1993-10-24 - Re: Subliminal Channels

Header Data

From: rjc@gnu.ai.mit.edu (Ray)
To: chrome@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu (Alexander Reynolds)
Message Hash: da94d48092e44c5399223cf5fe94b44122093787d0186a7235381cbdadacde54
Message ID: <9310240300.AA19882@geech.gnu.ai.mit.edu>
Reply To: <Pine.3.05.9310232200.A4496-c100000@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu>
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-24 03:03:08 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 23 Oct 93 20:03:08 PDT

Raw message

From: rjc@gnu.ai.mit.edu (Ray)
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 93 20:03:08 PDT
To: chrome@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu (Alexander Reynolds)
Subject: Re: Subliminal Channels
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.05.9310232200.A4496-c100000@jhunix.hcf.jhu.edu>
Message-ID: <9310240300.AA19882@geech.gnu.ai.mit.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

[I know this shouldn't be here, but I can't resist one more response. According
to Skinner, I have no choice anyway. This is the last, I promise.]

Alexander Reynolds () writes:
> > pan out if you talk to anyone in the advertising business. 
> And exactly why should they be honest?  It doesn't profit to be honest.

  Look, I know people who work in the advertising business. Not bosses,
but workers. People whose's money isn't on the line.  People who haven't
signed non-disclosure agreements, people who are my friends. The idea
that out of tens of thousands of artists in the advertising business, NOT ONE
would come out and openly state what they do is as ludicrous as UFO 
conspiracies which require thousands of people to keep their mouth shut.

> > Hidden messages are noise compared to other dominate factors like humor
> > and flashy graphics.
> Yes, I agree, but to the _conscious_ level it is noise!

   Let me explain a simple concept. Humans send subliminal signals to each
other. It's called BODY LANGUAGE. And the visual system seems to be particulary
adapted to recognizing facial expressions, not penises or vaginas (things
which we do not look at as often).  Ads are dominated by people laughing,
smiling, and other positive images. They are also dominated by humor.
These psychological mechanisms are known to work. Advertisers would
much rather put their money in traditional proven techniques of appealing
to people than Freudian crackpot theories which have been shown to have
no effect by many studies. Do you think many of those subliminal tapes have
been removed from commercial sale by the govnernment because they work too
well, or because they never worked and people got ripped off?

> > _Clam-Plate Orgy_ is an example of Key's imaginative
> > and vulgar mind, not science. (was anyone aroused by this image? Even after
> > he drew in the little outlines, I still had trouble seeing anything
> > worth a hormonal response. I also hate clams.)
> If you don't want to accept something before first glance, you won't.

   I don't accept it because it's bunk. I studied _Clam-Plate Orgy_ very
carefully in challenge to another crackpot who bet me to read it. Now
your argument resorts to religious tactics "if you don't believe in it,
you don't want to believe. Blah blah."  On the other hand, you are
too accepting. You accept theories which are published no where else,
which are not accepted by the scientific community, and which lack scientific

> >   The subliminal movie images story is bunk, urban legend.
> No, actually it is very true and scary as hell.

  It wasn't a scientifically valid experiment. There are much more
simpler and credible explanations of why advertising works, and Occam's
Razor tells us to deposit Key in file #13.

> > -- Ray Cromwell        |    Engineering is the implementation of science;  
> > -- EE/Math Student     |       politics is the implementation of faith.    
> > -- rjc@gnu.ai.mit.edu  |                         - Zetetic Commentaries   
> Science is the faith in believing the universe is explainable, don't
> deceive yourself thinking otherwise.

  This is the second time you have attacked my signature. It is generally
acknowledged in net-culture that the attack of someone's sig represents
the loss of an argument. Should I be surprised that your attack on science
is nothing more than the simplistic "science is a religion" argument, that
you are succeptable to memes from non-scientific crackpots like Key, and
in the same message you reference Skinner and social-science which is at
best dismal. I bet you are a great follower of his Chomsky-ness too.


P.S. I am taking this arguement off cypherpunks. I will probably repost
my respones to sci.skeptic tommorow, perhaps Alex will have the guts to
debate it there.

-- Ray Cromwell        |    Engineering is the implementation of science;    --
-- EE/Math Student     |       politics is the implementation of faith.      --
-- rjc@gnu.ai.mit.edu  |                         - Zetetic Commentaries      --