The lifecycle of a meme

Since we started banding together in cities, we have been swimming through a sea of aggressively competing (and largely worthless) memes.  As a result of television and the Internet, the sea has got deeper and the memes more voracious.

In order to save our sanity, we have developed filters to assess these memes to see which are worth listening to, imitating, and passing on. Without these filters, our heads would probably stop working from the sheer amount of material we are bombarded with every day.

Let's take a look at the lifecycle of a meme from the point when it first reaches you through to the point where you re-transmit it.

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Implanting a meme

We looked at a four-stage model of meme transmission in the lifecycle of a meme, and in A x B x C x D = growth we looked at the mathematics of viral growth from the meme’s point of view.  Now I want to look at what it is about memes that makes them easy to assimilate, retain, express and transmit.

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Case study: cuddly toys test the theory

So now we've looked at the lifecycle of a meme and the filters that the brain uses.  I now want to test these theories against the spectacular and well-documented rise and fall of Beanie Babies.  

Read more: Case study: cuddly toys test the theory