Re: playing at suicide

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Sun Jan 06 2002 - 16:16:25 GMT

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    From: "Grant Callaghan" <>
    Subject: Re: playing at suicide
    Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2002 08:16:25 -0800
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    I find the case of the little boy particularly instructive. My own theory
    on memes is that they are tools used by people to accomplish certain goals.
    This is how they are spread and why they are chosen. The little boy was
    trying to use the meme he thought his little sister had used to get
    attention and affection. He saw that this was an effective tool when used
    by his little sister. All memes are acquired, used and passed on in this
    manner. The only exception is memes that are invented by the original user.
      Using this criteria to decide what is and is not a meme provides a basis
    by which to define and categorize memes for further study.

    Thank you for providing me with this example.

    Grant Callaghan

    The means you use shape the ends you get.

    >From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
    >To: <>
    >Subject: Re: playing at suicide
    >Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002 16:57:20 +0100
    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: Edward Turner <>
    >By the time elders arrived after hearing the cries of the other children
    >present, the little girl was dead.
    >Later, an elder brother of the baby tried to do the same thing, according
    >a relative.
    >The boy said he wanted his parents to weep and show concern for him just as
    >they had when the baby had died.
    >His parents and other brothers are now keeping a vigil on the boy, as he
    >threatened to kill himself at a later date.
    >Police urged parents to have an extra close eye on their children, but many
    >have urged the government not to allow TV channels air programs which can
    >negatively influence the young."
    >Hi Edward,
    >A sad story indeed, but no more than a childs play turned into a disaster.
    >That the little girl, ' baby ', imitated her brother and his friends, or
    >matter the people in the TV serial, I can understand, but not the rest that
    >The death of the girl is an unlucky accident, not related in whatever way
    >to the TV serial.
    >The behavior of the elder brother is puzzling but can be explained in easy
    >terms, not that it would be easy, but to put forward such an incoherent
    >statement makes me doubt the reliability. But that is not our concern.
    >What makes me wonder is the behavior of the boy. Indirect it can be
    >explained as an act of courage in conformity with chivalric honor and
    >behavior. In some mids a common practice and as the story runs in the
    >arabworld, where boys are to be known more cared for than girls, not
    >that surprising. He would than already be educated in a variety of
    >opinions concerning his belief and status.
    >Direct, an egoistic, male- gender driven behavior. Not that much sur-
    >prising either. Boys are to be known to be jealous of their baby- sister.
    >Of course, the threat to kill himself at a later date is of some concern,
    >but best explainable. His conscious plays games with him. Not sur-
    >prisingly, he feels guilty for the death of his little sister.
    >And, of course, there is the expected and obvious exaggeration by the
    >people who urged the government to act.
    >How many children did see the same show and did nothing !?
    >The negative influence of any show is yet to be proven, but that negativity
    >plays a certain role in many psychological disorders is a fact, but that is
    >not the whole picture. The reaction of the public is a classic example of
    >pathogens at work.
    >Best regards,
    >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)

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    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)

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