Category Archives: Excerpts

Excerpt: Why Cultures Develop Memetic ‘Immune Systems’

From a blog post by Pablo Reyes Arellano, a professor from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, touching on cultures that, while evolving, still protect themselves through rejection of other ways of seeing, thinking and acting. Modernity has accelerated development, expansion, new possibilities and substantially improved the quality of life in many ways. But, are the systems with… Read More »

Excerpt: David Brooks’ When Cultures Shift

From an opinion piece by New York Times columnist David Brooks, something that plays into the generational marketing gap between Boomers, Gen X and Millennials. Then along came humanistic psychology, led by people like Carl Rogers, who was the most influential psychologist of the 20th century. Rogers followed the same basic line. Human nature is… Read More »

Excerpt: Memes Vs. Cultural Evolution

Excerpt from blog post by Peter Turchin, a professor of Biology and Anthropology in the University of Connecticut. Here he refutes playing too much on the analogy between memes and genes. The process of transmitting cultural traits is also quite different from that of gene replication. It can occur simply by observing and imitation, or… Read More »

Excerpt: Shifman’s Memes in a Digital World: Reconciling with a Conceptual Troublemaker

An article by Limor Shifman in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication Volume 18, Issue 3, pages 362–377, April 2013. Shifman works in the Department of Communication and Journalism, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in Israel. Shiftman’s paper is a bit dense around defining the scope of “what is a meme” (in particular, the difference between… Read More »

Excerpt: The Social Media Bible

From The Social Media Bible by Lon Safko and David K. Brake  page 5… Social media is all about enabling conversations. You cannot control conversations, but you can influence them. Influence is the bedrock upon which all economically viable relationships are built. page 6…               Social Media refers to activities, practices, and behaviors among communities of people… Read More »

Share: ONA Teams Take a Stab at Attracting Young Audiences

By Jeff Nachtigal — University of California-Berkeley (Nov. 13, 2004) Five teams presented ideas on how to best attract the youth audience during the ONA’s inaugural Master of the Web Universe competition. In the final round, judges asked pointed questions about revenue sources and sex columns before picking a theoretical, longer-term approach that focused on… Read More »


An advertising and media critic takes a deeper look at commercial messages’ cultural impact, using memetics to show how advertising became religion. By Matthew Stanton, Metromemetics (first posted 01/14/2001; revised 01/20/2003) What’s the difference between Mountain Dew and Mello Yellow soda pop? The two beverages taste and cost about the same, and both are available… Read More »

Vernor Vinge’s The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era (Full Text)

Not really an “Excerpt” here; this essay is presented verbatim per the author’s terms of use. The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era Vernor Vinge, Department of Mathematical Sciences San Diego State University (c) 1993 by Vernor Vinge (Verbatim copying/translation and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium,… Read More »