Memes are endlessly fascinating and it's a rabbit hole that I eagerly dive into. They're a wonderful way to make a comment and they also provide a nice connection with others who recognize the parts of the meme. It's a semi-secret sign to others.
But the challenge is that the cognitive dissonance at the core of these memes depends on the recognition of the mashed up meanings. So if you don't know the source material, it can be perplexing.
So the "We have no memes!" image that I made here really only works if you are familiar with Mad Men (and memes too). It's even more specific than that though as it also works best if you are up to date with the show since the image is from the most recent season of the show.
Just like a joke, if you have to explain it or draw it out on a whiteboard to describe the humour, it doesn't really work if there isn't a relatively quick reaction.
It's like teaching in some ways. You need to establish the common assumptions and the pieces to create the meaning. Then when you share something or introduce a new concept it can click quickly. But what seems like a sudden flash of insight has grown out of hours of shared experience and references.
A meme is a stop on The Road to Geekdom http://hypercritical.co/2014/01/14/the-road-to-geekdom
as John Siracusa puts it. The challenge in teaching is to figure out the best way to build that common set of references to be able to create and build the enthusiasm that we need for learning and teaching. #meme #madmen #clmooc