Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id NAA10590 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Wed, 18 Apr 2001 13:27:25 +0100 Message-ID: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745DAC@inchna.stir.ac.uk> From: Vincent Campbell <email@example.com> To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com> Subject: RE: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 13:24:02 +0100 X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21) Content-Type: text/plain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Precedence: bulk Reply-To: email@example.com
>> In order for suicides to be truly contagious one has to surely
> >> that the conditions which conventionally lead to suicidal tendencies
>> what are being transferred. I don't see any evidence of that.
<What do you mean by "conditions"?>
Sorry, very poor choice of phrase. But I suppose I mean that
witnessing a suicide on a TV soap, is very different from experiencing
neglect, or abuse, or clinical depression.
<Can a non-suicidal (or near suicidal) person hear of a suicide and
then go and
> feel depressed? Can this depression resonate with other feelings or lie
> dormant until it reaches critical mass?>
Well, I don't believe so, certainly not to the extent or with the
rapidity that the correlative data, that Paul refers to, suggests. Think
about it anecdotally- when was the last time you witnessed a suicide (or
murder) on TV and felt compelled to attempt it yourself? That's not how we
use the media.
>> If this were true, then by default it should be true of other
>> behaviours also- murder for example. Yet how many murders do
>> hear/read/see through the media relative to the number they
<Reading is only one form of memetic input. How about music, peer
> other vectors?>
The point still stands with regard to other forms of media input.
Social interaction on the other hand- like peer pressure- is something very
different. After all the outbreak of "contagious" suicide in- where was it-
Micronesia(?) seems to have had a lot to do with peer pressure.
<Here's the way Marsden put it:
> "This paper presents one vision of memetics, as an integrated part of
> social science investigating substantive issues of human experience.
> Understanding memetics as contagion psychology, using selectionist
> thinking to
> inform interpretation, is certainly not the only way to conceptualise the
> nascent discipline, but it is hoped that it is one that will allow
> after a quarter of a century of discussion, to start providing useful
> into real-world issues and problems."
> Opinion aside, I think it worthwhile to study the matter further.>
Oh yeah, agreed. I've read Paul's interesting piece. I actually
think my contention was not with Paul's ideas, but the way some on the this
picked it up rather too loosely.
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