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You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 24 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

This is from the October 24th, 2005 issue of TIME:

Neuroimaging is also extending into the fields of politics and commerce. Tom Freedman, a former senior adviser to the Clinton Administration, along with his brother Joshua, a professor of psychiatry at UCLA, last year founded FKF Applied Research, a company that uses fMRI to study decision making. In the run-up to the presidential election, they found differences in brain activity between Bush and Kerry voters when they were shown political advertisements. The Freedmans are also studying leadership qualities, by looking at how people's brains respond to an image of someone they would be willing to follow compared with that of someone they wouldn't. Both studies could help politicians hone their campaign messages to appeal more effectively to voters.

In other words, neuroimaging is telling politicians how to better playact in order to nonrationally persuade voters - which is just to say, how to better manipulate them. From the tone of the article, this is apparently a good thing. But don't worry, it gets even better.

Corporate America, meanwhile, is hoping brain scanning can help sales. "The big question for neuroeconomics is, How does the human brain make decisions like which car to buy or what to have for lunch," says Antonio Rangel, director of the neuroeconomics lab at Stanford. Research is showing that the limbic system, which governs emotions, often overrides the logical areas of the brain, suggesting that the "rational actor" theory of economics misses deeper sources of motivation rooted in unconscious feelings and interpersonal dynamics. Instead of aiming at consumers' logical decision making processes, companies could perhaps appeal to the fuzzier side of how people feel about themselves and others around them.

In other words, rather than presenting consumers a rational choice (which they rarely do as it is), marketers are honing more sophisticated conditioning techniques - they are intentionally trying to avoid the 'logical mind,' which demands pesky things like reasons and evidence for the claims being made. And again, this is apparently an exciting new thing, another blessing from Corporate America, which just happens to own and to advertise in TIME magazine.

Steven Quartz, director of the Social Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at Caltech, is one of many experts moving into neuromarketing. He is helping Hollywood studios select trailers for new movies by scanning viewers as they watch a series of scenes to see which ones elicit the strongest reactions in the parts of the brain that are associated with reward expectations. Quartz, who works in partnership with market-research company Lieberman Research Worldwide, is similarly scanning consumers to identify emotional reactions to TV commercials and to products' packaging design.

Of course, Hollywood has to tow the line. But TIME isn't so blithe as to suggest that this isn't upsetting some people...

Neuromarketing has its share of critics. Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert, a nonprofit group that Ralph Nader set up to monitor commercial forces in society, sent letters to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee in July 2004 calling for an investigation into the practice. Commercial Alert says it fears neuromarketers could "peer into our brains" and control our buying behavior. Joshua Freedman of FKF says such fears are misplaced. "Some people view this like Frankenstein and brain control, but I think that science, by trying to understand what goes on in human brains, should be very freeing by helping people understand how they make decisions."

Start a paragraph with a critical worry, but rather than explore the reasons why that worry might be legitimate, conclude the paragraph with a reason why it's obvious alarmist prattle. This is progress, after all, and the knowledge gained will be there for everyone to use. This, of course, begs the question of just who will actually use this information. The average consumer has no inkling the myriad ways they're manipulated as it is (because of the 'autonomy default assumption,' everyone always thinks it's the other guy who's being played). Now we expect them to keep abreast of the latest developments in neuromanipulation?

But just in case this bankrupt justification isn't enough, TIME thought they should provide another...

"This technology is unstoppable," says Stanford's Rangel. That is precisely what motivated Mazziotta to set up the atlas project in the first place: with the proliferation of scanning, there was a flood of information about the brain but nowhere to put it. "Up to now there has been no way to compare imaging work done in one lab to another, or from one person to another. We needed to have some way to organize all this data." The trick now is to figure out how best to use it.

In other words, put your bucket down, there's no way to stop this house from burning. Of course, the issue here isn't one of whether the 'technology is stoppable,' but one of how we, as a society, should regulate its commercial use - just as we do every other technology. The trick IS to figure out how to best use it...

But hey, Corporate America has your best interes - wait a second! That's right, they're mandated by law to serve only the interests of their shareholders, and no one else. It's just easy to forget, I suppose, what with all those ego stroking, glad-handing, utterly disingenuous commercials they beam into your home day and night. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by RiderOnTheStorm, Candidate

I cant say i am surprised by this. Its simply a natural evolution of corporate greed. Im sure that someone will be marketing a headset or some sort of apparatus that can plug into the media stream and filter out everything to flat text or some other sort of unemotional medium. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

I work in marketing. Maybe I'm not so alarmed by this. After all, what is advertising but the study of consumer behaviour, its results, and its theories manifested in sensory stimuli that has the very goal of bypassing rational behaviour and appealing to some emotional need?

Neuroeconomics just does a better job of this. Ultimately, there's an element of caveat emptor. Your job as a consumer is to see beyond the emotional appeal and make a sound judgement.

I look forward to the battle. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

You're the perfect person for this Echoex!

After all, what is advertising but the study of consumer behaviour, its results, and its theories manifested in sensory stimuli that has the very goal of bypassing rational behaviour and appealing to some emotional need?


Isn't this the very definition of manipulation? It's about pushing buttons, not making a case.

Ultimately, there's an element of caveat emptor. Your job as a consumer is to see beyond the emotional appeal and make a sound judgement.


There's the principle to consider as well. By treating us as brains, corporations are 'cutting out the middeman' and treating us out and out like mechanisms. Given the dominant institutional role played by corporations in our society, this is something that needs to be carefully considered.

Things are bad enough. As it stands, marketing largely treats us as animals, as something to be conditioned - trained. Think about it. This is literally what it does, now that it has pretty much given up informing and arguing. 'Branding' really is an appropriate name.

When you realize that you have a society bent on manipulation then suddenly the question of how 'consumer beware' fits into the moral calculus almost seems beside the point, doesn't it? Remember, caveat emptor is pretty much the rationalization used by conmen. I think it's clear that once marketing starts intentionally circumventing rational decision-making that it has become a kind of institutionally sanctioned con game.

It seems clear that we should do either one of two things: regulate the technologies and techniques used, or effectively (and all the weight falls on this word) educate consumers. Since the latter would involve teaching them critical thinking, and since that would mean lots of kids asking their parents lots of hard questions, we can pretty much guarantee it's not going to happen. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Entropic_existence, Moderator

I totally agree Scott, I had read an article in new scientist not long ago that dealth with the burgeoning fields of neuromarketing and neuroeconomics and to say the least my jaw hit the floor. It made me start to think of advertising as seen in Minority Report. Not only would companies be trying to bypass our rational thought but advertising is starting to move in a very personal direction. Where companies use records of your purchashing decisions to tailor advertising specifically to you. To say the least it is scary, and given the realtive ignorance of the bulk of humanity well.... things like buyer beware and placing the burden on the consumer is sort of like saying it's your dogs choice as to what pet food he gets served. Sure he can you know, not eat certain brands but ultimately he doesn't have alot of choice because you, the owner is calling the shots. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Lucimay, Subdidact

Cu'jara:

It seems clear that we should do either one of two things: regulate the technologies and techniques used, or effectively (and all the weight falls on this word) educate consumers



REGULATE?? in the US?? heh. you used the R-word!!!!!! the Right won't want to regulate as they want control and money, the Left won't want to regulate as it will be some sort of infringement on SOMEbody's SOMEthing!

regulate or educate. hmphf. good luck.

(jeez, i didn't realize i was so jaded!! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> ) view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

I think it's clear that once marketing starts intentionally circumventing rational decision-making that it has become a kind of institutionally sanctioned con game.


All marketing circumvents rational decision-making, Scott. That's why we buy Levi's instead of grow our own cotton. Someone tells us they can provide a service or a product in exchange for currency, and the value-laden benefit is that we get a warm, shit-smothered feeling for agreeing.

Consider this thread, even. It's fear-mongering. Guerrilla marketing. You're appealing to our basic need for privacy. This incites fear. Fear is an emotion. We agree with you because you've scared us. You've essentially manipulated us into agreeing with you. Now, if this was true, true marketing, you would have provided us with a 'call to action'. Some 'rise up and fight' statement to rile us against The Man. But you're a writer and I'm a marketer and we are where we are because of who we are.

Personally, I think neuroeconomics is a great idea. I look forward to the day when retailers know EXACTLY what I want to buy so I don't have to rummage through pounds and pounds of junk mail. I just hope my synapses remember to order the Victoria Secrets Catalogue like I asked them to. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Lucimay, Subdidact

VERY interesting perspective, echoex! you're so lucid and articulate that i'm forced to consider!!! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

VERY interesting perspective, echoex! you're so lucid and articulate that i'm forced to consider!!!


Is this sarcasm?
.Ex. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Lucimay, Subdidact

NOOO! not at ALL!!! i'm absolutely serious!!!

Consider this thread, even. It's fear-mongering. Guerrilla marketing. You're appealing to our basic need to privacy. This incites fear. Fear is an emotion. We agree with you because you've scared us. You've essentially manipulated us into agreeing with you. Now, if this was true, true marketing, you would have provided us with a 'call to action'. Some 'rise up and fight' statement to rile us against The Man. But you're a writer and I'm a marketer and we are where we are because of who we are.


i thought this was good reply!!!! i should have just said "good post" but i am having trouble with posting, something running slow, don't know if it's my machine (i'm at work) or this site or what. anyway, i was definitely NOT being sarcastic. i thought it was a good post!! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> that's why i smiled.
(do i have a reputation for being a smart*ss?) view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Murrin, Peralogue

I look forward to the day when retailers know EXACTLY what I want to buy so I don't have to rummage through pounds and pounds of junk mail.

The problem with this being, of course, that they're usually more concerned with what they want you to buy, not what you want to buy. If you accept this over-optimistic belief that, once they understand the way you buy more, marketers will only offer you what you want, then you become susceptible to being told what it is you want by people who don't care whether you really want it or not. You become accustomed to having them say "you wanted something like this, here it is", and then when they say "you want this too" you just accept it. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

You become accustomed to having them say "you wanted something like this, here it is", and then when they say "you want this too" you just accept it.


No offence, Murrin, but bully. At this point your mommy and I would ask you if you'd jump off the cliff, too. If you take for granted everything that an advertiser tells you, then you deserve what you get. Sprinkle a little bit of discretion into every decision you make. That's my suggestion.

At some point we have to start taking responsibility for our naiveties.

.Ex.

PS, Lucimay:

(do i have a reputation for being a smart*ss?)


Not at all. But I have a reputation for being an *sshole....
Thanks for the compliment! view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Lucimay, Subdidact

<!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> Echoex!!!!

(HEY! *pout* i need to work on my reputation!!!! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> )


marketers will only offer you what you want, then you become susceptible to being told what it is you want by people who don't care whether you really want it or not


are you saying you think marketers don't already tell you what you want, Murrin? i thought that was their JOB!! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

(as an aside Echoex, have your read Wm Gibson's Pattern Recognition? it's sort of related to this conversation.) view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

(as an aside Echoex, have your read Wm Gibson's Pattern Recognition? it's sort of related to this conversation.)


No, I haven't read it, Luce. I (and watch carefully, everyone) saw the book on the shelf. All its pretty colours enticed me and made me happy (emotional response), but I realized that I only had enough money for some smokes and a six pack of Moosehead, so I decided (rational decision) to give the book a skip (rational decision circumvents emotional response).

Now THAT'S sarcasm...
.Ex. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Lucimay, Subdidact

<!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->


i recommend it, especially given your profession! and here's a little book marketing aside...i am WAY more likely to buy a book, be it hardback with dust cover, trade pprbk, or pocketbook, if it has a MATTE finish cover!!! bizarre, huh? i have no idea why this is, i just noticed that i like matte finish better than gloss. weird. but i think this might be the case for a lot of people as i have seen an increasing amount of matte finish covers over the last few years. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Murrin, Peralogue

At this point your mommy and I would ask you if you'd jump off the cliff, too. If you take for granted everything that an advertiser tells you, then you deserve what you get.

Fact is, a lot of people will. Most won't even realise it. That was kinda my point. Advertisers will use these methods, and people will just follow along, and the advertisers will justify it by saying - despite all evidence to the contrary - that people are smart enough to think for themselves and that it's their own fault for letting themselves be so easily manipulated (but who was it who was trying to manipulate them in the first place, eh?). view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 26 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by RiderOnTheStorm, Candidate

I can see definitely military applications to this as well. The Brass could have a breakdown on exactly how each soldier will react to particular pitches. They might be able to shape each soliders pitch so that they can individually assure that everyone is as focused and hyped up as can be. Soldiers are only going ot get more wired and this sort of approach could reap 'rewards' from taht. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 26 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just for clarity's sake, Echoex, how would you define the difference between conditioning others and rational engaging them?

Which approach do you personally use with your family and friends, and why?

All marketing circumvents rational decision-making, Scott. That's why we buy Levi's instead of grow our own cotton. Someone tells us they can provide a service or a product in exchange for currency, and the value-laden benefit is that we get a warm, shit-smothered feeling for agreeing.


You make it sound as though marketers circumvent our rational side for our own good. Is that what you're suggesting?

Consider this thread, even. It's fear-mongering. Guerrilla marketing. You're appealing to our basic need for privacy. This incites fear. Fear is an emotion. We agree with you because you've scared us. You've essentially manipulated us into agreeing with you. Now, if this was true, true marketing, you would have provided us with a 'call to action'. Some 'rise up and fight' statement to rile us against The Man. But you're a writer and I'm a marketer and we are where we are because of who we are.


To agree with me for fear's sake would be irrational. It's an inducement to believe (one mastered by many politicians, past and present), but it isn't a reason to believe. The question, Echoex, is whether the fear follows from the reasons (which it does in this case), or whether the fear does the work of reasons. This is not a fine distinction: it really marks the difference between engaging others in the attempt to reach rational consensus, or pushing buttons in the attempt to get people to do what you want them to do. The first, for example, is the supposed cornerstone of our democratic institutions.

Are suggesting that this shouldn't be the case?

Personally, I think neuroeconomics is a great idea. I look forward to the day when retailers know EXACTLY what I want to buy so I don't have to rummage through pounds and pounds of junk mail. I just hope my synapses remember to order the Victoria Secrets Catalogue like I asked them to.


What you're talking about is so-called 'narrow-casting,' which I'm neither for nor against. I'm apprehensive about the idea of corporations possessing marketing dossiers on me (any of you who have Air Mile cards or some such, you should know one of their primary purposes is to track your consumption). But like you, I would appreciate being left out of all the marketing dragnets I find myself in.

Think of your argument here, Echoex. You're saying that neuromarketing will make your life more convenient, banking on the implied assumption that whatever is more convenient is obviously good - which is false. Some conveniences are horrible. The question here is pretty important: do we want to live in a society whose most powerful institutions literally treat us as mechanisms? As soon as corporations begin treating us like brains, they're no longer treating us like people, end of story.

Your answer seems to be: If it makes life marginally easier, then hell, yes.
Are you really arguing this? view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 26 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

Just for clarity's sake, Echoex, how would you define the difference between conditioning others and rational engaging them?

Which approach do you personally use with your family and friends, and why?


The difference is in the approach, I suppose. Rational engagement requires a presentation of all the facts and an open invitation for the individual to form his or her own opinion on the matter. Conditioning others requires much more propaganda and one-sidedness.

There's no blanket answer to your second question. Different situations call for different approaches. I have a four year old son. I try to steer him away from certain evils. I don't tell him that -- if he chooses candy for dinner -- he'll enjoy the taste much more than broccoli, but if he chooses it, it will make him sick. I tell him to eat his bloody broccoli.

You make it sound as though marketers circumvent our rational side for our own good. Is that what you're suggesting?


That's not what I'm suggesting at all. I'm suggesting that we can't blame an advertiser for doing his or her job. We choose to agree or disagree with what advertising tells us. I market pizza. You eat pizza once a week. I can provide you with a very suitable emotionally-driven argument why you should add one more meal occassion to your week (using various sensory stimuli) and you'll either agree or disagree with me. I won't be held responsible if you spend your last $20 on my pizza.

To agree with me for fear's sake would be irrational. It's an inducement to believe (one mastered by many politicians, past and present), but it isn't a reason to believe. The question, Echoex, is whether the fear follows from the reasons (which it does in this case), or whether the fear does the work of reasons. This is not a fine distinction: it really marks the difference between engaging others in the attempt to reach rational consensus, or pushing buttons in the attempt to get people to do what you want them to do. The first, for example, is the supposed cornerstone of our democratic institutions.


You're absolutely right. There is a very definite distinction between the two. As mentioned earlier, one requires a clear and unbiased presentation of all the facts, followed by an invitation or opportunity for the individual to compose his or her own opinion. The 'pushing buttons' approach is much less forgiving. It invites emotion into the equation long before the facts are presented. The individual is responding emotionally (and has likely made up his or her mind) before he or she has a reason. For example, if R. Scott Bakker had intended the former, he might have titled this discussion "Neuroeconomics: Its benefits and disadvantages to both marketers and consumers." Instead, R. Scott Bakker titled this discussion "You Should Be Afraid...Very, Very Afraid."

Your answer seems to be: If it makes life marginally easier, then hell, yes.
Are you really arguing this?


No. I'm arguing that neuroeconomics does little to make me very, very afraid because I have the good sense to let ration interfer with my emotional responses, and in this instance I see no rational reason why marketers shouldn't know exactly what I want. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 26 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Am I ever glad I took that philosophy course in my last year of university dealing with metaphysics, and glad we had thay intro primer on logical arguments otherwise I don't think I could follow this debate. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

As Scott said, the biggest fear isn't so much marketers knowing what I want (while I value my privacy and am loathe to have them know everything, sometimes them knowing enough for targetted marking is better) it's them knowing exactly how to manipulate me in order to make me believe that what they are selling is what I want. Sure that is what marketing tries to do now, but neuroeconomics brings it to an unprecedented level, which is what makes it frightening. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 27 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

I don't have much time at the moment, but I wanted to reply to a couple of your points. By the way, I'm really enjoying this, so no matter that I'm right, no hard feelings...

Anyone who went back to the old 30's and 40's format of actually providing evidence and facts to sell products would go bankrupt in short order.


Now, I wasn't around in the 30's and 40's. And I was still in bagdad in the 50's, 60's, and most of the 70's, but there's more truth in advertising today than there was in the early-to-mid 20th Century. Cigarette companies, anyone? What was the term used to describe cigarette companies' approach to getting children accustomed to smoking (by introducing candy cigarettes)...early actuation for later realization? Something like that.

My title is my conclusion. But you already know this, since it's the very thing you're disputing! Which makes this argument seem, well... opportunistic.


Your title induces a pre-conceived assumption on the part of the reader that he or she should fear, or respond emotionally, to the contents of your email. You've manipulated the reader's perception by setting him or her up with the notion that the contents of the post are scary.

That is all for now. I am off to make Tikki Marsala Chicken.
.Ex. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 27 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Scariot, Commoner

I'm shakin in me booties. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 27 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

The big move to associative as opposed to informative advertising started happening after WWII. Think of the typical adds you see from those days: chock full of claims regarding quality and performance. That's not to say they weren't often out and out deceptive. But at least they made claims that you could evaluate. How the hell to do you evaluate 'positive identifications'? Most adds you see nowadays have very little cognitive content.

And they work. I find that more scary than anything else!

The title stuff strikes me as a red herring. What does it have to do with the question of whether we should be afraid of neuromarketing? view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 31 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Scilvenas, Auditor

First, the obligatory Fight Club quote:

All a gun does is focus an explosion in one direction. You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don't need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don't really need.


Second, Echoex, when you say caveat emptor, that people should make their own rational decisions, stand up for themselves, well... isn't that what Scott is doing? But instead of responding to each individual ad, he's responding to the tactic. Even more to the point, the response is in response to previous generations of advertisements. I'm sure you're aware that some ads have adverse reactions (for example, the gubernatorial race here in VA took a turn for the worse recently when the Republican candidate argued a bit too fervently for the death penalty), so advertising has already predisposed a decent segment of the population to this position.

I know it's in your best interest to promote a general bonhomie for advertising, but you appear, to me, to be saying that the only valid reaction to advertising is a positive or null one. Even if there was some small print at the end of an ad saying something to the effect of "this ad made with neurocasting technology" (wasn't a similar kind of warning proposed for genetically modified foods?), the truth of the situation is that the advantage of resources is still overwhelmingly in the corporate court. The balancing factor is the one of personal choice, and if efforts are made to circumvent that... view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 31 October 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

That's a great way to pose the problem, Sylvanus. It's what I was trying to get across with my clumsy con man analogy.

I think it's obvious that we should be deeply concerned with the way things are trending in marketing. But being critical is the easy part. The hard part is determining the appropriate social response.

Just to put a spin on the debate, here, people should remember my old rants against expressivist theories of art, and my suggestion that writing be considered a form of 'consensual manipulation.'

I get the feeling it could complicate my position. <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: --> view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 27 November 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Anonymous, Subdidact

DELETED view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 30 November 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Scilvenas, Auditor

Why do I find myself suddenly wanting to cheat at cards and hook up with women. Damn you neurocasting!!!! view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 15 December 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Artful, Candidate

You're taking this too seriously. The tactic of appealing to emotions instead of logic has been known for the entire span of human history and been exploited for just that long. All human politics have been based on exploiting this. At best, this represents a new research tool.

Personally, I'm more worried about the unification of media and culture in an effort to make everyone respond the same way to the stimuli revealed by such research. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 28 December 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

Just because something wrong has been practiced for thousands of years doesn't make it any less wrong. Manipulation has been around as long as rape and murder.

What makes things particularly troubling now is the way 'bypassing the logical mind' is being intstitutionalized, the resources commanded by these institutions (corporations have far more control over our lives than governments), and the technological sophistication of their tools. Modern advertising literally constituted the greatest propaganda effort in the history of the human race. Never in our history has any society employed so many talented individuals in the attempt to manipulate mass human behaviour.

Add to that the fact that we are at an unprecedented juncture in our history, one where we need our 'logical mind' more than ever. view post


You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 31 December 2005 in Author Q &amp; AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Cu'jara Cinmoi, Author of Prince of Nothing

The ploys of advertisers are indeed clever and insidious but can we honestly say that a high school education does not supply the critical skills needed to see through them? And even with the widespread introduction of user-pays education most of us have the opportunity to go beyond high school and enter tertiary education. Of course if someone does not exercise (or even develop) these critical skills then that is their choice. If we need a "logical mind" I believe that the current institution is doing a good job to develop it.


I think they're doing a good job convincing people they're critical thinkers. I think it's patently obvious that highschools are doing anything but teaching people how to think critically. The same pretty much goes for universities, outside of bona fide critical thinking courses.

Have you ever taken a critical thinking course? If so please tell me just where and how those skills are learned anywhere else in the education system. view post


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