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Memes (cultural genes with self - replication and mutation powers) and social sites. Evolution, revolution or regression?

By definition a meme can act as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena.
So can a well known truth become a lie while being transmitted from one mind to another via the social sites which everyone seems to use nowadays? Will the foundations of truth as we know it today be altered while a thought or an ideas gets transmitted from one mind to another. Is this evolution, revolution or regression?

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    May 25 2011: basically, a meme can only become a lie when transmitted. truth is complex, and memes can only be simple. thus, meme is a lie more or less. it does not mean it is harmful though. the meme can push us into a more or less good way. it does not have to be perfect. in the long run, memes have to prove beneficial, or they have to die out.

    however it is not at all new. memes are around for hundreds of thousands of years. they seem to be more important because everything is more important today. because progress is so fast. almost everything happened recently.
    • May 26 2011: Indeed memes have been around for a very long time but this time they are much stronger and social sites help their strength a lot.

      Hmmm I think memes can become harmful at some point on a global scale. Some truth that people think it's true is in fact not or vice versa. There is a scientific battle going on nowadays and a simple thought lives by default till it's proven right or wrong. The more interesting part is that even if proven false it will still live and will be spread.

      At the same time yes it can be good too.

      Unfortunately spreading a faulty idea ( an nowadays the process is very fast) is very easy and in the long run piece by piece, idea by idea the Truth will change. Is this good? No assuming that humanity is actually certain on the truth as we know it. Yes, if the idea actually brings more light to the global truth.
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        May 27 2011: Hello Andrea..nice to meet you. " Even if it is proven false it will live and it will spread"

        Yes I see that even in Ted Conversations..someone will mis state a fact..somene else correct it with supported link..same person wil bring same wrong fact forward and usually the mis statement will be something thats "floating around".

        I think its is somehow linked to the issues brought forward in the Ted Talk on Experts...that somehow we attach to an idea that is offered from news, from a blog or a magazine or just something repeated to us because it resonates or feel right or fits with our other ideas. Once it "attaches", challenges of fact just bounce off it

        .Many memes are brought to Ted Conversations and a few survive in tact til the end of the conversation but the process of engaging..of staying with a conversation to the end is a very good meme fighter and maybe inococulates a bit agaunst the habit of picking up and spreading memes

        .Ted Conversations, perhaps because they involve input from so many different cultures ages and backgrounds give a unique opportunity to work through events that shape and affect our lives in community. to engage critical thinking in community in a way that isn't possible at a blog . Hopefully it is a prcess that is making us meme proof.
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      May 27 2011: all excellent points, Krisztian..you are absolutely right.

      Memes have existed forever and actually are the binding force of many groups ( I always saw tthat as a non-banker on the Banking Board.)..don't you think the internet and its structure for engagement ( before we had Ted Conversations) allows these things spread faster ad root more deeply across much larger groups than has eve been possible before?

      In a way I think of Ted Conversations as not only an inoculation against mindless memes that don't stand up to any reasonable scrutiny against any reasonable idea of "truth" but a a way to build and launch memes that are about truth..about a positive vision for us now and for our fragile world.
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    May 25 2011: Andreea, Could you give me an example of a 'meme. Thank you in advance.
    • May 26 2011: Basically a meme can be any idea.
      Example: "When listening to a seashell you actually hear your veins in your body." True or false?
      Or "Garlic helps when you have a cold." True or false?
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    May 25 2011: Theres your side of the story then theres his side of the story and then theres the truth,

    Culture is not a static thing it changes all the time,with each generation changes are made until the old is forgotten.

    I wouldn't say the social networks are a evolution or a revolution but definitely an ongoing written language regression.
    • May 26 2011: Language regression agree and unfortunately language is somewhat connected to concepts.
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        • May 27 2011: I would take it at a deeper level of conceptual thinking of a certain culture.

          I was referring more to concepts getting "lost in translation" not so much to interpretation of cultural differences. Funny how we always promote diversity and at the same time we promote equality.
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        May 27 2011: "lost in translation"..?

        as in the last 1500 years? or ongoing? 21st century?

        What the mexicans are going through i've seen here where i live three times in the last thirty years,different people same tune.i find it hard to racially slur a people when they are your duplicate.i keep wondering why?where does this strange useless reaction come from?i keep returning to genectic preservation.

        could you describe the scientific debate going on that you referred to in your response to krisztian?
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        May 27 2011: there is no unity except through diversity..it is in diversity..in pluralism when it is fuid and interacting as it does here at Ted Conversations..that we begin to move towards higher truths

        Closed communities which is what most of us lived in during my emergence into adulthood, foster memes which are so ingrown we don't even know they are there.

        The same vast potential that allows memes to form and spread more rapidly across wider and wider networks can also through a meta conversation like Ted begin to bring an alinement at a higher more universal and more inclusive plane of shared consciousness,.

        .I resist definitive labels like progression. regression, or even evolution ..but, of the three, evolution is what is possible and regression is what is happening..I see a huge dialetic at work pulling harder and harder on opposite directions simulatenously.

        . I like to think of it as being pushed to extremes away from a center..that at first we only seet as a line extending in opposite directions..and when it is at the extreme..as I feel it is now..we will realize the line is really only the diamter of a circle..that we are at opposite points along the same continuum on the same line that defines the circle. Any direction we travel on a circle mightl eventually bring us together.