Friday, October 26, 2007

"What's a Meme?"

Just kidding! This morning's post was not the last post of the week, because I have some business to attend to. This is also the first time I've ever posted twice in one day; this is a precursor to yet another change in format that I'm going to experiment with next week.

I've been tagged! I think that means I have to make a contribution to the "meme"...whatever that is. I've never heard of the word "meme" until now. So, I did a little research, and decided that "meme" is just another term for "chain letter", except that people are more likely to respond to a "meme" than a "chain letter". Why? Let's do a little word associaton:

- "chain letter": hate! delete! evil! go away!
- "meme": What's a meme?

So, it's kind of like when ValuJet changed their name to AirTran after one of their planes crashed. But Jacob sold me by comparing the "meme" to a genetic algorithm. Everybody likes genetic algorithms, right?

First, the rules:


There are a set of questions below that are all of the form, “The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…”. Copy the questions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:

* You can leave them exactly as is.

* You can delete any one question.

* You can mutate either the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question. For instance, you could change “The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is…” to “The best time travel novel in Westerns is…”, or “The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is…”, or “The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is…”.

* You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form “The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is…”.

* You must have at least one question in your set, or you’ve gone extinct, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you’re not viable.

Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify tracing the ancestry, and include these instructions.

Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.


Second, a disclaimer. I am really bad at movie and music history, and thus, my "answers" to these questions aren't going to be very insightful. In fact, upon reading them, you'll probably think I'm a moron. (That is, if you don't think that already.) So, don't get your hopes up. Please, please, please don't get your hopes up.

Third, the questions themselves, and my answers: (Questions are in bold; my rule-mandated modifications are underlined.)
1) The best romantic movie in independent film is: I don't know independent film that well, nor do I know what qualifies as "independent". Wasn't Donnie Darko an independent film? Let's go with that. I know it wasn't very romantic, but I don't care.
2) The best inspirationally dramatic song from 80s hard rock is: I can't top Jacob's answer of "Europe - The Final Countdown". The rules don't say I have to change the answers if I think the previous ones were better than anything I could possibly come up with, right? And since I'm only allowed two modifications, I can't touch this question if I want to be able to add a new one. (See why I was so adamant that you lower your expectations?)
3) The best anti-war song in ska-punk is: I don't know if it's the best, but the first one that came to mind is "Unity" by Operation Ivy.
4) The best educational TV show on science while growing up was: Bill Nye, The Science Guy. (Yeah, I know. Heresy! But I'm pretty sure I watched Bill Nye more than I watched Mr. Wizard.)
5) (new question!) The best two-ply brand of toilet paper is: Angel Soft.

Fourth, some commentary on the process. I think there's a flaw in the rules. The rules dictate that if you change only the "medium" or "genre" in one question, that counts as one of your alloted two changes. But in some questions, you can't just change one thing and still have the sentence make sense. For example, in #1, if I change "movie", I also have to change "independent film" for the sentence to make sense. (Same goes for #5, unless you can think of something other than toilet paper that can be considered "two-ply".) At that point, I might as well delete the question and add a new one, right?

Fifth, who to pass this along to? Well, I'll tag Amber, for two reasons: 1) Her "circle of friends" has a tremendous reach. Far more so than mine. 2) I'm curious to see how she'll answer #5.

Sixth, the geneology:
Great(x8)-grandparent: Pharyngula
Great(x7)-grandparents: The Flying Trilobite; Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
Great(x6)-grandparents: Flying Trilobite; Leslie's Blog (Apparently, there was some back-and-forth going on at the higher levels.)
Great(x5)-grandparents: A Blog Around the Clock; The Meming of Life
Great(x4)-grandparents: From Archaea to Zeaxanthol; The Primate Diaries
Great(x3)-grandparent: The Other 95%
Great(x2)-grandparent: Tangled Up in Blue Guy
Great-grandparent: Greg Laden
Grandparent: Migrations
Parent: Reflections, Ideas, and Dreams

Seventh, did I completely ruin this? Have I steered my thread towards extinction? Well, probably, but that's for Amber to decide.

1 comment:

amber said...

Oh, I'm confused. Have I been tagged yet? Was I supposed to get an email or something? I think I'm getting too old for this stuff- I don't ever understand what's going on.