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Author Topic: Emotional Arguments  (Read 5248 times)
Bimmerhead
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December 28, 2010, 03:45:32 PM
 #21

The Bitcoin community is doing a good job of selling Bitcoin using rational arguments.

Unfortunately, I don't believe rational arguments are going to convince non-technophiles and non-libertarians (the majority of the population).

My experience so far: When I try to explain the benefits of Bitcoin to friends and relatives, in the majority of cases I get a strong negative emotional response.  

This has been my experience as well, even with very technically savvy people and libertarians.  Posting about bitcoin on a conservative/libertarian forum was a real eye-opener for me, the response was so negative.  And so ill-informed.

On the bright side it is not just bitcoin that suffers from this.  Anything that goes against received wisdom is going to face an uphill battle.  (note the response on another thread on this forum when I dared to question the supposedly innocuous nature of porn Wink).

Anyway, I think the way around trying to convince the masses is to let the elites do it.  All we need to do is get one Zynga or one Flattr or one Disqus to adopt bitcoin in a micro-payment situation and the masses will adopt bitcoin because they need to buy a new virtual tractor for their farm.  They won't need to know the features and benefits of bitcoin, they'll just want what it can buy.

 

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ribuck
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December 28, 2010, 03:49:00 PM
 #22

Difficulty doesn't necessary correlate to the popularity of bitcoin.
For sure you're correct. In particular, an increase in difficulty doesn't necessarily correlate to an increase in the popularity of bitcoin, because it could just be due to generators becoming more efficient.

But I reckon a sustained decrease in difficulty would most likely occur at the same time as a decrease in popularity of bitcoin.
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December 28, 2010, 03:53:55 PM
 #23

...Anything that goes against received wisdom is going to face an uphill battle...

It took 200 years for the concept of "leap years" to be accepted outside of catholic countries. It took hundreds of years for the pound sterling to switch to decimal currency. There are still a couple of countries that haven't embraced the metric system. And it was a few hundred years after the concept of "zero" was formulated before it was generally accepted. More than a century after "votes for women" were introduced in New Zealand, it's still not completely universal.

So yes, it may take a while. On the positive side, change probably happens faster in the internet age.
kiba
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December 28, 2010, 03:54:23 PM
 #24

This has been my experience as well, even with very technically savvy people and libertarians. 
 

Yeah, it's a bit sad that the majority of our techno-libertarian comrades don't always follow us. Bet they're still stuck discussing libertarianism and who's the most libertarian person on forum though.

With the bitcoin community, techno-libertarians can actually DO something.

Timo Y
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December 28, 2010, 04:09:51 PM
 #25

You need to avoid getting into confrontational situations altogether. Don't challenge people's assertions but compliment their ideas and work them into the argument. Get them to comply voluntarily with your POV.

That seems like a healthy attitude.

Still emotionally, it's a cold and lonely place to be. Sometimes it feels as if the whole world is against you.

As long as Bitcoin remains a hobby this isn't such a problem, but for those of us who are interested in building some kind of business around Bitcoin, even as an evening+weekend side project, it starts becoming part of our identity.  

In practice, avoiding confrontation often means keeping your interest in Bitcoin a secret.

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caveden
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December 28, 2010, 04:16:17 PM
 #26

With the bitcoin community, techno-libertarians can actually DO something.

Exactly. I find that much more effective than trying to evangelize people.

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December 28, 2010, 04:22:18 PM
 #27

Still emotionally, it's a cold and lonely place to be. Sometimes it feels as if the whole world is against you.

Actually, most of the world is against you.
This text gives a good idea why: http://mises.org/daily/4700
At least in what concerns the antimarket bias, it's part of human nature.

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December 28, 2010, 08:16:36 PM
 #28

The Bitcoin community is doing a good job of selling Bitcoin using rational arguments.

Unfortunately, I don't believe rational arguments are going to convince non-technophiles and non-libertarians (the majority of the population).

My experience so far: When I try to explain the benefits of Bitcoin to friends and relatives, in the majority of cases I get a strong negative emotional response.  

This response is almost automatic, knee-jerk like.  There seems to be something at the very core of Bitcoin that bothers "normal" people, something irrational (when I ask them to be specific about their objections, they become irritated or change the subject).

When I try a rational response, it doesn't work. Even if the rational part of their brain agrees with me.  

I think we need some snappy emotional counter-arguments that we can throw at people pre-emptively.  

So here are some emotional objections I've heard:

* Scam!
* Ponzi scheme!
* Name calling. (You are an idiot for falling for something like this! ; Another one of your harebrained Utopian ideas! ; You are clueless because you are no banker!)
* Proof of work is a waste of energy!
* If there is no guarantee, it must be worthless!
* If I can't touch it with my hands, it must be worthless!
* Economic inequality is unfair! Everybody should be issued an equal amount of BTC!
* OMG Deflation! Bad!
* No regulation against speculators? I lost half of my pension because of those bastards!
* Nobody in charge? That's anarchy! Nothing ever succeeds without a strong leader!
* Money Laundering! Kiddie Porn! Gambling! Drugs! Terrorism!
* I hate tax evaders!
* Capitalism/money is evil!

No need to argue, just use it. Capitalism is like fire.


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my attempt to learn about bitcoin was an unmitigated and disaster. who knew magic beans would turn out to be such a big fucking deal. my regret is the cost to others, which has shamed me.
kiba
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December 28, 2010, 08:55:21 PM
 #29


Actually, most of the world is against you.
This text gives a good idea why: http://mises.org/daily/4700
At least in what concerns the antimarket bias, it's part of human nature.

We must be some weird outliers.

ribuck
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December 28, 2010, 10:26:23 PM
 #30

We must be some weird outliers.

Happy to be an outlier!
Timo Y
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December 28, 2010, 11:28:34 PM
 #31

Quote
Happy to be an outlier!

How is this for an outlier...

I came across this moral foundations test in a TED talk:
http://www.yourmorals.org/

Here is my result:
http://bayimg.com/hACbeAaDB

It seems that my moral foundations are weird. Well, I certainly do tend to piss of both conservatives and liberals in discussions about morality.  It's a shame that almost everyone I know falls into some linear combination of liberal and conservative "morality vectors".

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genjix
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December 29, 2010, 01:33:25 AM
 #32

Quote
Happy to be an outlier!

How is this for an outlier...

I came across this moral foundations test in a TED talk:
http://www.yourmorals.org/

Here is my result:
http://bayimg.com/hACbeAaDB

It seems that my moral foundations are weird. Well, I certainly do tend to piss of both conservatives and liberals in discussions about morality.  It's a shame that almost everyone I know falls into some linear combination of liberal and conservative "morality vectors".

i scored about the same as you except my harm is double yours.

edit: that test is utter crap. i tried a different test there and got totally different results.
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December 29, 2010, 01:33:53 AM
 #33

Teaching people (sane) economic theory is the only way to create a free society.  Unfortunately, most don't like to learn.  Sad

One off NP-Hard.
kiba
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December 29, 2010, 01:44:33 AM
 #34

Teaching people (sane) economic theory is the only way to create a free society.  Unfortunately, most don't like to learn.  Sad

Blah, libertarians are regarded as narcissistic egoistic Randian worshiping fanatics.

MoonShadow
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December 29, 2010, 02:01:10 AM
 #35

Teaching people (sane) economic theory is the only way to create a free society.  Unfortunately, most don't like to learn.  Sad

Blah, libertarians are regarded as narcissistic egoistic Randian worshiping fanatics.

That's just a certain minority of libertarians.  There's also the tye-dyed, dope smoking, peace & love fanatics.

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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December 29, 2010, 03:54:08 AM
 #36

Teaching people (sane) economic theory is the only way to create a free society.  Unfortunately, most don't like to learn.  Sad

Blah, libertarians are regarded as narcissistic egoistic Randian worshiping fanatics.

Yes.

Galtists, Only-Child Upbrung weirdo's, Sith (down to the somewhat Darth Economics).


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my attempt to learn about bitcoin was an unmitigated and disaster. who knew magic beans would turn out to be such a big fucking deal. my regret is the cost to others, which has shamed me.
skull88
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December 29, 2010, 03:15:06 PM
 #37

Selling Bitcoin is like selling any other product, and good selling doesn't mean you actually selling the product, no you fulfill a need. I get a commission on every sale a make, a lot of colleagues of me don't bother to try selling something. Because we or not a salesdepartment but customer care, so we don't need to sell to get a good paycheck.
Still I discovered that selling a lot is pretty lucrative, so I sell the most of the whole department. I even sold digital tv to a blind person, did I do that by summing up ALL the positive aspects of digital tv like better image quality. No, off course not that would be plain stupid and would get me to argument things that I could not argument against. I just used one thing and that is the better sound quality and took that to sell the digital tv. Customer happy because she liked to listen to the tv, me happy because I got an extra sale.

Now how to use this for selling bitcoins, easy.
First of all, what may seem a positive aspect of bitcoin to you, may be a negative aspect for the person you are talking to, so why mention it in te first place.
Maybe there is 1 negative thing with bitcoin for a person but 10 things that are so great for that person. If you start talking about bitcoin and summing al things up that look great for you, only the 1 negative thing will stick in the head of that person and while you summing up the 10 other things that would convince that person for using bitcoin. He is already thinking on argumentation for that 1 negative thing. And he simply won't hear those positive things.
So don't start by talking about bitcoins, instead let the person talk about what he uses now to pay for stuff. And then ask him what he likes about what he uses now, he will sum up a few things and you keep those things in mind. And specifically the things that are also applicable to bitcoins. Than ask him what he doesn't like about what he uses now, you probably get some things. Keep those in mind and especially those where bitcoin solves that problem.
Than you gonna talk about what you use, bitcoin. You than sum up why you use bitcoin. Offcourse you say al the positive things the person mentioned with the payment method he uses and on top of that you mention it also solves the problems the person has with his payment method he uses now.

You will get some arguments maybe, but much lesser and much easier to counter.

small example:
You: I took a look at your webshop yesterday, nice shop. How do I pay when I order something?
other: Ow you can pay with Paypall
You: Ow, you like Paypall?
other: Yeah it's fast and easy. I implemented it in my shop, when someone pays me, I log in to Paypall and see the payment.
You: Is there nothing you don't like with Paypall?
other: Yeah, I hate it I got scammed a few times by people who payed and than did a charcheback after I've sended the items, and the fees are huge. Sad
You: I don't understand why you are not using bitcoin?
other: how you mean?
You: Yeah, from what I understand, you like it that you can implement paypall in your website and it is fast and easy. With mybitcoin you can do the same with bitcoins. And the most important thing, people can't take there money back after payment and they don't have to pay a fee. If I were you, I would take a look at it.

Off course a very small example, in a real conversation it will be all a little bit longer but I hope you get the idea. Do you think this person wants to hear a story about the central banks and the goverment printing money and stuff? Probably not. Smiley
And if you would have said it is anonymous and this would be a trigger for this person to think of money laundering, you could have ended with a unnecessary hard to tackle discussion.

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LTC: LhvMYEngkKS2B8FAcbnzHb2dvW8n9eHkdp
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December 29, 2010, 11:42:28 PM
 #38

hear hear.
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January 09, 2011, 07:28:53 PM
 #39

Fear vs. greed.

Anyone else notice that it seems to be a lot easier to make a convincing argument for Bitcoin now that BTC/USD is zooming, versus several weeks ago?

Same argument ... but getting a lot better reception.  Smiley

Bimmerhead
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January 09, 2011, 07:39:33 PM
 #40

Fear vs. greed.

Anyone else notice that it seems to be a lot easier to make a convincing argument for Bitcoin now that BTC/USD is zooming, versus several weeks ago?

Same argument ... but getting a lot better reception.  Smiley
That's why I think speculation and a price bubble will be 'good' for bitcoin in that it will bring it a lot of publicity.  That should bring in people who will start trying to earn bitcoins, buy with bitcoins, etc. etc.

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