Thursday, 16 August 2012

Meme laundering

Evgeny Morozov appeats to have coined the term "meme laundering" in his 2012 article The Naked and the TED.

Today TED is an insatiable kingpin of international meme laundering — a place where ideas, regardless of their quality, go to seek celebrity, to live in the form of videos, tweets, and now e-books. In the world of TED — or, to use their argot, in the TED “ecosystem” — books become talks, talks become memes, memes become projects, projects become talks, talks become books — and so it goes ad infinitum in the sizzling Stakhanovite cycle of memetics, until any shade of depth or nuance disappears into the virtual void. Richard Dawkins, the father of memetics, should be very proud. Perhaps he can explain how “ideas worth spreading” become “ideas no footnotes can support.”

His "international meme laundering" is a clear descendant of "international money laundering". Money laundering 'cleans' dirty money (i.e. stolen money) - and from this it is pretty clear what "meme laundering" should mean.

"Meme laundering" should be a black arts marketing concept - involving disguising the source of ideas. Astroturfing is a common and basic form of meme laundering. Sockpuppets and other types of false flag operation are often used in meme laundering operations.

No comments:

Post a Comment