# 8

Recent EA memes. In the comments of this post. Please don't downvote without actually looking at the memes.

For:
- Memes may not currently be a part of the forum culture but they could be
- Memes are good for spreading ideas
- This is only a single post a month. It won't spam the forum

Against:
- Memes can spread bad ideas as well as good ones, and it's hard to be exact in a single image with a few words

Norms:
- This is a public forum. Not all memes will be suitable
- I expect more sarcasm here than on other posts on the forum
- Credit the person who originally created the meme

New Comment

From Ivan Burduk

Just when you thought you'd come to terms with it...

Can confirm

I'm not a big fan of memes, and would prefer if meme posts were confined to Personal Blog (or Reddit).

Can we discuss this a little?

I'm curious why you wouldn't want one clearly labelled post a month:
- You can ignore it
- If it's low quality you won't see it anyway

You say that you want meme posts confined to Reddit, which suggests to me you don't think they are the right sort of content for the forum. Is that the reason? If so, how are (suitable) memes different from short stories.

I'd expect people to react very different to memes, so I'm very open to being persuaded that having memes on the Forum is in fact a good idea. But my independent impression is that memes to some degree trivialize our message, and that insofar as there's a place for them in the larger EA ecosystem, it is not on the Forum, which I see primarily as a place for conducting high-quality, high-fidelity intellectual discussion.

I really like your point and perhaps, in some sense, we should see this as something akin to "find a meme that Pablo might appreciate" - something that compress an EA message or discussion without trivializing or perverting it. I think that's quite hard - analogous to trying to produce a work of art using cheap materials and techniques any kid can dominate. So my answer is that Facebook is where memes are made and reproduce, but we should have another place where they are selected - and perhaps it might be here, precisely because it's a different environment.

Do you think the memes posted here trivialise our message?

Also Given that memes are a form of language that conveys ideas, isn't it worth learning how to use them to spread our ideas faithfully?

Sorry to get into aesthetics, but maybe you could change people’s minds if you could show a meme that is as peculiar or poignant as (pseudo-)Hemingway’s "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." This might have an interesting effect on a new reader. Sometimes, comic strips can be like that.

But most memes end up just using a standard graphic format to display a very straightforward simplified message that is only interesting (and often trivial) for the in-group… they remind me of badges, flags, or slogans, and they soon become repetitive. This is not bad (I like it, indeed - that's why I check the fb group daily), but it requires you to enjoy this particular practice as an in-group and to share the corresponding references. And it won’t make you look at things in another way.

Sometimes, though, I think a meme can express an original joke (not just a simple mockery of the out-group), and use the corresponding format to enhance its effect (usually through contrast – like having a very intellectual debate instantiated in the American chopper meme) – but the technique will soon be copied (like having a very intellectual debate in the American chopper meme). And perhaps a meme can be as creative as a good short story, though I can’t recall anything like that right now; that’s a meme that should endure.

Sure, but again, It's one post a month. Also if those are the only memes you like only upvote those.

I guess I don't disagree, but I still like this post.

Oh, I gave the post a double upvote ;)
(But the Kangaroo meme got a downvote, sorry palz)
(The Drake one is meta and cool, but it only makes sense for people who are already tired of seeing the usual Drake meme)

What if there were only one per month?

Cos I agree that if there were 3 a day I'd think that was too much.

From Linch in response to the Jeremiah Johnson AMA

Thanks. I kinda see memes as a very cheap and compressed form of creative writing - a standardized comic strip for mass consumption. That's why I commend this post, and the idea of getting some feedback from people outside the Facebook group. On the other hand, maybe, instead of a monthly selection, it would be cool to have some sort of ranking, or even contest regarding the best memes... Something even people who are not meme-addicted could appreciate - a meme for each tribe. Actually, I think it'd be particularly interesting to have feedback from people who, like Pablo, don't really like memes - because if they eventually appreciate certain meme, that's a strong signal it could spread further. But, TBH, I didn't enjoy this particular selection.

Imho some kind of /r/EffectiveMemes would be the best bet

Perhaps, with effective moderation. If it doesn't work here, that's a good place to go. But I think people would just think of it as another Dank EA memes - instead of something like a "tougher environment to increase memetic fitness"

I'm leaving this as Frontpage for now to see what happens, but wouldn't be surprised if several people asked for it to stay in Personal Blog (if that happens, I'll agree).

This post brought me joy, and I would enjoy it being a monthly thing. I'm weakly pro it being on the Front Page, though I expect I'd see it even if it was a Personal Blog. I'd feel sad if memes became common in the rest of the Forum though - having a monthly post feels like a good compromise to me.

Yeah it's a test. Happy to go with whatever the community decides.

Meta point: I appreciate the test and how it's being addressed.

From Peter Wildeford

If I can successfully align a printer, how much harder could it be to align HLMI?

It's even easier in LaTeX:

I post one article by a friend about memes, look away for 5 seconds, and now this!

There are plenty of downsides to memes (especially when I don't agree with the meme's premise/take), but one upside is that they can be a very quick and easy way for someone to be introduced to EA. There's a small chance that the right meme meets the right person  in the right context, and that could mean the difference between the community having that great person and not.

Plus, having some light-hearted content around may be healthy.

I'm unsure about how it all balances out though.

By David Mears

Peter Albert David Singer --> "Pigs are nerved!" I blarted.

John Stuart Mill --> utilons' raj.html

Philippa Ruth Foot --> Troli! If phat, hop up!

Immanuel Kant --> Make Man Unlit

From Julian Hazell