DID YOU KNOW
It was British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins who coined the term ‘meme.’ In his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene, he used the word to pertain to the concept of the spread of cultural phenomena. ‘Meme’ is an abbreviated form of ‘mimeme,’ originating from the Greek word m?m?ma, which means ‘imitated thing.’ Dawkins meant for the concept of memes to be similar to the concept of genes, where successful ones remain in the meme pool, but those that are unfit are lost. Memes run the whole gamut from videos, images, illustrations, songs, dances… the list goes on and on. Nowadays, memes run rampant through the Internet, often shared from person to person as a vehicle for humor. Indeed, the spread of memes have been compared to the spread of viruses in a population, causing epidemics through the medium of the Internet. Memes have become so commonplace that the concept of “dank memes” has emerged as an ironic term for memes that are so overused that they become funny again. One classic example of an undying meme that turned dank is rick-rolling, the bait-and-switch prank where a video of Rick Astley’s 1987 song Never Gonne Give You Up is sent to a person instead of a link relevant to the conversation at hand. As a result, various copies of the song on the Internet have been racking up views from rick-rolled people.