Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Appeal of Authority

Why does man crave authority? Why does man crave certainty? These two questions seem to be the restatement of a single human desire: security. We all crave security in various forms. Few can feel any long term happiness without it. Our longing for the known can drive reasonable men to very unreasonable actions. I have witnessed countless times otherwise sane persons throw all intellectual integrity to the wind for the simple illusion of security found through claims of certainty.

Want to influence men? Want to persuade others? Deal in certainty. Sell security as your commodity. Provide confidence in claims, guarantee your promises, and smile without flinching. How many times have we seen hucksters one job ahead of the curve, one promotion away from all their failed promises.? No one seems to remember long. Those around them simply eat up the certainty like candy and care less that the claims didn't pan out than that they were made with certainty and authority.

The selection bias provides us with our historical winners. Make enough authoritative claims and a few will turn out to be true. If you are lucky, you may even go down in history as a great visionary.

This works for blogging, the workplace, and especially in personal relationships. Go forth, provide authority, and make snap decisions with absolute confidence! You will be materially better off, and who can fathom the cost or currency of the soul?