Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It Memes Nothing

It Memes Nothing

Written 22 July, 2009

I'm a bit offput by the use of the word meme by Second Life bloggers who equivocate a meme with a fad, or worse, the blogging equivalent of a chain letter, as when bloggers ask others to respond to a series of questions. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it trivializes the idea of a meme, which is a bit more profound. A meme, as proposed by biologist Richard Dawkins, is a self-evolving social construct. I hope to God we never have an evolving chain letter! Or maybe we already do.

It all seems so memingless!

In his most recent post, prolific SL blogger and meme perpetuator and now originator Peter Stindberg asks a variety of interesting questions. Usually I read memeposts lightly and move on, but one of his questions meant something to me:

5. What was your first car?

Peter answered: It took me well into my twenties before I owned a car, and it was an Opel Corsa.

As I happen to have the answer to that question in the can, I decided to break a precedent and reply to a meme question. You'll find it in the next post.

p.s. I just bet someone $10 USD Peter will have something interesting to say about this post.


Peter Stindberg said...

Uh oh, pressure of expectation, and that while I have so much going on right now before I leave on vacation.

And thoughtful/meaningful too... uhm...

/me clears his throat

I want to thank the Academy... er... Miss Palisades for still reading my blog.

OK, cars was the topic? And was it 10$ you get or you have to pay?

Anyways, cars: I think cars are overrated. I don't even like to drive (longer distances), and while I accept that people enjoy the personal freedom of mobility, I am convinced the concept of individual, gasoline based means of transportation will be reverted during my lifetime in favour of efficient, on demand, ressource-efficient public transportant both short- as well as long distance.

This said, the automotive industry did - among a huge bunch of really silly things - some quite amazing stuff too. And also - among a bunch of really ugly things (like those amazingly stupid AND ugly SUV's) - some amazingly beautiful things. Your first car qualifies as beautiful (unlike my Opel Corsa), and the design or cars went through some truly amazing stages.

But it is inefficient technology, literally choking up our future.

Hope you win your bet :-)

Cheyenne Palisades said...


I agree with you completely, Peter, that petroleum-fueled engines are a disaster for the environment and the health of the planet. So are coal-based electricity plants. So are nuclear reactors, which generate huge amounts of low-level radioactive materials Reddy Kilowatt never told us about.

On the other hand, the freedom cars bring us is a wonderful thing. Not worth wrecking the planet, but on the balance most empowering.

Americans are in love with their motor vehicles. By my last count in my life I've owned 31 cars and one pickup and 17 motorcycles and never had a car payment because none cost more than $2000. I'm probably personally responsible for 7% of the global warming. No SUVs or Hummers, though.