Inherently Immoral Jobs

Richard Feynman famously said that marketing was an inherently immoral job, because it consisted of  selling something as being better than the marketer knows it to be. I tried that argument on our VP of Marketing, back in the day, and she said that “MarCom” – Marketing Communications – was OK. Well, that still leaves the rest of marketing on the hook.

As we discussed in my piece on butter packaging, marketing claims often do amount to lies – excuse me – “deliberate excursions from the truth.”

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(puff) In Xanadu, Did Kubilai Khan (puff)

While chemistry was being invented, anaesthesia was also invented, rather by accident – with great effect on art. Priestly was busy discovering oxygen at that time and the scientists of the day were unhindered by concerns about human subjects boards, lawsuits, or comprehension of what they were doing.

Davy’s experimental approach appears to have been to produce bags of various gasses, then he inhaled them to see what they did. Lucky for him, he didn’t manage to get a big lungful of nitrogen or cyanide.

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Argument Clinic: A Theory of Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse and written abuse are important social tools. If you’re going to use them (or defend against them) you may as well do a good job and be properly equipped. In this series, I am going to offer some of my opinions about strategy regarding verbal abuse. To be clear: this is not a canonical treatment; I welcome your feedback – especially if it’s well-aimed and cruel.

Is this the right room for an argument?

Is this the right room for an argument?

I hope to expand this into a full series including a variety of techniques as subtle as eye-gouging and groin-kicking are in a street-fight. This section is groundwork and throat-clearing, so it’s going to be delivered more in the tone of a short lecture than as strategic or tactical maxims. As Anne Elk said, “This is a theory, which is mine. And this is it.”

We start with the 5 minute argument.

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