Friday, April 23, 2010

S03. Internet Memes

Reading Jenkins' treatise on Convergence, I became stuck upon the idea of "consumption... [as] a collective process," and its relation to my favorite part of the internet, the internet meme. According to wikipedia, a meme can be defined as "a postulated unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena."

Watching the spread of certain videos ("David after the dentist", "Charlie the Unicorn", etc) and images (Lolcats) without any real explanation invokes in me a certain belief in a collective unconscious, or at least in the concept of ideas that spread rapidly like plague. Perhaps this has more to do with Keenan's assertion of the self-other construct being just that (constructed), in the way that peer pressure is actually an internal influence, but it strikes me as odd that many people become aware of the same material at the same time.

With the rise of and, these objects themselves are being spread wider and faster than ever before, drawing further parallels in the way that the spread of the internet represents the spread of a single, universal culture that is a convergence of all the others that went into its creation.

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