memes are units of cultural transmission, Richard Dawkins, Ariana Grande will live through memes, evolutionary biology, pop media as channel

Ariana Grande memes

A friend says Ariana Grande memes are there to remind us of the social selves we’ll love. I don’t know what he’s saying, but I won’t argue.

That’s part of the faith, the power of memes. It’s part of our urge for relevance. Effectively, our desire to understand the electronic mirror we are all reflected in, is a need. Memes are mirrors.

Anyway, it’s all ok. Sure, Ariana is talented and she has a sense of humor. The moment I mentioned this to someone else, however, I was asked: “yeah have you see the Billie Eilish thing?”

They meant the Elite Daily20 Billie Eilish memes that perfectly capture your sense of humor.” No, I hadn’t.

Memes are biology

Get this though: … “memes fight for survival ‘through processes of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance.'” (Wikipedia) So, there is in fact a field of study called “memetics” to understand these processes more deeply.

Pop quiz: are those Wikipedia words a) something you should have remembered from a biology exam? Or, b) quoted from Refinery29,com?

You will find the answer here. It’s all about how powerful it is to relate. And, it’s about the feedback loops between us and our celebrities.

Evolutionary Theater

Turns out biologist Richard Dawkins put the word “meme” into circulation back in 1976. You remember him? The Selfish Gene (his book) constructed “meme” from “mimetics” and “gene.” In other words memes act like genetic code.

Our culture, Dawkins said, is what makes us human beings unique. Memes are units of cultural transmission — a sort of biological mechanism.

Dobsonians have altazimuth mounts

Now,  as to astronomy. Like many of you, I am still learning about telescopes. You know, the various basic designs of optics, mirrors, lenses, mounts and so on.

Like, what is a “Dobsonian”? How is a Dobsonian telescope almost the same as a Newtonian? Well, it is optically the same. But, it has an altazimuth mount. We’ll get more into that, later.

For now, here are two examples of Dobsonians, both made by Orion.  Either of these will transform idle hours into night-sky discovery:

Recent Wharf21 stories about useful stuff:

Ghost-hunting gear: EVP Recorder Ghost Hunting

Artists drawing/tracing/animation light box: TikTek 4A Ultra-Thin LED Light Box

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