On Memes and Machiavelli [15 Minute Insight]

A 15 Minute Insight on what memes affect socially and culturally, how, and why it’s not necessarily a good thing–quite probably bad, in fact.

…a meme does nothing to persuade intellectually itself, but relies upon some conceptual framework already and otherwise established. It might alter that conceptual framework, but does so only incidentally, through an alteration of perceptual habits. The successfully-used meme garners likes, shares, retweets, upvotes—whatever small acts of digital approval happen to be named by the particular platform. It offers no opportunity for rebuttal, except an opposed meme. If engaged, if “successful”, it derails any discussion which was operating at a conceptual level. There is no eloquence, no wisdom, no logic at play in the use of a meme. It may persuade, but primarily through winning perception adherents—through appearance, through “good optics”.

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