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From att!uunet!mcvax!diku!stodol Thu Jun 15 15:53:06 1989
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Date: Thu, 15 Jun 89 20:16:45 +0200
From: David Stodolsky <uunet!mcvax!diku!stodol>
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Memes, marketing, risk perceptions.

I must agree with the earlier comments on the 
concept of memes. Some years back, I was interested in this 
and tried to find solid scientific support for the use of the 
concept. I had no success. Right now I am doing research on 
infectious agents in both biological and informational systems and 
would be very pleased to find a new concept to cover both 
areas. So, where is the most rigorous presentation of the 
concept of memes?

In terms of the applicability to the problem of "selling" 
cryonics, the meme concept seems inappropriate. Especially in 
the USA, the marketing and advertising fields have developed 
very rigorous and well proven methods for selling almost 
anything. A good, but older reference on "social marketing" is 
Kotler, P. and Zaltman, G. , (1971, July). Journal of Marketing, 3-12. 

With reference to the comments on risk perception: 
The standard way of "rationalizing" risk perceptions is through 
insurance. I am glad to hear about efforts to make reanimation 
a warm and loving experience and of "buddy" plans to ensure 
people are reanimated. But, I would prefer to have insurance 
as a guarantee, and I think most people would find this more 
convincing (This also fits in with social marketing, as it 
converts an intangible into a tangible item that can be sold). 
For instance, could an insurance company sell reanimation 
insurance? The company would ensure maintenance based on 
interest on the principle sum until such time as success in 
returning a person to useful functioning was 99%. It could then 
apply the large principle sum to reanimation and rehabilitative 
treatment, and still be left with some cash as a profit. Thus, it 
would be to the advantage of the company to do the reanimation.

For a more academic approach, can somebody read and report on: 
Kasperson, R. E., Renn, O., Slovic, P., Brown, H. S., Emel, J., Goble, 
R., Kasperson, J. X., and Ratick, S., (1988). The social 
amplification of risk: A conceptual framework. Risk Analysis, 
8(2), 177-188. These authors are some of the top people in the 
field and this is a leading journal. The article is followed by 
four commentary articles. If there is any way of using the risk 
concept in relation to cryonics, this is probably a good starting 
point. A citation search to see who has cited the lead article 
would be a next step. I would like to do this, but I have had the 
journal for over a month and have not had time to even read 
the main article.

David S. Stodolsky, PhD      Routing: <@uunet.uu.net:>
Department of Psychology                  Internet: <>
Copenhagen Univ., Njalsg. 88                  Voice + 45 31 58 48 86
DK-2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark                  Fax. + 45 31 54 32 11

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