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>> this could be an example of a deliberate application of a variation on the
>werther effect (suicide
>> spates: see jom:emit paper) via martyrdom setting the example for the
>jihadi to follow
>> apparently some people are willing to down their lives in order to get
>Werther effect !? Suicide spates !?
>Please elaborate... I don 't understand this.
the werther effect (from Goethe's the sorrows of young werther) is where suicide becomes contageous
- that is, self-destruction is imitated - which can potentially lead to epidemics & so forth. The
w-effect seems to revolve around depressives gathering the nerve to make the final cut - a
comparatively simple meme. Marsden has something on it in the JOM: EMIT
Combine the suicide memes with the martyrdom meme (aligned with the holy salvation meme) and you
get the ultimate glorious sacrifice meme and a guaranteed (1 way) ticket to heaven - this offers a
very potent memeplex.
Dawkins gives the impression that religious zealots are a cheep and low tech solution for doing
something naughty. How a theocracy could pull off such a sophiticated act but blowing a building up
is besides the point. If i was sat in a differnt part of the world i might be asking as to how i
would strike against my oppressors - certainly i would need numerous heros willing to make that
ultimate sacrifice. Much of this seems dormant in the islamic memeplex (jihad means the struggle
and sacrifice for islam and doesnt necessarily refer to a holy battle). Holy sacrifice could be
reactivated given a sufficiently striking example by which to follow. The werther effect driving
holy sacrifice. IMO last tuesday's suicide attack was an attempt to exploit this effect for some
agenda (given the conventional framework of agency and intentionality).
Even if the attitude in america is to"round them up, put them in a field and bomb the bastards",
many people seem to be asking the'Why?' question. this isnt such a good question from the memetic
stance as somehow agency sneaks in and fingers of blame get pointed. I thinck that we (memeticists
that is) would benefit from viewing the situation not by asking why, but by looking for darwinian
processes in how it came about.
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