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  1. THIS REVIEW from AdvertisingAge is more informative

    Nice try, but sorry Prof. As much as I love your writing I hated this use of your words/ideas. I can’t decide… Am I not in the groove enough to enjoy an electronic music multimedia experience or it was crap [or both]?

    • In reply to #2 by Michael Fisher:

      THIS REVIEW from AdvertisingAge is more informative

      Nice try, but sorry Prof. As much as I love your writing I hated this use of your words/ideas. I can’t decide… Am I not in the groove enough to enjoy an electronic music multimedia experience or it was crap [or both]?

      Ah c’mon, New England Bob and Michael Fisher. Lighten up. This was a cute Monty-Pythonesque example of how a meme can spread in any direction, depending on the imagination of the ‘meme-spreader. Okay, the light show was a tad long, but I was hugely entertained – starting with Richard’s totally uncharacteristic shirt. Bravo, Richard. One needs to be a little lighthearted from time to time, and I bet a few people learned something. I know who I would rather invite to my birthday party.

    • In reply to #4 by JuJu:

      He claims that he’s never taken LSD, but I’m starting to wonder.

      What happens in Hawaii should stay in Hawaii! lol! He must have met some hippies playing the flute on the beach. lol! Oh well, stretching who we are is a good thing. You can’t always be a buttoned up, proper, English gentleman. Interesting though, I’ve seen the zig-zag swirly thing during a migraine.

  2. The point that memes can act like replicators is well made in an interesting and kind of sly way. The weird visuals and music are certainty a memorable experience and given in the context of thinking about memes makes you think, is this a fit meme? Will this song and these visuals replicate and spread? Well, probably not. However, the meme about memes being replicators (yes, a meme about memes) may just stick in the viewers head. And maybe at some point they’ll tell someone about this goofy Dawkins electonica song with psychedelic visuals and say “it was obviously an attempt to create a catchy meme that would replicate”. Well, the video and music are not replicating but the idea that memes are replicators and mirror the processes that occur in genes just may — and certainty that is the meme that Dawkins is most interested in spreading. Kudos!

    • In reply to #10 by Alternative Carpark:

      Saatchi & Wife-Choking-Bastard.

      The Saatchi brothers were ousted from the firm of Saatchi & Saatchi in a boardroom coup in 1994. They set up their own rival firm of M & C Saatchi. There is no connection now between the two companies, and Charles Saatchi has nothing to do with the Saatchi & Saatchi company who made this video.

      • In reply to #17 by Richard Dawkins:

        In reply to #10 by Alternative Carpark:

        Saatchi & Wife-Choking-Bastard.

        The Saatchi brothers were ousted from the firm of Saatchi & Saatchi in a boardroom coup in 1994. They set up their own rival firm of M & C Saatchi. There is no connection now between the two companies, and Charles Saatchi has…

        Any connection with the Saatchi Gallery?

        (Richard, I just knew you’d be checking this topic. As soon as I saw the psychedelic imagery, I thought, “Richard will surely be reading the comments for this one!!” lol Hope you had fun.)

  3. I applaud your creativity; it would be excellent if you could release the various digital assets under a creative commons license. Perhaps then you really could start a series of memes.

    Cheers,

    Jamie.

  4. I’m glad you’re saying “screw the norm” and making leaps into the unusual. The good thing about this is it’s a talking piece, which also serves to strengthen understanding and underlying messages about things like why people are stuck in religions, etc. Brilliant.

  5. I’d like to hear more about how the Internet has “hijacked” memes. I can see how the Internet may facilitate the development and spread of memes, but is it fundamentally different to other forms of communication?

  6. I really liked this! A short and sweet speech, and a cool psychedelic video. I’ve never seen an EWI clarinet before and, as a musician, I thought Mr Dawkins’ playing was commendable. Are we one step closer to our evolution oratorio? Well, maybe not, but I thoroughly enjoyed the combination of music and science.

  7. Too complex (also tldw – too long did not watch al of it) and with too much going on to successfully be used by anyone (of course I’ll be proved wrong by someone).
    What you are probably better of trying would be an animal* saying ‘i’m a duck’ repeatedly and seeing what happens.

    ttfn

    *badger for example

  8. How could anybody not enjoy this? So great to see such magnificent creative expression, which after all, is the whole point of this topic. Did we evolve all this time to just run our mouths and not create art?

  9. I enjoyed the light show, once I realised it wasn’t the intro to something else. The something else I thought was coming was something about memes – either about existing memes like lolcats or keep calm, or something new that could become a meme. A meme has to have an idea which can hook into a brain in order to be replicated, and this didn’t have that. I suppose I ended up seeing that part as an illustration of creativity rather than of memes.

    I think the internet meme is an evolution of the original meaning of the word “meme,” moreso than a hijacking. As you say in the video, Prof. Dawkins, our brains evolved. So, creativity evolved, and we’re always building on what came before.

  10. I like it very much because I think it can be regarded as to perfectly reflect the connection between art and science: Just as the essence of art is to create something that has never been created before, fundamentally the essence of science is to think something that never has been thought before. And the latter is something in which Mr. Dawkins definitely is an outstanding expert.

  11. I liked it. (I concede it may be not to everyone’s taste, but everyone is not to my taste, so there!)
    I have allways (how shall I put this … ) asserted that memes are life forms. Thay live in minds, and can move from mind to mind using a variety of media format. The oldest being cave paintings.(but I hate the word ‘memes’ better to spell it meems, better yet just call them ideas)

    Consider this, If memes are life forms of earth, and memes can be moved by radio, then earth-life-forms have already spread around a 100 light years from earth by radio pollution. If any one is listening out there, sorry! we are still not planet-trained yet.

    • In reply to #31 by old-toy-boy:

      I liked it. (I concede it may be not to everyone’s taste, but everyone is not to my taste, so there!)
      I have allways (how shall I put this … ) asserted that memes are life forms.

      Can ideas (memes) be spread intergalactically if the listener does not understand them? If an idea were “alive” it would seem to derive its form from its meaning. A notion without a mind to give it meaning is just noise.

  12. This is great. I had my headphones in listening to the speech and couldn’t believe my ears once I heard the video/music start. I never expected something like this from you, Richard, but I have to say I am amazed and so glad that you stepped out of the box big time on this.

  13. Why are some people bothered by unexpected (but harmless) behavior? It’s funny to me how every group seems to define a collective norm that it one is highly discouraged to operate outside of. Even group’s whose fundamental tenants are that of general acceptance or those who define themselves by being different seem to have this property.

    In any case I enjoyed it tremendously and have a particular appreciation for the amount of work it takes to create (and perform) something like that. I thought the on-stage projection was very well-done and especially liked the part where you become part of the imagery and add a lovely melody.

    To those with stunted comments (like “Awful!”) how about expanding on that a bit and providing some useful critique or citing some specific aspect that made you feel that way? Art and music are, after all, simply alternate forms of communication intended to evoke (or sometimes release from the author) complex feelings and thoughts/ideas. Regardless of your experience it would contribute to the discussion (and reward the artist in some way) if you went into a little detail. :)

  14. I liked the surfboard. Richard might have tried acid as he has shown interest therein. Is this work going to be used for promoting rational thinking? Shows that it does not necessarily have to be predictable.

    • In reply to #49 by ConnedCatholic:

      I liked the surfboard. Richard might have tried acid as he has shown interest therein.

      Richard is one of the few people who I think doesn’t actually need to drop acid, but I’m sure he’d have fun anyway.

      Is this work going to be used for promoting rational thinking? Shows that it does not necessarily have to be predictable.

      RATIOnalists are all gamblers at heart. When you get right down to it, it’s all about the odds.

  15. Prof Dawkins asked for feedback, so I will volunteer my opinion.

    We have every right to test the limits of our creativity. But that does not mean that what we produce will be any good. This was a noble failure perhaps, but a failure nonetheless. The exercise failed to show how a mutation in the mind could give rise to something fresh and creative and beautiful. On the other hand it was a great display of how our minds are capable of producing garbage as well as insight. The music was awful, and the graphics were uninspired. It looked and sounded like a 1980′s music video.

    I don’t want to sound harsh like this was a complete waste of time. Mr. Dawkins certainly has the right to experiment. But it was hard to sit through. I would have been delighted if he had simply kept talking.

  16. “If towns remain divided — if Catholics have their schools and buildings, and Protestants have theirs — if we can’t see ourselves in one another, if fear or resentment are allowed to harden, that encourages division. It discourages cooperation.

    Ultimately, peace is not just about politics. It’s about attitudes; about a sense of empathy; about breaking down the divisions that we create for ourselves in our own minds and our own hearts that don’t exist in any objective reality, but that we carry with us generation after generation.”–President Obama’s statement during his recent trip to Ireland. It reminded me of memes, although not in the actual definition.

  17. This was incredibly brave of him. It was like he’s saying “I can do whatever I want on stage. I’m XX years old and I’ve done XY and Z and I’ve earned it” and he’s right. And it was totally unexpected and I can’t wait until everyone has heard about this. I can’t imagine Steven Colbert would pass up the chance to do a bit on this. Great stuff.

  18. Although this didn’t do anything for me and was actually a bit painful to watch, i applaud the audacity and willingness to experiment – even if it makes one look foolish in the eyes of some. Perhaps this could serve as a challenge for video animation artists around the world to “get it right” and do a better job of illustrating the idea of meme evolution in an artistic way. An interesting example of meme evolution for me would be the rapidly changing ideas and attitudes around the world towards gay people in recent years. I don’t think anyone could have predicted this some 20 years ago. I would call it an evolution towards an expansion of the “radius of human empathy”, fostered by increasing access to and availability of information. Once you see how gay people actually live and realize how similar they are to you, your feelings towards them as “others” automatically change. And perhaps a similar thing might be happening with other animals we are not as closely related to – cows, sheep, pigs etc. Maybe future generations will value them as our cousins and “feel for them” much more than we do now, and maybe they will look back on our time and the way we treat them as we do on a time not so long ago when slavery was considered perfectly normal, shaking their heads at the apparent barbarity.

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