Re: Cookie Folklore

Greg Laden (gladen@HUSC.HARVARD.EDU)
Sat, 25 Nov 1995 20:19:25 -0500

On Sun, 26 Nov 1995, Dave Rindos wrote:

> I agree! Can anybody provide some analysis/references for these "highly
> contagious" texts? It seems they represent a particularly odd kind of
> cultural transmission.... One is forced to wonder why they should exist
> at all... but since they do, what aspect/s of cultural transmission are
> they exemplfying???

There was a piece in Nature by, I think, Dawkins (possibly Harvey, or
maybe both, but anyway, one of those guys) about chain letters as
replicators. I'm currently collecting data on e-mail chain letters,
posts like the "good times" virus, and this cookie business and hoping
that a colleague of mine will agree to basing a frivilous theoretical
paper on this. There are some intersting differences between chain
letters and this sort of thing, including the evolution of immune systems
on Listserver systems!



Greg Laden
Department of Anthropology
Harvard University
11 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge MA 02138

"It is a wise child that knows his own father."

"It is a wise father that knows his own child."
--William Shakespeare