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This is where internet memes come from

Generating memes

Researchers have gained some understanding of why some memes spread widely, while others quickly die away.

One component is to ensure new offspring are continuously produced. It suggests that if anybody wants to become more influential, they could set up a meme factory that produces large numbers of variants of other memes.

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This is where internet memes come from

This is where internet memes come from

https://www.technologyreview.com/2018/06/11/142394/this-is-where-internet-memes-come-from/

technologyreview.com

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Key Ideas

Origin of memes

The word meme was coined by the biologist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. He defined it as ideas that could replicate, evolve, and enter popular culture in a process similar to the way genes spread.

Today, a meme is a variant of an image based on a common theme that has spread widely. It is often funny but also carries political messages.

Attention hacking

Several online communities focus on creating and spreading memes, so the idea becomes viral. These communities have become very influential.

Little is understood about the way memes spread or how they influence.

Generating memes

Researchers have gained some understanding of why some memes spread widely, while others quickly die away.

One component is to ensure new offspring are continuously produced. It suggests that if anybody wants to become more influential, they could set up a meme factory that produces large numbers of variants of other memes.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Memes
Memes

The content shared online is always changing because of the creativity of users who remix, parody, or caption popular images or videos, to create memes.

Memes may seem basic, but from a lin...

Origins of memes

Memes have their origins in the world of academia. Richard Dawkins coined the term 'meme' in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. Dawkins describes a meme as "a unit of cultural transmission or imitation."

The word comes from the Greek 'mimema', meaning imitated.

Going viral

Internet memes are units of popular culture that are shared, imitated, and changed by users.

The first meme on the internet was the sideways 'smiley' :-) , created in 1982. The practice of using punctuation markers to show emotion spread quickly and later other expressions, such as :-( and ;-) were added.
The first example of digital viral content is the Hampster Dance meme - rows of dancing hamster GIFs - created by an art student in 1998.

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Have a focus

Don't try to be everything to everyone. Decide what your key message is and stick to it.

Keeping your message focused for your target demographic will make it that much easier to ...

Be authentic

It's the easy way to have an original personal brand. Pople can see right through a dishonest act and will call you out for it.

It will also make it much easier to manage your personal brand on a daily basis.

Tell a story

If your personal brand isn’t telling a story, you’ve already lost half of your potential audience.

The most effective personal branding strategy these days is to build a true narrative, a story around your brand that your audience can engage with.

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Epidemic vs. pandemic

An epidemic is a broad term used to describe any problem that is actively spreading and has grown out of control.

The pandemic rel...

Disease Event Classification

Epidemiology is the branch of medicine that handles the following:

  • Incidence: the occurrence of a disease over a specified period.
  • Prevalence: how many people are affected within a population.
  • Control of diseases: an appropriate public health response.

Two measurable factors mostly define the level of disease occurrence:

  • The pattern and speed by which a disease moves.
  • The size of the susceptible population.
The terms an epidemiologist use
  • Sporadic refers to a disease that occurs infrequently or irregularly.
  • Cluster refers to a disease that occurs in larger numbers even though the actual number or cause may be uncertain.
  • Endemic refers to the constant presence and/or general prevalence of a disease in a geographic population.
  • Hyperendemic refers to persistent, high levels of disease well above what is seen in other populations.
  • Epidemic refers to a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease above what is normally expected.
  • Outbreak is the same as an epidemic but is often used to describe a more limited geographic event.
  • Pandemic refers to an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people.

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Environmental Determinism and Early Geography
  • Strabo, Plato, and Aristotle used climatic factors to explain why the Greeks were more developed than societies in hotter and colder climates.
  • Aristotle developed a climate classif...
Environmental Determinism and Modern Geography
  • In the late 19th Century, environmental determinism was revived by the German geographer Friedrich Rätzel. He was heavily influenced by evolutionary biology and the impact a person's environment has on their cultural evolution.
  • Rätzel's student, Ellen Churchill Semple, introduced the theory in the United States in the early 20th Century, where it grew in popularity.
  • Another student of Rätzel, Ellsworth Huntington, also worked on expanding the theory, which led to a subset of environmental determinism, called climatic determinism. He said that the economic development in a country could be predicted based on its distance from the equator.
The Decline of Environmental Determinism

Environmental determinism's popularity began to decline in the 1920s as its claims were often found to be wrong. Critics claimed it was racist and perpetuated imperialism.

Carl Sauer said environmental determinism led to premature generalizations about an area's culture. From this critique, geographers developed the environmental possibilism theory to explain cultural development.

A network is more than just a group of individuals
A network is more than just a group of individuals

In addition, a network has ties between people.

The connections between individuals are what changes a group to a network.

Social networks have a strong effect on our ideas

You may think it was your idea to keep your desk neat or speak up in a meeting, but your behavior was likely influenced by those in your network.

Once we understand social networks, we can use its power to shape workplaces for the better. You can turn an unhappy team into an innovative, collaborative one.

We naturally copy others

Your experiences in the world is not only a product of your own desires, actions, and thoughts, but also a product of the desires, actions, and thoughts of people around you.

The things that are seemingly personal to you are actually very strongly influenced by similar traits in other people. You do have agency. You can choose what to do. But you're also affected by what others are doing. Both are true.

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When trying to get your point across...

... avoid negative language.

Using negative words will activate and strengthen your opponent's frames and undermine your own views.  Successfully arguing a point requires you to ...

Mental frames

... are structure that are represented in the brain by neural circuitry. Frames shape the way people see the world, and consequently, the goals they seek and the choices that they make.

Mental frames and decision making

They are extremely powerful, because most of our actions are based on the unconscious and metaphorical frames we already have in place. And once a frame is in place, the boundaries of that frame and the associations of that frame are all taken into account in our decision making.

Instagram grabs your attention

For the most part, people on Instagram seem positive and content. They are earnest and sincere. 

But, scrolling through Instagram can quickly turn to an hour, which can feel like...

Instagram subculture

Following a genre on Instagram can present a wealth of ideas. The algorithm drives users toward content similar to what they've seen or liked. However, this can lead and encourage users toward extremities. 

For instance, if you are following fitness gurus or sponsored athletes. Then add some photo-editing to alter the body-image you want to project. At the same time, the algorithm continues to feed you with what you like or want until your feed becomes a mosaic of increasingly extreme exercisers.

A form of manipulation
  • Instagram is in the business of data-collection and media selling. It's estimated value is more than $100bn (£77bn).
  • Third-party indexing tools glean data from what is posted and sell it in the form of brand analytics, as information for governments, security and surveillance firms, and corporations.
  • Images posted to Instagram are used to train its proprietary image-recognition software.
  • Instagram follows your movements across the Internet, and you find hints that it is stalking you. 

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10,000-steps-a-day goal

An entire industry has been built on the claim that 10,000 steps a day are necessary to be healthy.

But 10,000 steps is a random number that was used in a Japanese marketing campaign in th...

The potential benefits

A research team investigated the potential benefits of taking 10,000 steps/day. They concluded that the average Japanese person could decrease their risk of coronary artery disease if they increased their daily step count from 3,500 steps to 10,000.

Concerns with 10,000 steps

For those who are chronically ill, have type 2 diabetes, or older individuals who are less active, there are concerns that making a rapid jump to 10,000 steps a day could have negative consequences. 

Some studies suggest that 6,000 to 8,000 steps could be the lower boundary to aim for, while 6,000 steps and above can protect against cardiovascular disease.

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"Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity, that’s just human nat..."

Max Brooks, World War Z
Lack of practical skills

Our modern job descriptions largely rely on our minds rather than our physical skills in order to get work done.
Having some basic practical skills to complement your “soft” skills will certainly come in handy in survival scenarios, particularly when it comes to rebuilding from catastrophe. And you can develop them by simply trying things out.

Practice self-reliance in advance

Not only will having DIY skills help you rebuild your community, they also greatly increase your self-reliance.
This means being able to take care of yourself and survive with little and work with what you have. But don't wait until you need to be self-reliant to cultivate these skills.

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