week 4 | the internet is a copying machine

Memes; “human culture – leaping from brain to brain via a process, in a broad sense, can be called imitation.” (Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Game 1976)

As we are all extensions of media and extensions of the mediums between the messages we send, we ourselves tend to extend messages and replicate them = meme culture and creation. “All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities.” Wherever there is life, there must be replicators, as Gleick simply puts it. As I read his article defining what is a meme I found this part really helpful in understanding meme culture:

Memes are complex units, distinct and memorable—units with staying power… an object is not a meme. The hula hoop is not a meme; it is made of plastic, not of bits… the physical manifestation, of a meme, or memes: the craving for hula hoops; the swaying, swinging, twirling skill set of hula-hooping. The hula hoop itself is a meme vehicle.”

In my own practise, i don’t “create my own” memes for BCM112 – I’m constantly using meme generators or taking temples from the internet… constantly taking and regenerating and duplicating and replicating what’s already out there. The internet is a copying machine.

2 thoughts on “week 4 | the internet is a copying machine”

  1. Hey Hannah! Loved reading thing post, I never thought about memes being philosophical and yet here we are. You used a perfect example of creating memes and ‘borrowing’ other people ideas, such as templates and generators! That’s exactly what happened when I made my gif this week, I got the idea off someone else! You are 100% right about the internet being a copying machine! :))


  2. Hey Hannah! I love your explanation of regenerating things on the internet even though you think you’re making it- how you said when you are creating a meme, you’re really just copying someone else and putting your own spin on it! You are exactly right- copying a copy!


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