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Transcript of Memes
What is a meme?
"unit of cultural transmission"
How to make a meme
or How To Be Funny on the Internet
A situation is "benign" when:
Weakly committed to norm
Violation is psychologically distant
"Tragedy + Time"
"There is no humor in heaven"
You can't tickle yourself: no violation
You can't be tickled by strangers: not benign
You must see the things that are wrong in the world and make them okay.
Big violations only OK for a stranger
Small violations OK for YOU
Disability Memes: A Case Study
Tools of the trade
Imgur: easy from scratch
Aviary: iOS or Android app
Photoshop: for the "pros"
Scary or surprising or shocking...
but not too much
In Evolutionary Terms
Richard Dawkins in
The Selfish Gene
Greek "mimeme" meaning "imitation"
A Brief History
In Internet Terms
More mimicry than imitation:
"static" memes are simply viral content
"remixed" memes are subject to natural selection
Be trendy (kairos)
Make sure they match in TONE
And know your meme's style guide!
Share your meme and enjoy your 15 minutes!
...or 15 seconds
"used to give a bit of pseudo-academic gravitas to stupid viral shit"
Evolution only requires a "self-replicating unit of transmission" subject to:
Now frequently used in marketing campaigns
(that's what we would be doing!)
All Your Base
First time a private photo of an ordinary person became a meme
LOLCats and Advice Dog
We love anthropomorphic animals
Multi pane comics
Icons have their own meaning and can be remixed
Basically we are communicating in heiroglyphs again
Allowed users to express emotion in text-only message boards: restored non-verbal cues XD
Rapidly "mutated" into fancy emoticons and now emojis
Bert is Evil
In 1994 Photoshop added "layering," which made it easier to doctor photos
In 1997, Bert is Evil became the first modern meme
Timely memes: the truth did NOT go viral!
Spread from pathos, not humor: people trying to grieve together
Cross-cultural humor: translation issues are funny
Everyone decided to participate and add to the video
Swept the world in days
This has become more common as people upload more and more digital photos
Animals have stereotypes constant across cultures
Are read like single pane comics, so a familiar format for visual rhetoric
The Future of Memes
"Cognitive surplus" - we engage with the world
Memes help us quickly process the onslaught of global information
Understanding memes - "getting the joke" - requires mental flexibility
Memes are the future
Tourist of Death