After shaking hands, people sniff their hands

In a proper double-blind trial, the people coming in to shake hands wouldn’t be aware that this is what was being studied either.


Say what now?

Please explain, then, the ever-rising cost of, just for starters, time-slots for Super Bowl commercials?

Hmm, “creating need”… Isn’t there an entire industry devoted precisely to that task? Dear me, what IS the name of that industry…?


Do you live in the forest?


I read the article, assuming I’d see numbers like 1 person out of that 153 did it before shaking hands and 2 did it after, but apparently this is considered common behavior that everyone does. Does anyone else find this unlikely? I’ve had enough 2+ hour meetings that started with handshakes to know that hands are not hovering near faces the way these researchers seem to think is the norm.

The costs are not “rising”, rather, they cost more.

How I explain this is that there is a demand for marketing still, but the discipline has outlived it’s purpose. In a broadcast media system the control of communication my a minority meant that people had to pay them for publicity. And that anything which was not broadcast in this media content had no exposure. None of this is any longer the case. Pretty much anybody can find out about any product, service or idea. Put forth by anyone. Anywhere in the world. There is no longer any valid reason to assume that 1. people need what you are offering, or 2. that if they needed it from you, they wouldn’t do something about it themselves.

Hmm… things which tenuously cling to existence, despite the reasons for them coming into being no longer being valid? I think “obsolete” might be more apposite. But “extinct” might convey a more organic, evocative flavor.

Do you usually resort to making things personal when you strongly disagree with what somebody says? I live in a jungle - of cables.

I was reacting to your authoritative- let me tell you how it is type of posturing. I was wanting you to lighten up a bit, but I am sorry for any offense you took.

You raise interesting points and the future always includes change, but saying marketing is extinct is way off. Im slammed with hundreds of ads a day from radio and TV to web banners and t-shirts and bumper stickers and Cool Tools and billboards and before and during movies… its never ending. Tim Cook just hosted an infomercial and the entire world watched. Most of consumerism is based on want, not need.

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No problem, I am not insulted.

Sorry if I sounded defensive. I have noticed the trend though that this happens. When I put an idea out there which seems counter to common sense, some people nearly always start by moving from discussing the topic, to discussing me. I mention this because I really think that many aren’t aware of it.


I’ve shaken more hands over the years than I care to count, and NOT ONCE did I see someone sniff their hand afterward. Not that I was watching for it, mind you, but I will be now. How could this be a thing?

What I want to know now is:

  • who are these hand-sniffers and
  • how can I avoid them?
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I would hazard a guess it’s because practically everyone who is a regular has noticed that you are repeatedly confusing your ideal image of the world with the real world. (The first time I took note of this tendency was when you claimed to have, on more than one occasion, disarmed police officers.) Therefore, when someone notices you doing this again, it’s hard not to say something like, “yes, yes, this is the same shit you always say.”


But is that what we are dealing with? My ideal versus The Real World? My experience is that the world most people find real is the world of socially-constructed reality. So we participate and realize it. My daily interactions with people are my ideals and philosophies in practice. That last part - practice - seems to be the part that people find troublesome. Doing “this” is not a transient contrivance, it is a way of life.

I remember! So…? It gets frustrating because people tell me that I can’t possibly walk my talk. I have heard many guesses pulled out, from me being a sophomoric college student, a street thug, a salon-lounging Marxist radical, a wealthy but sheltered middle-aged idealist, and quite a few other shots in the dark which are supposed to “explain away” my views based upon personal digs, and digs which were fabricated, at that. I relate stories of disarming police, and people balk. What’s wrong with that? If I am the person in the topic with the most experience pertaining to this, then I think it’s foolish to dismiss what I say about it. Just like how people shout down my unpopular ideas about homelessness. I got many posts deleted because my input on handling death threats and sexual assault were not welcome. Again, despite me having as much (and in many cases much more) experience with these things than the people who were complaining about my input. I like to think that my unusual opinions and varied experiences can be of some help to people. I prefer to encourage people to push the envelope and deal with life’s challenges, rather than be a wet blanket who hopes to foster conformity and petty bickering. It probably seems to bring out the devil’s advocate when people dismissively insist that “nobody lives like that”, and I can happily explain how I indeed do so. Or don’t, as the case may be.

Anyway, my experience has been that people get personal because they are - for whatever reason - invested enough in the social reality of what is being discussed that they prefer for us to retreat into convention, rather than debate it and risking the exposure of a sacred cow to ridicule. YMMV

We’re off topic.


Sounds good, let’s shake on it! XD

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Actually it is, because… wait for it… the study designers have HEARD OF THE OBSERVER EFFECT TOO.

Blinding your confederates in behavioral research is a pretty standard part of good design.


Oh, I think they are.

You regularly come off as generalizing from your own personal first principles, phenomenally unaware of how your first principles might actually be very culturally and socially bound by unexamined assumptions, overly enamored with your rather basic understanding of the tenets of post-modernism, and a little contemptuous of everyone else for not being as “enlightened” as you are. You don’t actually use the term “sheeple” but it’s heavily implied.

See also: your rather condescending comments elsewhere about how maybe Muslim families should just stand up for their kids’ rights, while “informing” anyone actually paying attention that of course this might be just a little dangerous.

Or your remark that I replied to just above this reply. You’re talking about double-blind research like you’ve just invented it right now. Never mind that the double-blinded experimental method has been A Thing since World War I, so, basically, for almost a century.


Again, this is taking a remark I made and using it to get personal. Why is it “standard” when you mention it, but “woefully obvious” when I mention it? I read the linked article, and there was no explanation as to how this may have been done, I think it’s relevant. WTF do you mean like I have just invented it?

No kidding, professor? If I seem contemptuous, perhaps it’s because people like to be rudely dismissive while not the slightest bit elucidating. The best examination of my assumptions by others tends to be something deep, such as “I know most people, and I’m sure they don’t agree”. Or “people have lived like this historically, so it must have a conceptually valid basis, even if nobody seems to know what it might be”. Of course direct participation in social life is dangerous. But leaving the important decisions of one’s life to others is even more so.

I really hate judging a book by its cover, but boy-howdy that gentleman looks like a bike seat sniffer.


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