What Does “Meme” Mean?

NOTE: This post won’t make a bit of sense unless I tell you that my blog used to be called “healthpromeme.”  A bunch of people told me they didn’t get it and couldn’t remember it, so I changed it!

A number of people have asked about the name of this blog. My mother wrote to me and said she needed filled in on this “meme” thing. Wikipedia defines meme (rhymes with “seem”) this way:

A meme consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods. Memes propagate themselves and can move through a “culture” in a manner similar to the behavior of a virus. As a unit of cultural evolution, a meme in some ways resembles a gene. Richard Dawkins, in his book The Selfish Gene, recounts how and why he coined the term meme to describe how one might extend Darwinian principles to explain the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. He gave as examples tunes, catch-phrases, beliefs, clothing-fashions, and the technology of building arches. – Wikipedia

When I was considering names for this blog, I was looking for something catchy, similar to Geeks Are Sexy, a favorite site of mine, or Execupundit, another favorite. After deciding on lots of excellent names, and finding none of them were names that were actually for sale, my son suggested healthpromeme, to describe the field I’m in and indicate some sort of hip factor. If you’re my age, you need your children to clue you in to things, and if you’re like me, you also need them to clue you in to when it’s time to stop saying stuff that isn’t hip anymore. It seems like I just got the hang of saying “jiggy with it” when my kids told me to stop it.

I hope you have kids to tell you when to stop it too.

p.s. Click on the Memes category to the right and see what memes are in healthcare.