Lecture 18: The Fundamentals of Memetic Participation

CLASS PRESENTATION:

Questions:

  • Do you think there should be any sort of control over memes as intellectual property
  • Do memes lower the standards for existing forms of communication? Do they desensitize creation of more original/unique content
  • Can the sharing of meme be harmful amidst other cultures and society in itself
    • Memes being used in a political context
    • And a series of individuals who would not be seen using memes ex. President Donald Trump, are as a result of there impact and reach over individuals, this is distorting the political landscape in which political discourse takes place  

LECTURE:

“WE NEED TO TAKE INTERNET MEMES SERIOUSLY”

  • Key thinkers of Cyber Culture
    • Limor Shifman

Key Terms:

  • Creative vs. Imitative production
  • Extended conversation
  • Mediated conversations
  • Multimodal

WHAT ARE MEMES?

  • Biological:
    • Unit of cultural information
    • For Dawkins “meme” became a necessary word to name the entity

MEMES AS BIOLOGY: as stated by Dawkins

  • The meme is the equivalent of the gene,
  • Spreading from brain to brain that dies away like chicken pock epidemic
  • The spread of a craze, clothes fashion, a tune, like, awesome is like the memetic representation of a gene

WHERE DOES MEME COME FROM?

  • 1976: “key’ biological term with publication of Richard Dawkins THE SELFISH GENE

HOW ELSE HAVE MEMES BEEN DISCUSSED?

  • Scientists
  • Non- scientific
    • Malcom Gladwell
    • Marketers
    • Researcher on internet culture

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DISTUINGUISH BETWEEN BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL MEME?

  • Criticism of the biological concept
    • Has died out all together as a topic of interest to discuss
    • Theologian Alister McGrath

WHAT MEMES FORMS EXIST? (WHAT CAN BE CONSIDERED A MEME)?

DIAGRAM:

ENGL 295 lecture 18.2

WHAT IS MEME BEHAVIOUR:

  • Behaviours correspond to varying degrees of cognitive engagement – which gets us away from the deterministic model
  • Reception and production predicated on digital literacy, cultural literally and “vernacular creativity” (Burgess)
  • Intervention in media products leading to modification and descent of memetic media

HIERARCHY OF BEHAVIOUR DIAGRAM:

ENGL 295 lecture 18.3

PLEASURABLE SELF-DISCLOUSER:

  • Humans may get a neurochemical reward from sharing information, and significally bidder reward from disclosing their own thought, feelings than from reporting someone else’s – Harvard Researchers

MEMES AND DETERMINISM:

  • The production and spread of biological memes provokes consideration of biological determinism
    • “thought virus” ] “meme as gene”[ see also Milner page 21
  • What control their transmission, the person or the mem?
    • To some extent, in Dawkins version, we are passive recipients of meme, hosts for the self-centred replication

WHERE DO MEMES COME FROM – DIAGRAM:

ENGL 295 lecture 18.1

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