Re: Breath Mints: A Hot War for America's Cool Mouths

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Mon Feb 25 2002 - 16:27:08 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Breath Mints: A Hot War for America's Cool Mouths
    Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 17:27:08 +0100
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Wade T.Smith <>

    > On Sunday, February 24, 2002, at 05:40 , Steve Drew wrote:
    > > I think it was Aaron who warned about business using memetics. Don't
    > > know
    > > if this is what he had in mind.

    > Memetics is also being linked more and more to economics. (Not
    > unjustly....)
    > I just want 'memetic engineers' to call a spade a spade- and be known as
    > marketing consultants.
    > And unless I know more about them, that is what they are to me.
    > As for 'dangers', I do not accept that hypothesis. Ideas have always
    > been dangerous. They, like guns, do not do the actual killing. The
    > danger lies totally, IMHO, at the feet the person using the weapon.
    > Memetics is not a form of weaponry.

    Hi Wade, Steve, all,

     It all boils down to economics, IMO_ sales rates must be higher all the
    time ! And such a conception can be linked to an extreme narcism of
    people/ companies and those people who runs them.
    It is a dangerous situation if memetics/ memes/ thoughts and their conse-
    quences are under the spell of any possible control system, whatever the
    reason !
    In economics the welfare of any company is linked to its own inner need
    for affirmation, to be something... being in the position to sell something.
    Memetic engineering and advertising are just possible tools.

    What follows is such an example,

    The return of the blue chocolate,

    Lovers of colored chocolates did noticed it: the blue M & M 's are
    removed from the packages.
    Last year this little blue brother was anounced with all the grandeur
    possible, but after only four months the producer Mars decided to
    quit. Not because the blue one was not a good idea, but to let the
    customer complain. In such a way Mars could evoke a blue madness
    among the public.

    Via advertising commercails on TV, in the media and everywhere it
    was possible the Dutch public was held to stand up and a special hotline
    was opened where ' angry ' M & M 's fans could protest.
    The very first day a hundred callers answered the hail.
    Also mathematics examined the case, how many blue chocolates came
    in one package !?
    In our country ( that will be then Belgium, because this appeared in a
    magazine over here) we can only complain if we fill in the so called
    boomerangcards found in bars/ cafe's ( for free) and send them back
    to Mars. Only than, Mars will listen to its costumers, and eventually
    we will see the return of the blue chocolates in the packages.

    << Strategically a good way to remove the opposition, but don 't you
    think this is a little bit out of control !? Using memetics in such a way
    is in my opinion ambiguous_ that is no longer trying to sell a product
    but to influence people mentally.
    I agree that memetic engineering is trying to do the same thing, but
    IMO, they are trying it for the better, not to sell their ' product '.
    I understand that sounds suspicious and you are probably right, but
    for the time being I see memetic engineering, and only that, as a tool,
    so to speak to make people " understand " that there are other ways to
    solve any possible problem.

    I use the memetic- theory daily in my work, I need people to get things
    done in a reasonable ( economical) time. Without my ' expertise ', let
    me allow the use of this word, I don 't get the work done !
    Where is the danger in this !? I do indeed influence people, I don 't
    ' change ' them, and in the end of the day both parties go happily home,
    what harm can be dome !?
    There are other ways than speeding up a conveyor- band to its limits
    to get an economical result out of people....

    ' Changing ' people is make them believe that a fresh mouth is a dis-
    postion of being somebody, belonging to some artificial identity... that
    is IMO dangerous. And in a way, memetically speaking, wiping out the
    bacteries responsible for the dental decline is not a good idea.
    Together with its disappearance the bias for getting atleast one iden-
    tity will too, you need that kind of dichotomy to get cultural evolution
    and memetical evolution.



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