Internet memes have become an influential form of humor and commentary. What is a "meme" anyway? Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the word for his book The Selfish Gene (1976) as a way of describing one of two ways humans can, in a sense, continue themselves after death: their genes (offspring) and their memes (ideas). Memes, like genes, can spread throughout a population, mutate over time, and prosper or die out depending on their environmental fitness. But as the philosophy of language might suggest, internet memes are culturally dependent, lacking meaning without the necessary cultural context. This meme, for example, requires an understanding of Star Wars, football, and why everyone dislikes the Patriots :-).
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