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What difference is there between the terms 'memetic design' and 'the design of memes'?

A Prize for the best answer!

The 'meme' - a vague idea

  • One of the problems with the term ‘meme’ is that it has no single agreed definition.
  • It emerged from a book (1976) by Richard Dawkins called the Selfish Gene, which defined the meme as "a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation".

(see other Keyword-Definitions-Index)

  • Memetics (not to be confused with ‘mimetics’) is therefore the study of memes.
  • The very ambiguity of this term is what is appealing to some designers.
  • If government action on environmental reform is too slow, could we create benign and transformative interventions?
  • How ambitious is this idea?
  • Probably...very ambitious. Many memes are 'naughty but nice'.

Examples of memes

  • The bad joke that spreads like wild-fire
  • The iPod
  • 'texting' on mobile phones
  • The new virus that becomes an epidemic
  • Harry Potter books
  • A word that everyone finds themselves using
  • A fad for a particular superstar or celebrity
  • Cafe Lattes

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