also looked up screaming memes because I thought it referred to something kids do to be heard yelling me, me. This is what I found on the site: "Screaming Meme
Memetics, after "genetics" and "même" (French for "memory"--the mistaken pronunciation "Me! Me!" is appropriate but apparently coincidental), is a term coined by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene, describing the flow, transfer, or spread of ideas as a process of generation based on the "highjacking" of higher organisms in a process similar to viral self-replication. Any idea, phrase, thought, or trope can be viewed as a meme; those that spread, that has implicit in their paradigm the ability and need to spread, are the most "evolutionarily" successful. Memes compete against one another in a Darwinian struggle for replication; spreading quickly or eliminating competitors help a meme to survice. Examples of memes might include evangelical Christianity, the Roman alphabet, the English language, or "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles.

The idea has been seized upon by a number of science fiction (notably Samuel R. Delany and, later, a number of the cyberpunks, notably Bruce Sterling) & avant-garde (notably but not exclusively William S. Burroughs) writers. Memetics has also received considerable attention on the Internet, which itself can be viewed as an example of a meme. In fact, the theory of the meme can itself be viewed as a meme (and it is proving to be a fairly succesful one).

To quote a .sig I've seen on alt.memetics:

I didn't know what a meme was, so I asked five friends. They didn't know what a meme was, so they asked five friends..."

But the Clerk gave the best simple explanation: "1. write a post on THIS blog
2. leave a comment and link on mine
3. tag 5 more people
These things go around the world."

Clear and concise.

If you would like to participate go to the County Clerk's website to add your list of 5. Please no more than 5 entries. And here's the theme again: "5 Crazy Things You've ACTUALLY Done That Only Gardening Addict Would Understand (or admit to)."

Then write about this meme in your own blog so others may participate if they wish to. This should be fun.


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