Perhaps, Billy.

look, this isn’t fully thought through, so if this comes out a little sideways, forgive…

But as somebody who comes from a sales background, as an adjunct to my broadcast career, (what is broadcasting, but sales, after all? ) I find this disconnection proposed, interesting, in that so much of the art of selling people things, involves the unthinking unconscious physical reaction.

Indeed, the entire idea behind putting certain items near the cash registers of your favorite grocery store, is based entirely on unthinking an unconscious physical reaction; the impulse buy.

The design of automobiles, electronics, Even the shape of bottles that such inane sundries such as hair gel, all are designed specifically to create an unconscious reaction thereby leading the prospective buyer toward impulse buy.
The only point I’m making here, is that this operation is not quite so cut and dried as Mark Humphrey would seem to suggest in his writing.

That bears on the larger issue that you point to with regards to the individual versus, one assumes, the state, in a way that exposes many of the tactics used by socialists to ply their trade; Example: “it’s for the children”… “invest in America”, etc.
There is, to my mind a serious lack of thought that goes into the response to such a phrase, amongst most people.  How could anyone consciously argue against helping “the children?” is the instinctive, unthinking response. And so programs the normal person would never support otherwise, particularly if the costs in money and freedom were listed, get popular.
That’s a few examples of many in my thought, and I propose no hard and fast rules here, with regards to measurement of such phenomena, and I don’t even know if there is in fact scientific proof that links the two. I suggest no hard and fast relationship, no direct cause and effect, as there would be in the hard sciences….But it does strike me as interesting that so many have had such good results with what could only be labeled programming to elicit unconscious responses. It seems enough to me to merit further investigation of it… Given the success rate, I don’t think it can be fully dismissed.   Or at least, consideration of the relationship in future discussions.  The cause and reactions I’ve mentioned are certainly not directly relatead a tall, but on the other hand they are not wholly disconnected either, or a lot less sales would be made… and a lot less socialists would be made, also.

Of course, the really obvious point I’m making is that the key is thinking.  And that some so often do so little of it, is perhaps the core of the matter.

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