Monday, August 10, 2009

Marketing is misunderstood as mere manipulation

[At a time when, more than ever before, the world needs the unfettered light of consciousness which Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have gifted to humankind, a bunch of aggressive churchmen will make sure to smother it into insignificance. I marvel also at how little opposition there is to them and how well organized they are with their weapons. The principal weapons of the orthodox are the varieties of verbal propaganda and such efficiency of means I have rarely seen, a truly exemplary division of labor. What is Wrong with Religion by Debashish on Mon 27 Oct 2008 09:35 PM PDT Permanent Link]

[how open access might sell more books
from Object-Oriented Philosophy by doctorzamalek
My working assumption about open access publishing was always something like this: “Well, sure, it will cut into my book sales a bit. But authors of our sort never sell enough books to earn significant royalties anyway, so who cares? It will make my books available to more people, so it’s worth it.”
The lesson I take from that blog post is as follows… In the future it will be less a matter of selling discrete book-items, and more a matter of authors as “brands”. If you like an author’s general orientation, you tend to start following them, and that means automatically buying everything that they put out, perhaps making special efforts to see them give public lectures, and so forth. (If Zizek’s lectures weren’t free, I would happily pay $100 for a good seat to see him again. I find him that stimulating and entertaining.)
I mentioned this “brand” issue at the Bristol conference, and think it’s important. There is an easy tendency among intellectuals to sneer at any term that sounds too capitalistic in tone. But marketing is misunderstood as mere manipulation, just as rhetoric is misunderstood as mere manipulation. The phrase “mere rhetoric” already shows a shocking decline from what people like Aristotle and Cicero understood by the term, or even Marshall McLuhan. The reason Aristotle spent half of each day teaching rhetoric to his students was not because we live in a regrettably corrupt world where certain people need to be snowed by something less than clear propositional truth. No, rhetoric is the art of the background, and there are good philosophical reasons why the background may be more important than the foreground.
As for marketing, it is by no means a despicable field of endeavor. It helps organize the chaos of information that one might otherwise have difficulty processing. And if someone or something over-hypes itself– who cares? They won’t get away with it forever, and there will even be a backlash. They will pay a significant price for overhyping themselves...
Speculative Realism has been a strong philosophical brand in this sense, though a new one, nowhere as strong as the Analytic Philosophy Brand, the Deleuze Brand, and so forth. It identified a genuine shared trend among otherwise very different authors, and also identified a genuine readership interested in new philosophical standpoints free of some of the obvious vices of continental philosophy up to the present. In short, marketing deals with realities in the same way that military strategy deals with realities, and there is much to be said in defense of both of these disciplines. The people who cry “capitalism!” are generally the ones who have little of value to offer on the market.]

Finally, a philosophical theory in praise of propaganda. Reason to feel vindicated in our push for visibility, marketing and brand building. [TNM]

No comments:

Post a Comment