Re: virus: New Ideas

Tim Rhodes (
Sat, 24 May 1997 14:29:27 -0700 (PDT)

On Sat, 24 May 1997, Chris Lacey wrote:

> Specifically, how does a person who is good at being "Machiavellian"
> bring another person around to their own veiwpoint? One might start by
> asking questions, either directly or inderectly - much like a
> psychologist, or judge, or salesman. Why would they do this? Well, if
> one wants to communicate a concept or value (self-esteem, law, a
> product), it often helps to understand the other's assumptions and
> predispositions (low self-esteem, moral development, desire/need to
> buy). Questions can also build rapor, and desolve new meme barriers.

They also create, by their asking, a memetic environment. Questions are a
fabulous way of sliding memes in just under the radar. "You want a clean
house, don't you? You want your family to be healthy, don't you? So you
want to buy the vacuum cleaner today, don't you?" Getting the right
answer is just a matter of asking the right questions. That's why surveys
are more useful for shaping opinion than polling it.

-Prof. Tim