Hype!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Has The Internet Gone Too Far?Written by Virginia Bola, PsyD
I remember back in 1980s (history for many of you reading this), I had a friend working at University of California who had access to Internet through University system. It was new, it was esoteric, it was for academicians, nerds, and professional scientists.
Another friend, a salesman, pondered commercial possibilities. "Sales and marketing," my University friend intoned, is "strongly frowned upon" by Internet community.
Fast forward 20 to 25 years. What happened?
A system designed for researchers and academic communities to discuss ideas has become one of primary means of communication for individuals throughout world. It is great leveler: a Bosnian peasant, a Kenyan tribesman, an urban ghetto adolescent, with access to a computer, is on a level with global corporations and top decision makers. The world wide web has created an unprecedented opportunity for verbal intercourse, far beyond anything that has historically been available, for anyone, even rich and powerful. Blogs, personalized and updated, perhaps several times a day, allow most humble their day in sun.
What have we done with this new weapon with its potential to unite world and give every individual, no matter how powerless and lonely, chance to interact on world stage?
We have commercialized it beyond any reasonable "make a sale" level. We have created ultimate international snake oil salesperson. We have taken "great communicator" and transformed him into "great con."
How did this happen? The desire to sell something - anything - morphed into simply desire to sell. Join any traffic site, SEO group, PR Newsletter, or Internet Forum and you will be immediately inundated with messages about selling.
Is there anything wrong with trying to sell a product? Of course not, that is what makes wheels of commerce go round. I have no objection whatsoever to someone trying to sell me something - that is their job and I respect their right to pursue it.
What totally sickens me (how about you?) are people who are not trying to sell me a product but are selling "how to sell."
The Eternal Lure Of GamblingWritten by Virginia Bola, PsyD
I just spent three days in land of milk and money -Las Vegas. There is something refreshingly honest about place: it's all about money and it knows it. It doesn't pretend to be anything else.
No doubt some of architects think that their work has some importance of its own: recreations of Venice, Camelot, Paris, Egypt, and New York. Battling pirate ships and erupting volcanoes aside, once you enter themed palaces, they are all same: crap tables, blackjack tables, roulette wheels, and thousands upon thousands of slot machines - all promising to give you a fun time while you lose your money in pursuit of a possible fortune.
The lure of gambling has existed throughout recorded history but has never gripped millions who now participate. We play state-sponsored lotteries, visit tribal and other legal casinos, create special accounts for Internet gaming, bet horses, bet dogs, bet on sports, fights, anything where we can catch excitement of beating odds.
Moralists worry that a large percentage of those who risk their money, are those who cannot afford to risk anything: poor, unemployed, minimum wage fringe who, at best of times, barely hang on to basement rung of economic ladder. They argue that gambling should be a pleasant pursuit for those who can afford to lose a reasonable amount, using money they have earned for purchasing excitement, entertainment, and momentary escape.
Who's kidding who?
For middle class gamblers who bet on super bowl, derby, occasional lottery ticket, or visit casinos once or twice a year, gambling is a diversion, a fun time, a little bit of excitement sandwiched between realities of career advancement, building a nest egg, raising children, and doing their civic duties. The thrill of a potential win is lure of proving their ability to compete, to come out on top, to better their opponents, pros, odds, morning line. It is a personal challenge that can boost their self-confidence when they win but has few negative effects when they lose because their real self-image relates to important aspects of their lives, separate from their gaming ventures.
It is those who cannot afford to lose who become addicted to lure of chance. Stuck in minimum wage employment, without education, skills, or entrepreneurial savvy to work their way up social and economic pyramid, they see gambling as promise of a permanent way out, a tsunami that can sweep them instantaneously to top, an overnight millionaire. A lottery ticket, a slot machine, a pick 6 wager, plays no favorites. The poor, homeless, forgotten, have-nots, all compete with rich and famous on an equal footing. They become hooked on continued gaming because it is only chance of reaching lifestyle they want to achieve.