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/meem/ [By analogy with "gene"] Richard Dawkins's term for an idea considered as a replicator, especially with the connotation that memes parasitise people into propagating them much as viruses do.

Memes can be considered the unit of cultural evolution. Ideas can evolve in a way analogous to biological evolution. Some ideas survive better than others; ideas can mutate through, for example, misunderstandings; and two ideas can recombine to produce a new idea involving elements of each parent idea.

The term is used especially in the phrase "meme complex" denoting a group of mutually supporting memes that form an organised belief system, such as a religion. However, "meme" is often misused to mean "meme complex".

Use of the term connotes acceptance of the idea that in humans (and presumably other tool- and language-using sophonts) cultural evolution by selection of adaptive ideas has become more important than biological evolution by selection of hereditary traits. Hackers find this idea congenial for tolerably obvious reasons.

See also memetic algorithm.


(Pronounced "meem") A trend, belief, fashion or phrase that is passed from generation to generation through imitation and behavioral replication. Coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book "The Selfish Gene," memes and memetics are the cultural counterpart to the biological study of genes and genetics. Using the evolution analogy, Dawkins observed that human cultures evolve via "contagious" communications in a manner similar to the gene pool of populations over time. See Internet meme.
References in periodicals archive ?
The process of "memetic drive" occurs when memes control genetic selection and when memes evolve and genes respond by augmenting imitative ability and brain size.
Here's Rob Ford Meme #2 for tonight (https://twitter.
Examples of memes are "tunes, ideas, catchphrases, clothes, fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches," Dawkins explains in The Selfish Gene.
And as a way of contributing to the communications medium that makes the world a better place, the semi-serious Know Your Meme site (knowyourmeme.
It does not take much thought to come to the conclusion that memes exist only in the mind or, as I like to say, the "cognitive milieu.
Where Dawkins and Lynch described, on a fairly abstract level, the march of memes from one generation to the next, Gladwell describes, much more concretely, how particular behavior patterns spread within a few months or years.
Besides the viral memes, Filipinos showed their disgust over the pork barrel scam with an indignation rally in Manila and other key cities of the country on Monday, Aug 26, with thousands attending the simultaneous events.
Internet memes are a common sight on social networks like Facebook, Tumblr, Reddit, and Twitter, among others.
Les memes figures, le meme menu, les memes ecrans et les memes chaEnes.
D'autre part, les memes brigades ont saisi, dans le cadre de la lutte contre la contrebande du carburant, 9.
Parallelement, et conformement au Plan de Transit, la direction generale espagnole du Trafic Routier maintient les memes aires de repos et points d'information places dans les localites d'Oyarzun, de Horcajo, ValdepeEas, Loja, Villajoyosa et Ribera de Cabanes qui sont dotes de services d'information et d'installations sanitaires.