Gatherer article in latest volume of JASSS

From: Bruce Edmonds (
Date: Thu 31 Oct 2002 - 12:37:22 GMT

  • Next message: Vincent Campbell: "RE: electric meme bombs"

    There is an article about memetics in the latest volume of JASSS (just out) see:
             Derek Gatherer (2002)

    Identifying cases of social contagion using memetic isolation: comparison of the dynamics of a multisociety simulation with an ethnographic data set

    Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation vol. 5, no. 4

    * Abstract

         A simulation is presented of a grid of connected societies of reproducing agents. These agents are capable of horizontal and vertical transmission of non-genetic cultural traits (memes). This simulation exhibits the theoretically predicted effect that horizontally transmitted memes are less likely, overall, to be encountered in geographical isolation than strictly vertically transmitted ones. Furthermore, when horizontal memes are under cultural selection, and thus behave 'contagiously', their likelihood of geographical isolation is virtually eliminated. By contrast, natural selection has far weaker effects than cultural selection in reducing geographical isolation. Thus it should be possible to identify contagious memes by an examination of their geographical distribution. The degree of geographical isolation of 17 categories of postulated cultural traits in an ethnographic data set of 863 societies is then examined, and compared with the simulations, using z-tests. Using this method, the empirical data can be sorted into four broad categories, each with a different spectrum of probabilities of mode of transmission and contagion.

    Keywords: Allomeme; Axelrod's Cultural Model; Contagion; Cultural Evolution; Cultural Selection; Cultural Trait; Evolutionary Epidemiology Of Culture; Meme; MurdockÝs Ethnographic Atlas; SIM.; Social Interaction Model


    -------------------------------------------------- Bruce Edmonds, Centre for Policy Modelling, Manchester Metropolitan University, Aytoun Bldg., Aytoun St., Manchester, M1 3GH. UK. Tel: +44 161 247 6479 Fax: +44 161 247 6802 Email: Web:

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu 31 Oct 2002 - 12:37:36 GMT