Sunday, March 3, 2013

Meme Wars (Part 4)

 A war for mind share is going on around us.  Ideas struggle for territory in our brains.  In Part 4 of Meme Wars we consider current technologies enabling memes to struggle for mind share.

Meme WarsPart 1 - Part 2 - Part 3  - Part 4 - Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7

Global internet map of connections between minds
American Information Revolution

Microprocessors, internet and social media technologies combined representing a new revolution in communications.  Effects of this technology, like printing of books, is radically transforming what it means to be human.

First with personal computers, expanded by internet, and then democratized by smart phones; we have destroyed distance and time as barriers to communication.  No longer do we have one way communication from a far-off past.  We speak and listen, almost exclusively in the now, everywhere.

Memes are forming from minds to machines and be transferred to previously unreachable brains.  Meme reproduction between minds has accelerated out of the ability for anyone to control.

With a revolution of book printing, thoughts of minds from a distant and formerly unknown past were broadcast far and wide.  Printer’s who owned presses had enormous power to choose which ideas were disseminated.  Moving from writing centers to reading edges, thoughts moved in one direction. 

This printing broadcast technology provided a means for church, king or others to control information.  Broadcasting allows filtering of memes prior to reproduction.

Writing ones thoughts can now be transferred to readers instantly by practically anyone with minimal economic stability.  Memes move about at the speed of light, reproducing uncontrolled.  We write our posts, send our tweets, share our links providing near instant communication.

Brains are connecting everywhere
Today we each can be broadcasters, speaking with anyone connected via novel technologies across the entire planet.  Our generation’s information technology revolution is about multi-point communications.  A chaotic and almost uncontrollable density of thought is transferred between brains.

People funnel ideas
Meme Overload

Readers have unprecedented access to others thoughts.  Like readers of the first printed Bibles, we are seeing new things for the first time and forming opinions quickly and easily.

We are overwhelmed with information.  There is more information on Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn published in a day, than we can read in a lifetime.  We are forced to select which information streams we read, letting others go by unknown. 

With only limited space in our brains and time to process ideas, we are forced to create our own filters to stop the flood from overwhelming us.  Where centralized broadcast allowed filtering to happen for us, we now must do the filtering for ourselves.

These filters are not new, we have always tried to stay away from ideas we consider harmful.  As our bodies avoid disease and bad behaviors, our minds stay away from ideas that could infect us or lead to bad action.

In part 5 of Meme Wars we continue our journey into our current information revolution.

Meme WarsPart 1 - Part 2 - Part 3  - Part 4 - Part 5 – Part 6 – Part 7

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