Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id VAA20724 (8.6.9/5.3[ref firstname.lastname@example.org] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from email@example.com); Sat, 21 Apr 2001 21:30:49 +0100 Message-ID: <003801c0caa6$eb3254a0$6f03bed4@default> From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <Kenneth.Van.Oost@village.uunet.be> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> References: <2D1C159B783DD211808A006008062D3101745DC9@inchna.stir.ac.uk> Subject: Re: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics ( Long Draft) Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 23:05:48 +0200 Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1" Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit X-Priority: 3 X-MSMail-Priority: Normal X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2314.1300 X-MIMEOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.00.2314.1300 Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Vincent, you wrote
> I saw a TV series a while ago about cannibalism in the animal world. One
> example was of a mouse who ate its offspring, after a cat uncovered the
> mouse's burrow (is that the right word?).
<< Yes, you are right, here. I got the same information somewhere hidden
in my writings. In a sense you can compare what the mouse did and what
the people did in those cases I mentioned.
Anyway, back to your own hobby horse, is that the right expression !?
> The later point about the media as a trigger, or as Robin mentioned, as a
> kind of tipping point, I still think is problematic. Not necessarily in
> sense that it's incorrect, but more in the sense- of well what do we do
> about it if this is true? Now, personally speaking, as a libertarian I
> real problems
> with this because it inherently limits freedom of speech, and won't impact
> on rates of these kind of behaviours ( in the same way that death
> do nothing to crime statistics- well apart from adding state-sanctioned
> murder to those lists...).
<< I thought it might be problematic for you, so I wish to comment
further on this subject in order to straiten things out.
But first, have you read my post to Wade, what do you think !?
Of course, to ban the media is absurd, but IMO it needs to charge
itself with a deonthological code.
Let me explain my point of view.
Media ( TV here), is devited in two forms of entertainment, one, those
programs which come to meet the public wishes. Nowadays these
are programs like Call 911 and Amazing Video's. Somewhat sensa-
tion-seeking TV programs.
The second category are those more intellectual programs, human-
interest- programs, made for the likely buiseness man, the sales mana-
gers,... most of the time also distributed at a later hour.
Here IMO you already see an interest- contrast.
The first category seeks out the rapid, the quick light consumering
reports, not mush of info, but more sensations, the explicit images, no
The second category seeks it deeper, more info, more specifications,
it goes further than the images, it shows somewhat the consequences.
Both categories are, and for the second unfortunely, bound to ratings,
bound to commercials, to advertising. We are customers, we pay for
what we like to see. The program- makers make what the ratings
figures tells them.
But, media as a whole has also a role to play in society and can easily
make or break it and therefor IMO it is its duty to inform in all the ways
possible and therefor it needs IMO not to warn people not to commit
suicide, but to tell people where they can actually turn to when things
might go wrong.
But, and that is IMO the problem, in both ways, that is by the common-
sensation- seeking program the people who watch these shows don 't
really care what the subject is ( it is entertainment, they like to watch
if they don 't recognize anyone), so additional info is a waste of time.
And IMO, most of those viewers don 't understand the problamtic
nature of subjects like suicide, incest, murder and adultery anyway, so
why bother !?
In the other way people seem to see human- interest programs more
as moralizing sermons, suicide is forbidden, incest is taboo, murder can 't
be done and adultery gets punished. Such crap is American- style but
holds a possible solution in itself.
Wouldn 't it be better to make soaps wherein the problematic nature
of any kind of subject is well explained !?
I mean, showing a suicide to get more viewers is one thing but trying
to get the public understand why is another. IMO, you can do that
within the context of the soap. Maybe an idea for program- makers !?
You can first, make more episodes and second you reach out to those
who are/ were devoid from info. And more important, you learn...
you memetically engineer people to see/ watch out for the points which
make up a suicidal process. But this must be done in a not moralizing
sermon- way. Program- makers ought to be even more subtle and
inventive than they are today. ( Reality TV within the context of soaps).
Anyway, such a solution depends on what TV channel is it, the IKON
in the Netherlands, a catholic channel, wouldn 't be keen to give adresses
of hospitals where you can have a penis- enlargement.
Also, they could explain it within a Christian context where having children
is important. To get the necessary tools for it....go to....
Anyway, media IMO should inform people in need, should allow people
to have plenty to say about themselves and should stimulate people to
care for themselves. For this you need to give people information and
the right information and that is something what the media don 't always
does and if she does it, she don 't reach the people she must.
As long you will have certain distinctions within society you will have
the distinction within the media, but it is up to the media itself to see
trough and above the ratings. On the other hand, the public itself here
is wrong in seeing the media as the guilty part. The public ought to look,
to learn about the problematic natures of certain subject presented on
TV, but they only seek a hour of entertainment. You can 't blame them
for that, but IMO that says more about the public than it says something
about the media. Media, IMO has to stop to run after the desires of the
public, but that could be in itself a vicious circle....
( I am, because we are) luckely not a media effect
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