Means and Memes

I have a thing for memes.

Not all memes, of course. Like any broad genre, the appeal of a given meme is situational and contextual. Because I don't use Facebook, for example, I never participated—either passively, by reading, or actively, by writing—in the 25 Things meme. On the other hand, I have a healthy respect for the staying power of cats with funny diction. Kthx.

To me, memes are important. They are often silly and irreverent, yes, but they engender active participation with emerging media from a lot of people—participation that very often involves the kinds of things I think about, write about, and teach. Shirky's Cognitive Surplus details some of the particulars around memetastic phenomena in clear and thoughtful prose.

I say all of that to say this—check out my band's album cover:

Looks like the hipster incarnation of some indie Brooklyn band all the rage with the kids on Tumblr, no?

This faux album cover is the result of ten minutes lost/found this morning exploring my cognitive surplus. A post on The Next Web claims that this is a meme that's currently circulating on FB.

I post it here because the results, for me, during those lost/productive ten minutes, were intriguing. I hadn't expected to get much out of following the directions, but the results, I must admit, are pretty hipsteriffic if I do say so myself.

The name of my band was taken from the random Wikipedia article I'd been dealt; Cahit Arf was a fascinating Turkish mathematician.

My random quote was a Voltaire gem: "Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do."

The Flickr photo is rich with the fey ephemerality characteristic of the hipster teen Tumblr, replete with wistful longing and requisite bokeh.

5 or 6 minutes with Picnik and some serendipitous aggregation and I had the means to foster a meme.

What's your album cover look like?


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