In the journals entitled “Virtual Urban legends:’ Investigating the Ecology of the World Wide Web” by Edmund Chattoe and “Emotional Selection in Memes: The Case of Urban Legends” by Chip Heath, Chris Bell, and Emily Sternberg, the spread of urban legends across the internet is the issue at hand. While Heath, Bell and Sternberg seem to take a more direct view on the issue making the point easy and with lots of examples and studies done to check the psychological and emotional effects it has on the general public, Chattoe takes a more complicated path, making the urban legend seem almost like a virus or a parasite of the internet tracing the evolution of the urban legend over time, giving the internet a biological view. Instead of just loads and loads of information the internet it’s just another life form. Both journals are very well written and it looks like all of the authors did a lot of research for their particular paper, some of the cited work I have been able to identify,
and have read it myself, most of the websites used as reference are the leading ones in the field of urban legend research. It does not really help in finding out the emotional and psychological effects have on the general public as Heath, Bell, and Sternberg"tms article. A "successful"tm replicator in this context is a tune or joke which can "get itself"tm transmitted continuously. Chattoe mostly explains thru out the paper the evolution of an urban legend and how it propagates over the internet, this could be very useful for somebody trying to track down an urban legend or trying to predict the mutations a certain legend will have during a certain period of time. And although Chattoe"tms paper seems more in depth, it concentrates more on the evolution of urban legends (or as he calls them "replicating messages") thru their time on the internet. And although Chattoe does a very well job explaining how a urban legends replicates it uses to much technical wording on his paper, leaving some of the readers confused. Heath, Bell, and Sternberg"tms journal is full of useful information, giving dozens of examples of different urban legends. What is memes As Chattoe puts it "Richard Dawkins coins the term "meme"tm for a social replicator, the examples he uses are tunes and jokes. The most interesting part of the journal is how they explain that not all urban legends evoke negative or positive emotions. But as Chattoe uses that theme continually on the journal, Heath, Bell, and Sternberg limit its use only to describe an urban legend. Chattoe"tms views the urban legend as a virus, replicating itself all over the internet via memes. While Heath, Bell, and Sternberg concentrate more on the emotional and psychological effect these myths have on the general public. And how this deals on how each legend is going to be taken by the general public and how much does the particular legend is going to last. And giving explanations on how each one affects the public, and why they have lasted as long as they have.
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