Thursday, 6 November, 2008

Caveat believer

Before you buy Lindstorm’s buyology – or at least after you have read it – do click here: There's a Sucker Born in Every Medial Prefrontal Cortex (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B07E1DE113EF935A15753C1A9659C8B63)

According to Lindstorm’s online resume, he opened his first agency at 12 and has been advising people since. He has been a certified genius for the last two decades. It does mention an Academy of Advertising, which he attended in between heading companies. One wonders what this is. Though, of course, one shouldn’t because all the research he sites are done by doctorates of this and that on machines that cost at least a couple of million. 

And therein lies the catch. Tremendous intelligence and even more gusto extrapolating whatever data that looks nice, taking enormous and audacious leaps of logic whenever necessary. 

This may be good enough in the boardroom, but is it good enough in the classroom? Will a social scientist build hypotheses on data like that used to take business decisions on a regular basis? If not, why not? An academician’s work will be read by a select circle and effect fewer still, if any, materially. Yet, it’ll probably appear with far more ‘timid’ than even the most junior executive’s proposal. Is that because, unknown to us, society does indeed value the ‘truth’ than the dollar, because the truth can sometimes become very big, very powerful?

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