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

From: Robin Faichney (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 12:36:00 BST

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    Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 12:36:00 +0100
    Subject: Re: Is Suicide Contagious? A Case Study in Applied Memetics
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    In-Reply-To: <[]>; from on Sun, Apr 22, 2001 at 12:51:37PM -0400
    From: Robin Faichney <>
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    On Sun, Apr 22, 2001 at 12:51:37PM -0400, Wade T.Smith wrote:
    > Hi Robin Faichney -
    > >Are you trying to say that you admit it happens but you don't believe
    > >in it?
    > No, I'm saying, as I say about gods, some people believe in 'em, follow
    > 'em, pray to 'em, but never have they shown 'em to anyone else.
    > You can call things whatever you want, but, proofs require proof, not
    > simply nomenclature.
    > Hypnosis as a behavior is not contestable. It is cultural. But as a
    > scientific method with a verified mechanism it certainly is.

    As I recall it, we were talking about memetics, not hypnotism. I think
    you're being sceptical about something you've yet to define, and that's
    pointless. Decide on a definition first, then consider whether such
    things exist. Otherwise you're just floundering.

    On my definition, the existence of memes is quite uncontroversial,
    and stands in need of no substantiation, being even less contestable
    than hypnosis as a behaviour: replicating patterns in human behaviour.
    If anyone ever whistled a tune they'd heard, memes exist. If hypnosis
    is a more-or-less identifiable thing that some people claim to do and
    others believe they've had done to them, memes exist. But I realise
    not everyone shares my definition. It's a pity! :-)

    Robin Faichney
    Get your Meta-Information from
    (CAUTION: contains philosophy, may cause heads to spin)

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