In 1976 Richard Dawkins wrote a book called “The Selfish Gene” . In his book he explained how genes are passed down from generation to generation for survival of a species. The book was insightful and made a huge impact in the scientific community. Dawkins viewed genes as units of information spread through biology. In chapter 11 of the book Dawkins begins to look at culture as if it were evolving in the same way as a species biology. If culture were evolving how would that happen, not through genes but through memes (yes you read that right, Richard Dawkins invented the term meme and we are using it the same way he hypothesized we would).
Dawkins used the Greek word mimeme which translates to, something imitated to come up with the word meme. Dawkins suggest that a meme is like a gene in that it holds information pertinent to societies survival and passes it down in a unit like song, film, funny internet picture.
Very often I hear younger folks throw around words like disruptor or new or revolutionary for ideas that have been around since before I was born.
In the book of Ecclesiastes the writer gets down about the monotony of life and complains that there is nothing new under the sun it is business as usual. This can be true and may seem like an inevitability. Something as “new” and “fresh” as the term meme is not new or fresh at all. Every new idea that has been introduced was actually introduced earlier.
There is nothing revolutionary about Air BNB and Uber. The companies are offering services that have been around for centuries and they are doing it pretty poorly for everyone involved except their share holders. Employees of both are treated poorly and by employees I mean everyone people who sublet their apartments and cars are not compensated fairly and the office employees that work on the platform are also mistreated. Customers safety is of no concern to management or shareholders, based on inaction and half steps currently taken. There is nothing revolutionary about being bad companies that are selfish and put profits over people.
What then would be revolutionary? What would be an evolutionary cultural jump in our species? Did you knw that at one time there were nine ttypes of humans walking the earth? Yeah crazy to imagine right?
- Homo Habilis
- H. Erectus
- H. rudolfensis
- H. heidelbergensis
- H. floresiensis
- H. neanderthalensis
- H. naledi
- H. luzonensis
What happened to all these other humans? No mass extinction, or significant changes in the earth seemed to kill them. Most scientist agree that all evidence points to homo sapiens committing genocide. Violence seems to be very much intrinsic to homo sapiens. Even know we have so many examples of homos sapiens hurting and killing each other because of their religion, skin color, and imaginary lines on a map. Homo sapiens created religion and politics and when people could not agree on what they invented they killed and kill each other over their disagreements on what they or their grand fathers made up. Homo sapiens invented money and when they did not equally spread out the money they let people who did not get a fair share die.
Want to be a real disruptor? Want a real revolution? Ditch the violence, care for life, show real unconditional love for life.