Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Meme is an interesting word. For internet users, it means a funny joke or picture that many people share on the internet. However, the word has a scientific meaning and it was used before the internet came about.

The scientific definiton is: an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means. In non-scientific language, it means any unit of information that spreads through our culture in the way that a virus does. A meme can be a word, an idiom, a picture, a book or even an entire philosophy. A meme has similar properties to a virus and thus we have the phrase 'go viral' which describes something that spreads quickly on the internet.

To learn more about the scientific concept of memes, read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins.

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