Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Secret Knowledge

I'm finally back to reading David Mamet's "The Secret Knowledge".   This post is mostly to make note of a couple of passages for future reference.

In the chapter The Monty Hall Problem he talks about how people in business especially will try to make it seem like he's giving you a deal when in fact you do he really isn't.  Not to say that businesses do't give deals to undercut their competition and/or gain more of a customer base.  This is something my younger boy who runs a Security business was talking about the other day.  He saw an ad from a competitor that sounded like a sweet deal.  A low price to get a security system installed, and a health alerter "free".  Of course, it was something that  everyone gets anyway when they get this system.  He called and pretended to be a customer to check out the deal, and it turned out that the offer was limited like to two doors and a window, and that any others would cost .... basically twice what his company would charge, but they'd cut you a "deal" and charge what my son would've bid in the first place.

Or some companies advertise "free" installation .... with a three year contract where they charge you an extra $15 a month over what he would charge you .... so you end up paying for your "free" system over time.

I'm sure my buddy who oversees the advertising/production department at a big radio conglomerate knows all of this stuff all too well.

Anyway, David talks about how this stuff is as old as the hills -- this making the customer feel like he's getting a deal when in fact he is not.  It's all about perception.  And he brought up the book "Sharks Don't Get Cancer".  Basically you are therefore to buy and consume shark cartlidge to avoid getting cancer.  Huge supposed payoff for relatively little, but it adds up for the huskster.   David then points out that Buicks don't get cancer either, but nobody goes out and licks Buick bumpers.

Anyway, I found that amusing.

The other quote was when talking about his formal liberalism and his turning point to seeing the light --
"I thought 'the government' was good.  What case could I point to to support my feelings?  The Emancipation Proclamation and the Voting Rights Act.  Then I would have to stop and think. 
It was, of course, easier to worship my own capacity for 'good thinking' than actually to think, which is to say to compare my actions to my results."  (em. mine)
He goes on to say that he tired of it and found he preferred the company of those who are proud of their country and proud of their religion (Mamet is a Jew -- but he doesn't only hang out with Jews).

In other words, people who watch Fox News ;-)

Which is more people than those who watch all the others combined.

What did Beck say?   We Surround Them.

And they cower when confronted with their lack of depth.  Or they implode and then go supernova.  Which fortunately just makes it worse.  For them.

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