Memetics

October 20, 2006 at 4:02 am Leave a comment

CHAPTER 11 FROM DAWKINS “THE SELFISH GENE”

memes.jpg

Both Tom and James assigned me this reading, so i’m thinking that perhaps it may be pretty significant. Obviously, well Dawkins…. The content of the reading talked about the birth of a new type of gene; memetics. These are cultural (purely non-biological) genes that dwell in the our minds and the collective conscience, and whose survival rely purely on their ability to replicate themselves into the minds of others. (i mean, it’s just a huge popularity contest, really).

In reality, however, Dawkins makes some interesting observations about the changing nature (much like biological genes) of ‘memes’ and the evolutionary cylces of life that they encounter. Ideas, thoughts, beliefs, basically the building blocks of ideology, are the centrifuges through which we take memes and apply our own experiences and opinions about them, which we then pass on to other to perpetuate the ‘memetic culture’ of sorts. Anyway, you can read the full article here . The theory itself is enough to get interactive designers to think about ideas in different ways; stepping out of the flow, submersing yourself back in. Everything is regenerative in your head, especially when programming or trying to materialize an idea that seems to get fuzzier the more you comtemplate it. But thinking about new media and working in terms of this replicatory process certainly sheds a new light on things.

Plus, the whole time i’m reading this, my head is chanting “open source…open source…” messed up, right?

h.

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a day in the itp life…

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