Chinese tennis star accuses former top Communist Party leader of sexual assault, triggering blanket censorship

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No, they're literally memes. That's what memes are. Ideas, sayings, words, behaviours, styles, beliefs etc that spread through a population like a virus does, except viruses are defined by their genes. And so the academic word for these kinds of metaphysical ideas that spread like viruses do, but without the need for genes, is memes. Genes (the genetic) vs memes (the memetic).

It's about information transfer from one person to another. That's the reason we're so advanced compared to other animals. Because we don't all have to learn from scratch. We have a basis to work from, we just learn what other people before us discovered, which saves a lot of time, and it means we can then go on and make our own discoveries that are even further along without having to invent science from scratch again every time.

Memes are as old as human history (and actually predates human beings technically, because neanderthals had memes too)

These Chinese sayings are literally memes. Not just like them, they ARE them.

The whole thing is pretty fascinating. It's strange how people found out about this academic word and actually started using it for things on the Internet. Seems like an unlikely thing to happen. Even the enormous spread in the last decade or so of the word "meme" is a meme in itself.

Like in the late 90s and early 2000s, we didn't call these sorts of things memes. I can't even quite remember what we did call them. I don't think we called them anything. Something like All Your Base Are Belong To Us was just" a funny video". We didn't say "haha what a great meme". We just referred to it by name, just called it All Your Base for short. And when the website You're The Man Now Dog became really really huge, we didn't call those memes either. We just said "here's a link to this really good YTMND". Back then, YTMND was enormous because we didn't have YouTube yet. There were a few video hosting websites, but they were all terrible. It took forever to watch one. You'd have to click the link, pause it immediately, then go have a shower, cook and eat dinner, get dressed, make a cup of hot chocolate, then finally sit down to watch it and hope it's already mostly loaded in advance so you could just click play and it wouldn't keep having to pause to load more.

Like remember Google Video? This was before Google had bought YouTube. And actually was before YouTube itself had really taken off yet. A lot of computers weren't actually powerful enough to run YouTube properly. The videos would be very choppy, even if you had a fast Internet connection so you could load it quickly, your PC just didn't have a strong enough graphics card or whatever, to be able to play it smoothly. I remember when my parents bought me a brand new high powered laptop in 2008 for my first year of university, and it was the first time I'd ever been able to watch YouTube videos, because the laptop was much more powerful than the desktop PC I'd already had before.

But yeah Google Video was even worse than YouTube back then. It was so ridiculously slow that I'd open a video the night before I wanted to watch it, and leave it open as I slept, so that by morning hopefully it would have all loaded and I could play it from beginning to end without it needing to pause constantly to load more. Most of the time, if I wanted to watch something, I'd download it. Like back then I was a big AVGN fan, and I just downloaded the videos to play them back offline instead of trying to stream them, and this was with my really really fast university Internet speed connection, which were always much faster back then than what regular consumers could buy to use at home. That's why Napster and other Internet P2P sharing programs like Limewire and Kazaa became popular initially in universities.

But yeah the rick roll became a thing in like 2007. Although it took a few more years before it became something known by everyone, normal people, as well as Internet nerds. I remember when that Macy's Day Parade rickroll thing where he sang it while on a float, a lot of people were just kinda confused by it and didn't understand what it was about, and just thought it was an 80s singer coming back to do a performance, not even realising it was meant to be a joke. That's what it seemed like over here in the UK anyway, so maybe I'm America it was more well known already. But people like my parents and all my older friends who were in their 30s and 40s while I was only 18 or 19, none of them knew anything about rickrolling.

But either way, even back then, nobody called it a meme. I feel like the word meme to describe Internet jokes like that only started being a thing in around 2010. Although I'd have to look that up. From what I can find the first usage of "meme" to describe things on the Internet began in the early 90s, on usenet forums. But I've been using the Internet daily since at least 1999, or maybe even 1998. And nobody seemed to use the word meme back then. I didn't go on usenet forums though. I was on more modern Internet forums, like GameFAQs, and Gamewinners, and the WWF Smackdown for PS1 forums, and pokemon forums that listed the gameshark codes for every pokemon so you could catch your very own Mew. Those were good times.

As we move on to the next post, may I add that camDown and that's the real deal!