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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Focusing On Language: Designing Methodologies [One]

Linguistic analysis is our best approach in designing a methodology of memetics.  Words provide us with a record.  Though meanings of words change over time and have different emotional values for different people, if we account for these variations, words prove to be a good foundation for quantitative (not just qualitative) analysis. 

Here is a brief sketch of how a methodology for analyzing memeplexes might work:

We need to look at how a memeplex interacts with individuals, its environment and itself.  To understand how a memeplex functions, I propose three levels of analysis.  The Personal & Social, Ecological and Ideal levels of analysis.

Personal & Social:  Understanding how a memeplex interacts with how a person thinks and how they encounter and respond to their environment is accomplished through qualitative interviews and observational notes.  This level of analysis is important for the field of psychology / mental health.   Of equal value is understanding how a memeplex regulates behaviors and thoughts, how it engineers a social structure.

Ecological:  This level examines how memeplexes compete for resources and spread through populations.

Ideal:  Linguistic analysis of holy texts, official publications, or massive collections of correspondence can provide a baseline of what the ideal expressions (social, political, psychological, economic, etc.) of a particular memeplex are and how it has evolved. 

[Side Note: General quantitative analysis can be accomplished through Linguistic Analytics (mathematics).  An example of this can be found at in the talk  Mapping Ideas Worth Spreading.]

Continue to Focusing On Language: Don't Reinvent The Wheel [2]

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