Posts tagged ‘Meme’

February 8, 2012

Meme: Church Metrical Books … Embellishments, Oddities, & Notations #3

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Last week Stanczyk was combing through the LDS Library in Salt Lake. I was perusing the Tumlin parish (LDS Microfilm # 939955). Whilst I was in 1763 covering the Death Records, I found my current Embellishment (or is it an Oddity).

Embellishment

Now in the older Latin records, the Latin paragraph and not the Latin Box Format, it is not uncommon to see the local priest embellish the new year. They usually write the number and perhaps adorn it with some dots around the digits or some small doo-dad or dingbat (in modern parlance).

But clearly in 1763 this priest had a lot of free time and the Creative Spirit overcame him.

Notice the two skull & crossbones. Each is surrounded by floral designs. This seems to this jester to be some kind of All Souls Day motivation whereby the cemeteries are adorned with flowers and the deceased are celebrated.

I have to wonder do other European countries have such Embellishments in their church books too or is this a uniquely Slavic predilection?

July 25, 2011

Church Metrical Books … Embellishments, Oddities, and Notations #1

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Welcome to a new Monday and a new meme.

In the year 1647, some 364 years ago in some Polish parish somewhere,  was a priest with some free time at the end of the year  1646 or the beginning of 1647 and of course a good bit of artistic talent.

Stanczyk laughs at the priest’s macabre sense of whimsy. Forgive me that I forgot last year to capture the note of where I found this “artwork”. I am sure it was in a Digital Library or Archive and not from some microfilm I was viewing (see the red border).

Here in the USA, we have had a long tradition of viewing the New Year as a baby and the Old Year as an old man (usually with a long beard). But skeletons, one of which holds the Grim Reapers scythe??? Of course, I approve the use of an hourglass as a metaphor for the passage of time. Such embellishments and details. Perhaps he was reminiscing the old year’s (1646) significant passings :

At any rate, as I was reviewing my collection of digital pics from Church Books, it occurred to me that I have a new repeating meme: Embellishments, Oddities, and Notations found in Church Metrical Books.

I foresee discussing priestly entries (if I can find them,) such a notation about a meteorite that struck in the local parish. I also will include examples of marginalia or possibly end of year notations that a priest makes — one of which affects my family tree.

Meanwhile … it is time for some hot coffee.  Talk to you later (God Willing) …

Stanczyk

April 22, 2011

The Meme is My Theme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The May 2011 Smithsonian arrived recently. In it was an article by  James Gleick on Memes. This is the same Gleick who in 1987 wrote:  Chaos: Making a New Science, and who has a new book this year called: The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood. In fact, the Smithsonian article is adapted from that book. The word, meme was coined by Richard Dawkins, in his 1976 book,  The Selfish Gene (see page 192) . So this article is a meme upon the venerable meme, a kind of meta-meme, which I will coin as: meme-meme.

Dawkins defined a meme as, ” … a name for the new kind of  replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission.” Dawkins said the analogy was:  Cultural Transmission = Genetic Transmission. And so by Dawkins’ utterance, a meme was born (created). He said it sounded vaguely like gene, rhymes with cream, and might even conjure to mind the word memory. So we have gene, cream, memory as the Mnemonic device for remembering the word meme. He originally wanted to use ‘Mimeme’, but then decided upon a monosyllabic word (how atomic) meme. However, this jester thinks, Dawkins writings and ideas are all about, ME, not my me, but his (Dawkins’) me. Notice how meme is a self-replicated version of the word ‘me’. Hence, my meta-meme is meme-meme; So it naturally follows that it is all about me and he (my me first, then his me). Well it was defined in the Selfish Gene (uh Meme), so perhaps, me-me-me-me should be an understood pun? Stanczyk does not know, having never met Dr. Dawkins and thus unable to pose the question.

Why is the CHAOS guy writing about the MEME (uh Gene) guy? After reading the adaption of Gleick’s book in the Smithsonian article I am not certain. It was very interesting. But I am not certain I even agree with Gleick’s article. Gleick said that  Hula Hoop ® (an object) is not a meme. Although I suppose his article and mine writing about the Hula Hoop are a meme. Why can’t an object be a meme? One could suppose a Hula Hoop is a cultural unit and perhaps our parent’s purchase, was the cultural transmission. Obviously the Hula Hoop was the latest evolution of the hoop as a toy, when in 1958 Whamo waxed Alliterative and tying the hoop to the Hawaiian dance (soon to be a state in 1959) and we had a fad whose meme is legendary. So let’s wax philosophical…

If a Hula Hoop is in the woods (without anyone around to hear it) is it still a meme? What if there is also a child in that woods? How about we add an Ad-Man? But still with only a child and Ad-Man to witness it perhaps there is no cultural transmission. Perhaps we need to add another child to watch the first child play with the Hula Hoop — are we getting anywhere near a meme yet? If so what is the meme: Hula Hoop, child (1st), Ad-Man, child(2nd), watching a child play ? Is the dark matter between the two children the meme — some kind of quantum cultural transmission? Perhaps we need a TV to broadcast the the two children in the woods to other children (elsewhere) to have a meme. Is the TV  or the broadcaster the meme; perhaps it is the commercial being broadcast that is the meme? And who was meme creator? What if the other children did not want to play with the Hula Hoop;  Would the concept of a Hula Hoop have been a meme, would these articles still be meme(s)? When are two memes sufficiently alike to be considered the same meme?

Why did the Journal of Memetics become extinct and yet the venerable meme (not to be confused with my meme about the meme) continue to live on?

Please keep the  meme alive and also my meta-meme (aka meme-meme) alive  and tweet and re-tweet this article. Share it on Facebook with your friends. Write about it in science Journals. Send it in emails. In order for me to ensure its survival I am including the hash tag: #Viral.

For God’s sake save the meme (and the meme-meme), just like the Whale, snail-darters, and Yellowstone Wolves. A Meme is a terrible thing to waste — Pass it on. Thank you for reading my theme (uh meme, uh meme-meme). I am hopeful that some other blogger or writer or researcher will write about my meta-meme (aka the meme-meme) and create his/her meta-meta-meme. I replicate therefore I meme.

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