Slow down to break the stride of bullshit surfers

Surfing Notions

Is candy no longer an impulse purchase?
Is the world still on the ‘liberal progressive’ journey?
Will Amazon/ Facebook ‘surely’ cede control to regulators?
Will they fight misinformation honestly?

From the trivial to the profound, I find myself in the midst of rushed debates where beautiful questions are raised and then summarily decapitated with bland certainties informed with nothing but an overactive ego propped up by a scrap of a half-baked notion. People in power build straw arguments on the back of one ill-informed notion after another.

Surely, candies are not impulse anymore because people are asking for leader brand by name. ergo….
Surely, people of the world still want freedom, liberty, equality. (they better be. my whole worldview depends on it. if they don’t, who am I? what would I do with my fractured beliefs?)
Also, How else to justify the progressive brand shtick? Also, how else to win at gold tinged bubbles named Cannes/ Effies?
Surely, the big tech will cede control. (I don’t even want to imagine the alternative. The owners are heroes, someone that I could have been. I can’t imagine them as villains or worse as simple humans capable of pettiness, narcissism or greed.)

Meaning drowned under the deluge of notions

Questions are such beautiful things. They are an invitation to explore, to understand, to meditate. They tease us to dig deeper, to dive in the richer complexity of the world.

Instead, questions are increasingly treated as simply the setup for a punchline.

This is a profound shift. It is the curse of the information age. The deluge of information is so profound that we can survive only by surfing it, not diving in it. The victim of this is meaning. meaning doesn’t matter anymore. what matters is appearance of meaning.

Information theory X Modern day management

Successful Managers embody this. They confidently keep spouting intelligent sounding bullshit that they can get away with. In Trumpian times, the secret of success is to overwhelm the others with bullshit, the constant stream of bullshit rendering the logic / truth seeker impotent. It is the DDOS attack on consciousness. Overwhelm, confuse, slash and burn.

Bullshit is always faster than truth. Truth emerges only slowly, deliberately. Bullshit is not taxed with effort or intelligence. all it requires is confidence and ability to surf over one straw-man argument/ logic/ fact to next.

Slowing down

As the responsible one, as the people who actually get shit done, it is important to slow down, to break the stride of the bullshit surfer.

It is important to throw the lasso of reason on the question raised and hold onto it.
Why is Candy no longer an impulse purchase? or did you mean that they are impulse purchases but brand matters? so some kind of mints solve a problem (post-smoking masking) while some don’t? or has there been some fundamental shift in the way human desires are triggered?…
So world is actually much more complex now with the rise of right-wing politics? the David of progressive politics versus the Goliath of racism/sexism/…ism is the right narrative to build? So the statement is a political wish, not a fact?
So why would the big tech cede control? is it in their interest? has there been any historical precedent of people ceding control willingly? what forces have been successful in ensuring that powerful cede control to the less powerful?

If we are persistent enough (and polite enough) with our questions, maybe we can unearth the real questions to answer.

As a planner, it means to physically slow down the meetings, hold clients longer until sensible questions and answers emerge.

As a planner that means to say no to unimportant projects that keep you needlessly busy. Need to free up that RAM.

It means to point out bullshit from where ever it might be emanating from – senior management/ clients/ fellow planners/ creatives… and politely help them arrive at a sensible goal to chase.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.