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- To: "bryan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Beyond Ontologies/ transmission and tracking of chain letter mutation
- From: "James Governor" <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 05:37:47 -0500
- Cc: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Thread-index: AcOHOtKJIg401kcyQDuvWQM/y/76igAAboSw
- Thread-topic: Beyond Ontologies/ transmission and tracking of chain letter mutation
I noticed similarities between Bryan's idea of tracking evolutionary
changes across web communities and a study published in the June 2003
issue of Scientific American.
Researchers tested algorithms used in analyzing evolutionary biology
against a different complex system--that is, transmission of chain
letters across the network of faxes in the world, and subsequent
The result of the study? Same Shit, Different Complex System...
here is an abstract online: unfortunately the article isn't free.
[[The letters are an intriguing social phenomenon, but we are also
interested in them because they provide a test bed for the algorithms
used in molecular biology to infer phylogenetic trees from the genomes
of existing organisms. We believe that if these algorithms are to be
trusted, they should produce good results when applied to chain
From: bryan [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 11:04 AM
To: 'Roger L. Costello'
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Beyond Ontologies
The problem with complexity is that just about everything is a complex
system when considered deeply enough.
Studying of complexity in a web environment sounds interesting, I wonder
what kind of experiments could be constructed. An obvious sort would be
transmissions of viruses, email lists, and so forth.
With the Rummy World here is a possible scenario: compose ten reasonably
similar phrases, have them repeated a number of times on various popular
blogs, see how prevalent these phrases become in the exoteric culture.
Variations of this would probably be superior for purposes of studying
Semantic Changes across a web culture. (neat title for a thesis there I