I wanted to make this post to be about quantum entanglement. You see,, Giga reports on a new development about putting quantum stuff into a computer chip that can get entangled. it might look something like this
But this morning, I read about this tipsy British guy in a pub who was certain that a woman — dressed as a police officer — was in fact a performer in a strip show that had been ordered for his personal entertainment. Don’t ask me how he got this crazy idea. But he did. You can imagine what happened next. And he still thought he was part of a prank even as she drove him to the station to be booked.
I love the story! Same for the story of the giant boulder that stopped just inches from leveling a quaint farm house in northern Italy. This second story may not the same kind of knee slapper as the first (though it might get more funny if you put the tipsy British guy in the house), but it got my attention too.
I thought, both of these are sure to “go viral” on the web. Meaning, they will spread like wildfire. Indeed, I can’t help myself from sharing them with you.
And that got me thinking. What is special about them? Jonah Berger wrote a whole book about what goes viral called “Contageous“. But I would point to just one aspect that plays out in the above stories. And it is something that we can use in our own thinking.
Both stories put us into a multi-dimensional framework. In a weird way, they entangle us. As the stories unfold, we see both the tipsy customer/stripper story and the tipsy customer/police officer story. We see the quaint farmhouse/beautiful countryside story and the quaint farmhouse/enormous builder coming your way story. Presenting these multiple dimensions opens the mind in ways that we love. Same for this — one of my favorites — music video of a great multi-dimensional hit song “monster mash”. This montage of dancing monsters gives the flavor of the thing. I mean, do teen monsters fret about acne?
The odd thing is that we can master this presentation technique. Like Jack Benny did. Jack was an ordinary looking guy. Sort of like an insurance salesman. This was intentional. Here he is
And if you watch his monologue (see link above) he starts off making a point of showing you an ordinary guy on stage — the more ordinary, the better. He lulls you into believing that there is no way that this guy could be funny. Again, this is not an accident – it is an anchoring technique. BTW, I have heard it said that Jerry Seinfeld errr …. borrowed this “ordinariness” idea from Jack Benny in creating his own wildly popular TV character.
But back to the master, Jack Benny. When Jack starts his monologue, he almost immediately opens up a new dimension to his character – and one that you don’t expect – vanity (he says … I don’t want to brag, but I do get a lot of fan mail …). Then comes his stinginess. And on and on. BTW, notice the points where he slows down to give effect to each dimension and the contrasts that he creates with them. These dimensions move the style from the ordinary to the absurd. Again, this is technique. Another aside, comedian, Larry David mastered this technique rather late in his career. Better late than never. He got very good at it and became wildly successful.
Why should we think this way? After all, we are not striving to be stand up comedians or even back room comic writers. Maybe not. But there is a simple reason to think about this. Linear, or one dimensional stories are boring. The mind does not really work that way, so why should we structure our story lines that way? Using multi-dimensional presentation styles opens the mind to new ideas and new ways of connecting things. Here is the fun part — it starts with just being someone who is far from perfect (one dimension), who is then entangled in stuff that is much more complex (other dimensions).
And we can do this when we talk to ourselves (yes, I admit it. I actually do this) and when we talk in groups.
Hmmm … onward to a great weekend! See you at the monster mash!
FOLLOW – Lafley argues that the first strategic question one must ask is “what is winning?” The answer is not automatic because we can’t win everywhere. In the communication context, one way of looking at winning is how well we can open up new ways of seeing things. If so, the above techniques are helpful in figuring out how to win.