Corporations had more to to with the popularity of the Harlem Shake than you or I did.
Experts said the "Harlem Shake" phenomenon was emergent behavior from the hive mind of the internet--accidental, ad hoc, uncoordinated: a "meme" that "went viral." But this is untrue. The real story of the "Harlem Shake" shows how much popular culture has changed and how much it has stayed the same.The word "meme" comes from evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Bits of information, memes, propagate from brain to brain through imitation, are subject to selection and can be regarded as living structures, he says, "not just metaphorically but technically," because new information changes our brains. They are often made deliberately--think catchphrases, slogans, melodies--and makers may try to propagate them as fast and far as possible, or make them go viral. The myth of the "Harlem Shake" is that its viral spread was spontaneous, not directed by financial interests--a pop culture, popular uprising. Here's how the meme and the myth began.