If there's a surprising development of the coronavirus outbreak, it's not that people are most worried about food. Come the zombie apocalypse, the greatest fear will be dunny paper riots. Who would've thought?
The Toilet Paper Meme (TPM) says, "Go urgently and buy toilet paper. Don't worry how much you need, buy as much as you can."
If the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, the TPM is even faster because it has no respect for hand washing, face masks or isolation wards. You can become infected simply by reading the newspaper or a social media post, and there is no vaccine.
The only control is the dangerously socialist approach of restraining the market. Supermarkets have now implemented this by limiting purchases for each customer.
While the form of the coronavirus is governed by information encoded in DNA, a meme is a packet of information encoded in the stuff of the mind. It's extremely difficult to predict what idea will become a meme, but there's something about it that causes it to propagate in the mind of the host.
While genes are passed through lines of inheritance, memes are passed from person to person through whatever means of communication they can exploit. Given modern technology, this can happen very quickly. Memes don't have to wait for the relatively slow process of biological procreation.
Not all memes are helpful. The best of the bad memes are those that sound appealing, but actually don't work. Quack medical cures such as homeopathy come to mind.
Memes live in your mind in a kind of soup called a memeplex. When one leaks in your brain it soon learns who's who in the zoo. It may flourish, it may be cast out to wither and die, or it might adapt and survive in some modified form. In the ecology of the memeplex we see a form of natural selection where memes die, thrive, and mutate into new forms.
Perhaps then, there is a category of meta-meme that we use to select the memes we will absorb. There is an interplay among memes much like a party-room brawl with some rising to dominance, while others are ousted in disgrace.
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