10/09/2019 (Wed) 22:53:17
It is trivial to exploit our human propensity for imitation and conformity to create and propagate beliefs and behaviors (fads, trends, crazes) in a culture for marketing purposes or for social control.
It's a commonsense observation that such phenomenon, ripe for exploitation, are used by individuals and interested in directing our collective attention and the future course of human psychological, social and economic development.
Pop culture is not the organic phenomena it appears, but a cultivated cultural medium engineered to permit rapid introduction and transmission of fads trends and for conditioning consumer behaviors. Historical change doesn’t just happen. It is engineered.
Cultures where commerce controls media and where art is used to sell consumer goods have the power to engineer psychological operations which induce delusions and powerful contagious mental illness; collective insanities or psychogenic illnesses. Historical incidents and many of the known forms of contagious psychogenic illness are described in "Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Mackay, a book which every parent should read and summarize for their children to insure they understand.https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/24518
In recent years, we have seen mysterious maladies proliferate. Recently, American and European psychologists have been tracking the blue whale game, the momo challenge, and news stories written in a fashion calculate to prompt individuals susceptible to suggestion to huff wasp spray. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Whale_Challenge