Saturday, 14 September 2019

Why Suggest A Bridge Between Scotland and Ireland?

Popularity develops through the snowball effect and the bandwagon effect. Some things or people are popular because they're useful, solve a real problem or are widely appreciated for some intrinsic quality: the wheel, a rock song/group, the telephone...  But what if you have nothing genuine to offer? How do you create your own snowball and bandwagon effects out of thin air? 

You do what every snake oil salesman in the Wild West did, what Bernie Madoff did, what every religious sect leader has done, what reality TV show producers do - and what the likes of Farage, Johnson and Gove have done...

You create or 'boost' something hugely ambitious, unique, deceptively simple, vaguely plausible but not actually 'real' in the sense of being achievable or demonstrable. Something in which your victims can only have faith.

Committing to solve a really big, actual problem is out of the question. Firstly, it's really hard and will take a long time, because it involves changing actual behaviour and fighting inertia - the resistance to change. Secondly, it won't make you exclusively popular because you'll likely be competing with lots of others trying to solve the same problem. You won't stand out in the crowd. You won't capture peoples' attention.

And real problems won't capture your followers' imagination or their faith.

To make your victims cling to their belief for a long time, you also need a goal that’s really big and ambitious - because, if they go for it, a big project will commits lots of people, money and resources that can't easily be redeployed.

And if the goal isn't 'real' it can never quite be achieved or delivered or found (think the Holy Grail): the quest is never-ending. Once you’ve got your popularity snowballing it's just about the journey, not the destination. Nobody wants to stop believing (and spending). Negotiating trade deals is an endless process - the job of leaving the EU successfully will literally never be "done". There's no easy way to leave the cult. Inertia is now on your side!

Here are some examples of projects that were or are hugely ambitious, deceptively simple, vaguely plausible but not actually achieved or achievable that seem to have been conjured up to boost someone's popularity... You'll see that Johnson's proposal for a bridge between Scotland and Ireland fits right in - get that feasibility study started!
  •  Farage's decades long quest for Britain to leave the EU;
  • the 'Leave' campaigns, as backed by Johnson/Gove and Farage/Banks;
  • donate X% of your income for eternal salvation;
And finally, a word from the perpetrator of the biggest fraud of all time... (or is it?)...

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails