Re: applied memetics (ignore last)

Aaron Lynch (
Thu, 03 Sep 1998 00:48:55 -0500

Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 03 Sep 1998 00:48:55 -0500
From: Aaron Lynch <>
Subject: Re: applied memetics (ignore last)

Jane Harmon wrote:

>Aaron Lynch wrote:
>> (Previous copy was missing attributions.)
>> Richard Brodie Wrote:
>> >Tim Perper wrote:
>> Tim Perper:
>> ><<Over the years of studying courtship and seduction, I've drawn two
>> >conclusions. One is that there will never be lack of entrepreneurs who
>> >want to sell "guaranteed" seduction techniques, and the other is that no
>> >such things exist.>>
>> Richard Brodie
>> >Tim, I suspect no one will argue with your first point; your second,
>> >however, is easily disproved by counterexample. The Ross Jeffries products
>> >are indeed guaranteed; anyone who does not successfully seduce three "hot
>> >babes" in the first year is offered their money back. What you probably
>> >mean, though, is that no seduction technique will work for all men at all
>> >times on all women. I suspect no one will argue with that either. Even
>> >Jeffries claims only 70% efficacy with his techniques even when mastered.
>> Tim's full message was not posted to this list. If he had posted to the
>> public list, he would probably have checked his words more carefully. I
>> suspect that by "guaranteed" Tim meant something like "foolproof," though
>> we have to ask him for his meaning.
>> Commercial "guarantees" are often empty gimmicks by companies knowing that
>> only a minority of dissatisfied customers will go to all the trouble of
>> repackaging a product, mailing it in, describing the problem, etc. to get
>> their money back. When the product is sexual, I suspect that embarrassment
>> lowers the rate of applications for refunds even lower. And in the event
>> that Ross does not honor each legitimate guarantee claim, how many men will
>> want to go through a public process of complaints and lawsuits? Not many.
>> Potential claimants know this in advance, which can further discourage them
>> from even asking for the refund.
>This reminds me of the (no-doubt apocryphal) story of an excellent - and
>possibly quite legal - scam; a particular company offered 'marital aids' for
>sale, either on the Internet or in magazines, when they in truth had no stock
>of any sort. People would order the implements, and some months later receive
>a letter to the effect that the company in question had gone out of business,
>and enclosed, please find a check for a full refund. The scam worked because
>the check was made out to the account of a company with a name like ANAL SEX
>TOYS, or something, and they were reasonably sure that a large percentage of
>their would-be clientele would rather lose the money than deposit the check.
>And it only required that *some* of the refundees not cash their checks for
>the scam to be profitable.
>This scam has been discussed on alt.folklore.urban, but alas, I cannot recall
>whether or not they determined if it were true or legend.
>[NOTE- the above tale is in no way meant to be a reflection on the
products or
>services under discussion, about which I lack the information to have an
>opinion.] - Jane

Interesting story, Jane. A business such as that could still be prosecuted
for fraud in the U.S., though I do not know as much about the laws in the
countries where those "high level" speed seduction seminars seem to be

There is, of course, the old saying "There's a sucker born every minute." A
lot more businesses apply this principle than currently apply real memetic
science. Unfortunately, as with other sciences, memetics has a
corresponding pseudoscience tagging alongside it.

Another point about "guarantees" is that even when a disatisfied customer
*does* demand his money back, there is be no practical way for him to prove
in court or elsewhere that he did not have the minimum number of sex

I gave an invited lecture on sexually transmitted beliefs to the Society
for the Scientific Study of Sexuality this summer, and none of the
presentations mentioned our, uh, "Einstein" of seduction. I heard people
speaking favorably of Timothy Perper, however.

Real, socially beneficial applications of memetics are being developed by
large philanthropic institutions, but "speed seduction" is not part of this.

--Aaron Lynch

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)