This is a Journal entry by Tumsup

Memes

Post 1

Tumsup

I feel the overwhelming urge to infect the world with strange memes. Since I've discovered the internet, I've become discouraged that my imagination is up to it. There's a lot of weird stuff out there. Then, maybe not so bad. For an idea to be infectious, it has to fit. No amount of propaganda can change that.


Memes

Post 2

Tibley Bobley

As long as it's not another religion .... unless it's a killer religion that kills all the other religions and you have some way to kill it off once it's done its work. Hey! What a idea. What do you think? Could you do it?


Memes

Post 3

Tumsup

Maybe not the Quakers but it seems to me that every religion goes through a killer stage. The survivors usually understand the mistake.


Memes

Post 4

Tibley Bobley

Yes I suppose it would be a bit churlish to kill off the Quakers. It would be almost as unkind as kicking a kitten just because you suspect it might grow into a bird torturing monster (as seemingly small, gentle, harmless things can somtimes grow or mutate). Still, if you're not up for it ...

How about one of those annoyingly catchy tunes that gets into the victim's head and keeps going round and round like a cracked record?


Memes

Post 5

Tumsup

Is there a Babelfish function in hootoo? The song that goes round and round in your head is called an earworm. The word sounds better in the original German.

An excellent example of a meme though. We usually think of memes as important bits of information that serve to make up our identities and direct our actions but most of them are in fact just nasty little bits of crud in our mental gears. They stick in our heads because they happen to resonate there.

When I talk about spreading memes I don't mean in a vandals sense; anyone can do that. Hackers who write malicious code are annoying but have no lasting effect since someone will work to erase their fun. I mean to add things to peoples brains that will stick there because they can't help seeing that it's true.

A worthy challenge because it is the most difficult thing in life to do.


Memes

Post 6

Tibley Bobley

An earworm eh? Yes, that's a good name for them. No, I don't think there's a Bablefish function on hootoo. Good idea though. No doubt you'd find someone in the Ask h2g2 forum to translate most things. But a dedicated translation service would be very useful.

I don't know enough about memes to give a worthwhile opinion really. I read The Selfish Gene years ago and thought Dawkins was on to something with this peculiar idea. I tend to think of memes as mental clutter that it's difficult to get rid of - which seems to chime with your view of the things. They would be useful if they stuck in people's brains because they couldn't help perceiving the truth of them but it's probably more often the case that they just fit in with whatever counts as "common sense" or "conventional wisdom" (often very misleading) at the time.

Can you think of any likely candidate memes for your project?


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