You are previewing The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Memes.
O'Reilly logo
The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Memes

Book Description

The ways of memes.

Memes are "viruses of the mind"-symbols, ideas, or practices that are transmitted through speech, gestures, and rituals. Understanding how symbols like the peace sign or ad slogans like "Where's the beef?" or viral videos become part of our common culture has become a primary focus of sales and marketing companies across the globe. The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Memes explains how memes work, how they spread, and what memes tell us about how we make sense of our world.

*First book to cover all types of memes, including viral memes in the digital age

*Features the Most Influential Memes in History and the Ten Biggest Internet Memes

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Introduction
  5. Part 1 - What Is a Meme?
    1. Chapter 1 - Learning About Memes
      1. Definition
      2. What Makes a Meme?
      3. Types of Memes
      4. How Memes Are Passed
      5. Seeing Memes in Action
    2. Chapter 2 - The Science of Memetics
      1. The History of Memes and Memetics
      2. The Basic Idea
      3. Dissecting a Meme
      4. Evolution
      5. The Internet and Modern Memes
  6. Part 2 - Pass It On: How Memes Spread
    1. Chapter 3 - Word-of-Mouth Memes
      1. Gossip
      2. Tipping Points
      3. Cultural Currency
    2. Chapter 4 - Memes and the Internet
      1. Images on the Internet
      2. The Power of Video
      3. Viral Video Before the Internet
      4. The YouTube Revolution
      5. Memes of Memes
      6. Viruses: Digital Memes
      7. Philanthropic Memes
    3. Chapter 5 - Marketing Memes
      1. Viral Marketing
      2. Why Viral Marketing Has Taken Off
      3. Viral Marketing Before the ’Net
      4. How They Get You to Buy
      5. Astroturfing
  7. Part 3 - Memes In Action
    1. Chapter 6 - Popular Culture
      1. Fashion
      2. Music
      3. Humor
    2. Chapter 7 - Technological Memes
      1. Architecture
      2. Language
      3. Machines
    3. Chapter 8 - Philosophy: The Memes We Live By
      1. Pay it Forward
      2. Practices and Mores
      3. The Cult of Personality
    4. Chapter 9 - Sex as a Meme
      1. What Is Sex?
      2. Procreation
      3. Pornography
    5. Chapter 10 - Religion
      1. Religion and Spirituality
      2. Religion as a Meme
      3. Religious Memes vs. Spiritual Feelings
      4. Religion as Axioms
      5. Memes as Dogmatic Weapons
      6. Seeing Religion
    6. Chapter 11 - Politics
      1. Slogans, Soapboxes, and Partisan Memes
      2. Slogans
      3. Soapboxes
      4. Partisan Memes
      5. Spreading Messages
  8. Part 4 - Complex Memes
    1. Chapter 12 - The Mischievous, Malicious Memes
      1. Defining Malicious Memes
      2. Scams
      3. Hoaxes
      4. Urban Legends
      5. Conspiracy Theories
    2. Chapter 13 - The Marching Retromemes
      1. Defining the Retromeme
      2. Examples of Retromemes
      3. Co-Memes
    3. Chapter 14 - The Layered Memeplex
      1. Defining the Memeplex
      2. Building a Memeplex
      3. The Corporation as a Memeplex
      4. The Role of Bait in a Memeplex
      5. Understanding Meta-Memes
    4. Chapter 15 - The Doomsday Millennial Memes
      1. Defining Doomsday Memes
      2. A History of Chicken Little
      3. Prophets
      4. Y2 K
      5. 2012
    5. Chapter 16 - The Passive Dormant Memes
      1. Defining the Dormant Meme
      2. How a Meme Dies
      3. Why Do Some Die and Others Don’t?
      4. The Flat Earth Meme
      5. Resurrecting Dead Memes
    6. Chapter 17 - The Deadly Toxic Memes
      1. Killer Memes
      2. Auto-Toxic Memes
      3. Exo-Toxic Memes
      4. Memeoids
      5. Cults
      6. Terrorism
      7. Copycat Crimes
  9. Part 5 - Defenses Against Memes
    1. Chapter 18 - Memes as Infection
      1. The Vector, or Carrier
      2. The Host, or the Infected
      3. Immuno-Depressant
      4. Meme Censorship
      5. Three Steps to Disinfection … Maybe
    2. Chapter 19 - Meme Allergies
      1. Hate Crimes
      2. Homophobia
      3. Racism
      4. Sexism
    3. Chapter 20 - Immuno-Memes: The Meme Blockers
      1. Totalizing Systems
      2. General Precautions
      3. Knowledge, the Ultimate Immuno-Meme
      4. Science
      5. Religion
      6. Politics
      7. A Taxonomy of Immuno-Memes
      8. Be Aware
  10. Part 6 - The Theories Behind Memes
    1. Chapter 21 - Classic Theories
      1. Early Meme Theories
      2. F. Ted Cloak, Jr.
      3. Cavalli-Sforza and Dual-Inheritance Theory
      4. Darwin’s Evolution
      5. Proving Evolution Through Genetics
      6. Richard Dawkins and The Selfish Gene
      7. The Birth of Memetics
      8. The Resurrection of the Meme
      9. Dennett and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea
    2. Chapter 22 - New Meme Theories
      1. Richard Brodie’s Virus of the Mind
      2. Aaron Lynch and Thought Contagion
      3. Blackmore and The Meme Machine
    3. Chapter 23 - Alternative Theories
      1. Challenges to Meme Ideas
      2. The Purpose of Meme Theory
      3. Other Evolving Ideas
      4. Evolutionary Culture Theory
      5. Where Theories Are Headed
  11. Appendix A - Glossary
  12. Appendix B - Questions and Answers
    1. Okay…Iguess I should read Chapter 1, but first, tell me what a meme is.
    2. Why are memes important?
    3. Are memes good or bad?
    4. Who actually first discovered memes?
    5. “Meme” is a weird name. Where did it come from?
    6. Did memes exist before the Internet?
    7. Why do the silliest things, like dancing babies and keyboard cats, become the most popular Internet memes?
    8. I have this great idea for a meme. How can I guarantee that it will spread?
    9. What does Charles Darwin, who studied physical evolution, have to do with the transfer of ideas?
    10. A meme isn’t really alive, so why do you keep talking about it as if it has an intention and goals?
  13. Appendix C - Resources
    1. Books and Articles
    2. Websites
  14. Appendix D - The Seven Most Influential Memes
    1. Discovery of Fire
    2. The Invention of the Wheel
    3. Religion
    4. The Arch
    5. The Confidence Scam
    6. Memes
    7. The Internet Meme
  15. Appendix E - Biggest Internet Memes
    1. Images
    2. Phrases
    3. Concepts
    4. Videos
    5. Websites
  16. Appendix F - Interviews with Meme Originators
    1. Erik Nakagawa, Co-Founder of “I Can Haz Cheezburger?”
    2. Chris Menning of Know Your Meme
    3. Tay Zonday, Singer of “Chocolate Rain”
  17. Index