Memes, Awards and The 50 Post Milestone
April 17, 2007
A recent comment on this blog questioned whether a meme is a blessing or a curse. Having no idea what a meme might be, I was relieved that it was Fencer, a blogger I hold in the highest esteem, who wrote this mysterious comment. Obviously, whatever the curse might be, it couldn’t be all that bad. And who doesn’t want a blessing?
Intrigued, I did a bit of research on what on earth this meme thing might be. Of course, I found out I’m totally out of touch with recent science. You esteemed readers probably have known about memes for years. After doing my research, it seemed to me that memes are a rather harmless variation on pyramid schemes (minus the money aspect). Well, that sounds a bit suspicious. You send someone a meme and that person will, in turn, send a meme on to a specified number, such as 5, of others, who in turn passes the torch on to (now) 25 others, who in turn…. you got it? Eventually every soul on earth will be memed, unless the meme succumbs to a timely death as pyramid schemes tend to do.
The memes create clusters of people with common interests and/or skills. In this particular case, Fencer awarded me a meme called the “Thinking Blogger Award”. The idea is that your blog is sufficiently intriguing to earn this reward from someone who earned the same award from someone else. I am grateful to Fencer for bestowing this honor on me.
Should I choose to accept the award (which of course I will), the next step is to 1) follow the general guidelines for the award, and 2) pass the torch to five other bloggers who “make me think”. Now, in my case, passing the torch is a hard one because I really only read a smattering of blogs. Then, I apparently have to think when reading these blogs. Ouch!
Who should I nominate? After pondering that for a while, weighing different possibilities, ranking various factors, consulting my Scottish Terrier Angus on the matter (who couldn’t care less since no food seemed to be involved), sleeping on the matter (twisting and turning) and worrying about making a fool of myself, here are my nominations:
- Suresh Gundappa and his meditative blog. It’s a gentle blog that does make me think.
- A Swedish blog in which a mother and a daughter collaborate. High in emotional content, the blog covers the frustrations and horrors of a close relationship under the gun. No names are available and the blog is in Swedish.
- Jonathan Schwarz’ blog A Tiny Revolution because it does make me think. This is a pretty big time blog that may ignore, or not, this nomination. So be it. It’ll be interesting to find out.
- Odiyya’s blog The Conscious Earth out of Vancouver, BC provides great thoughts on Global Warming and various environmental issues. He also has a good taste in books. His movie favorites are not quite up to snuff in my book. Great blog, though.
- Finally, I nominate another pretty big time political blog: Blogs for Bush. It is safe to say I disagree with almost all the views expressed in this blog. But the requirement for nominating blogs is simply “they make me think”. That this blog does. I won’t detail my thoughts. This is a family friendly blog.
The Rules (for those nominated)
Here are the rules for accepting the nomination if, and only if, you are nominated. Fulfill the requirements; then you can display the “Award” button and pass on your own five selections:
- If you are nominated, write a post linking to 5 blogs that make you think.
- Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
- Optional: Display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ linking to the post you wrote.
To those nominated: Pass the torch by nominating (tagging) five blogs with real merits, i.e. relevant and interesting content which does make you think: be it good, bad or ugly thoughts.
There’s a slightly coercive element to this meme with its tagging/chain mail mechanism. It is up to the nominated blog to decide whether or not to participate. In my case, I think this is a way to honor a few blogs that made me think although I don’t necessarily agree with the blogs’ ideas. Thus, the pluses outweigh the one minus, in my view.
The 50 Post Milestone
This is the fiftieth post published in this blog. That means an average of a little less than 1 1/2 post per week since the blog was created in August of 2006. That may be below the posting rate of many blogs, but my posts are generally much bigger than average – up to 40 pages in print format.
I started the blog as a vehicle to share my thoughts on being an artist in the 21st century. That still is a major driver, but I quickly veered into new territory where this blog is divided into three major areas: Artist life, Photography and Politics. There are four parallel series of essays: On Reality, On Ethics, On the War on Terror and On Global Warming.
The Reality essays cover art, artistry and photography with a touch of science. The Ethics part explores similar issues but adds politics and, of course, Ethics. The War on Terror essays wonder how we got into the mess of Iraq and why we claim to fight terror when in fact we do not. Global Warming is today’s prime subject. I hope to raise awareness of its potentially catastrophic impact.
From a real modest start, this blog has attracted well over 30,000 readers. That still is quite modest compared to the big guys, but to me it is amazing and humbling so many have found the blog and perhaps got some benefit out of it.
Here is a link to a Table of Content for the blog. Enjoy and my gratitude to each and every, past or future, reader. Do keep me on my toes by coming back. Give feedback by commenting as much as you can.