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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Startling glimpses of the ludicrous and incompetent

During the time of the South Sea Bubble, Britain's first great financial collapse, people would fall for anything. My favourite example which I recall from my school-days was a scheme to import jackasses from South America.

This was not necessary as all the jackasses needed were freely provided by the gullible. When Sir Isaac Newton was asked about it all the great scientist said he could not calculate the madness of people.

Nowadays nobody is taught history - one of the great criminal acts of recent governments - so I get the impression that as a result these speculative lunacies are repeated with greater frequency.

Thus it is only a decade or so since the last flood of dotcom follies, yet people are putting astronomical values on a thing like Groupon which has yet to make a penny, whilst the wily Mr. Murdoch lost S500 million on MySpace. At least he seems to have learned from it. He thinks Twitter is a bad investment.

On a smaller scale I am constantly amused by the dodgy schemes put out on the internet to beguile the gullible.

One that got a good laugh yesterday was "Guru Incubator Training" being offered by someone called J. P. Maroney, which rhymes rather fortuitously with Baloney. One has this vision of morons going into a vast hutch on a conveyor belt and coming with massive brains at the other end. Another I got a laugh from was an offer to "explode" my fan page from Robert Grant of Crowd Conversion. Is it dangerous? Will anyone be injured? Only in the region of the wallet in both cases.

More deserving of injury is whoever is on charge of what passes for marketing at Littlewood's, a big mail order catalogue. One of their dresses has been featured in Grazia, Britains top selling fashion'n'gossip magazine. Their sort of cheap tat rarely gets coverage like that. Was it given prominence on their web page as any competent person would have insisted? No way. You had to search for it. Clueless.

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