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

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 11:18:48 BST

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    Subject: Re: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics
    Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 12:18:48 +0200
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Vincent Campbell <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2001 4:00 PM
    Subject: RE: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics

    > If this were true, then by default it should be true of other extreme
    > behaviours also- murder for example. Yet how many murders do people
    > hear/read/see through the media relative to the number they actually
    > If that souns ludicrous, that's because it is. The psychological state of
    > suicide (or other states that relate to extreme behaviours) is (are) not
    > contagious, IMHO.

    Hi Vincent,

    << Well here you make an very interesting difference !
    What could be the difference between committing suicide or trying to and
    committing first degree murder !?
    And yes, how many people would commit murder after hearing, seeing or
    reading about one !?
    What is the difference if not IMO cultural/ social and psychological !?

    IMO suicide is connected with personality and identity more than those
    are connected to murder. Murder is wild, rude, messy.
    Suicide or the attempts to it are in the public eye more connected with
    pain, trouble, problems... people understand the reason why somehow.
    With murder they don 't see the reason why not so directly, murder is
    a hidden element although many observable and non- observable charac-
    tersitics were visible. People does say, well it has to come to this, I knew
    it !!
    What did they know !? The same can be said about suicide.

    Here again, IMO the group mentality, the herd- instinct is still playing
    it's part. We do nothing as the us surrounding group does nothing.
    After the murder, after the suicide when the group starts talking we also
    are willing to declare our vision.
    But anyway, why suicide and not murder !?
    I think it has a lot to do with the group- mentality forces.
    Murdering a group member did in those days diminished the survival
    ability of the group, suicide did the same thing, but in the end you loose
    only one member. By murder you loose at least 2.

    To go back on the subject as you have written it down, it would be very
    interesting to know in what way the psychological states of suicide and
    murder are contaigon or not !? And what makes suicide more contaigon-
    like than murder !?
    And in addition, what about a lynch- party ( sorry Aaron), the scape-
    goat- principle where " murder " is committed by a group by the former
    and spirit away by the " suicide " of the victim by the latter !?

    I think it is worthwile to study the matter further....



    ( I am, because we are)

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