Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Meme Scheme

I've gained the impression, from reading various blogs, that the history of the word 'Meme' isn't well known. I hope my simplified explanation may clear up any misunderstandings.Apologies to Richard Dawkins if I've missed the mark.


Richard Dawkins started it, over thirty years ago,
And it just lay there, dormant, for few were in the know.
But blogging's brought it to the front of everybody's mind,
Though not too many understand the true meaning, I find.
I refer to just four letters, a very little word;
That word is 
A noun I know every single blogger's heard.
A meme is an idea, that's all, but a very powerful one;
It's an idea that 'catches on', affecting everyone.
In my pretty little picture, a child waves to a crowd.
Now, whoever invented waving should feel supremely proud!
For someone must have started it, in the dim and distant past
And people thought the gesture was good enough to last!
And someone was the very first to use the term 'O.K',
And nearly everyone on earth uses the term today!
And, on a very sombre note, the thought of suicide
Can travel on from mind to mind, till more and more have died.
Religions are idea-merchants; they all rely on memes;
Beliefs that travel from mind to mind, till they're universal schemes.
The use of language relies on memes; there are some words we discard
While others grow from strength to strength, although they may be hard. 
A gene, as everybody knows, is allied to DNA.
It's passed along the generations from the First Man to today.
Maybe, in the future the process will be controlled,
But, for now, we take for granted that we come from a certain mould.
A meme is very like a gene, for it travels through the ages,
From race to race, from man to man, in quite uneven stages.
But it's a natural process, not man-made or created,
Though clever marketing, at times, tries to manipulate it.
But along comes the powerful internet, and the present blogging craze,
And the word 'meme' has been purloined. We've entered another phase.
'An idea made for spreading', that is its meaning now.
We want it to go just as far as cyberspace will allow.
The word is used correctly, but only superficially,
Because a meme for bloggers works so artificially.
A true meme only travels through our minds in time and space,
Because it's very powerful, and deserves a lasting place.
Maybe, when the first man waved, another made a fist.
The wave was a a winning meme, we know; 'fisting' was dismissed.
With the blogging meme we flag it; we say 'Here! Follow this meme!' '
To any other member of our favourite blogging team.
This meme is neither strong nor weak; the reason it survives
Is because the blog and internet are dominant in our lives.
So how does Richard Dawkins view the way that it is used?
Does he feel his scientific thought has been a bit abused?
Whatever his reaction, it's something he'll allow
Because it's done and dusted!

 It's too late now!

Richard Dawkins

The Original Book


2sweetnsaxy said...

That was great! :-)

Kat said...

Oho... that's what Meme's about.

Like some gentleman told it seems, tie a knot at a string's end before you stitch.... and to this day it's practised it seems :)