RE: Memetics/Evolutionary psychology reversal

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Thu 12 Jan 2006 - 05:00:42 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: Memetics/Evolutionary psychology reversal"

    >From: Keith Henson <>
    >Subject: Memetics/Evolutionary psychology reversal
    >Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 11:55:15 -0500
    >I recently tested memetics and evolutionary psychology with Google. Four
    >years ago, there were twice as many hits on memetics as EP, now that has
    >reversed to almost twice as many hits on EP as memetics.
    >849,000 for "evolutionary psychology"
    >475,000 for memetics
    >It is also interesting, 22,200 for "evolutionary psychology" memetics
    >and I am not responsible for *all* of them :-)
    >18,600 for "evolutionary psychology" memetics -henson
    Google hits are an index of usage, but how can things like redundancy be addressed? How many hits are unique versus copied across websites? My own experience has led me to believe that websites borrow extensively from each other to the point that a good many "hits" on a given keyword are carbon copies or at least cut and pastes from other sites.

    Hits coming directly from our memetics discussion here often seem to be mirrored at the "Church of Virus" site, which is redundant in a sense. Redundancy in a system is good in some respects, since if one site goes down temporarily or permanently its content will be accessible at another location, although google does have the handy cache feature.

    By way of comparison to your chosen terms "mneme semon" gets 575 hits,
    "mneme meme" gets 763 and "noogenetics" gets an anemic 53. Yet popularity or number of hits doesn't necesarily reflect value. Plus if you notice I'm responsible for some of the hits on the terms I chose.

    How could the usage of terms be evaluated for quality of source? Would a hit on a prestigious research type site or government site be considered with more weight than someone's informal homepage or blog site especially someone's drunken Saturday night ramblings though serious scholars do have blogs too.

    Wiki sites and such can be good sources, if the author(s) know what they are talking about, but I'm cautious about these sites myself, especially sans corroboration. It seems that the isue of redundancy is important with wiki and online "encyclopedia" sites.

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