Thursday, 21 June 2012

I'm a bit confused

A further piece from Mr Cake for your delectation:

I went to a party last Sunday. Generally had a great time, but towards the end of the night I entered into conversation with a silver-haired gentleman, a professional business negotiator. He made the following claim-

Gent: Tiger Woods last week passed Jack Nicklaus' record of major championships and this has all been part of Nike's marketing strategy.
Me : Are you talking about the U.S. Open? It isn't over yet.
Gent: No, no I'm talking about last week. Tiger Woods surpassed Jack Nicklaus' record of Major Championships.
Me: I'm sorry, but Jack Nicklaus still holds the record.
Gent: No,no Tiger woods has now more majors than Niklaus.
Me: Can I ask how you are defining 'major' because I believe in golf that there are only four majors and Nichlaus holds the record for winning the most?
Gent: I don't understand what you're talking about.
Me: Well, the term 'major' in golf refers to one of four championships. Can I ask you what you mean by 'major'?
Gent: Anyway it's all business, I know, been involved with it for years. Nike have planned Tiger Woods' come-back to get the most interest on TV. Those guys are in control. People have no idea.
Me: Sorry, can I just check. Tiger Woods has been playing badly deliberately? On Nike's orders? How do they decide at what point he should start winning again? How do they decide that he should play well now, and badly at the Masters?
Gent: I don't understand what you're talking about. Look I'm just telling you the truth of business here. You don't have to believe me.
Me: Well, actually I'm accepting your scenario and I'm trying to understand how it would work. Can you tell me how Nike decides when he should start winning again. Plus, again, are you claiming Tiger Woods has been deliberately playing badly for the last couple of years? I'm interested in what you're saying.
Gent: Look, are you on Facebook?
Me: Yes. Why?
Gent: Get off it.
Me: Why?
Gent: 3 years from now you're going to go to the airport and they're going to ask you questions and if you give the wrong answer, they'll drag you into the back room. They are digitising your conscience.
Me: What do you mean by that?
Gent: All your information is being collected by things like Facebook. And I'll tell you what, Zuckerberg is going to be out in a year.
Me: Would you bet on that?
Gent: I'll bet you ten thousand dollars.
Me: I don't have that. Anyway, is there anything we can do to fight against this terrible system?
Gent: Get off Facebook!
Me: Is there anything else we can do?
Gent: Well, you tell me.
Me: Well how about we improve communication between people by developing a basic theory of communication?
Gent: What concrete steps are you taking?
Me: I think developing a useful theory of communication is a concrete step.
Gent: No it's not.
Me: Well, do you understand what I'm talking about?
Gent: No. Explain it.

I begin to explain. Another person asks a question. I turn to answer that question. When I turn back, silver-haired gent has gone.
This is in no way an unusual conversation. I have more interest in Mr Gent's information than he does, because I'm trying to understand the ideas connected to them. And, clearly, he has no interest in my ideas. He can`t even be arsed to sit and listen to my goofy-ass concepts. It can only be concluded that, with business negotiators like this, no wonder the financial system is in such a state.
A little later, I overhear silver-haired gent in another room telling a German guy that the Vatican has a tree that looks like the pineal gland.

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