Garage memes and selfish genes
\nIdeas are the life-blood of the innovation community. With that in mind, over on the Principled Innovation blog, Jeff De Cagna announces the launch of a new series of blog posts called Garage Memes:
"Last month, I wrote\nabout the need to bring more "garage thinking" into the association\ncommunity. In that spirit, I am going to start posting a series of what\nI’m calling "garage memes." Garage memes are dangerous ideas\ndesigned to undermine support for the association community’s status\nquo and provoke new thinking about what is possible. If this works out\nright, you’ll read my garage memes, starting talking about them with\nyour colleagues and, in time, they will spread across our community."
\n If you're not familiar with the term, memes are essentially self-replicating ideas that function analogously to genes in that they carry information about culture and ideas. While most people tend to think of the word meme as having some sort of Internet-related derivation (e.g. the name of the newest FORTUNE conference is iMeme: The Thinkers of Tech), did you know that the word actually derives from The Selfish Gene, a 1976 book written by Oxford evolutionist Richard Dawkins? (FYI - a link to this book appears on the book blogroll in the left-most column of this site) Yep, he snuck the part about memes into one of the final chapters of the book:
"We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. 'Mimeme' comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like 'gene.' I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate 'mimeme' to 'meme.' If it is any consolation, it could alternatively be thought of as being related to 'memory,' or to the French word meme. It should be pronounced to rhyme with 'cream.' Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches..."
[image: Cover art for The Meme Machine]\n
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.
- How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
- To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
- The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
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