In Darwin, natural selection occurs through a process of adaption and mimicry. Behavior is replicated across species and adapted to new conditions in a process of redesign. Carried by genes, this algorithmic variation is the basis of evolution.
In his 1976 book ‘The Selfish Gene’ Richard Dawkins brought this idea further, contending that “Darwinism is too big a theory to be confined to the narrow context of the gene.“ He coined the term ‘meme’, or ‘that which is imitated’, to describe cultural entities that spread like a virus or contagion, and exhibit the same replicating behavior as the genome. ‘Meme’ is a familiar word today, and one that has ascended to new heights in the age of social media, even directing politics in unprecedented ways. As argued by Dawkins, the spread of Religion is structured very much like a meme; and perhaps it is logical that the Pepe cult, following it’s encounter with effective meme magic, is beginning to flounder in esoterics.
Here is a YouTube video that discusses the links between memetic thought-transfers and the common cold:
‘Logging onto your social media is exposing yourself to everyone’s mental sneezes: each post a glob of snot with a thought-germ trying to get into your brain.’
The video naturalizes the spread of mostly irrational, emotionally targeted opinion on the net, and hints at how this formats political perspectives. Facebook is now the Number One news provider world wide, and as argued by James Kirkpatrick, “All politics in the Information Age is a media war.” Politics, dictated by the media, and is entirely dependent the construction of stronger memes. Survival of the fittest in memetic terms means the ongoing decent into ruthless warfare of an entirely aesthetic dimension.
Meme enthusiasts have spoken positively about the prevalence and authority of the internet meme as a Renaissance: one that is aesthetic as it is political. Memes are a digitally native, self-referential poetic form and the beginning of a new, aesthetically governed reality. Perhaps the current meme climate is simply the beginning, the prenatal development of sophisticated and totalizing memetic regime. As queried by Twitter user @Logo_Daedalus: