Re: The story-telling ape (was virus: Logic)

Marie Foster (
Wed, 15 Oct 1997 08:25:13 -0700

David McFadzean wrote:
> At 03:27 PM 10/14/97 -0700, Marie Foster wrote:
> >How do you fit self destructive behaviours into this model?
> The interest of the meme doesn't necessarily coincide with the
> interest of the host. This would help to explain phenomena like
> the wave of suicides that follows the suicide of a public figure
> such as Kurt Cobain. Is this what you meant?
> --
> David McFadzean
> Memetic Engineer
> Church of Virus

That was not the specific I had in mind but I like it better. In fact I
read this message as I was getting ready to leave my office yesterday
and I was stuck with the idea in my mind all evening.

Is there possibly some level where ideas have mass and energy? Perhaps
even organization? I just throw out those as points to ponder.

I find this kind of event to be pretty incomprehensible. I asked my son
what he thought about what might motivate such an individual. He
thought it was emotions rather than thought. But while I do think that
they must have been in an emotional storm there was a decision made to
commit suicide. I do not believe that decisions are made absent from
thoughts (or am I an exception to some rule?).

My only insight is that these individuals must have so submerged their
own selves that on some level they become the beloved. To shatter that
identification is to cause such a feeling of loss and anguish that the
idea of life becomes intolerable. This is just speculation however.

It would be an interesting undertaking to start the analysis of a
suicide meme complex. Direct interaction with individuals so consumed
would be problemetic however.