Pic courtesy www.thedesignblog.org
Very strange thing at the MRS. John Kearon did a paper on what one of his predictive markets had to say about the likely influence of all the 40 odd papers on delegates: mine – challenging the traditional ways of thinking about mass behaviour that lie behind the more high profile – came, er,…last!
Now, I pondered the significance of this for a while (my inner schoolboy was shocked by this – I can’t ever remember coming last in anything like this before. So I asked John himself about what he thought it all meant (knowing that he is a big advocate of my view).
He pointed to the simple and consistent feedback from those who opted to sell their shares in my paper…”he’s/it’s wrong” was the clear message. Again and again.
Which I found strangely reassuring.
How’s that you ask?
I look at it this way: if I’m getting folk to rethink how they go about thinking….and they say I’m wrong, wrong, wrong than I must be at least be getting my message across; I’m generating a group response to group interests…And at least the battle lines are drawn up and we all know where we stand. If the attendance, questions and comments we got for the session on Friday morning was anything to go by, I think we did rather more than that.
Thomas Kuhn pointed out that intellectual revolutions don’t happen because of the evidence adduced, nor because of the elegance of the argument made for seeing things differently but because the new way of seeing things turns out to be more useful in solving particular problems, or it prompts more interesting questions for a small group who then act as models for others to copy. And there are a number of researchers working within the area I describe: John Kearon and Brainjuicer gang, of course, but also Stephen and Fiona over at Spring Research and a host of others, including Bernard Cova and the Naked boys and girls with their transmedia planning.
Kuhn would probably see this as enough for now to create a working community to convince others of the worth of our perspective.
Kuhn would probably also here “wrong, wrong, wrong” as typical of the ueber conservative response of vested interests who sense that their way of seeing the world needs active defence.
Yet to hear back from Neuromarketers, the great Zaltman or the Emotional Engagement Alliance in the US.
Maybe it won’t be quite so pleasant for me having pissed that lot off.
Light sabres anyone?