You don’t see door to door or traveling salesmen much these days. But one method they used, a rather unsavory one, not only survives, but is downright flourishing. It was called “The Presumptive close.”
The method worked like this: After the salesman had given his whole spiel on his product and while the customer was still in a slightly confused state he would open his sales book and begin closing the sale by starting to write while saying “and will you want two cases of these today?” At least half the time the customer would buy thinking they had already somehow agreed to do so. The effect usually never wore off or at least lasted several hours. (Meanwhile the salesman had happily cashed his check or stashed his cash and was on his way to more homes.) Get it?
Now to illustrate what I mean about this method being alive and well we don’t have far to look.
Every day in our morning computer internet feed we are barraged with news items and “sponsored” ads which give us information slanted with the same presumptive close method. One example out of many goes something like this: “Now that the age of AI is here we have no choice but to accept that soon our brains will be melded with machine intelligence in order to further increase our connectedness to the forces of necessary change. We must welcome this since it is inevitable.” (“How many cases shall we write you down for?”)
Every day of our lives such “Presumptive” messages are beamed to us. We begin to walk around like the robots the postings predict, mouthing the silly words over and over until, in our tech infused world, they seem true.
But they aren’t…….
We’re still inwardly the same free agents we were centuries past when we tossed the tea into Boston Harbor and told the taxmen to take a hike.
I know I’m formulating my own speech in answer to all this. Something like, “Thank you very much for the offer but so far your tech advances and your AI have only brought us unwarranted survellence, tech products that are flimsy in construction and format and are constanly becoming outdated or breaking down. Phone apps to answer our questions that don’t accomplish this and leave us puzzled over a simple query a live human could have answered instantly.
You have attempted to use your algorithmic methods to weigh and measure us and classify our worth in order to pass out information and opportunity in a kind of class conscious agenda. Even though there is no weighing and measuring of the human spirit possible. Your so called algorithms are only new names for prejudice and bigotry.
Your News items and advertisements are nearly all filled with hidden and not so hidden agendas that mislead and separate us from each other more and more every day.
As far as us having to accept your wares and ways as waves of the future we need to create new laws and rules that will limit you in your constant free use of lies and misdirection. We should cleanse ourselves of all your falsehoods and reclaim our own freedom of personal thought and direction.”
Yes, that and a lot more is what I will say.
Appreciate comments Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org