Meme Definition

There’s a bundle of stuff about memes to sift through. There’s already a scholarly journal on memetics (the study of memes). Anyway, starting at the beginning, Richard Dawkins was the bloke who first started the meme meme rolling. He talked about them in his book The Selfish Gene, but in his next book The Blind Watchmaker, he defines a meme as

“[A] pattern of information that can thrive only in brains or the artificially manufactured products of brains, books, computers, [etc.]. [These replicators] can propagate themselves from brain to brain, from brain to book, from book to brain, from brain to computer [etc.]. As they propagate they can change – mutate. These mutants may be able to exert a kind of influence that affects their own likelihood of being propagated.”

Examples of memes are: tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions and ways of making pots or building arches.
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