Meme Starts and Ends With Me

Scott Eric Kaufman, a graduate student at UC-Irvine, is begging bloggers to link to one of his posts so that he can measure the speed of memes around the Internet for a talk he's giving at the 2006 Modern Language Association convention.

Asking people to do something and pass it around is too MySpacey (answer this question on your site and tell 10 people you know to do the same: "If you could borrow any living person's organ, which one would you take and what would you do with it?").

But in this case, Kaufman deserves our support because he wrote the following sentence:

Contra blog-triumphal models of memetic bootstrapping, I believe most memes are -- to borrow a term from Daniel Dennett's rebuttal of punctuated equilibrium -- "skyhooked" into prominence by high-traffic blogs.

I miss college.

Comments

Wow, that sentence really should be euthanized.

Did you go to colloge?

I vaguely remember the stir Richard Dawkins' book, The Selfish Gene, caused when it was published in 1976 (maybe I read about it in Time or Newsweek, eh?)

I still haven't read the book (another exercise in futility).

Dawkins says he didn't know about the Greek word 'mneme' (memory), but surely the word 'mnemonics' was a clue.

His "units of cultural inheritance" sounds like something generated by a Margaret Mead Quote Generator.

College would be where you learn how important it is to your cause to communicate clearly.

"Contra blog-triumphal models of memetic bootstrapping, I believe most memes are -- to borrow a term from Daniel Dennett's rebuttal of punctuated equilibrium -- "skyhooked" into prominence by high-traffic blogs."

hmmm...

Seriously though, what is he trying to say? Is this about right?

"Some bloggers have argued that their conversations spread in a democratic fashion. I, however, believe that conversations in the blogosphere are only raised to prominence when high traffic bloggers join them."

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