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

From: Wade T.Smith (
Date: Sun Apr 22 2001 - 21:59:07 BST

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Fwd: The rage for destruction at libraries"

    Received: by id WAA22969 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Sun, 22 Apr 2001 22:02:55 +0100
    Subject: Re: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics
    Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 16:59:07 -0400
    x-mailer: Claris Emailer 2.0v3, Claritas Est Veritas
    From: "Wade T.Smith" <>
    To: "Memetics Discussion List" <>
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
    Message-ID: <[]>
    Precedence: bulk

    Hi Trupeljak Ozren -

    >How can you walk the earth and find it a sphere?

    Hmmm. I think Aristothanes (or some greek bearing long sticks and
    protractors) beat me to it....

    >> Don't get me started on NLP....
    >Please do:

    This is from the Skeptic's Dictionary ( )
    and I quite agree with it-

    "NLP is said to be the study of the structure of subjective experience,
    but a great deal of attention seems to be paid to observing behavior and
    teaching people how to read "body language." But there is no common
    structure to non-verbal communication, any more than there is a common
    structure to dream symbolism. There certainly are some well-defined
    culturally determined non-verbal ways of communicating, e.g., pointing
    the back of the hand at another, lowering all fingers but the one in the
    middle, has a definite meaning in American culture. But when someone
    tells me that the way I squeeze my nose during a conversation means I am
    signaling him that I think his idea stinks, how do we verify whether his
    interpretation is correct or not? I deny it. He knows the structure, he
    says. He knows the meaning. I am not aware of my signal or of my
    feelings, he says, because the message is coming from my subconscious
    mind. How do we test these kinds of claims? We can't. What's his
    evidence? It must be his brilliant intuitive insight because there is no
    empirical evidence to back up this kind of stuff."

    >I try
    >not to value ideas by the same values I ascribe to their human

    I have difficulty with that area too, perhaps in the opposite way you do.

    - Wade

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Apr 22 2001 - 22:06:13 BST