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Memetic "Bench cuff hole" Virus Alert PDF Print E-mail
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.


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1 Comment

  1. They may not have been mimicing a retail product. Kids did this when I was in school and no such product existed (at least to our knowledge). The products seem to have risen to meet this "grunge" style in the market.

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