The “multiplier effect” is an economics term that means so much horseshit or some such. (Economics is the branch of sociology that specializes in humans fucking each other and not in a fun way.)
I’m here to tell you about the real multiplier effect.
It works a little something like this:
A store notices, perhaps even by accident, that products with a red dot sticker are selling slightly faster than non-stickered items.
The produces a sexual response within the store owners, but that’s a story I’m saving for another post. Click here to buy access to my premium content.
I’m introducing a new feature here in the salt mines fueled by my insatiable desire to innovate. Off the top of my head I’ve decided to call it Off the Top of My Head. It’s part hair-raising excitement, part brainy thought-provoking ideas, a healthy dose of attitude, a smattering of snark, and, of course, snow drifts of dandruff.
Here’s just a little slice of the all-American pie known as Shit I’m Pondering Lately. This is stuff right Off the Top of My Head. (This post contains very little actual research.)
- A doctor was diagnosing people with cancer when they did not have cancer. He even gave them chemo.
- A doctor has been diagnosing women with MS when they did not have MS and putting them on a potentially dangerous battery of expensive medications.
- Stories about sexual misconduct by doctors when patients are under have been in the news of late.
- A priest installed a hidden camera that looks like a power outlet in the women’s restroom in his church. Before he could be brought to justice he bravely fled the country. Amen.
- I’ve always known about the existence of hypocrites yet somehow I can still feign surprise when they are dragged out and exposed to the light of day. The case of John Duggar, a hyper-energetic evangelical Christian (see Quiverfull) is interesting. On one hand he’s an upstanding member of the community and fights for causes he believes in, like the sanctity of marriage (aka “seedbed of virtue”) while serving on an organization known as the Family Research Council. On the other hand he’s paying $250 for an account on AshleyMadison.com, a web site that helps married people have affairs. Absolutely breathtaking.
- Then there’s the case of Jared Fogle, Subway pitchman and part-time child pornographer. Let’s see. What’s the tally now? Bill Cosby? Horny. Brett Favre? Horny. Anthony Weiner? Horny. Tiger Woods? Horny. John Edwards? Horny. Sandwich guy? Really, really horny. Need I continue? I think I see a trend.
My point? None, really. Except, perhaps, that people like these actually exist. They are out there. They walk among us. They are, like Mr. Rogers likes to say, some of the people in our neighborhoods.
Who has a stronger moral code than humans? Try the humble amoeba. For starters.
Bonus read: Quiverfull of Shit: a Guide to the Duggars’ Scary Brand of Christianity (Gawker.com)
My organization asked me to select a vendor, conduct negotiations, and secure their services. To that end I put on a suit and tie. I also washed myself. (With soap this time.) This was important.
Naturally I selected a slick company that was “unparalleled” and the “world’s best” at what they did. I was connected with a sales person. We did a little dance.
I filed reports with the CEO about what I learned. He got back to me. He was going with my recommendation.
Oh, shit.Company credit card in hand, I inked the contract. I was then directed to the company’s website to open our shiny new account.
ERROR. (See right.)
Every journey begins with a single step. Each step is an interval where you can be screwed. Enjoy the journey.
“Thanks for choosing ACME Velociraptors Inc. LTD Corp.,” said the salesperson who was now my close personal friend. “I’ll give you a call on Monday to go over implementation.” He even bade me, “Have a nice weekend.”
It’s now Monday. I’m literally stunned that he didn’t call. Am I supposed to wait three days before I call him? I don’t want to look desperate. Oh, forget it. I already emailed him a couple hours ago. He hasn’t called back.
Where did I go wrong? I thought he liked me.
This is one bump in the road too many. Suddenly I don’t feel so good. This is a bad omen, man. This does not portend well. Beware the bodes of business.
Is he born of a jackal or is that me? I’m new to this shit.
There’s a crap for that. Stick a pitchfork me. I’m done. Well done. By Satan himself.
The future’s so blight I gotta dig graves. A pitchfork works well for that, right?
So, technology. Let’s talk about that. It’s here. It has landed on our chests like a motherfucking elephant in a COPD commercial. Let me posit this: How’s that technology working out for you?
In a moment I’m going to share my ideas regarding the three-pronged attack on our very existence by technology. (Get it? Pitchfork?) I used to think there was only one prong but that was before spring break. I’ve since expanded my thinking (as well as something else).
Call it my Grand Unification Theory of Technology (GUTT) if you will. It’s time for a gut check. Spoiler alert: Mine has been spilled open by a pitchfork. Dammit. They let anyone own these things.
It’s time to stick ’em with the prongy end. Make the jump and I’ll get to the point.
It was beautiful! I felt alive. I loved everything I could see. I sprinted out into the street and hugged the garbage man. He was beautiful. He looked really surprised. Maybe I should have worn pants but there was no time for that.
In my hands I held a Christmas card. It was even addressed to me. To me! Someone had sent me a Christmas card. A bona fide recipient of the Ribbon of Participation. I was finally somebody.
“God bless us, every one!” I yelled at the top of my lungs. I’d never felt a stronger sense of belonging.
Yes, it was time for a let down.
Who is lying to you? Basically anyone flappin’ their gums. But who’s really lying? I think the probability goes off the charts when it’s someone in retail and/or someone trying to sell you something.
For example, one group conducted a study and found that one-third of seafood sold in the United States is “mislabeled.” I think that’s the nice way of saying, “fucking liars.”
The study found that 50% of tuna sold in Washington D.C. restaurants was something described as “cheaper” and that 87% of the time seafood described as “snapper” was actually something else.
Talk about having a whale of a good time!
In other news, the “biggest US honey supplier admits to laundering, mislabeling Chinese honey.” Yeah, Chinese honey is banned from U.S. markets. That doesn’t mean it’s not for sale down the street, though. Why use the real thing when you can acquire “cheap honey” from China? Because, profits.
Earlier this year Apple agreed to pay $450 million to settle claims it colluded with five major publishers to inflate book prices. As part of the deal, Apple, of course, admitted to no wrongdoing.
Also this year Whole Foods Market, as part of a settlement, was ordered to pay $800,000 for overcharging customers. For its part, Whole Foods claimed their prices were accurate “98% of the time.”
AT&T agreed to pay $105 million as part of a settlement for “adding fees that customers didn’t authorize” to phone bills.
When you stop to consider that these are most likely outlier cases, in terms of actual consequences, it is easy to imagine the vast majority of fraud goes completely unpunished. And you can take that to the bank.
Banks? Never mind. Don’t get me started.
Drop on the deck and flop like a fish! You can trust me, your humble guru. I’m not selling anything.
A. Fraud. The NHTSA calls this a “serious crime and consumer fraud issue.” Additionally, between 2002 and 2005 the NHTSA Office of Odometer Fraud says there was a “definite escalation in [odometer] fraud.”
Q. What do you call it when a woman falsely claims to have a tubal ligation?
A. Tom B. Taker, Jr. Or, as I like to call it, a 21-year donation to The Human Fund.
Today’s axiom is a simple one.
Tom’s Law #42
There’s no such thing as a free market.
You think I’ve gone too far this time? You say, “Open your eyes, Tom. Look around. You’ll see free markets everywhere you look.”
Bollocks! (If only those had been tied instead.)
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