Michael Bloomberg is apparently spending a bunch of money on the development and deployment of memes.
A meme could, potentially, neatly encapsulate and summarize a real, meaningful argument. Or it could have the appearance of offering a conclusive argument when no such argument has actually been made. Or it could be so ridiculous that it has no effect–or an opposite effect from that intended–on its target audience.
William “Boss” Tweed was very upset by the cartoon of Thomas Nast, because, as he famously said: “I don’t care a straw for your newspaper articles; my constituents don’t know how to read, but they can’t help seeing them damned pictures.” Perhaps in our own era, there are plenty of people who do know how to read–who may well be college graduates–but whose attention spans are so limited, and who have so little exposure to logical discussion, that memes are the most effective way to reach them.
Discussion question: What memes have you seen that (a) effectively make a valid argument, (b) look like they are making an effective argument, but are actually doing no such thing, or (c) are so silly that they could convince basically nobody at all?