From: derek gatherer (
Date: Wed 09 Apr 2003 - 15:00:12 GMT

  • Next message: Grant Callaghan: "Re: SARS!"

    > We should keep in mind that memes about things like
    > SARS are now distributed
    > over TV, radio and print media while contagion by
    > the virus itself needs
    > person to person contact in order to spread. I
    > don't see any way to compare
    > the spread of the two things.

    Okay, so what then in the relevance, or rather the value, of contagionism to the study of social phenomena?

    > The whole world
    > became aware of the SARS
    > virus the same day it struck the people of Hongkong.
    > The actual affliction
    > is moving a great deal slower.

    Maybe the whole (TV-watching) world did become aware. If so, how do you model that? Frequency jumps from zero to one in a single instant? How could you fit a contagion trajectory on that? You need some kind of sigmoid curve to appear from out of your data, at least the hint of one, in order to justify any assertion that a contagion-like mechanism is involved.

    __________________________________________________ Yahoo! Plus For a better Internet experience

    =============================================================== 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 : Wed 09 Apr 2003 - 15:05:49 GMT