KurzVortrag gehalten am 2012-11-01 am Bad Homburger ForschungsKolleg HumanWissenschaften (ForschungsBereich "Digitales Selbst") der Goethe-Universtität zu Frankfurt.
Titel: "internet memes"
Folien-Gerüst im pinpoint-Format (Quelltext ohne Bilddateien): http://files.plomlompom.de/vortraege/2012/2012-11-01_BadHomburg/badhomburg_memes.pin
Christian Heller / 2012-11-01 / Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften / Bad Homburg
- unit of cultural information
- derived from a mix of "gene", French "même" und Greek "mimema"
- survives, spreads, mutates according to evolutionary principles, like genes
- "universal Darwinism":
- principles of variation, selection, retention can be applied to non-biological spheres, too
- "replicators" such as genes and memes transform their environment into machines for protection and copying of themselves
- replicator-centric view of evolution: selfishness of genes and memes, structures of "individuals" and "groups" their mere instruments
- expounded by, among others:
- Richard Dawkins (The Selfish Gene, Oxford University Press 1973)
- Daniel Dennett (Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Simon & Schuster 1995)
- Susan Blackmore (The Meme Machine, Oxford University Press 1999)
- no discrete, countable, tangible unit – seemingly delineates anything from words to stories to styles of architectures to ideas and religions
- internalism vs. externalism: where do memes reside – in our minds, in our artifacts?
- "memetics" lost traction after short period of popularity
- term quickly gained autonomy from more general "memetics" to describe very specific phenomena of internet culture
- digital texts that spread into popularity "virally" on the internet, from user to user, via affective mechanisms, e.g.:
- funny, cute, offensive pictures ("dancing baby", "LOLcats", "Goatse")
- humorous or emotional phrases ("LOL", "But does it run Linux?", smileys)
- somewhat related: e-mail hoaxes / chain mails, computer viruses
- meme unit problem solved: internet memes are identical configurations of discrete symbols (characters), shapes (images), states (binary data) that can easily be counted, isolated, compared and discretely manipulated
- internet memes are distributed not top-down, but horizontally or bottom-up; a large percentage of their consumers must also be directly involved in shaping/creating and distributing them
Types of internet memes
- phrases, "snowclones" (template phrases), "copypasta", e.g.:
- “LOL", "ROFL", "ROFLMAOPMP"
- Yakov Smirnoff variations: "In Soviet Russia, [object] [verb] [subject]"
- "I think [person] is a pretty cool guy, eh [activity] and doesn't afraid of anything" (notice kept spelling errors)
- shock or trick websites, e.g.:
- "image macros" (text superimposed on found pictures):
- found footage remixes
- (list not exhaustive)
Online communities, their memes and meme mechanisms
- "Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!"
- "I for one welcome our [topic] overlords!"
3*] hashtag memes
- YouTube and its remix culture:
- "Downfall" subtitles
- speeding up, slowing down, inverting video clips
- reaction clips
- "classic" YTMNDs: "You're the man now, dog", "Get your ass to Mars", "Picard Song"
- isolation of motions, sounds, formulas: e.g. "Ridin' Spinnaz" and its descendants
- 4chan and other imageboards:
- low entry barriers, enforced anonymity
- volatility of content: low control, high selection pressure
- reddit, Facebook, 9gag:
- creativity or mere re-distribution and (re-)branding of memes?
Internet meme ressources (non-academic):