May 2011

Sick of Facebook? Bring It to the Real World

Many of us have had a very strong love-hate relationship with Facebook. I have taken several hiatuses myself, one of which was three months long. From the issues with Facebook itself (privacy problems, direct condescension and contempt of its patrons, and the policy changes that happen on a regular basis without notice) to the vapidity and disdainfulness of it all (permanent adolescent mentality, narcissism, promotion of hatred of gays, fat people, Muslims, and pretty much everyone else), it’s sort of a breeding ground of everything that is contemptible in the world—like a neverending high school environment, supported and sustained via the Internet.

The differences and similarities of memes and Internet memes

Richard Dawkins first coined the word meme in his book, The Selfish Gene published in 1976.  Basically, Dawkins posed the idea that memes are the cultural version of genes—they are the transmission of ideas and information, cultural norms and societal expectations.  For example, a baby is never taught that folding his arms signifies anger, but he sees others in his life crossing their arms in anger and therefore recognizes what it means in his society.  Essentially, Dawkins' definition of memes puts ideas and actions into cultural contexts; without memes, humans wouldn’t know, most often subconsciously, that anything meant anything.

Lady Gaga and Our Culture

How the Internet helped create a Monster

I want to talk about Lady Gaga for a minute. Yes, I know if you read one more article about this woman you might explode but I am going to extrapolate on her in a much bigger perspective on her than just her music and looks. This is the exact musical act we deserve as a country. She is a beautiful representation of who we are and please don’t think that’s a compliment.