Re: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Sun Apr 15 2001 - 16:21:56 BST

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    Subject: Re: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics
    Date: Sun, 15 Apr 2001 08:21:56 -0700
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    Do the memetic elements of suicide make it more or less contagious?
    Do the negative aspects of suicide make it a negatively reinforced meme?

    Memetics and Social Contagion: Two Sides of the Same Coin
    I have argued in a previous paper that for applied memetics, an inclusive and
    pragmatic working definition of a meme is the object of contagion (Marsden
    1998a). This is consistent with the popular understanding of memetics as the
    study of `infectious' elements of culture. By `infectious', what is meant is
    the quality of some acts, emotions and opinions, in certain contexts, to
    spread by exposure rather than by some deliberate attempt to influence (such
    as coercion or persuasion).

    --J. R.

    Useless hypotheses:
     consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
    analog computing, cultural relativism

         Everything that can happen has already happened, not just once,
         but an infinite number of times, and will continue to do so forever.
         (Everything that can happen = more than anyone can imagine.)

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