Blogosphere version of a Chain Letter or Building Block of Cultural Evolution

February 9, 2008

Rush Nigut of Rush on Business tagged me.  The rules of “tag” are simple:

  • Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
  • Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

I wondered if this “tag” is a blogosphere version of a chain letter. I quickly did some research and discovered that it’s a meme. A meme (pronounced /mi:m/), as defined by memetic theory, constitutes a theoretical unit of cultural information, the building block of culture or cultural evolution which spreads through diffusion propagating from one mind to another analogously to the way in which a gene propagates from one organism to another as a unit of genetic information and of biological evolution. To avoid the bad luck that will befall me if I don’t send this “meme” on to seven other bloggers, I will dutifully comply.

Seven random things about me:

  • I am not superstitious, but I do think there is such a thing as bad luck.
  • I think Murphy’s Law and its corollaries are absolutely true, particularly Hanlon’s Razor which reads: “Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.”
  • Calvin and Hobbes is my favorite comic strip. Calvin receives a chain letter stating that "a man in Denver made 20 copies and was awarded a raise" and that "a man in Seattle broke the chain and he went bald." When Hobbes says that the chain letter is "nonsense for superstitious nincompoops" and advises Calvin to throw it away, the letter continues "and a dumb kid like you listened to his friend and got run over by a cement mixer."
  • I really like movies, but I have never seen Chain Letters. The film is by Independent filmmaker Mark Rappaport who paints a wicked picture of the New York Yuppie. The story involves nine upwardly mobile Manhattanites, all of whom receive a chain letter. Depending on their decision to either pass the letter on or to break the chain, the various characters encounter romance, fulfillment–and sudden death.
  • I hate reality TV. Give me a good old sitcom like Wings. I especially like the on where Fay, Antonio and Roy receive chain letters instructing them to make more copies to send to friends and praise the sun god Ra. Fay and Roy eagerly make letters but Antonio throws his in the garbage, refusing to believe in nonsense. Fay and Roy have amazing luck and say "Praise the sun god Ra!” Antonio suffers multiple mishaps but refuses to reverse his actions, arguing that as a Catholic praising another god is blasphemy and idolatry.
  • I love debunking rumors the way they do on Urban Legends like the e-mail chain letter about the kid trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the most business cards. It’s amazing that there is usually some truth in the rumor.
  • Ironically, today in the mail my kids got one of those sticker club chain letters. Based on the above, I am going to help my kids send it on. Does anyone know where I can get some four leaf clover stickers?

My seven random people are all Moores who are of no know relationship, but who have blogs:

The Other Michael Moore: Michael is an author and Academy Award-winning director and producer.

Andre Moore:  Andre is a graduate of Atlanta College of Art in Illustration/ Animation. She has worked her way around town in the commercial world doing in-betweens and animation for almost every studio in Atlanta. She has done freelance game concepts, flash animation, storyboards you name it.

Caroline Moore: Caroline is a photographer and designer with a B.A. in New Media from the University of Maine. Her work has appeared in a number of independent publications, both online and in print, as well as a handful of group exhibits around the world. She lives in Maine with her husband, Tim, and their three crazy cats.

Cathy Moore:  For more than 20 years, Cathy has used technology to help people learn.  These days, she designs and writes e-learning and performance support materials for corporations and e-learing developers.

Karl Moore:  Karl is a writer and entrepreneur, and officially one of the world’s top 100 developers.The CEO of US-based media group White Cliff, Karl founded the WCCL Network consisting of over 150 retail websites and 20,000 affiliates.

Martin Moore: Martin is the director of a new, independent, non-profit organisation called the Media Standards Trust, which will look for ways to foster high standards in news. I previously worked for about a decade in media, and was researching and teaching at the LSE until last year. His book, The Origins of Modern Spin, has just been published by Palgrave MacMillan.

Jimmy Moore: On January 1, 2004, Jimmy made it my New Year’s resolution to lose weight on the Atkins diet after weighing in at a whopping 410 pounds. In just one year he lost 180 pounds and he has kept that weight off by making low-carb his permanent lifestyle change. Or, as he likes to say, I’m livin’ la vida low-carb. Won’t you join him in this journey to a dramatically better weight and health like you’ve never experienced before? It can happen for you because it happened to him!