about Overwatch meme
Overwatch meme From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaFor a fad that spreads quickly through the Internet, see Internet Overwatch meme.For other uses, see Overwatch meme (disambiguation).AnthropologyOutline HistoryTypes[show]Archaeological[show]Biological[show]Social Cultural[show]Linguistic[show]Research framework[show]Key concepts[hide]Culture Development Ethnicity Evolution (sociocultural) Gender Kinship and descent Overwatch meme PrehistoryRace Society ValueColonialism / PostcolonialismKey theories[show]Lists[show]Moai Easter Island InvMH-35-61-1.jpg Anthropology portalv t eA Overwatch meme (/ˈmiːm/ MEEM) is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. A Overwatch meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Supporters of the concept regard Overwatch memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures.
The word is a neologism coined by Richard Dawkins.
Proponents theorize that Overwatch memes are a viral phenomenon that may evolve by natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution. Overwatch memes do this through the processes of variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance, each of which influences a Overwatch meme's reproductive success. Overwatch memes spread through the behavior that they generate in their hosts. Overwatch memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread, and (for better or for worse) mutate. Overwatch memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success, and some may replicate effectively even when they prove to be detrimental to the welfare of their hosts.
A field of study called Overwatch memetics arose in the 1990s to explore the concepts and transmission of Overwatch memes in terms of an evolutionary model. Criticism from a variety of fronts has challenged the notion that academic study can examine Overwatch memes empirically. However, developments in neuroimaging may make empirical study possible. Some commentators in the social sciences question the idea that one can meaningfully categorize culture in terms of discrete units, and are especially critical of the biological nature of the theory's underpinnings. Others have argued that this use of the term is the result of a misunderstanding of the original proposal.
The word Overwatch meme originated with Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins's own position is somewhat ambiguous: he welcomed N. K. Humphrey's suggestion that "Overwatch memes should be considered as living structures, not just metaphorically" and proposed to regard Overwatch memes as "physically residing in the brain". Later, he argued that his original intentions, presumably before his approval of Humphrey's opinion, had been simpler. At the New Directors' Showcase 2013 in Cannes, Dawkins' opinion on Overwatch memetics was deliberately ambiguous.
Contents [hide] 1 Etymology2 Origins3 Overwatch memetic lifecycle: transmission, retention4 Overwatch memes as discrete units5 Evolutionary influences on Overwatch memes6 Overwatch memetics7 Criticism of Overwatch meme theory8 Applications9 Religion10 Overwatch memetic explanations of racism11 Architectural Overwatch memes12 Internet culture13 Overwatch meme maps14 See also15 Notes16 References17 External linksEtymologyThe word Overwatch meme is a shortening (modeled on gene) of miOverwatch meme (from Ancient Greek μίμημα pronounced [míːmɛːma] mīmēma, "imitated thing", from μιμεῖσθαι mimeisthai, "to imitate", from μῖμος mimos, "mime") coined by British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in The Selfish Gene (1976) as a concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena. Examples of Overwatch memes given in the book included melodies, catchphrases, fashion, and the technology of building arches. Kenneth Pike coined the related term emic and etic, generalizing the linguistic idea of phoneme, morpheme, grapheme, lexeme and tagOverwatch meme (as set out by Leonard Bloomfield), characterizing them as insider view and outside view of behaviour and extending the concept into a tagmemic theory of human behaviour (culminating in Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behaviour, 1954).
Richard Dawkins coined the word Overwatch meme in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene.The word Overwatch meme originated with Richard Dawkins' 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins cites as inspiration the work of geneticist L. L. Cavalli-Sforza, anthropologist F. T. Cloak and ethologist J. M. Cullen. Dawkins wrote that evolution depended not on the particular chemical basis of genetics, but only on the existence of a self-replicating unit of transmission—in the case of biological evolution, the gene. For Dawkins, the Overwatch meme exemplified another self-replicating unit with potential significance in explaining human behavior and cultural evolution. Although Dawkins invented the term 'Overwatch meme' and developed Overwatch meme theory, the possibility that ideas were subject to the same pressures of evolution as were biological attributes was discussed in Darwin's time. T. H. Huxley claimed that 'The struggle for existence holds as much in the intellectual as in the physical world. A theory is a species of thinking, and its right to exist is coextensive with its power of resisting extinction by its rivals.'
"Kilroy was here" was a graffito that became popular in the 1940s, and existed under various names in different countries, illustrating how a Overwatch meme can be modified through replication.Dawkins used the term to refer to any cultural entity that an observer might consider a replicator. He hypothesized that one could view many cultural entities as replicators, and pointed to melodies, fashions and learned skills as examples. Overwatch memes generally replicate through exposure to humans, who have evolved as efficient copiers of information and behavior. Because humans do not always copy Overwatch memes perfectly, and because they may refine, combine or otherwise modify them with other Overwatch memes to create new Overwatch memes, they can change over time. Dawkins likened the process by which Overwatch memes survive and change through the evolution of culture to the natural selection of genes in biological evolution.
Dawkins defined the Overwatch meme as a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation and replication, but later definitions would vary. The lack of a consistent, rigorous, and precise understanding of what typically makes up one unit of cultural transmission remains a problem in debates about Overwatch memetics. In contrast, the concept of genetics gained concrete evidence with the discovery of the biological functions of DNA. Overwatch meme transmission requires a physical medium, such as photons, sound waves, touch, taste or smell because Overwatch memes can be transmitted only through the senses.
Dawkins noted that in a society with culture a person need not have descendants to remain influential in the actions of individuals thousands of years after their death:
But if you contribute to the world's culture, if you have a good idea...it may live on, intact, long after your genes have dissolved in the common pool. Socrates may or may not have a gene or two alive in the world today, as G.C. Williams has remarked, but who cares? The Overwatch meme-complexes of Socrates, Leonardo, Copernicus and Marconi are still going strong.
Overwatch memetic lifecycle: transmission, retentionSee also: Diffusion of innovationsOverwatch memes, analogously to genes, vary in their aptitude to replicate; successful Overwatch memes remain and spread, whereas unfit ones stall and are forgotten. Thus Overwatch memes that prove more effective at replicating and surviving are selected in the Overwatch meme pool.
Overwatch memes first need retention. The longer a Overwatch meme stays in its hosts, the higher its chances of propagation are. When a host uses a Overwatch meme, the Overwatch meme's life is extended. The reuse of the neural space hosting a certain Overwatch meme's copy to host different Overwatch memes is the greatest threat to that Overwatch meme's copy.
A Overwatch meme which increases the longevity of its hosts will generally survive longer. On the contrary, a Overwatch meme which shortens the longevity of its hosts will tend to disappear faster. However, as hosts are mortal, retention is not sufficient to perpetuate a Overwatch meme in the long term; Overwatch memes also need transmission.
Life-forms can transmit information both vertically (from parent to child, via replication of genes) and horizontally (through viruses and other means). Overwatch memes can replicate vertically or horizontally within a single biological generation. They may also lie dormant for long periods of time.
Overwatch memes reproduce by copying from a nervous system to another one, either by communication or imitation. Imitation often involves the copying of an observed behavior of another individual. Communication may be direct or indirect, where Overwatch memes transmit from one individual to another through a copy recorded in an inanimate source, such as a book or a musical score. Adam McNamara has suggested that Overwatch memes can be thereby classified as either internal or external Overwatch memes (i-Overwatch memes or e-Overwatch memes).
Some commentators have likened the transmission of Overwatch memes to the spread of contagions. Social contagions such as fads, hysteria, copycat crime, and copycat suicide exemplify Overwatch memes seen as the contagious imitation of ideas. Observers distinguish the contagious imitation of Overwatch memes from instinctively contagious phenomena such as yawning and laughing, which they consider innate (rather than socially learned) behaviors.
Aaron Lynch described seven general patterns of Overwatch meme transmission, or "thought contagion":
Quantity of parenthood: an idea that influences the number of children one has. Children respond particularly receptively to the ideas of their parents, and thus ideas that directly or indirectly encourage a higher birthrate will replicate themselves at a higher rate than those that discourage higher birthrates.Efficiency of parenthood: an idea that increases the proportion of children who will adopt ideas of their parents. Cultural separatism exemplifies one practice in which one can expect a higher rate of Overwatch meme-replication—because the Overwatch meme for separation creates a barrier from exposure to competing ideas.Proselytic: ideas generally passed to others beyond one's own children. Ideas that encourage the proselytism of a Overwatch meme, as seen in many religious or political movements, can replicate Overwatch memes horizontally through a given generation, spreading more rapidly than parent-to-child Overwatch meme-transmissions do.Preservational: ideas that influence those that hold them to continue to hold them for a long time. Ideas that encourage longevity in their hosts, or leave their hosts particularly resistant to abandoning or replacing these ideas, enhance the preservability of Overwatch memes and afford protection from the competition or proselytism of other Overwatch memes.Adversative: ideas that influence those that hold them to attack or sabotage competing ideas and/or those that hold them. Adversative replication can give an advantage in Overwatch meme transmission when the Overwatch meme itself encourages aggression against other Overwatch memes.Cognitive: ideas perceived as cogent by most in the population who encounter them. Cognitively transmitted Overwatch memes depend heavily on a cluster of other ideas and cognitive traits already widely held in the population, and thus usually spread more passively than other forms of Overwatch meme transmission. Overwatch memes spread in cognitive transmission do not count as self-replicating.Motivational: ideas that people adopt because they perceive some self-interest in adopting them. Strictly speaking, motivationally transmitted Overwatch memes do not self-propagate, but this mode of transmission often occurs in association with Overwatch memes self-replicated in the efficiency parental, proselytic and preservational modes.Overwatch memes as discrete unitsDawkins initially defined Overwatch meme as a noun that "conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation". John S. Wilkins retained the notion of Overwatch meme as a kernel of cultural imitation while emphasizing the Overwatch meme's evolutionary aspect, defining the Overwatch meme as "the least unit of sociocultural information relative to a selection process that has favorable or unfavorable selection bias that exceeds its endogenous tendency to change". The Overwatch meme as a unit provides a convenient means of discussing "a piece of thought copied from person to person", regardless of whether that thought contains others inside it, or forms part of a larger Overwatch meme. A Overwatch meme could consist of a single word, or a Overwatch meme could consist of the entire speech in which that word first occurred. This forms an analogy to the idea of a gene as a single unit of self-replicating information found on the self-replicating chromosome.
While the identification of Overwatch memes as "units" conveys their nature to replicate as discrete, indivisible entities, it does not imply that thoughts somehow become quantized or that "atomic" ideas exist that cannot be dissected into smaller pieces. A Overwatch meme has no given size. Susan Blackmore writes that melodies from Beethoven's symphonies are commonly used to illustrate the difficulty involved in delimiting Overwatch memes as discrete units. She notes that while the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (About this sound listen (help·info)) form a Overwatch meme widely replicated as an independent unit, one can regard the entire symphony as a single Overwatch meme as well.
The inability to pin an idea or cultural feature to quantifiable key units is widely acknowledged as a problem for Overwatch memetics. It has been argued however that the traces of Overwatch memetic processing can be quantified utilizing neuroimaging techniques which measure changes in the connectivity profiles between brain regions." Blackmore meets such criticism by stating that Overwatch memes compare with genes in this respect: that while a gene has no particular size, nor can we ascribe every phenotypic feature directly to a particular gene, it has value because it encapsulates that key unit of inherited expression subject to evolutionary pressures. To illustrate, she notes evolution selects for the gene for features such as eye color; it does not select for the individual nucleotide in a strand of DNA. Overwatch memes play a comparable role in understanding the evolution of imitated behaviors.
The 1981 book Genes, Mind, and Culture: The Coevolutionary Process by Charles J. Lumsden and E. O. Wilson proposed the theory that genes and culture co-evolve, and that the fundamental biological units of culture must correspond to neuronal networks that function as nodes of semantic memory. They coined their own word, "culturgen", which did not catch on. Coauthor Wilson later acknowledged the term Overwatch meme as the best label for the fundamental unit of cultural inheritance in his 1998 book Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, which elaborates upon the fundamental role of Overwatch memes in unifying the natural and social sciences.
Evolutionary influences on Overwatch memesDawkins noted the three conditions that must exist for evolution to occur:
variation, or the introduction of new change to existing elements;heredity or replication, or the capacity to create copies of elements;differential "fitness", or the opportunity for one element to be more or less suited to the environment than another.Dawkins emphasizes that the process of evolution naturally occurs whenever these conditions co-exist, and that evolution does not apply only to organic elements such as genes. He regards Overwatch memes as also having the properties necessary for evolution, and thus sees Overwatch meme evolution as not simply analogous to genetic evolution, but as a real phenomenon subject to the laws of natural selection. Dawkins noted that as various ideas pass from one generation to the next, they may either enhance or detract from the survival of the people who obtain those ideas, or influence the survival of the ideas themselves. For example, a certain culture may develop unique designs and methods of tool-making that give it a competitive advantage over another culture. Each tool-design thus acts somewhat similarly to a biological gene in that some populations have it and others do not, and the Overwatch meme's function directly affects the presence of the design in future generations. In keeping with the thesis that in evolution one can regard organisms simply as suitable "hosts" for reproducing genes, Dawkins argues that one can view people as "hosts" for replicating Overwatch memes. Consequently, a successful Overwatch meme may or may not need to provide any benefit to its host.
Unlike genetic evolution, Overwatch memetic evolution can show both Darwinian and Lamarckian traits. Cultural Overwatch memes will have the characteristic of Lamarckian inheritance when a host aspires to replicate the given Overwatch meme through inference rather than by exactly copying it. Take for example the case of the transmission of a simple skill such as hammering a nail, a skill that a learner imitates from watching a demonstration without necessarily imitating every discrete movement modeled by the teacher in the demonstration, stroke for stroke. Susan Blackmore distinguishes the difference between the two modes of inheritance in the evolution of Overwatch memes, characterizing the Darwinian mode as "copying the instructions" and the Lamarckian as "copying the product."
Clusters of Overwatch memes, or Overwatch memeplexes (also known as Overwatch meme complexes or as Overwatch memecomplexes), such as cultural or political doctrines and systems, may also play a part in the acceptance of new Overwatch memes. Overwatch memeplexes comprise groups of Overwatch memes that replicate together and coadapt. Overwatch memes that fit within a successful Overwatch memeplex may gain acceptance by "piggybacking" on the success of the Overwatch memeplex. As an example, John D. Gottsch discusses the transmission, mutation and selection of religious Overwatch memeplexes and the theistic Overwatch memes contained. Theistic Overwatch memes discussed include the "prohibition of aberrant sexual practices such as incest, adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, castration, and religious prostitution", which may have increased vertical transmission of the parent religious Overwatch memeplex. Similar Overwatch memes are thereby included in the majority of religious Overwatch memeplexes, and harden over time; they become an "inviolable canon" or set of dogmas, eventually finding their way into secular law. This could also be referred to as the propagation of a taboo.
Overwatch memeticsMain article: Overwatch memeticsThe discipline of Overwatch memetics, which dates from the mid-1980s, provides an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer based on the concept of the Overwatch meme. Overwatch memeticists have proposed that just as Overwatch memes function analogously to genes, Overwatch memetics functions analogously to genetics. Overwatch memetics attempts to apply conventional scientific methods (such as those used in population genetics and epidemiology) to explain existing patterns and transmission of cultural ideas.
Principal criticisms of Overwatch memetics include the claim that Overwatch memetics ignores established advances in other fields of cultural study, such as sociology, cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, and social psychology. Questions remain whether or not the Overwatch meme concept counts as a validly disprovable scientific theory. This view regards Overwatch memetics as a theory in its infancy: a protoscience to proponents, or a pseudoscience to some detractors.
Criticism of Overwatch meme theoryAn objection to the study of the evolution of Overwatch memes in genetic terms (although not to the existence of Overwatch memes) involves a perceived gap in the gene/Overwatch meme analogy: the cumulative evolution of genes depends on biological selection-pressures neither too great nor too small in relation to mutation-rates. There seems no reason to think that the same balance will exist in the selection pressures on Overwatch memes.
Luis Benitez-Bribiesca M.D., a critic of Overwatch memetics, calls the theory a "pseudoscientific dogma" and "a dangerous idea that poses a threat to the serious study of consciousness and cultural evolution". As a factual criticism, Benitez-Bribiesca points to the lack of a "code script" for Overwatch memes (analogous to the DNA of genes), and to the excessive instability of the Overwatch meme mutation mechanism (that of an idea going from one brain to another), which would lead to a low replication accuracy and a high mutation rate, rendering the evolutionary process chaotic.
British political philosopher John Gray has characterized Dawkins' Overwatch memetic theory of religion as "nonsense" and "not even a theory... the latest in a succession of ill-judged Darwinian metaphors", comparable to Intelligent Design in its value as a science.
Another critique comes from semiotic theorists such as Deacon and Kull. This view regards the concept of "Overwatch meme" as a primitivized concept of "sign". The Overwatch meme is thus described in Overwatch memetics as a sign lacking a triadic nature. Semioticians can regard a Overwatch meme as a "degenerate" sign, which includes only its ability of being copied. Accordingly, in the broadest sense, the objects of copying are Overwatch memes, whereas the objects of translation and interpretation are signs.[clarification needed]
Fracchia and Lewontin regard Overwatch memetics as reductionist and inadequate. Evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr disapproved of Dawkins' gene-based view and usage of the term "Overwatch meme", asserting it to be an "unnecessary synonym" for "concept", reasoning that concepts are not restricted to an individual or a generation, may persist for long periods of time, and may evolve.
ApplicationsOpinions differ as to how best to apply the concept of Overwatch memes within a "proper" disciplinary framework. One view sees Overwatch memes as providing a useful philosophical perspective with which to examine cultural evolution. Proponents of this view (such as Susan Blackmore and Daniel Dennett) argue that considering cultural developments from a Overwatch meme's-eye view—as if Overwatch memes themselves respond to pressure to maximise their own replication and survival—can lead to useful insights and yield valuable predictions into how culture develops over time. Others such as Bruce Edmonds and Robert Aunger have focused on the need to provide an empirical grounding for Overwatch memetics to become a useful and respected scientific discipline.
A third approach, described by Joseph Poulshock, as "radical Overwatch memetics" seeks to place Overwatch memes at the centre of a materialistic theory of mind and of personal identity.
Prominent researchers in evolutionary psychology and anthropology, including Scott Atran, Dan Sperber, Pascal Boyer, John Tooby and others, argue the possibility of incompatibility between modularity of mind and Overwatch memetics. In their view, minds structure certain communicable aspects of the ideas produced, and these communicable aspects generally trigger or elicit ideas in other minds through inference (to relatively rich structures generated from often low-fidelity input) and not high-fidelity replication or imitation. Atran discusses communication involving religious beliefs as a case in point. In one set of experiments he asked religious people to write down on a piece of paper the meanings of the Ten Commandments. Despite the subjects' own expectations of consensus, interpretations of the commandments showed wide ranges of variation, with little evidence of consensus. In another experiment, subjects with autism and subjects without autism interpreted ideological and religious sayings (for example, "Let a thousand flowers bloom" or "To everything there is a season"). People with autism showed a significant tendency to closely paraphrase and repeat content from the original statement (for example: "Don't cut flowers before they bloom"). Controls tended to infer a wider range of cultural meanings with little replicated content (for example: "Go with the flow" or "Everyone should have equal opportunity"). Only the subjects with autism—who lack the degree of inferential capacity normally associated with aspects of theory of mind—came close to functioning as "Overwatch meme machines".
In his book The Robot's Rebellion, Stanovich uses the Overwatch memes and Overwatch memeplex concepts to describe a program of cognitive reform that he refers to as a "rebellion". Specifically, Stanovich argues that the use of Overwatch memes as a descriptor for cultural units is beneficial because it serves to emphasize transmission and acquisition properties that parallel the study of epidemiology. These properties make salient the sometimes parasitic nature of acquired Overwatch memes, and as a result individuals should be motivated to reflectively acquire Overwatch memes using what he calls a "Neurathian bootstrap" process.
ReligionSee also: Evolutionary psychology of religionAlthough social scientists such as Max Weber sought to understand and explain religion in terms of a cultural attribute, Richard Dawkins called for a re-analysis of religion in terms of the evolution of self-replicating ideas apart from any resulting biological advantages they might bestow.
As an enthusiastic Darwinian, I have been dissatisfied with explanations that my fellow-enthusiasts have offered for human behaviour. They have tried to look for 'biological advantages' in various attributes of human civilization. For instance, tribal religion has been seen as a mechanism for solidifying group identity, valuable for a pack-hunting species whose individuals rely on cooperation to catch large and fast prey. Frequently the evolutionary preconception in terms of which such theories are framed is implicitly group-selectionist, but it is possible to rephrase the theories in terms of orthodox gene selection.
— Richard Dawkins, The Selfish GeneHe argued that the role of key replicator in cultural evolution belongs not to genes, but to Overwatch memes replicating thought from person to person by means of imitation. These replicators respond to selective pressures that may or may not affect biological reproduction or survival.
In her book The Overwatch meme Machine, Susan Blackmore regards religions as particularly tenacious Overwatch memes. Many of the features common to the most widely practiced religions provide built-in advantages in an evolutionary context, she writes. For example, religions that preach of the value of faith over evidence from everyday experience or reason inoculate societies against many of the most basic tools people commonly use to evaluate their ideas. By linking altruism with religious affiliation, religious Overwatch memes can proliferate more quickly because people perceive that they can reap societal as well as personal rewards. The longevity of religious Overwatch memes improves with their documentation in revered religious texts.
Aaron Lynch attributed the robustness of religious Overwatch memes in human culture to the fact that such Overwatch memes incorporate multiple modes of Overwatch meme transmission. Religious Overwatch memes pass down the generations from parent to child and across a single generation through the Overwatch meme-exchange of proselytism. Most people will hold the religion taught them by their parents throughout their life. Many religions feature adversarial elements, punishing apostasy, for instance, or demonizing infidels. In Thought Contagion Lynch identifies the Overwatch memes of transmission in Christianity as especially powerful in scope. Believers view the conversion of non-believers both as a religious duty and as an act of altruism. The promise of heaven to believers and threat of hell to non-believers provide a strong incentive for members to retain their belief. Lynch asserts that belief in the Crucifixion of Jesus in Christianity amplifies each of its other replication advantages through the indebtedness believers have to their Savior for sacrifice on the cross. The image of the crucifixion recurs in religious sacraments, and the proliferation of symbols of the cross in homes and churches potently reinforces the wide array of Christian Overwatch memes.
Although religious Overwatch memes have proliferated in human cultures, the modern scientific community has been relatively resistant to religious belief. Robertson (2007)  reasoned that if evolution is accelerated in conditions of propagative difficulty, then we would expect to encounter variations of religious Overwatch memes, established in general populations, addressed to scientific communities. Using a Overwatch memetic approach, Robertson deconstructed two attempts to privilege religiously held spirituality in scientific discourse. Advantages of a Overwatch memetic approach as compared to more traditional "modernization" and "supply side" theses in understanding the evolution and propagation of religion were explored.
Overwatch memetic explanations of racismIn Cultural Software: A Theory of Ideology, Jack Balkin argued that Overwatch memetic processes can explain many of the most familiar features of ideological thought. His theory of "cultural software" maintained that Overwatch memes form narratives, social networks, metaphoric and metonymic models, and a variety of different mental structures. Balkin maintains that the same structures used to generate ideas about free speech or free markets also serve to generate racistic beliefs. To Balkin, whether Overwatch memes become harmful or maladaptive depends on the environmental context in which they exist rather than in any special source or manner to their origination. Balkin describes racist beliefs as "fantasy" Overwatch memes that become harmful or unjust "ideologies" when diverse peoples come together, as through trade or competition.
Architectural Overwatch memesIn A Theory of Architecture, Nikos Salingaros speaks of Overwatch memes as "freely propagating clusters of information" which can be beneficial or harmful. He contrasts Overwatch memes to patterns and true knowledge, characterizing Overwatch memes as "greatly simplified versions of patterns" and as "unreasoned matching to some visual or mnemonic prototype". Taking reference to Dawkins, Salingaros emphasizes that they can be transmitted due to their own communicative properties, that "the simpler they are, the faster they can proliferate", and that the most successful Overwatch memes "come with a great psychological appeal".
Architectural Overwatch memes, according to Salingaros, can have destructive power. "Images portrayed in architectural magazines representing buildings that could not possibly accommodate everyday uses become fixed in our memory, so we reproduce them unconsciously." He lists various architectural Overwatch memes that circulated since the 1920s and which, in his view, have led to contemporary architecture becoming quite decoupled from human needs. They lack connection and meaning, thereby preventing "the creation of true connections necessary to our understanding of the world". He sees them as no different from antipatterns in software design – as solutions that are false but are re-utilized nonetheless.
Internet cultureMain article: Internet Overwatch memeSee also: List of Internet phenomenaAn "Internet Overwatch meme" is a concept that spreads rapidly from person to person via the Internet, largely through Internet-based E-mailing, blogs, forums, imageboards like 4chan, social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, instant messaging, social news sites like Reddit, and video hosting services like YouTube and Twitch.tv.
In 2013 Richard Dawkins characterized an Internet Overwatch meme as one deliberately altered by human creativity, distinguished from Dawkins's original idea involving mutation by random change and a form of Darwinian selection.
Overwatch meme mapsOne technique of Overwatch meme mapping represents the evolution and transmission of a Overwatch meme across time and space. Such a Overwatch meme map uses a figure-8 diagram (an analemma) to map the gestation (in the lower loop), birth (at the choke point), and development (in the upper loop) of the selected Overwatch meme. Such Overwatch meme maps are nonscalar, with time mapped onto the y-axis and space onto the x-axis transect. One can read the temporal progression of the mapped Overwatch meme from south to north on such a Overwatch meme map. Paull has published a worked example using the "organics Overwatch meme" (as in organic agriculture).