Illusion of choice

               Let’s say I have an ideea of a food or tea or something in that area that I can manufacture easily and at a a low cost. Since I don’t have a secret recipe, let’s assume this product is also sold by thousands of people, all competing in a free market. How do I sell it? Since the cost of making it is low, is it worth making and selling it? Probably not, but I’m not exactly what you call a marketing guru so let’s think of a way even an idiot (read genius in another field, because why the hell not) like me can try.

               If cost is low, high competition means low price. Profit, according to my sources, means the difference between the money I sell my product for and the money I use to make my product. Profit being my whole reason of making that product, assuming I’m not a billionaire genius philantrophist like some other folks.. Because no profit means either I get to work for other people making them a profit, or me being unemployed and having no food – and I just love good food. What? I like eating.

               So in other words, we got a product with low cost and low price – meaning low profits. How do I make money? I can’t buy a pizza from a 30 cent profits from making a good burger. Heavenly as it may be. If I price my product above my competition, I probably won’t sell many and won’t get enough money for my needs. If I price it below my competition, I might sell better but if I’m threatening my competition’s market share they might lower their prices and goodbye profits. Also, assuming my competition ignores me, selling 10 products a day for 30c profits each might not make it sufficiently profitable to continue – I need pizza, and it bloody costs more than 3 dollars (they rip us off, man). So what can I do?

               Experts (meaning the local pizza vendor I’m addicted to, as the head of IFC casually ignores my never spoken gestures of friendship) say I need to make customers come to me and buy my products because of me – to make my business a brand. I get that, I always considered those pesky Apple fans as having a loose something but man is that company selling it’s stuff. So how do I do that? What can I say or do to make my products sell better? Well, like I said, I’m no expert so I’d go with better ingredients and better service. But how do I market that? I’d say my burgers are healthier than the competition, that my safety standards are better, my customer care is better.. Sounds familiar?

               Now I’m going to have to repeat myself – I’m no expert – which means a hell of a lot of folks are going to go with exactly that approach in selling their products. What’s the next logical step in selling those products? Well lying of course. My burgers aren’t healthier, they make you healthier. Take that McDonalds… Then the next step – my burgers aren’t making you healthier, they make you healthy – they cure stuff, from dandruff to impotence and so on.. I mean, I have heard of loving food, so .. So I’m marketing them as medicine. But then some people say I’m not exactly following prescribed FDA standards, and they’re right – but the public doesn’t know that. So what can I do? I say my burgers are “alternate” medicine, not that pesky FDA aproved stuff that comes with side-effects. Food Supplements. That’s the stuff, it’s gold right there. But I can’t really lie that much without some people outing me now, can I? So what can I do? I can’t hide the truth – there’s supposed to be a democracy there with shit like freedom of speech and stuff. I can’t sue those folks, though that doesn’t mean I can’t try. But I can do something even better.

               I can pay people to lie for me. Thousands of them. I’d say it’s multi level marketing, or some other shit. Let them sell my stuff. And they’re like informed and not subjective. It’s not like people know how the placebo effect works.. Hell, I may even get one or two folks genuinely swearing on the bible they’ve been cured by my burgers. There is a downside to free speech and freedom of information, and that is the limit of information processing. Right now, a computer can’t say if what an article on the internet says is true or not. A person only has one brain and limited time to process all that information, so if I can’t hide the truth from you, I bloody hell can drown you in contradictory shit until you give up thinking alltogether – I mean, if you can’t find one truth in a million web pages doesn’t mean I lied to you, right? And you totally have a choice in the matter, right? And it’s not like you don’t check your sources of information or do research on them, isn’t it? My customers are very informed and make their choices on logic, reason, peer-reviewed articles and research and not on what mom and pop say they’ve heard a friend of a friend of a distant aunt living in Panguitch, Utah overhear a radio announcer say a scientist from Verkhoyanks, Siberia possibly found a few years ago.

               This has been a parody – I really can’t cook. And I’d never sell burgers, I’d eat them. Mmmm, food…

               Welcome to real life, where food supplements, “alternate medicine”, homeopathy, Big Pharma, Little Pharma, Big Oil think tanks, religious nuts (hey there Westboro Baptist Church, how are you?) and thousands of lobbyists from various fields or companies don’t have that much power over our way of thinking. And they totally don’t do what I’ve described above, man. Because living in fear of black holes from the Large Hadron Collider or exposing the hoax also known as theory of evolution are quite normal ways of living. And besides, you can really cure cancer with shark organs. And accupuncture works, it’s been proven. And there are medical doctors recommending colon cleansing and detoxifying supplements that Big Pharma wants to hide because it undermines their profits.

Post Scriptum:

               Somewhere on the internet where the moon is hollow and we can land on the sun but only at night, I managed to find the true voice of reason – a quote of a cancer researcher that basically said (in my own words, I can’t find the exact quote again – if you find it, tell me):

“We’re all human beings. In the cancer research work thousands of people. If we did find a cure for cancer, do you think all of us, every last one, from doorman to CEO, are going to hide it to protect their employer’s profits or publish the cure for instant fame, Nobel Prizes, more money than Bill Gates and more respect than Einstein?”

Yup. It’s a conspiracy, dude.. Eat shit, man, a billion flies can’t really be that wrong.

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