Re: The Baseball Test Case

Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 12:10:57 GMT

  • Next message: Price, Ilfryn: "RE: The Baseball Test Case Diversion"

    Received: by id MAA25127 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Fri, 25 Jan 2002 12:10:57 GMT
    From: <>
    X-Mailer: talk21 v1.23 -
    X-Talk21Ref: none
    Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 12:01:48 GMT+00:00
    Subject: Re: The Baseball Test Case
    Message-Id: <>
    Precedence: bulk


    Indeed, how do you round up a team of 100 buddies to play against another
    team of yet another 100 buddies. Surely the only places where such games
    flourish are big cities as rural villages simply do not have that many
    that could qualify as players, i.e. those that have the right size, age and

    On the contrary, the Ba game only flourishes in one tiny town, Kirkwall, on an island 2 hours away from the nearest land, northern Scotland, which is also virtually deserted for about 150 miles further south until one eventually arrives at Aberdeen (and then it's another 150 miles to Edinburgh).


    The required size of the teams is simply too big to pull some kind of
    league off the ground.


    Exactly, so one could equally well hypothesize that games with _small_ team sizes should spread faster than ones with large sizes.


    a) baseball spread because needing a dozen players required more people to be infected with the 'baseball thought contagion'


    b) baseball was inhibited in its spread because the necessity to find a dozen players meant that people preferably played games with fewer required participants.

    Neither of these statements is really falsifiable, or verifiable. In fact both are more or less useless from the point of view of any serious analysis of the spread of sports.

    Sports are not infectious agents that spring from one individual to another - and neither are most aspects of culture. Therefore the issue of numbers is inconsequential at best, as we clearly see in this case. That's why I called this thread the Baseball Test Case - it provides the reductio ad absurdam demonstration that _this kind _of analysis is useless.

    talk21 your FREE portable and private address on the net at

    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)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Jan 25 2002 - 12:37:06 GMT