When I was on the WELL, in the early 1990s, “meme” was one of the words we gleefully discussed. It was a joy to be among very bright people trying to work out exactly what the word meant. Today “meme” is associated with cat videos and anything that goes viral on the net. We were more serious. When Tom Mandel was dying of cancer, he thought about sharing the “memes that make up Tom Mandel” with us and achieving some measure of immortality that way.
Richard Dawkins is the fellow who coined the term “meme” in his book, The Selfish Gene. His thinking has influenced a lot of people. He’s won some prizes and written some books. In an interview with the Daily Beast, Dawkins described his writing routine this way:
“Write fast, then revise, revise, and revise again. Often read aloud, or ask my wife to read aloud to me so I hear my own words through another, and recognize if it doesn’t flow.”
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