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Below is a copy of a message I posted several years ago to the memetics list
that clearly indicates that I do not in any way suggest that team sizes
translate directly into propagation rates or prevalences. It's not a point I
wish to argue all over again.
It takes two teams to play the game, even on Enron Field.
At 10:34 AM 9/18/1998, Aaron Lynch wrote:
>At 08:35 AM 9/18/98 -0700, Tim Rhodes wrote:
>Shouldn't baseball have a conversion rate that is 80% higher than that of
>basketball? (Nine players per team vs. the five for basketball)
>How do you explain the fact that this is not the case? In fact, that the
>opposite is true--the conversion rate for basketball is currently much
>greater than that for baseball.
A reasonable question, Tim.
The answer is that we cannot just compute conversion rates on an a priori
basis, even in cases were it is very tempting to do so. Peer to peer,
parent to child, and other modes of transmission still have to be measured.
If we introduce a new sport requiring 18 players per team, we might very
well find fewer conversions than a closely related sport with 9 players per
team. The idea of taking on the bigger task of recruiting 18 players may
deter people from even trying.
In the case of baseball and baseball, there is also the matter of
seasonality. With both indoor and outdoor courts available, recruitment for
basketball continues during the winter while amateur baseball recruitment
fades drastically. Evolutionarily, the climatological environment has a
different impact on the two sports. The increased after-hours availability
of school and health club basketball courts in the US also favors an
increased recruitment rate for basketball during the winter.
As Bill points out, the mass media and famous players play an increased
role in recent decades, too.
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Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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