Thursday, December 10, 2009

An attempt to define a meme in simple terms.

What's a meme?

By definition, a meme is knowledge that replicates itself from brain to brain.
It's also the smallest unity of information encoded and memorized by the brain.
In fact, it's the smallest unity of mental, cognitive information.

The problem is that it has never been isolated so far, contrary to the gene, the smallest unity of biological information.

But as a replicator, a meme has 3 features: heredity, variation and selection.
The goal is to survive because there is a limited number of brains but plenty of memes out there...

More simply put, a meme is just anything that can be imitated by human beings.

It can be a music (ex: "Ballade pour Adeline" by Richard Clayderman), a dance (ex: Macarena), a mathematical formula (ex: e=mc2), a hair style (ex: 2002 world cup Ronaldo's hairstyle), a logo (ex: Nike), a quotation (ex: Descartes's "I think therefore I am."), a concept (ex: money), or a manga character (ex: dragon ball's "Freezer")...


  1. The notion of meme is a powerful idea since it explains phenomenon from Fashion to say... the development of Slang.

    The question is: do we really need to isolate it as long as it is useful?

    I remind you that the gene has never been rigorously isolated since we don't know where a gene begins and where it ends on the Chromosome.

  2. In Dragonball, "Kamehameha" is a more powerful meme.

  3. that s entirely true.
    we don't need to isolate it if we don't place ourselves in a paradigm that assumes that there are objects that exist in physical reality, independently from the observation.
    Which is completely possible,