High-tech sociology update
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 93 15:58:30 PST
Subject: High-tech sociology update
From: "Charles A. Bigelow" <bigelow@CS.Stanford.EDU>
> And from the Jan/Feb issue of _Health_ magazine p. 53:
> Talk About Paying Through the Nose...
> Bill-collection agencies in England began lacing their invoices with a
> product containing androstenone, a chemical secreted from men's armpits
> and groins that is known to be a sex attractant in some species. In one
> preliminary study, mailed invoices treated with the product resulted in
> a 14 percent higher payment rate than untreated bills.
The species in which androstenone is a particularly powerful sex
pheromone is swine. Hardly surprising, therefore, that bill collectors
would be attracted to it. Commonly called "boar taint", androstenone
is available in a commercial spray-can product. It really excites the
sows! A particularly fine picture of the product in use as an aid to
artificial insemination of hogs can be seen on page 350 of the
September 1986 National Geographic.
Not all humans are able to detect the smell of androstenone. It often
follows the law of thirds: a third of the people tested can smell it
and like it; a third can smell it and don't like it; a third can't
smell it at all.
[Proposed legislation will make that the Law of Fourths: a fourth of
the people can smell it and like it; a fourth can smell it and don't
like it; a fourth can't smell it and like it; and a fourth can't smell
it and don't like it. It's much more democratic that way (and avoids
the taint of smellism). -psl]
© 1993 Peter Langston