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what is a meme A meme is the original term not an abbreviation pronounced meem similar to gene since both have the same basic idea of replicating themselves and you will see why and how shortly Now according to Richard Dawkins Examples of memes are tunes ideas catch-phrases clothes fashions ways of making pots or building arches Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperm or eggs so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which in the broad sense can be called imitation If a scientist hears or reads about a good idea he passes it on to his colleagues and students He mentions it in his articles and his lectures If the idea catches on it can be said to propagate itself spreading from brain to brain Memes should be regarded as living structures not just metaphorically but technically When you plant a fertile meme in my mind you literally parasitize my brain turning it into a vehicle for the memes propagation in just the way that a virus may parasitize the genetic mechanism of a host cell And this isnt just a way of talking--the meme for say belief in life after death is actually realized physically millions of times over as a structure in the nervous systems of people all over the world You can also consider a meme as a contagious information pattern that replicates by parasitically infecting human minds and altering their behavior causing them to propagate the pattern An idea or information pattern is not a meme until it causes someone to replicate it to repeat it to someone else All transmitted knowledge is memetic if it survives long after its source has perished Memes dont have to be ideas and information only they can be behavioral as well Such as fire or more importantly how
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