Mat suggested the other day that I hate memes. But he's only half-right; I hate rubbish memes, but I quite like good ones. This is obviously just a feeble attempt at self-justification via adjectives, but my point (and I do have one) is this: it's perfectly possible in principle to construct a meme which would cause the people who picked it up and wrote about it to write something interesting. As a simple example, consider this:-
Tell me about the best day of your life.
The difference between a good meme and a rubbish meme is the difference between following a recipe to cook your dinner or buying a microwave ready meal. Rubbish memes are those which remove any need for intellectual effort or creativity, and produce a lot of identi-kit one or two word answers which reveal nothing significant of the author and in many cases are simple arbitrary choices. What possible value can there be in knowing whether someone prefers chocolate or vanilla, or – a particular bewilderment of mine – how many gigabytes of music they have on their hard disk? Does more gigabytes imply a better, more interesting or more intelligent person? Does it imply anything at all?
The puzzle really is why the majority of memes seem to fall into the "rubbish" category (as I'm defining it). Given that good memes are simpler, easier to devise and shorter, why do so many long lists of pointless questions make the rounds? I genuinely have no idea.