Clash of the Memes: the Future Battlefield of Ideas

Dov Michaeli

Posted 10/23/11 on The Doctor Weighs In

In his book “The Selfish Gene” Richard Dawkins, the population geneticist, proposed the idea of a meme as a target of natural selection. What in the world is a meme?

Essentially everything stored in your brain is a meme. Remember the joke about the guy in the bar? You didn’t invent it –you heard it somewhere, stored it, and probably told it to a friend, helping to spread it. How many people ever heard of the German composer Richard Wagner? With the exception of readers of this blog –not very many. How many listened to his operas? Even fewer. How many listened to his opera Lohengrin? Fewer yet.

But everybody knows the music to “here comes the bride” which was taken from the Wedding March in Lohengrin.

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