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Friday, 24 October 2008

The triumph of horseshit

I am just recovering from doing a seminar followed by a grand dinner in Almaty, which - as you all know, don't you? - is the biggest city in Kazakhstan.

This country is startlingly unlike the funny film that made so many Americans look so ignorant/racist. There are no less than 100 nationalities living here, because comrade Stalin shipped a lot of people here than he didn't like - in large numbers. How bizarre that so many people in Russia see the murderous old bugger as a hero.

So as a result of his forced migrations there is an amazing variety of looks here, from the original locals who look oriental - and often very striking - to most of the others who look European. Anyhow, they are very hospitable (and smart) people and do seem to like a drink or too, I was pleased to discover. In fact the only disconcerting thing for me is that the national dish is horse, which for no very logical reason I don't care for. I recommend the goat.

Meanwhile, I got a couple of messages from friends to remind me just how full of horseshit the wacky world of capitalism is.

My Aussie partner Mal tells me that "A mate of ours was dis-established by his company today. In other words the bastards fired him." And one of my old colleagues send me a quote from a database "guru" who felt impelled to tell the world that:

"Qualitative research is essential to get to the heart of customers and understand how they think, feel and act through the mediation of thalamus, cerebral cortex and amigdala.

I recommend one on one in-depth interviews and the creation of consensus maps, the consensus being portrayal of how customer segments or communities relate to your marketing communications, brand and/or product, as well as the category in general.”

I suppose some mugs will read this twaddle and say, "I don't quite understand that but it sounds very deep. This man can help me. After all, he is a professor."

No he can't. If you can't understand it, don't buy it. These guys charge by the syllable.

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