Culture

As an online community with primarily user-generated content, many in-jokes and internet memes have developed over the course of the site's history. A popular meme (based on an unscientific Slashdot user poll[49]) is, "In Soviet Russia, noun verb you!" The phrase was actually originated by Ukrainian-born comedian Yakov Smirnoff as his famous Russian reversal – "In America, you can always find a party. In Soviet Russia, The Party can always find you!"[50] Other popular memes usually pertain to computing or technology, such as "Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these",[51] "But does it run Linux?",[52] or "Netcraft now confirms: BSD (or some other software package or item) is dying."[53] Some users will also refer to seemingly innocent remarks by correcting them and adding "you insensitive clod!" to the statement – a reference to a February 14, 1986, Calvin & Hobbes cartoon[54] or the 11th season The Simpsons episode, Last Tap Dance in Springfield, wherein Frink exclaims to Homer, "I was merely trying to spare the girl's feelings, you insensitive clod!" Users will also typically refer to articles referring to data storage and data capacity by inquiring how much it is in units of Libraries of Congress.[55] Slashdotters often use the abbreviation TFA which stands for The fucking article or RTFA (Read the fucking article), which itself is derived from the abbreviation RTFM.[56] Usage of this abbreviation often exposes comments from posters who have not read the article linked to in the main story. Slashdotters typically like to mock United States Senator Ted Stevens' 2006 description of the Internet as a "series of tubes"[57][58] or Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's chair-throwing incident from 2005.[59][60] Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a popular target of jokes by Slashdotters, and all stories about Microsoft were once identified with a graphic of Gates looking like a Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation.[61] Many Slashdotters have long talked about the supposed release of Duke Nukem Forever, which was promised in 1997 but was delayed indefinitely (the game was eventually released in 2011).[62] References to the game are commonly brought up in other articles about software packages that are not yet in production even though the announced

delivery date has long passed (see vaporware). Having a low Slashdot user identifier (user ID) is highly valued since they are assigned sequentially; having one is a sign that someone has an older account and has contributed to the site longer. For Slashdot's 10-year anniversary in 2007, one of the items auctioned off in the charity auction for the Electronic Frontier Foundation was a 3-digit Slashdot user ID. An Internet meme (pron.: /?mi?m/ meem) is a concept that spreads from person to person via the Internet.[1] The concept of a meme was defined and described by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, as an attempt to explain the way cultural information spreads;[2] internet memes are a subset of this, specific to the culture and environment of the internet. Fads and sensations tend to grow rapidly on the Internet, because the instant communication facilitates word of mouth transmission. In the early days of the Internet, such content was primarily spread via email or Usenet discussion communities. Messageboards and newsgroups were also popular because they allowed a simple method for people to share information or memes with a diverse population of internet users. They encourage communication between people, and thus between meme sets, that do not normally come in contact. Furthermore, they actively promote meme-sharing within the messageboard or newsgroup population by asking for feedback, comments, opinions, etc. Another factor in the increased meme transmission observed over the internet is its interactive nature. Print matter, radio, and television are all essentially passive experiences requiring the reader, listener, or viewer to perform all necessary cognitive processing; in contrast the social nature of the Internet allows phenomena to propagate more readily. Many phenomena are also spread via web search engines, internet forums, social networking sites, social news sites, and video hosting services. Search engines allow obscure pieces of information to be easily located. Without search engines, information on obscure personal pages would remain largely unread, even by people who were interested in the subject. The Internet's ability to spread memes would be greatly reduced if search engines did not exist.

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