Advertisements. I found myself carefully reading something in my spam folder. Sure, every once in a while there is something in there that shouldn't be but my vigilance in checking is probably over done. I knew it was spam and yet it pulled me in. It was from Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, and it was all about the money that I am owed. I was struck by how the writing was accurate and mostly followed grammatical convention, but clearly not written by an American. Nevertheless the find craft work of the con man caught my attention but at the conclusion I had almost no sympathy for anyone gullible enough to believe, let alone send the $550 it required to deliver the $7.8 million promised. My advertising eye wandered to a web site that will essentially bet you to lose weight. The idea is an economists dream: if you have skin in the game then you are more committed to win. But it was the marketing that was over the top. The ad offered the "average prize" for winners with no mention of either the investment these winners made nor the fact that some would lose. I figured it I would try it out. The site asked me how much I wanted to lose. I decided for a modest goal of 10 pounds. How long would it take? A year sounds good. How much do I want to bet with the recommended amount of $50 a month. At the top of the page, as I enter my data, I'm shown the prize ranges from $653 to $840. Well that's a number that catches your eye. But wait, there's this thing called math. It will cost me $600 to make as little as $653. Now that is a 9% more and that's a decent return but as you raise your monthly investment, the return rate drops. And then there's that risk of not being able to deliver. I didn't read the fine print but wouldn't be surprised if there weren't some other costs or risks that have yet to be shared with me. We learned this week that the president's last campaign manager and was involved in a scheme to take private donations for a border wall only to have designed an elaborate scheme to fund personal expenses including cosmetic surgery. I'm in the marketing business and the key to good marketing is to appreciate the need for skepticism.
One final note, if you are bored, you might want to look for Trump's pay-per-click ads, which are everywhere right now. I click on everyone I see. Helps the sites I like to visit and subtracts money from the reelection campaign. Well worth my time.
Smoke in the Air. Windows still shut. Air is thick for the fifth day.
Reading. I tried to read books at the beginning of the pandemic but every time I tried read something would jump into my brain and drive me back into the news. I tried both fiction and non-fiction but struggled to stay focused. At the same time I seemed to have no problem streaming a range of silly shows, but for some reason I couldn't concentrate on books. That ended this weekend. I had a library due date deadline and was able to plow through the last 150 pages this past weekend and somehow seem to have rediscovered reading in the process. I small sign that we are getting back to normal.
Frustrations Forecast. The Republican convention starts tonight. I see strong potential for frustration before the night is done.
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