A ‘meme’. ¬†What is it?

When I entered ‘definition of meme’ into search, google came up with this



plural noun: memes
an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.
an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.

¬†first used in 1970s:¬Ļ

¬†from Greek mimńďma ‚Äėthat which is imitated‚Äô


Sounds fairly innocent, right?

Another description of meme is ‘mind virus’. ¬†

Maybe not so innocent?

That depends on how it is applied.

Like a lot of things it can be beneficial or harmful and it depends on the intent of those using it.

Remember playing ‘Chinese Whispers’¬≤ when you were a kid?¬† A group of you got together and the first one starts off by whispering a message in the ear of the kid standing next to him/her. ¬†Then the second kid whispers the message to the next one and so on down the line. ¬†Usually by the end the message bears little resemblance to the original.

Memes are like that.  What starts off as a simple message gets added to or subtracted from by the time its spread across hundreds and eventually thousands of ears down the line.

That’s how urban myths are born. ¬†That’s how history gets distorted.

It can be done by accident.  People have bad memories and can miss out a few details or embellish them.

Or it can be deliberate.

If someone wanted to create panic for whatever reason it is extremely easy now most of us in the West have access to TV, radio and social media via the internet. ¬†In fact it was successfully carried out before we were so inter-connected¬†~¬†in the 1930’s! ¬†Yes, you read that correctly ~ 1938 to be precise ~ on CBS radio in the USA.

Picture the scene.

Families across the States, winding down for the evening sitting around the radio listening to what they thought was going to be a music show broadcast from New York but which turned out to be the biggest wind-up!!

The programme was interrupted a few minutes into the show by a news bulletin stating that astronomers had witnessed flashes coming from the planet Mars. ¬†Then the programme resumed only to be disrupted again with more ‘news’ ~ a meteor had hit New Jersey! ¬†The story escalated when the ‘meteor’ turned out to be…………….drum roll!……………. a SPACE SHIP!!!

Needless to say, mass panic spread throughout the listening audience.  You can imagine people ringing their friends and family who were maybe not listening to the show telling them Earth was being attacked by Martians and urging them to take cover! Some even evacuated their homes!  (And maybe their bowels!)

And this was before Roswell!

Read more here:

That is just one broad example of how people can and have been manipulated by someone using memes.

Manipulated into panic.


Fast forward to today.

Is it as easy to spread a misleading meme now?

Are people more aware now than they were back then?

Probably those who’d been taken in by a hoax might be more alert and less likely to be fooled but if someone hadn’t witnessed something on this scale before then maybe they would fall for it?

So what is to be gained by creating panic and fear?

Simply, people stop ¬†functioning normally when they are in fear/panic mode. ¬†Think about the last time you were really anxious about something. ¬†It occupies your thoughts all the time and stops you thinking about other things. ¬†The anxiety becomes a major distraction. ¬†If you don’t find a way of dealing with the anxiety, eventually it can make you ill, reliant on medication perhaps and in turn lose the ability to think or care for yourself or others such as children who depend on you. ¬†Now, who would want to distract us? ¬†Hmm… ¬†I need to think about that! ūüôā

There are certain buzz words (memes) that you see repeated ad nauseam both in the mainstream media and on the internet at the moment which seem to be scaring the bejabers out of some. ¬†I’m not going to mention them here because I don’t want to spread the virus. ¬†Just think about who is.

Maybe they are there by accident!



¬ĻRichard Dawkins in the mid 1970’s in his book ‘The Selfish Gene’.

¬≤ That probably isn’t politically correct but no disrespect was intended. ¬†Also known as ‘Broken Telephone’.


© thinkanddiscern 2014

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The Secret Elite (1): Who They Were

This history needs to be told.

First World War Hidden History

If you are sympathetic to the view that Germany was responsible for the war and that Britain and her allies fought for the noble cause of saving civilization from German tyranny, we invite you to consider the possibility that you have been misled. We too were once convinced of Germany’s guilt, but having studied the war in minute detail for many years are now firmly of the opinion, and confident we can prove to you, that it was not Germany to blame, but a secret coterie of immensely wealthy upper-class men in Britain. Men who saw the rapidly developing economic, commercial and industrial power of Germany as a threat to their secret plan to bring the entire civilised world under the control of the British Empire. From the early years of the 20th century they met regularly in their great English country houses and plush London clubs to plan in…

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NLP neuro linguistic programming

This video explains the principal of NLP

This one shows how we can use NLP on ourselves

Explaining the anchoring process

Using anchoring to reduce negativity

Eye patterns and what they tell us

NLP and influence – convincers part 1

NLP and influence – convincers part 2

NLP influence – convincers part 3

© thinkanddiscern 2014


Judge not lest ye be judged….. (Matthew 7 v 1) KJV

This is one of the often quoted phrases from the biblical ‘Sermon on the Mount’ and one which is frequently used against us when we express critical views about the actions or behaviour of others, particularly when commenting on the internet, in an attempt to shut us up.

So, what does it mean and should we try to avoid making any sort of judgement about others?

Whether you are a Christian or not it is clear that the established church does not practice what it preaches.  Over millennia quite the opposite has been true with constant judgements being made against anyone who disagrees with what it says, often resulting in condemnation, torture and death!

Theologians have debated at length as to what was really meant by the statement (similar statements/proverbs occur in other religions).  What they all seem to agree on is that it does not mean that we should suspend all judgement of others.  They suggest two key elements:

  1. That we should exercise care when making judgements about others especially when we ourselves may be guilty of hypocrisy.
  2. That the reason for being careful is that God or some other divinity  will judge us on the same basis that we judge others.

But whether you accept the religious aspect of this or not, do you think it is either right or practical to adopt this approach?  I would argue that this is neither possible nor desirable to refrain from judging.

We spend every day of our lives making judgements about people and events.  Are we really supposed to accept and ignore behaviour which is rude, discourteous, dangerous and unlawful?  Should we remain silent when we judge that an injustice has occurred?

Judgement based on known facts should form the basis of our decisions and enable us to take action.  Even if we then decide to do nothing we have taken action.

So Christian or not, please stop using this phrase as a defence when people criticise your or others’ ¬†actions and don’t pretend that you don’t judge others not least because when you use this phrase you are of course making a judgement yourself!

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