Overview of Memetic
A Proof of Stake and Proof of Work hybrid cryptocurrency platform for the Kekdaq decentralized Meme hashing exchange and IPFS meme storage platform.
Is the Empirical Data Set Adequate?
6.6Likewise, one must acknowledge reservations concerning the data set.Although Murdock (1967) provides extensive annotations concerning caveats or inconsistencies in the data, it is often impossible to translate such comments into digital representation.In particular, the non-quantitative nature of much of Murdock’s data is difficult to reconcile with an approach which takes individuals rather than populations as the agent units.Thus, as mentioned above, a ‘first-past-the-post voting system’ has had to be adopted to translate meme frequencies in the models into absolute qualitative values that are comparable with Murdock’s data.A population that just falls below the 50% cut-off will be recorded as “not-A” and one that exceeds it by 1% will be recoded as “A”.6.7Some lighter comparison is also possible with other data sets.Previous work on transmission mechanisms among Stanford undergraduates revealed that certain traits were more likely to be transmitted in the family, e.g..religion and politics (Cavalli-Sforza et al.1982).The relevant politico-religious traits here are “High Gods”, “Jurisdictional Hierarchy”, “Succession to Office of Local Headman”, “Class Stratification” and “Slavery”.These all fall into the central group that are consistent with being drifting or naturally selected horizontal traits or vertical traits.However, “Caste Stratification” is interestingly at one extreme end of the spectrum, looking rather more like a contagious or naturally selected trait (Table 3 and Figure 5).The Unexpected Position of Linguistic Affiliation
6.8It was previously noted that “Linguistic Affiliation” falls into a cluster where vertical transmission is unlikely.This appears to be counter-intuitive, as languages are primarily acquired within families, and indeed this is central to their use by Guglielmino et al.(1995) as markers of vertical transmission.Guglielmino et al.(1995) assume that any trait correlated with Linguistic Affiliation is primarily vertically transmitted.6.9There are two alternative possibilities that may account for this apparent discrepancy:
There are factors missing from the model.In particular it suggests that some account must be taken of concerted migration patterns.The degree of clustering of Linguistic Affiliation can, given the known historical record, be a result of radiation of languages through mass migration.Migration is modelled here as essentially an individual activity, which may fail to capture what may be an essentially communal tendency of migration in human history.There has been some mass Linguistic Affiliation contagion event in the past, for example imposition through conquest, the effects of which are still being seen in the data set, even though the actual primary transmission method is vertical.6.10Murdock’s data set is primarily one of indigenous cultures.Thus although there are entries for “New Englanders” and “Brazilians” as colonial groups, the majority of African, Australian and American cultures listed are pre-European incursion.Therefore the contagion/imposition of Spanish/Portuguese to South America and English to North America etc.are scarcely represented.However, it is possible that some pre-European linguistic contagion/imposition events are evident in the data.For instance the issue of Indo-European language diffusion versus demic expansion (i.e.large-scale migration driven by population pressure) is still a controversial archaeological issue (e.g.Renfrew 1987).More Realistic Parameters
6.11Finally, it should be remembered that the mean values for each set of simulations (Table 1), and hence the z-tests to the empirical data (Table 3), involve a randomised set of starting parameters for each simulation.Thus the empirical data is tested for consistency with all possible parameters of a simulation.Narrower parameter ranges could produce models with far tighter standard deviations.These could then permit more precise z-testing of the empirical data.6.12This paper is designed as an initial approach to the quantitative study of social contagion through the use of ethnological data and its comparison with computer simulations.It is hoped that some of the analyses presented here will stimulate more exact hypotheses concerning individual traits and their cultural evolutionary trajectories.
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