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Why We Go Deeper

by on September 5, 2018

meme machine

It could be we ask why, look deeper than surface, because that is a trait of successful memes.

To occupy our mind, to be spread, successful memes beg for more.

More mindshare. More processing power. More thinking about only them.

Them, relative to everything else. They are central.

Them, alone. They are all we need.

Them, still hidden behind even something new. Resurfacing, resurgent, after years.

More transmission. Whatever the format.

The media is malleable. The meme remains.

Mutated. Perhaps. But alive and growing.

Is depth a comfortable (or consuming) illusion of successful memes?

Not the illusion of obscurity, of muddy waters. Rather, the illusion of depth. That there is such a thing.

When we begin sense-making or way finding, encounter new data, access or create mental maps, we reach for patterns. Successful memes may be those patterns.


Memes: Blackmore, S. J. (1999). The meme machine. Oxford [England: Oxford University Press.
Memes and asking why, brains as prediction machines: Dennett, D. C. (1991). Consciousness explained. Boston: Little, Brown and Co.
Way finding: Morville, P. (2005). Ambient findability. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.
Encounter new data: John R. Boyd, “Patterns of Conflict,” briefing presentation, December 1986, available at:
Mental maps and patterns:  Spencer, Donn (2009) Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories. Rosenfeld Media
Young, Indi (2008) Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior. Rosenfeld Media
Neuroscience of mental maps: Search for ‘brain.’


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