“I think those who object to my characterizing man as simple want somehow to retain a deep mystery at his core.” – Herbert A. Simon, Born Jun. 15, 1916.
You are a chimpanzee in shoes.
Your “self” is a hallucination being had by a computer made of meat.
Civilization is a byproduct of the fact that we have a lot of leisure time since we are perfectly evolved to dominate this planet.
I think understanding and accepting all of this is key to becoming really good at influence and persuasion.
If you think humans are special and individuals are unique and all that crap, convincing people is super hard and intimidating.
But a bunch of apes thinking they are better than other animals? That's easy to exploit. We imagine ourselves as sophisticated, but our lives are still about eating and fucking, primarily.
And if you can connect your own plans to fulfilling those goals for people, other people will eagerly help you achieve YOUR goals.
The major perpetual and infinite money making niches – health, beauty, wealth, fitness – that's almost all about reproduction and survival. Not necessarily directly. But underneath everything else, that's what's really at play.
The civilian population does NOT like having that pointed out to them. You must let the marks and prospects preserve their sense of mystery and sophistication.
Pander to them. They are pretty because of aesthetic ideals. They are fit because of challenging the self for personal betterment. They are pursuing wealth so they can be comfortable and secure in their lifestyle and status.
Not because they are apes who have mastered not starving in the dirt, so we obsess over the superficial.
No, not that.
But for we marketing folks, our job is to make promises to comfortable monkeys – promises of ease and excitement and entertainment.
All we need is their money. Which most apes are happy to part with because they don't even really understand what money even is. But bananas are delicious, booties are desirable, and being able to be the boss and bully your inferiors is what everyone really wants deep down.
Man is simple. It's no mystery.
<!—- lagniappe Cultist, this one makes a lot of my readers uncomfortable. Because it requires some self-examination that absolutely no one likes to do. So if I may offer an alternative perspective. This is my metaphor for the way the mind works, and I think it gives me a good insight into what the work of persuasion actually is. Your brain is a car. You, the human, are the passenger riding in the back. You’re the boss of this taxi. The driver is a chimpanzee. Your primitive, animal self. Living only in the present moment, chasing pleasure, fleeing pain. Now some people are good “backseat drivers” who have high level human goals that need plans and tactics and strategies to be executed on time, so they boss the ape driver around and tell it where to go and when. But MOST people let the chimp drive and they just coast along for the ride. And when that surrender to whim and impulse results in trouble - usually because it damages their human goals - the human passenger has no good explanation. “I don’t know why I cheated, I just couldn’t help myself,” as an example - Chimp offered sex, chimp takes it, without thinking of anything the human cares about, like exclusive relationships. Back to us - our goal is to SELL to the chimp driver FIRST, and give the human passenger some logical reasons to come on board also. WHAT we sell them both is giving the human better tools to control the chimpanzee and plan a trip that will get them what they both want. To satisfy both by helping them work together. Does that make sense, or am I being too weird? —->
2 thoughts on “Chimpanzees In Shoes: Or Why This Job Is So Easy…”
If you’re not on Colin’s email list, you need to get on it ASAP and wait until this post comes around again. His lagniappe on this email (and only available in the email) is the best analogy of the human mind I’ve ever heard with respect to persuasion.
Even though dated the 19th, I read it on Father's day and so glad I did.
Happy Father's Day, my favorite ape computer meat teacher with shoes.
Thanks for everything.
Your lessons are legit helpful.