August 20, 2015
I hear you in the comments that you are tired of my Trump posts.
But if he keeps delivering a master class in influence, you will hear a lot more about his methods. I’m not terribly interested in politics, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see influence as an art form from a master operator who doesn’t feel the need to cover his tracks.
For example, when CNN anchor Chris Cuomo asked Trump to react to the Pope’s criticism of capitalism, Trump correctly saw it as a trap. If he engaged with the question he would be quoted on this topic and smeared with the association of Trump-capitalism-corruption. Tomorrow the headlines would be some form of “Trump blah, blah, corruption.”
Trump couldn’t bluntly refuse to engage in the question because that would look weak. So how does Trump wiggle out of such a well-crafted media trap?
Trump responds that he would tell the Pope that ISIS is coming to get him, and that they have plans to take the Vatican, which I assume is true, or true enough.
Do you even remember the question anymore?
Now compare the wattage coming from these two thoughts:
1. A boring discussion about corruption in capitalism. (Cuomo’s question)
2. A mental picture of ISIS taking over the Vatican.
No comparison. Corruption and capitalism are mere concepts that have no visual appeal. The ideas are important yet inert. But an ISIS overthrow of the Vatican is so visual you wonder why it isn’t already a movie. And that visual is all anyone will remember of that interview in a week.
Do you still think Trump’s clown act is random?
[Here I remind you that I am not smart enough to know who would be the best choice for president. I am only interested in the persuasion technique Trump uses.]
In Top Tech Blog, the Adams Law of Slow-Moving Disasters is starting to play out as expected for climate change. The law observes that when humans have lots of advance warning of pending disasters they always invent themselves out of it. Now we might be close to harvesting Co2 and turning it into fiber. If it works, that seems important.