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September 30, 2014

A Couple of Silly Things Then I'll Start Working

Neil Tyson, apparently, now knows that Bush referred to the God who named the stars in 2003, not 2001, and in relation to the deaths of the crew of the space shuttle Columbia, not in relation to Al Qaeda, terrorism, or Islam generally.

Someone asked him when he intended to apologize:


Now, in case you don't know this, Neil Tyson's Cultists have a bizarre fetish for quoting him, marrying that quote to a dramatic/cool picture of him, and (often) adding a Star Field behind him, to show that Tyson is a Savior sent to us from the Stars to deliver his Wisdom.

Don't believe me? Google it, b*tch.

The one at the end of this list is particularly obnoxious.

So John Ekdahl decided to give Tyson's new quote -- trying to figure out the right "medium" to apologize to Bush on, implicitly admitting he was wrong all along -- the Starborne Savior treatment.


Meanwhile I got annoyed with the Democrats' never-ending fundraising emails. They tend to go like this:

Hey-

You stood with us in 2008. Will you stand with us now, when your President needs you?

Please send $3 -- we must roll back the Republicans' anti-woman agenda.

They start with "Hey-" because telemarketers have found that many emails from actual friends begin that way, so it's a manner of tricking the eye into stopping at the email slugline. Then they pretend a friendship that doesn't exist -- all of these emails are written as if Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama have a personal relationship with the addressee -- and conjure up some dire emergency just over the horizon.

Then they ask you for money. They often ask for $3, which is not a lot of money, of course ($3 barely covers the costs of processing the credit card transaction), but that $3 indicates the sender is a "live one" -- a Glengarry lead -- and also invests that person emotionally in the cause.

It's a well-known trick of psychological manipulation that if you can get someone to make a small gesture -- a token donation -- the very act of making that tiny donation will tend to make them more emotionally invested in the cause than they otherwise would have been. Now that they have "skin in the game," as it were, even just a tiny amount of skin, they become more reliable partisans in all aspects, from donating further to increasing likelihood of voting to donating time to canvas and so forth.

I think this effect is related to the psychological failing that keeps people at casinos trying to win back all the money they lost (and losing even more money). Once someone has a Sunk Cost, they will be irrationally invested in redeeming that Sunk Cost, in turning that Cost into a Win.

So these emails are crafted by psychological manipulation experts drawn hailing from the shabby field of telemarketing and cold-call high-pressure sales.

And the Democrats send millions of them every day.

So I decided to give them a taste of their own medicine. I began soliciting Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama with the same sorts of manipulative messages, begging for money.

Skip through the first bunch of tweets (which basically duplicate what I just wrote above) to get to the ones where I start asking Nancy Pelosi to contribute to my cause.




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posted by Ace at 11:18 AM

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