[ExI] How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue May 31 17:30:08 UTC 2016



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace

>…Are you upset that marketers of other products and services study psychology hard to sell you their offerings?


Nah, not at all.  I see the fields of psychology and marketing has having merged in a sense.  Back in the long time agos, the 1970s, it was hip to have a psychologist.  It was sort of a status symbol.  We saw the Bob Newhart show which was one of the funnier ones of its day doing subtle parodies on people who didn’t need a psychologist for anything other than status.


>… Madison Avenue or its like have been around a very long time and with the progress of psychology they have gotten better and better…


Well, OK.  If they make me want their stuff, then we both win in a sense.  They get paid and I buy their product.


>…They want to make you want what they are selling.  As old as selling…


Ja.  It is one of those cases of legal yes.  Ethical: maybe.  Plenty of yellow flags in the ethics department.  I would think marketing would be a fun job, but I wouldn’t go there because of the ethical dilemmas when your job is to sell stuff you know is crap.


>…Can sales techniques and marketing be immoral or even illegal?


Sure, but mostly when it is aimed at kids, who cannot reason.  Those who were children in the 1960s (not hippies, I mean were actual elementary school children then) may have fond memories of cartoons and how they incessantly hammered the sugary breakfast cereal with about as much nutritional value as the colorful ad-filled box it came in.  Those who were hip kids knew the stuff was nutritionally worthless.  Some of us could feel a difference when we stayed with our own grandparents who didn’t eat that stuff and didn’t have it in their houses.  They ate actual food in the morning.


What about entertainment-linked marketing?  60s children, do you remember when Underdog was getting his ass kicked, he would say in a weary defeated Wally Cox-ish voice “The secret compartment of my ring I fill with an Underdog super energy pill.”  He eats one, boom, whoops everybody’s ass.


OK so we see little plastic rings with a compartment marked with a U and several sugar pills.  Fair game?  Well hard to say.  Copyright infringement.  Possibly disappointed kids who found they couldn’t fly after eating one, but most kids would know it was just a toy.


I would have fun doing beer commercials and ads aimed at guys.  Women?  I would suck.  Kids?  I wouldn’t go there.


>… What if it's subliminal?  bill w


BillW, do you remember when the notion of “subliminal seduction” was all the rage back in about the 70s?  I did object to that at the time.  I made it clear that I didn’t want any of that subliminal jazz; I wanted to be seduced the old fashioned external literal physical way only.






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