[nSLUG] Re: Help with PhD Research

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Tue May 22 17:15:28 ADT 2007

> I would greatly appreciate it if you could take 10 minutes to do the  
> following survey.
> ...

Hilarious!  The one subject that is queried repeatedly and is thus, by
inference, of particular interest to the study is that of the extent
to which you became totally lost in the "experience" and detached from
the rest of the world or from noramal cognitive process while
"shopping" on line.

I was immediately reminded of Jerry Mander's _Four Arguments for the
Elimination of Television_.  Mander's book is pop, not a technical
monograph in cognitive or neuro science but he makes a reasonable case
for the notion that TV watchers drop into some kind of trance state
that is abnormally amenable to suggestion, that the effect is
intrinsic to the medium and that TV producers calculatedly exploit the
effect.  This survey's tilt suggests that now marketers who want to
exploit the web are trying to figure out how to engender that same
trance-state response to one's browser display.

For the benefit of the the HCI folks (to whom this is CC'd), I should
add that my dwell time on a site is (roughly) inversely proportional
to the degree to which that site looks or reads like a TV commercial
or blow-in advertising flyer.  As I wrote elsewhere [1]:

      [Design your web pages so as to] Suppress thinking. Television
      zombies will recognize their home pasture. The more your pages
      look like TV, the more likely your visitors are to be in a
      suggestible trance state when they look at them. After all,
      dentists put TVs over their chairs to help you fall into a
      trance state and forget that they're excavating your central
      nervous system with a power tool. Make it work for you, too.

Ho hum. :-)

My next NSLUG post will be Linux-related.  Really.  Promise.

- Mike

[1] http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/alien/guide.html 

    Not updated for a decade or so, not since typical access ceased to
    be dial-up. I should do that.  There are so many new, irritating
    marketing droid features on the web for me to rant about. :-)

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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