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Basics of Promotion


Theory


First, we'll talk about a little basic theory. This is important because like with all things that Technocracy deals with, it is always advantageous to understand the subject that you are dealing with. Without this, you will try to improve without knowing where you have gone wrong. This information comes from modern psychology and communications theory, as well as the long-time experience of many Technocrats.

Modern communications theory acknowledges that communication is not a simple, one-sided action. It is instead a process conducted by two parties: the originator, and the recipient. The originator has information that they would like to transfer to the recipient, but this is not as simple as merely handing over a box with something in it. The reason for this is because every human being possesses mental information processes called filters. A filter is a way of automating the processing of information that comes into our brain so that we can focus our conscious mind on one or just a few of the most important things at the time. For instance, your brain is always accepting information about the position of your feet, but could you imagine having to actively think about where your feet are before having to move them? Instead, you learned techniques on how to do this as a young child, and as you grew more experienced with it, your brain remembered and streamlined the mental processes needed so that they could be tucked away safely inside your subconscious mind. It does this all the time with information on how to pick up a glass, type or write a letter, drive a car, nearly anything that can be considered everyday and routine. You only need to actively (consciously) think about them when something unusual happens, such as noticing construction ahead on the road; now you must figure out a new route to your destination and how to get there.

Your brain also automates the way it takes in information. Your five senses absorb massive amounts of information every second, enough to make most computers gasp and choke. Your conscious mind simply can't deal with it all at once, so as you've grown up, you've learned how to filter those inputs so that you can concentrate on what is important. Suppose for instance that you are in school and listening to the instructor. Your mind takes in information about the clock in the room ticking, but you are unaware of it, since your mind realizes that it always does this and there is no need to pay attention to it. It also does this with the sight of books on the instructor's desk, as well as the feeling of the shirt on your back. Can you imagine if you had to constantly pay attention to every sound, sight, smell and feeling you experienced all the time?

Recommended reading: Introduction to NLP

Thus we can see that filters are remarkably useful things. However, every person has different ones, and thus they process information differently. What might be a pleasant aroma to some people could easily be a foul stench to another. In psychology we say that the map is not the territory. In other words, people do not react to the reality around them, but only the information stored in their brains about that reality, information which has been filtered in a unique way. Definitions are another filter we use that can easily demonstrate how we process information differently. Suppose that you had two people watching the news on TV about the issue of nuclear power. One person may believe nuclear power to be wrong, and dangerous. The other may believe that nuclear power helps society by providing cheaper electricity. Thus each person is going to interpret (filter) this news report in different ways.

Now how does any of this apply to you teaching someone about Technocracy? Well, let's use the two people in the previous example. Suppose they were both members of a family. Now also suppose that a third member of the family had just been hired at a nuclear power plant. This makes our hypothetical third person very happy, and wishes to share the news with his or her loved ones. They tell these two members of the family the exact same thing at the exact same time, desiring to express his or her happiness at the situation. Do you think that these two people will receive the same message? Of course not. They will have very different reactions, and the communication with at least one family member will have failed as far as the third person's intention is concerned.

This happens with Technocracy all the time. Technocracy itself gets defined as many things, from technically trained bureaucrats to technology company presidents. Now suppose you were to tell someone you knew that you were a Technocrat, except that they understand this to mean, say, someone who supports a technological dictatorship. Unless that person actually likes that particular idea, it is unlikely that you will get a favourable response. Even if you did, they would have the wrong understanding of what you meant, and thus your attempt at communication will have failed.

So, in order to achieve a successful communication of an idea, it is important to understand where a person is coming from first, before you can take them where you want them to go. This travelling analogy works well if you consider that giving directions (such as “go 4 km north”) to your house may work for one person living in one part of the city, but to one living in another part of the city, this will not work. In this case you would first ask where they live, and then figure out a route for them to travel. All communications work this way, we just commonly don't notice because most of what we talk about concerns things with people who have many of the same presumptions and filters that we do.

Practice


Doing this in communications, however, takes a little practice. One good example of this is how often one gets the question: “Is Technocracy like communism?” This is a loaded question, because people have many different ideas about what communism is. They could mean classical Marxism, or perhaps Stalin's leadership in the USSR. They could mean how Chairman Mao runs China, or a blissful government-less utopia, or even a state run by workers. Thus, in order to answer the question and be able to correctly transfer to the recipient the information you desire them to have, you must know exactly what they mean by “communism”. Using this technique will take practice, but over time you will come to see how useful it is in conveying what you want successfully. In the meantime, we will present you here with some common perceptions that many (but not all) people have about Technocracy. Do not simply assume that they have these, always check first! But since they will come up often, we can give you some advice on how to deal with these common perceptions. As you become more experienced you will doubtlessly learn many more, and how to both deal with them, and how not to.

1) Technocracy is a government run by some sort of elite. There are many variations of this, but they all boil down to one thing that people fear: that Technocracy will put into power scientists and engineers that will rule absolutely with their advanced knowledge of technology. They often fear (consciously or subconsciously) about things such as surveillance cameras, chips in people's brains, and genetic engineering manipulation or elitism. One common fear is expressed in the movie Gattica, where people are classified according to their genetic viability, and the best jobs and positions always go to those with the best genes.

Now notice that there are many common assumptions that go with this idea. One is that Technocracy is simply a variation of every other kind of Price System, employing people with political “power” that can be classified on the traditional right-left political spectrum. Of course this is not the case and it is important to make clear to people as soon as possible how very different Technocracy is. One thing you might say right away is that Technocracy is so completely different from every other type of government that it is difficult to compare it to them. Of course, this leaves people dangling, because their minds will be searching for something to compare it too. Thus it is important to fill this need right away. Since there is nothing in the “real world” to really compare it to, instead analogies might best be used here. Using the analogy of comparing Technocracy to the instructions for your VCR or car often puts people in a state where they now have an idea of how different it is, and are thus willing to listen longer to what you have to say about it. Such examples are also inoffensive enough to disarm many people's concerns about authoritarianism, at least initially.

2) Technocracy is communism. The “Red Scare” after WWII has stuck deeply in the psyche of most westerners, and even today, support of communism is often met with suspicion. When most people envision communism, they see a collectivist state where all people are merely cogs in a great, state-run machine. Individuality and personal freedom are devalued for the good of the state. Often people will make this comparison when they hear of Technocracy's program of equal incomes, or pervasive social programs. You might tell them that in fact the Soviet Union did not employ equal incomes at all, but instructing them on the facts of the USSR is often counter-productive, since it not only takes away time from teaching about Technocracy, but also makes you look more like a “communist sympathizer”.

For this reason it is important to do two things when discussing such topics. One is to attempt when possible to focus on Technocracy, and its benefits. This helps keep the conversation on track. The other is to redirect all criticisms of Price System economic and political styles to simple instruction about the Price System as a whole. This allows you to teach vital information about Technocracy without getting sidetracked in the minutiae of other systems. It also prevents Technocracy from appearing to side with any particular political view, which is important because people will often still try to place it into the political spectrum somewhere, even after you have told them that it is not political, and how different it really is. If you notice that this might become a problem, then one good thing to tell them is “Technocracy has the best of both worlds. It has more stability and security than any command-style economy, and yet more efficiency and personal freedom than any democracy.” This will lead the person to wonder how exactly this is possible, which only opens up their curiosity more to what you have to say.

Notice that both these techniques (#1 and #2) do not explain Technocracy in any great detail, but instead make the person more curious. This is important groundwork, since it will take some time before you can give them enough information that they will be able to understand Technocracy. Thus, at this stage, what you are doing is getting them to volunteer additional time for explanation, by bypassing the filters which would have likely automated their attention away from you.

3) Technocracy is a political party that seeks power. Any discussion of government will naturally bring up this assumption since this is the way it is always done. The momentum of 5000 years of Price System history is a difficult train to dodge, but it can be done. This is usually countered with the explanation that Technocracy is a non-profit, non-political education and research organization. You may even liken it to a school or university, since its two functions are research and education. This almost always leads to the sticky question of how Technocracy is supposed to come about. This is a good topic to artfully postpone if you can because people like to get stuck on the ambiguity of what we can offer in the way of an explanation, and thus judge Technocracy on this perceived “shortcoming.” If you are not towards the end of your discussion, then start with the simple explanation that Technocracy will need to come about by fully democratic action on the part of a properly informed public. Reiterate that this is why Technocracy's primary goal is to educate North America about itself. You should then redirect the conversation (although not too abruptly as to incur suspicion of evasion) towards the positive qualities of a Technocracy. If they persist for details, then tell them that it is complicated and that there are other things they will need to understand first. This will usually buy you enough time to finish your presentation. If you are already at that stage, or can no longer avoid it, the standard answer is that Technocracy cannot dictate a specific plan of installation since it is impossible to know the circumstances under which it will take place, and that decision will be best made by the informed public at the time, who will have all the information they need to make such a complex decision.

4) Technocracy will take away my car, my house, my rights, my freedom, etc. It is usually a good policy, before getting too detailed on how Technocracy works, to give the subject good reasons to want to learn more about it. This is best done by listing the benefits that Technocracy can offer. This can be done generally (working less hours, with a high standard of living), or more specifically, if speculatively (16 hours a week, the equivalent of $70,000 per year, etc.) There are advantages and disadvantages to both, but it is important to keep in mind that if you do opt for the second choice, that while it will help the person visualize a Technocratic future, that these numbers are projectional, which means that they are only extrapolations based on the information from a certain time period (16 hours comes from the 1930's, while the $70,000 number was conjectured more recently). Make sure that the person knows this, but it is ok because at least they will have an idea of what to expect, and you can add that these numbers will only improve with time, for as long as we act quickly enough.

Often they will have a specific thing that they feel they might have to “give up”. Things such as the right to own a vehicle, or start a business, own land, are all things that will no longer exist in a Technate. But is this really a loss? The trick here is to determine the person's “highest positive goal” with the thing in question. For instance, they may hate to lose their car. But is it really that? What does having a car do for them? What benefits does it give them? Remember these questions and adapt them to your need; they will come in very handy in this situation. In our example, the person may say that they like having easy access to transportation. If that is the case, then explain how Technocracy would handle transportation, and speculate on what it might be like in an Urbanate with today's technology (if you are new to Technocracy, or are not sure otherwise, it is often best to find out some official projections on such issues). Thus you can demonstrate to them the superior access to transportation that they will have, following up with all the hassles of owning a car, such as finding parking, making payments, maintenance, theft, accidents, long drives, rush-hour traffic, etc. If they say they enjoy driving, then again, think of how this might be better in a Technate. In this example, you could tell them about the option to “rent” a car, or other vehicle, for cheap, and for almost any purpose, such as camping, touring the continent, or even racing. Show them how they can still enjoy the joys of driving while still having access to far more convenient transportation in an Urbanate. After all, aren't things a lot more fun when you don't have to do them?