September 23, 2014

3:35 PM | Spurious correlations at Occham’s Beard festival
Mark Dingemanse and I will be appearing the Discovery Festival in Amsterdam on Friday.  We’ll be talking about spurious correlations in language and culture as part of the Occam’s Beard symposium. The idea is to take some real data, then throw away Occam’s razor and go after the most complicated explanation possible. I foresee no […]
9:39 AM | The Direction of Cultural Evolution, Macroanalysis at 3 Quarks Daily
As soon as I finished up my series of posts about Matt Jockers, Macroanalysis: Digital Methods & Literary History, I set up a file on my Mac for further thoughts, knowing full well I’d keep thinking about the book. I’ve now posted the first of those continuing thoughts at 3 Quarks Daily: Macroanalysis and the […]

September 19, 2014

8:42 AM | Language Evolution at Nacht van Kunst en Kennis festival
This year’s Nacht van Kunst en Kennis Science Festival in Leiden features an experiment on language evolution.  Come and take part in our interactive iterated learning experiment at the Museum Boerhaave from 19:30 on Saturday 20th September. Mark Dingemanse, Tessa Verhoef, Shawn Tice, Marisa Cassillas and I will be there to answer questions.  Our results […]

September 09, 2014

12:51 PM | Report on Cultural Evolution for the National Humanities Center, Revised Edition
Back in 2010 I wrote a piece for the National Humanities Center (USA), Cultural Evolution A Vehicle for Cooperative Interaction Between the Sciences and the Humanities, which is online at their Forum along with comments. I have since revised it to include a section on Jockers, Macroanalysis: Digital Methods in Literary History (2013). You can […]

September 03, 2014

6:18 PM | Reading Macroanalysis: Notes on the Evolution of Nineteenth Century Anglo-American Literary Culture
Matthew L. Jockers. Macroanalysis: Digital Methods & Literary History. University of Illinois Press, 2013. x + 192 pp. ISBN 978-0252-07907-8 I’ve compiled all the posts into a working paper. HERE’s the SSRN link. Abstract and introduction below. * * * * * Abstract: Macroanalysis is a statistical study of a corpus of 3346 19th Century […]

September 01, 2014

3:59 PM | From Macroanalysis to Cultural Evolution
The purpose of this post is to recast the work reported in Macroanalysis: Digital Methods & Literary History in terms appropriate to cultural evolution. The idea is to propose a model of cultural evolution and assign objects from Jockerss analysis to play roles in that model. I will leave Jockers’ work untouched. All I’m doing […]
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