Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Conformity, Part II.

I am reading a book right now that could get me killed on a good number of the college campuses in America.

It's called "How the West Won," and is by Baylor University professor Rodney Stark. You can find the book here.

Stark's basis thesis is simple.

And inflammatory.

Western thought is responsible for all progress in the world.

Not Islam.

Not China.

Not Africa.

Progress came only from the West.

This, of course, runs counter to all the prevailing wisdom of the last fifty or so years. And is considered about as politically correct as Donald Stirling on a bender.

But my point today is not to discuss the validity of Stark's arguments. I can't do that. I'm not a professional historian.

My point is about the importance of voices that shatter the unanimity of the echo chamber. That's the infrastructure of consensus that dictates what we as an industry say and do.

We posit and proclaim and propagate and you better get with the program or you'll be squashed.

It doesn't even matter if observed reality doesn't support perceived reality. If you ask someone to show you a 'conversation about a brand,' or a brand built by likes, you get nothing but double speak.

But facts don't matter.

Consensus does.

Three-quarters of a century ago in "A Night at the Opera," Groucho Marx asked "who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

Our industry has answered that question.

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