1993-10-24 - Re: Subliminal Channels

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From: Alexander Reynolds <chrome@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu>
To: “Robert J. Woodhead” <trebor@foretune.co.jp>
Message Hash: 4acdcd33994b914d49560c49f8855629664ebe2fc8164ff02f1f84a5a46cf72f
Message ID: <Pine.3.05.9310232101.A28131-c100000@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu>
Reply To: <9310240134.AA14181@dink.foretune.co.jp>
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-24 02:03:08 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 23 Oct 93 19:03:08 PDT

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From: Alexander Reynolds <chrome@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu>
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 93 19:03:08 PDT
To: "Robert J. Woodhead" <trebor@foretune.co.jp>
Subject: Re: Subliminal Channels
In-Reply-To: <9310240134.AA14181@dink.foretune.co.jp>
Message-ID: <Pine.3.05.9310232101.A28131-c100000@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu>
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> Alas, almost every study that has been done on "Subliminal Seduction"
> has generated negative results.  The famous Movie theatre experiment, for
> example, was totally uncontrolled -- and did Key mention that it was
> done during a heatwave, with broken air-conditioning in the theatre?

That wouldn't explain the rise in sales of popcorn, a hot food.

> Moreover, tests of the "embedded sex objects" hypothesis don't pan out.
> It turns out that (a) people don't notice them unless they have been
> predisposed to (ie:"find the penis in the photo") and (b) whether or
> not there is an embed in the photo has no meaningful effect on the
> viewer.

Advertisers have found that such "artists jokes" as you call them are
profit makers.  Explain why almost 90-95% of all hard liquor ads show a
glass filled with ice.  Ice is a subliminal artist's wet dream; there is
much to be airbrushed inside a piece of ice.  Explain why advertisers will
spend millions on an ad campaign in a magazine, where people only spend
1-2 sec MAXIMUM on that ad.  These guys who run the businesses know what
to spend the money on and where.

> Basically, human beings are pattern recognition machines.  We _love_
> patterns so much that we tend to see them even when they aren't there

The idea of subliminallity is that you _don't_ see it when it _is_ there.

> a big stimulus to you.  So guys like Key, who are looking for patterns,
> will find them everywhere.

Key tried to go on Canadian TV awhile back with a program about his
research.  It was pulled after direct intervention from advertisers
threatening to pull their ads if the show went on; the TV execs behaved
predictibily.  Why were they so scared of something which you see as a joke?

> Deliberate embeds in advertising are almost without exception artists
> jokes.  

That's right, advertising companies pay commercial artists dollars in lost
profit to play jokes.

> And most perceived embeds are simply random things about the 
> image that our minds are organizing for us. 
Yes, but on a conscious level organization takes place.  Subconscious
thought is different.

Alex Reynolds