On the mathematics of Memetics
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CitationHaldar, Indrajeet. 2022. On the mathematics of Memetics. Master's thesis, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
AbstractAs technology, embeds itself in almost every facet of our society, new rules of interacting
and signalling emerge, specifically in the case of mass communication. These new imitated
non-genetic behaviours that are called memetics are the chief area of inquiry of this thesis.
The thesis is an exploratory project in which I present a study of memetic social behaviour
and how belief structures form amongst groups online. I specifically look at the case of
Reddit. More interestingly, I look at early belief propagation, how and what causes
conflicts amongst these groups, and the interdependence of beliefs and the conflicts that
result in the mutation and spread of memes. I hypothesize and verify that these belief
spread methods are a function of the differential rates of updates in the belief sets of the
groups. In the process of enquiry, I draw upon existing trans-scaler methods of studying
social behaviour and build upon them to introduce new metrics based on proxy
information as derived from sentiment data of messages exchanged amongst groups.
Subsequently, I present a method by which to plant these ideas, in this case, memes, so
that they may propagate most effectively amongst people as a verificatory process.
Lastly, I examine other online spaces where these memetic exchanges take place and
speculatory prospects of applying these methods and tools that were developed; looking at
the case of fake news and response methods that are proactive as opposed to reactive
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37372334