From: Richard Brodie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 15 May 2003 - 00:43:08 GMT
<<Now consider this variation in a thought experiment I have used here
where a person can be tested for having the information in their brain
about baseball by teaching an isolated group of children (who have never
played ball and stick games) a recognizable game of baseball. You dump
kids, teacher and equipment on an island and come back in two months.
The variation is that the teacher on this assignment doesn't know a thing
about baseball, but is given books on baseball rules and how to play the
game before being dumped on the island.
If the kids are playing a recognizable game of baseball when the
experimenter returns, then the only information source for what they are
doing is the books. I.e., the books contain the baseball meme
I don't think you could get funding for this experiment because the outcome
is too obvious.>>
This is a great experiment. I used to umpire high-school baseball until I
got tired of being yelled at and hit by baseballs. The Official Baseball
Rules are sufficiently abstruse that, for example, nowhere does it say that
the rule entitling a batter to First Base when he is hit by a pitched ball
does not apply if the ball bounces off the catcher before it hits him. There
are rules that are simply not enforced, like the definition of the Strike
Zone as going up to the midpoint between the shoulder and belt, or a Strike
being called if the batter takes too much time before stepping into the box.
It would be fun to see what aspects of the game the book specified
sufficiently and which it did not.
It's another interesting aspect of memetics that most of the discussion on
this list comes from people saying things that go counter to the general
understanding of the field. Posts that concur with the mainstream generally
pass without comment.
This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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