Re: virus: Tabacco mind virus

Eric Boyd (
Fri, 01 Aug 1997 14:41:07 -0500

Eva-Lise Carlstrom wrote:

> But attempting to convince someone to do something that is against his or
> her own best interests, including even suicide, is not the same thing as
> doing it or getting someone to do it for you. Memetic influence, even
> when used in the service of sleazy causes like cigarette advertising or
> encouraging murder, is not deadly force.

So you do not think that the leader of the Heavens Gate folks was at all
to blame for their deaths? After all, they drank the posion of their
own free will. It was his memetic influence that did it, though.

> It's not a question of degree of directness, it's a question of kind of
> pressure. Like the difference between seduction and rape.

A fine line, to be sure. Especially if the seductor (seductress?) is at
all experienced. The deal is, playing on someones "buttons", if you
know how to do it, is a very powerful method of control. Me, I'm not
sure that I wouldn't put some guilt on the seductor too.