Friday, February 27, 2004

I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with those of you who have voiced your opinion that online discussions aren't of a certain quality. Perhaps I might agree with your claim if you limited what you were talking about to just discussion boards or chatrooms, but there's another "place" (hardly geographic) in which discussions of amazingly high quality come through and that's the blogosphere. Basically the blogosphere can be thought of as the ecosystem in which memes compete to be the top of the food chain. The best -- highest quality typically -- memes cut it, and the worst disappear never to be seen again.

Discussion boards are too limiting, there isn't enough room to let the ideas "roam the board" so to speak and find all the right people to discuss them -- eventually it's Godwin's Law and the discussion falls apart. In the blogosphere, however, the memes travel from blog to blog and are constantly exposed to new ways of being interpreted. Eventually they can cover the entire blogosphere and be discussed by those individuals most capable of furthering their existance.

Okay, so that was a bit off the beaten path of things we've talked about in this course. Are memes really entities unto themselves? That's more than debateable especially as Dawkins originally penned the idea. But from a sheer "how can I grasp what's going on here?" point of view the analogy works.


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