|Memetic "Bench cuff hole" Virus Alert|
|Written by nuncio|
|Monday, 15 November 2010 12:25|
I've been interested for a while in the idea of memetic viruses, as oft-discussed by philosophy-of-science visionaries such as Daniel Dennett and Susan Blackmore. I was recently given, by a certain school teacher I know, an example of branding-meme-induced behaviour in children.
The school teacher had noticed a growth in instances of children gnawing through the cuffs/sleeves of their jumpers/sweaters, then sticking their thumbs through. She first put this down to simply being the kind of disgusting habit that children of early primary school age (7-9 years old) tend to pick up. It was only later that she realised that they were attempting a rudimentary simulation of the kind of "thumb hole sleeve" tops (by a company called "Bench" I believe) that they had seen teenagers wearing. Sounds innocent enough doesn't it? Kids have been doing this kind of thing since time immemorial.
Personally, I think examples like this are more insidious. This one is particularly interesting because it's a case where the children have picked up a meme virus that could actually give them a "physical" virus.