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

From: Kenneth Van Oost (
Date: Sat Apr 21 2001 - 20:25:42 BST

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    Subject: Re: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics
    Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 21:25:42 +0200
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    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Wade T.Smith <>
    To: memetics list <>
    Sent: Friday, April 20, 2001 10:15 PM
    Subject: Re: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics
    > On 04/20/01 15:48, Robin Faichney said this-
    > >But is anyone really suggesting that genuinely
    > >non-suicidal people might be influenced to commit suicide?
    > More to my original ethical consternation about these experiments, and
    > JR's original wording, how else can you offer proof of influence except
    > that you've managed to make someone kill themselves?
    > And how can you prove that unless you have people who have no inclination
    > to do anything like that in the first place?

    Hi Wade,

    Just slippin' in,

    Cases like you mentioned above can be explained by the scape- goat-
    principle. If, in a sense you could prove that the media, or anything or
    anyone else uses that principle in their reports, writings and/ or sayings
    you have a point.
    If for example, the media in reporting about a recent suicide pin points
    its reports to the social background/ the age of the partents, the colour
    of the hair of the little girl,... in other words, marginals somehow than
    a group of people, and thereby influences others you have managed
    in a way that people would kill themselves who had no inclination to
    that in the first place.
    But that's need more examination though !!
    I don 't there is any report about such a subject avaible...

    But, for a good reference about the scape- goat- principle,
    Le Bouc Emissaire by René Girard, Grasset, Paris 1982
    Don 't know if any translation into English is avaible, maybe have a peek
    on the Net.



    (I am, because we are)

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