Introduction to Memes

memes- new (to me) pointers of cultural change



The meme, which rhymes with ‘beam’, is the basic building block of culture in the same way the gene is the basic building block of life…. Memes are not only the building blocks of culture on a large scale – making up languages, religions – but also on a small scale: memes are the building blocks of your mind, the programming of your mental “computer”.

The meme is the basic unit of cultural transmission, or imitation…. Some memes spread directly from mind to mind…. Some spread more indirectly. A mother, not wanting to perpetuate the unhappy experience she had when her mother raised her with iron discipline, may react by raising her daughter with a very loose rein – a meme for the opposite child-rearing strategy. The granddaughter, in turn, may react to her unhappy experience of the loose rein by resuming grandmother’s iron hand. The iron-hand meme got transmitted…

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