Friday, March 17, 2006

The Meme of Peak Oil

What is a meme? In short, it is a self-propagating unit of cultural evolution, resembling somewhat a gene. An evolving idea of significance, in other words. The study of memes is called memetics. It might be more easily understood alongside the aphorism "ideas have a life of their own." A fuller explanation of this slippery noun can be found here. Chaos has observed in the last half year or so, how the concept of peak oil has gradually acquired the status of a meme. Recently, two more examples have surfaced. The first is at the nation's cable news network of note, CNN, which ran some brief video interviews (one with Matthew Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert) under the title of "We Were Warned." (BTW, check out General Motors whore Bob Lutz, whose "we just make these giant SUVs because Americans want them" and "we got caught with our pants down on the hybrid thing" are classic). The second comes from the Austin Texas South by Southwest Music and Film festival, which featured in this year's addition a striking documentary called Oilcrash. Regretfully, Chaos cannot provide a firsthand account of it, but according to actual viewers, it is appropriately fear-inducing. Look for it at your local megaplex someday soon.

And so, the meme of peak oil advances, grows, becomes stronger...

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