Fighting Social Pollution

Immigration reform, global climate change, global poverty, the left-wing media, the right-wing government, voter apathy, and our spiraling national debt all need our attention. We need new ideas, in some cases. Mostly, we need to work harder at selling ideas that already exist.

What do I mean? Well, we could use better ideas for government policies, social programs, legislation, and education. It might be good for us if some of our philosophical ideas and traditions were replaced with new things. This all requires considerable creativity and salesmanship by somebody, or lots of somebodies.

Maybe my social pollution prevention groups could get into the creation and selling of these new ideas. I have a few concrete suggestions for how that would work:

1. Know what you want to change –  This should be obvious in most cases. Philosophical ideas may be a bit harder to pin down. How do you develop an sell a viable alternative to SUV ownership?

2. Be a salesperson – Think of yourself as having something to sell.  If you have a great new idea to promote you need to think like a marketer. What is the competition for this idea? What does the competition offer? What makes my idea better, in ways that matter to my audience? Who is my audience anyway? Where can I reach my audience?

3. Study – Read a book that contains a strategy for gettting and evaluating ideas, like Thinkertoys, How to Think Like Einstein, or The Creative Problem Solver’s Toolbox.  Study social marketing and the psychology of persuasion (or selling; either one should be helpful). You can find books at or at bigger public libraries. You’ll have to look to university and college libraries to find anything on social marketing.

4. Be a thief – Steal ideas that you can use as-is or in modified form.

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~ by chetdavis on June 6, 2006.

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