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Viking After-walkers, ‘zombies’, A.K.A ear-dwellers. Memes.


Active member
Nov 21, 2018
Washington Island, WISCONSIN. Out in Lake Michigan
The meme was invented by Richard Dawkins in his The Selfish Gene book of 1976. ”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 meme exemplified another self-replicating unit with potential significance in explaining human behavior and cultural evolution. (Wikipedia)”

Before Dawkins, the meme may have existed, been known as the earworm from German Ohrwurm.

I am reading Viking Old Norse Old Saxon literature and, at the moment, listening to Dr. Jackson W. Crawford’s lectures and retelling of the sagas. Today I was amused to learn of Viking After-walkers, the undead ‘zombies’ that die in particularly inconvenient ways (indoors, sitting up, with eyes open, and in conflict). Most amusingly, they are also known (kenning) as ear-dwellers. Ear-worms from the Twelfth Century!