“Memes are the basic building blocks of our minds and culture, in the same way that genes are the basic building blocks of biological life”.   MemeCentral

I consider a meme to be a concept wrapped up in a compact manner.  It doesn’t even have to make sense on a rational level but somehow resonates.  “warms the cockles of my heart” is one, evidently an effective one, it’s been around for hundreds of years.  But what exactly does it mean? Wikipedia says it may refer to heart valves resembling cockles. (bivalves) setting aside for the moment that the saying predates knowledge of heart valves, what does that mean?  The next time someone quotes shakespere’s “hoist on his own petard” ask what it means.  They will condensendingly tell you that petard is french for explosion and was slang for fart.  Now ask what that means and you’ll get a deer in the headlight look. (for 7 seconds)  They dunno.

Often a meme will seem to cover both sides of an idea.  An implied QED. “one for all and all for one”, man belongs to earth, earth doesn’t belong to man” or encapsulate a complex idea in very few words.  Big Al was good at this. quotes as was Sir Arthur Eddington quotes  His “Something unknown is doing we don’t know what” really resonates with me. When used with a sideslip they can be a subliminal suggestion.

“Diane Benscoter has an interesting take on centering. She views memes as a viral self replicating mental infection which will spread to people whose self confidence immune system has failed“.    Check out meme central above


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