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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

1. I am not certain, but I believe it was through the Yaron Brook Show that I heard that Leonard Peikoff's excellent course, The Art of Thinking, is available on YouTube.

I've been working my way through it when driving lately and I can't recommend it strongly enough.

For example, the first session, "Clarity Through Volition," describes a brilliant sort of mind hack on steroids one can use to prevent oneself from being hobbled by mis-integration while attempting to achieve clarity about an area of knowledge.

It has been some time since I have heard Peikoff speak: I had forgotten just how dynamic and insightful he is. I usually remember courses I have taken before, but this one seems new to me. Regardless, I am enjoying this course and learning a lot in the bargain.

2. The Internet Movie Data Base says it will be out in December, but I heard from this half-hour podcast by the Genetic Literacy Project that there was to be a screening recently in Los Angeles.

Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see if Big Fears Little Risks helps people overcome anti-scientific misconceptions.

The web page for the movie features a trailer, but the podcast interview with Matty Cardarople, who spoke to various scientists on the film did more to get me interested in the film than the trailer.

3. "We don't want blood. We want tickets," was the rallying cry of British Hoover customers at one point during the worst sales promotion in history.

Things started off plausibly enough as a partnership between the appliance maker and a travel agency with lots of international flights to unload. Hoover would offer free international flights to people who made a minimum purchase -- and were patient enough to deal with lots of hoops to jump through.

Hoover got away with that, but then?
Under a new promotion, that same £100 Hoover purchase could net a UK-based customer two free round-trip flights to New York or Orlando -- a package worth £600+ (£1200, or $1,460 USD, today).

When Hoover ran this plan by risk management professionals, the company was warned that it would be an absolute disaster.

"To me it made no logical sense," recalled Mark Kimber, one of the consultants. "Having looked at the details of the promotion [and] attempting to calculate how it would actually work I declined to even offer risk management coverage," recalled Mark Kimber.

Unfortunately, Hoover chose to ignore this advice.
The whole morbidly interesting, slow-motion train wreck would have cost the company over £171,000,000 in 1992 money had it been able to honor its word.

4. And speaking of strange sales promotions, I'll give Blaze Pizza of Des Moines creativity points. They once offered free pizza in exchange for being tattooed with their logo. To my surprise, the tattoos weren't free:
The $40 flame tattoo comes with 24 free pizzas and the $65 Blaze name logo comes with 48 free pizzas as part of the promotion, said Lyndsey Palmer, owner of Twisted Ink in Des Moines. This equates to about $200 and $400 in free pies.
The flame sounds from the story sounds more like an ordinary tattoo than being branded for life with a trade mark. But whatever: Doing that for pizza sounds like something Homer Simpson would do, and I'm not a tattoo guy, anyway.

-- CAV

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