Posted November 19th, 2011 by Murray By Moonlight
Filed under: That Pop Cult Thing, The Truth Is Less Strange Than Fiction
Tags: entertainment, mass hysteria, not of this world, radio
There’s an interesting article on the BBC News site that discusses the hysteria that is often claimed to have swept across America in 1938, during the live radio broadcast of HG Wells’s War Of The Worlds.
According to the article, some people did react to the broadcast with fear, however time has inflated these numbers to nothing less than mythic proportions.
Posted January 21st, 2011 by Murray By Moonlight
Filed under: False, That Pop Cult Thing, The Truth Is Less Strange Than Fiction, Urban Legends, Viral Marketing
Tags: Scarelore, Technology
Cell phone popcorn: faked as part of an advertising campaign
This is probably old news for some, but I thought I’d mention it as a friend on Facebook shared this video as being true.
This video was produced by French marketing company, LastFools, for mobile accessory manufacturer, Cardo Systems, who make headset systems.
The video, of course, went viral, and while there are a lot of demonstrations on sites like YouTube that you can’t pop popcorn with mobile / cell phones (my favourite one demonstrates that you can ‘do’ the same thing with bananas), there are obviously people who are still encountering the original viral marketing campaign for the first time.
Further reading: Videos of ‘popcorn’ mobile phones faked
Posted August 8th, 2010 by Murray By Moonlight
Filed under: Scarelore, That Pop Cult Thing, Would You Believe...?
An article on the Salem News web site suggests that the mystery of the disappearances of ships and planes within the Bermuda Triangle is no longer a mystery.
While not a new theory in itself, the article reports the research of two Oceanographers into the likelihood that the disappearances have been caused by massive releases of methane gas from the ocean floor.
For the article: How Brilliant Computer Scientists Solved the Bermuda Triangle Mystery
Posted October 5th, 2009 by Murray By Moonlight
Filed under: That Pop Cult Thing
Just a quick heads-up that Pop Culture Zoo has published an interesting interview with Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, of MythBusters fame.
Posted February 15th, 2009 by Murray By Moonlight
Filed under: That Pop Cult Thing
Tags: chain email, internet, research
Slate.com has an interesting article examining the way internet chain emails and web content work.
Writer Chris Wilson focuses particularly on the ‘25 Things About Me’ meme in Charles Darwin Tagged You in a Note on Facebook, providing some in-depth analysis of the way chain content spreads across the Facebook network, and likening its progression to the same way a disease operates when infecting new hosts.
While this may seem a little dramatic, Wilson is by no means the first to draw a comparison between chain emails and other web content to the way viruses work in evolutionary biology.
In fact, the field of Memetics is devoted to exploring the way informal information spreads among groups of people, modelling this spread along evolutionary lines.
Much as Chris Wilson writes, in Memetics a new idea, custom or belief — a meme — must be transmissible to a large group of people or it will be unlikely to survive. The implication isn’t that the meme itself wants to survive, but that the people who accept or participate in it want it to survive to varying degrees. In this way a meme can be thought of to work exactly in the way a virus might – to survive, the meme must spread, often mutating  in the process to become more adaptable to other hosts.
Some memes are much more efficient at ‘infecting’ new hosts than others. For example, chain content that is both alarming and at least a little believable  can often spread across huge groups of people, working on the ‘just in case’ principle. Other memes might work simply by being appealing in some way to a wide number of hosts, while still others operate on an implied obligation and reward basis.
Why this is interesting in the study of Urban Legends and folklore is that it helps us understand the very human process of wanting or feeling obligated to be ‘involved’. The motivations of each individual who forwards or changes a chain email might be different from person to person, but across groups of people we can begin to see that memes communicate because they are suitable in some way to each individual who participates.
To read the original article, visit: Charles Darwin Tagged You in a Note on Facebook
|1.||I.E. developing new details or attributes, as a virus might, as people refine the meme before sharing it on with others.|
|2.||Though often not true!|