Has Chuck become a meme?
A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate and respond to selective pressures.
The word ‘meme’ is a shortening (modeled on ‘gene’) of ‘mimeme’ (from Ancient Greek μίμημα Greek pronunciation: [míːmɛːma] mīmēma, “something imitated”, from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, “to imitate”, from μῖμος mimos ”mime”) and it was coined by the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of memes given in the book included melodies, catch-phrases, fashion and the technology of building arches.
Advocates of the meme idea say that memes may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Memes do this through the processes of variation, mutation,competition and inheritance, each of which influence a meme’s reproductive success.
Memes spread through the behaviors that they generate in their hosts. Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread and (for better or for worse)mutate. Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success. Some memes may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.
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