July 26, 2012
Communications designed to persuade mislead and damage you using untruths and half-truths is called propaganda.
Social psychologists define something called priming: unconscious memories influence your behavior. Sometimes fo a very long time. Through repetition (a form of brainwashing).
Franchising trade magazines and trade shows influences potential franchisees to see franchising (in relation to independent business) as lower risk and higher success. Banks write their booklets in a very pro-franchise manner. McDonald’s success and its use as a bell weather (“the McDonald’s of the poo-collection industry”) primes candidates to attribute success where none exists.
Neither of these “truths” is true but that’s irrelevant. By the time the candidate franchisee is looking the low risk/high success bias is part of their DNA. They’ve created a stereotype.
As the scientifically-based research indicates, just looking at words associated with either youth or old age influence how you behave.
What kind of chance do you think you have at a trade show or a franchisor’s open house when every tiny detail is controlled for a positive sales effort? No one’s brain is very good at defending against these extremely powerful persuasion trick and traps. The technology of franchising is the science of neutralizing your defenses and then when the financial loss happens, re-assigning blame from these techniques to you (ie. On Cooling the Mark Out).
—BBC Replicates Bargh’s Famous Priming Study at The Situationist, John Bargh
May 18, 2012
The real violence exerted by propaganda is this: by means of apparent truth and apparent reason, it induces us to surrender our freedom and self-possession. It predetermines us to certain conclusions, and does so in such a way that we imagine that we are fully free in reaching them by our own judgment and our own thought. Propaganda makes up our mind for us, but in such a way that it leaves us the sense of pride and satisfaction of men who have made up their own minds. And, in the last analysis, propaganda achieves this effect because we want it to.
This is one of the few real pleasures left to modern man: this illusion that he is thinking for himself when, in fact, someone else is doing his thinking for him.
And this someone else is not a personal authority, the great mind of a genial thinker, it is the mass mind, the general “they,” the anonymous whole. One is left, therefore, not only with the sense that one has thought things out for himself, but that he has also reached the correct answer without difficulty – the answer which is shown to be correct because it is the answer of everybody. Since it is at once my answer and the answer of everybody, how should I resist it?
— Thomas Merton 1915 -1968
February 8, 2011
Northrop Frye saw through hype.
From The Developing Imagination [this post]:
It is of course true that a great deal of trash which passes as literature, or at least as entertaining reading, also articulates social myths with great clarity. I read many of the novels of Horatio Alger at an early age, and as I have a good verbal memory, a journey round my skull would unearth a great many pages of some of the most pedestrian prose on record.
I wish very much that a surgical operation could remove it and substitute something better, but still Alger probably did me no permanent damage, as I was never inspired to adopt the virtues of his heroes, and this leads me to hope that the children of today may emerge similarly unscathed from their similar experiences.
[An Educated Imagination]
December 27, 2010
But you can awaken from this corrosive form of hypnosis.
Your job is to try to trust again. Ask your spouse and children to unhook you from the propaganda intravenous.
Start with trusting yourself.
— [This Ain’t Happiness]
December 23, 2010
It only makes it tougher.
For both of us.
September 15, 2010
Success propaganda this time quoted on Blue MauMau from an email from BeTheBoss.com:
Franchises have over a 90% success rate, compared to about a 15% success rate for those individuals starting their own business from scratch.
A bald-faced lie.
If I had a Rocket Launcher, Bruce Cockburn at Live 8 concert, introduced by Dan Aykroyd in, Barrie, Canada, 2005
Here comes the helicopter — second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they’ve murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher(3x)… I’d make somebody pay
I don’t believe in guarded borders and I don’t believe in hate
I don’t believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher(3x)…I would retaliate
On the Rio Lacantun, one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation — or some less humane fate
Cry for Guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher(3x)…I would not hesitate
I want to raise every voice — at least I’ve got to try
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate, echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher(3x)…Some son of a bitch would die
August 5, 2010
The greatest misrepresentation is: “franchises are less risky than independent businesses”.
- It is Große Lüge
- The Big Lie
- A propaganda technique.
Much of Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s work is about risk.
Humans are extremely limited in their ability to determine financial risk accurately.
It is now the scientific consensus that our risk-avoidance mechanism is not mediated by the cognitive modules of our brain, but rather by the emotional ones. This may have made us fit for the Pleistocene era.
Our risk machinery is designed to run away from tigers; it is not designed for the information-laden modern world.
Mom-and-pops who are 1st and only “one-off” small business owners face an impossible task in assessing franchise risks.