Blowhard Insight

David Mazzotta gets me:

The trick when surfing these days is not to find curious bits of entertainment news that is ahead of the curve, but to find high quality thoughtful posting; things of intellectual or critical value that you can really sink your teeth into. In that respect, the web is no different than any other source of communication. So let me recommend four “blogs” where I regularly find thoughtful posts. Were I still an old school blogger, I bet 80% my posts would come from these places.  First and foremost is Overcoming Bias.

Yes, thoughtful is what I’m trying for.  One of the other three blogs is 2blowhards, where I find this insightful gem:

Killing time waiting for The Wife at the hair salon, I leafed through some women’s magazines. … I had a good time noting down some of the fantasies … these magazines’ readers enjoy indulging in:

  • Spend a year in a foreign country, and you’ll discover your true self. …
  • Embracing who and what you are — whatever that means — will make you look ten years younger.
  • Jobs aren’t about selling something others are willing to pay for. Jobs are about personal fulfillment. …
  • Emotions — no matter which, no matter when — need to be faced and worked-through. Then you’ll feel great.
  • Following your instincts and your feelings will always work out for the best. …
  • The troubles of movie stars are just like yours.

No doubt marketing to men involves similarly implausible fantasies.  Marketing seems all about identity, something economists know relatively little about. Makes me want to study the subject more.

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  • http://fs.pkheavy.com zach kurtz

    is marketing about about identity, or is identity all about marketing? Meaning, do we market our identity to others and to what extent is identity affected by commercial and political marketing forces?

  • TGGP

    Bryan Caplan discussed marketing somewhat recently in the context of Geoffrey Miller’s book.

    I didn’t read much of his site, but Christian Lander worked in marketing and writes a lot about selling an identity (though not in such explicit terms). The Rebel Sell explicitly discusses the same thing, though I think it’s tied into a promotion of establishment liberalism over counter-culture. I know there are similar books written from the perspective of counterculture upset at being co-opted, though I can’t remember any titles. Applebee’s America (or something like that) is a fairly well known book about how marketers sell more than just a simple product/service.

  • mjgeddes

    Some common transhumanist fantasies (equally implausible in my view):

    ‘By studying hard and practicing a few basic rationality techniques, you can be as good a thinker as Nick Bostrom’

    ‘By joining ‘immortalist’ communities, exercising and eating lots of supplements, you will be protected from aging and disease’

    ‘By joining ‘rationalist’ communities, and frequently mentioning complex ideas such as ‘anthropics’, ‘multiverse’ and ‘bayes’, you prove you are very smart’

    ‘’The importance of your ideas is proportional to the amount of twittering/blogging/podcasting attention you are getting’

    ‘When the posthumans come, at last there’ll be people smart enough to confirm that your personal political philosophy is correct, and it’ll sweep the world thereafter’

    ‘You will play a vital role in radical social/economic/scientific advances’

    ‘Your writings are of great social importance, and powerful people are taking notice’

    ‘You realize that the fact that that Marc Geddes guy keeps popping for years on transhumanist lists issuing dire warnings about gross errors in your thinking is strange, but you just put it down to craziness on his part. Nothing is wrong with your thinking at all’.

    • http://lesswrong.com/ CannibalSmith

      Who or what is Marc Geddes? He has no Wikipedia article, Transhumanist Wiki has a page with a note “speculation deleted” on it. Can you point me to a generic dire warning post of his?

      • John Maxwell IV

        I suspect the poster was referring to himself. His username contains geddes in it.