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September 7, 2003

Memes, Time, and Thought

Be sure to read the previous entry first.... I'm still not sure I'll structure my argument around the identity (or immediacy) meme, but I like the idea of thinking about memes in terms of time, how they unfold, often unexpectedly, always between multiple blogs. Blogging has allowed me to track those changes more carefully in my own work, to recognize how readers (who themselves become writers) co-produce the "meaning" of my blog (if one can even say that meaning is produced in a single blog).

The process of ideas developing over time is nothing new, of course, but the tools available to bloggers ("immdiate" response, hyperlinks, blogrolls, trackback, etc) all seem to augment this process in an intriguing way. My hesitation about this line of thinking is probably pretty evident, with my overuse of parentheses and scare quotes. I also recognize that other bloggers see their blogs as completely discrete, single-authored texts, a perception they reinforce by not allowing comments or trackbacks, or in some cases, permalinks to individual entries. Still thinking out loud...

Posted by chuck at September 7, 2003 6:46 PM

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I like the avenues you're exploring with this.

What difference is there (if there is a difference) between using "meme" (like you do) and "thread" (as I do)? Does "thread" imply a stronger sense of temporality?

Posted by: George at September 7, 2003 7:17 PM

I honestly hadn't thought about it. Until you posed this question, I'd assumed the terms were synonymous, but memes certainly imply a greater sense of diffusion whereas a thread might imply a single line (does that make the difference spatial?). Good question.

Posted by: chuck at September 7, 2003 7:27 PM

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