KEW Episode 6: Competition

People say competition is a good thing. It regulates markets. Protects consumers. Allows for watchable sports. But I see a lot of negative effects resulting from competition.

Given my background in Ecology, I understand ecological competition as occurring only when resources are limited, and leading to speciation. Pretty cool stuff. In essence, the lack of competition creates harmony in nature.

I see sports (sports fans, really) as creating a lot of negative energy around the winning and losing dichotomy. Competition leads to happy winners and sad losers.

I also see a lot of crappy products sold to willing consumers and making companies millions of dollars. Not sure competition is working there, either.

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Audio podcast:

Youtube video vlog:

Preview Episode 6: Competition

Competition is supposed to be helpful in regulating markets to give the consumer the best value, price, and quality. Does it? It sure doesn’t seem like it to me. Here I suggest it’s up to US (like so many things) to regulate economies by purchasing quality items and not fall for the aggressive marketing I talked about in Episode 5: Marketing and Solicitation.

In ecology, competition leads to speciation and biodiversity through darwinian mechanisms.

In sports, competition *should* encourage competitors to improve. But what I see is a too much emphasis being placed on winning.

In free markets, competition *should* encourage companies to produce the highest quality products for the lowest cost (best value). But what I see is a race to the bottom where products are shoddy at best or don’t deliver what the advertising (Episode 5) claims.

Is competition the holy grail we claim it to be?

Episode 5: Marketing and Solicitation

Advertising. Marketing. Persuasion. We all need to sell ideas, products, or services to each other. How we do these things says a lot about who we are as individuals, communities, and society at large. I personally DESPISE aggressive marketing aimed at manipulating consumers using psychological ‘tricks’. I hate that crap. Consumers can be easily fooled into supporting companies that don’t always offer what they say.

Of course, I need to advertise. For my brewing business and even for this podcast/blog/vlog. I want people who seek my ‘products’ to find them. But I refuse to aggressively persuade anyone to change their minds. Probably makes me a cruddy business person. But it’s honest. And authentic to my values.

These topics, some fresh ideas, and maybe some deluded dreams in this weeks episode on audio:

and video:

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Episode 5 this week

Epidode 5 comes out this Friday. I discuss something I think about a lot and am continuing to figure out. I’m calling it Marketing and Solicitation, but I really lack the vocabulary to discuss the various versions very well. What gets my goat is what I call ‘aggressive marketing’ where companies use psychological tricks to entice people to buy their products. Often these tactics contain very little about the product itself, make generous claims, or otherwise convince you to buy something.

Look, I get it, we have to advertise. Take this blog/podcast/vlog for example. I want people to participate (and send me an email, hint, hint) so I have to promote and advertise to get it on to your radar. But that’s not what a lot of companies do. They *persudae* you to buy something using all kinds of tricks. Remember Budweiser’s talking frogs? WTF?

Anyway, I’d love to hear your opinions about advertising, marketing, solicitation, and all the other terms and tricks people use to get you to give them your money.

Episode 4: Quiet vs Distraction

All I hear lately is that mindfulness meditation is the magic cure all for human problems like anxiety, depression, and being ‘too busy’ or stressed out all the time. And I believe it. But for whatever reason, it’s hard for me to make the time to meditate. It’s kind of like exercise. I know it’s good for me, but I can’t seem to find the time to do it.

One explanation I have found is that it is simply easier to be distracted and busy. Being ‘quiet’ is hard. It’s uncomfortable because it is so unusual. We spend so much time distracting ourselves with newspapers, TV, our phones, video games, drugs, sex, you name it. I have found that I am more likely to re-read the news on my phone or re-check emails than to pursue my needs and interests. Why is it so easy to do the convenient things than to do what we know we need to do? I struggle immensely with this. I WANT to be bored and quiet, but it’s a real struggle.

Do you think it’s important to be quiet or reduce distractions? How do you do it?

Episode 4 audio:

Episode 4 video:

Episode 3: Gaming the System

Nothing frustrates me more than seeing people taking advantage of ‘the rules’, or finding a loophole in ‘the system’ to gain an advantage over me or others. You certainly can think of examples in your own life. At the same time, if other people are going to do it, why can’t I? I want an advantage, too? Following up on ‘the rules’ discussion in Episode 2, why should we play by the rules instead of finding a ‘trick’ to put money in our pocket, gain an advantage, or find a win? Do rules matter? When is it ok to break them?

Episode 3 audio:

Episode 3 video:

Episode 2: Individuals and Communities

Are we islands? What responsibility do we have to participate in our communities? During the COVID social distancing period, how do we define ‘essential’? Is there a continuum of behaviors that are acceptable? What do we ‘owe’ ourselves and our communities and how does that affect our behavior? I consider myself very independent and unique, but I will follow the rules when they seem critical. When is a rule critical? What are your thoughts about the importance of nurturing our individuality and our membership to the human community?

Episode 2 Audio:

Episode 2 Video: