WIRED: DALL-E Mini Is the Internet’s Favorite AI Meme Machine

WIRED: DALL-E Mini Is the Internet’s Favorite AI Meme Machine. “The outwardly simple app, which generates nine images in response to any typed text prompt, was launched nearly a year ago by an independent developer. But after some recent improvements and a few viral tweets, its ability to crudely sketch all manner of surreal, hilarious, and even nightmarish visions suddenly became meme magic.”

WIRED: How Ukraine Is Winning the Propaganda War

WIRED: How Ukraine Is Winning the Propaganda War. “As the conflict in Ukraine drags on, the country’s communications strategy has become slicker and more professional, say academics studying information warfare. Ukraine has also shifted its strategy away from amplifying exaggerated myths to focusing on the courage of ordinary people who are committing small, achievable acts of bravery in the face of the Russian invasion.”

Every: The Internet Encyclopedia of Memes

Every: The Internet Encyclopedia of Memes. “For the past 15 years, Know Your Meme has documented internet culture from across the web—from 4chan and Reddit to Twitter and TikTok. For nearly 12 of those years—or what he describes as ‘an eternity in internet years’—Don Caldwell has been at the forefront at Know Your Meme, most recently as the Editor-in-Chief. He’s made nearly 100,000 contributions to the site, slowed only by moving into a managerial role at the company.”

New Russia / Ukraine War Meme Update From Dima Maleev

The Dima Maleev YouTube channel released another video in its Russia/Ukraine war meme series on Wednesday. This one covers Medvedchuk, the Moskva warship, the “Russian World”, Russian widows (and their government benefits), and the heroic explosives-detecting dog, Patron. This is an excellent series and excellently-produced; if you have any interest in Internet culture I encourage you to watch it. If you’re like me and sometimes have trouble understanding accented English, the auto-generated captions are good for everything but the Russian names.

How-To Geek: What Does “Touch Grass” Mean?

I don’t usually bother with meme explainers, but this meme can be ambiguous and used several different ways, so here you go. How-To Geek: What Does “Touch Grass” Mean?. “Have you ever been told to ‘touch grass’ after a heated internet fight? Don’t worry, you don’t need to go to your local park for this. Here’s what the phrase means and how you can use it properly.”

Ukraine, Russia, War, and Memes

I have a great interest in the intersection between military conflict and Internet culture, so I’ve been reviewing Ukraine/Russia war meme compilations on YouTube. The Meme Orange does compilations of spicy memes/ war memes regularly, while Memenade does daily meme compilations which include Ukraine memes. I think my favorite, though, is Dima Maleev. His channel states he is Ukrainian; I have not confirmed this but have no reason to disbelieve it. Anyway, instead of simple meme aggregations he takes four or five meme topics and gives background, context (like audio recordings) and plenty of meme reactions. There are only about four of these “WAR MEMES” videos (I’m sure they take a huge amount of work) but they’re well worth viewing. If you have trouble understanding accented English turn the captions on; they’re auto-generated but very good.

Washington Post: What’s so funny about a Russian invasion?

Washington Post: What’s so funny about a Russian invasion?. “Since the Kremlin’s attack began in February, Ukraine’s official Twitter account, @Ukraine, has been poking fun at the invader, even as it highlights the brutalities Russia is inflicting upon the country. Why? Wars are ugly and certainly no laughing matter. But Ukraine’s approach isn’t new. According to a 2017 NATO strategic communications study, Ukraine has used memes, caricatures, parodies and satirical TV shows as buffers against the Kremlin’s propaganda since the annexation of Crimea. The post-invasion tweets are a continuation of that counter-propaganda campaign.”

Column: Gen X TikTok is recycling the culture of the late Cold War, and what’s old is new again (Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles: Column: Gen X TikTok is recycling the culture of the late Cold War, and what’s old is new again. “As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine passed the month mark, and reports emerge that Russia’s nuclear forces have been placed on high alert, the culture of the late Cold War has made a swinging comeback. Think of it as Cultural Cold War 2.0, with Russia as stand-in for the former Soviet Union.”

Fielding Graduate University: How Memes and Media Are Crafting the Way We See War

Fielding Graduate University: How Memes and Media Are Crafting the Way We See War. “Memes play a central role as the world watches Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine in real-time. Not only is the amount of information available is unprecedented, but social media’s aesthetics are shaping how we see conflict. Viral mockery of Putin has replaced funny cat memes. The juxtaposition of Putin at a ridiculously long table is funny as a visual and political joke. But it creates an image of Putin as out of touch, isolated and paranoid. This kind of short-form content defines the narrative of this war, particularly for younger generations.”

New York Times: How Civil War History Explains Memestocks

New York Times: How Civil War History Explains Memestocks. “Over the past century and a half, finance in the United States has been characterized by an ebb and flow of who feels Wall Street is for them, who feels (or is) excluded. Understanding how we got where we are now is one way to demystify the Reddit-based investing revolution, which is powered by a conspiracy theory along with a deep resentment of the way real power and wealth seem so out of reach for most people these days.”

Jerusalem Post: In ‘Ukrainian military Oscars,’ Ukraine mocks Russia and promotes its army

Jerusalem Post: In ‘Ukrainian military Oscars,’ Ukraine mocks Russia and promotes its army . “Ukraine has been using memes and humor on state social media accounts in its information warfare strategy during the Russia-Ukraine War, and its state social media accounts were notable prior to the war for their effective use of memes to advocate foreign policy positions. Many of the selections for the ‘Ministry of Defense of Ukraine Oscars’ utilizes pre-existing wartime memes and symbols used by Ukraine and its supporters.”