Sideswipe: January 13: Buckle up, it’s gonna be a ruff ride

Emergency exit rule

No, not in case of fire, but in case of argument. Inc’s Bill Murphy Jr shared a strategy to be more persuasive and that might help you get the upper hand in an argument. His strategy relies on doing two things: (a) to avoid distracting, emotional mini-controversies, and (b) to offer easy ways for people to overcome emotional objections, and more easily follow the path you want them to take. Murphy Jr calls these tips the “emergency exit rule”. According to him, the rule is all about planting the seeds that allow people to maintain their pride and reputation even if they end up agreeing with you.

One weather diagnosis

The leaf blower has been repurposed

The clever repurposing of an object to serve a different function than the one it was designed for popped during protests in Portland last year. The Washington Post described the scene: Police fired tear gas at a crowd, and “as if on cue, a brigade of orange-shirted men with leaf blowers descended on the cloud, revved their engines and blew the tear gas away”, the Post reported. “‘Thank you leaf-blower dads!’ shouted a young woman.” Thus a bland symbol of suburban life becomes a tool of dissent. The same tactic was used in Hong Kong protests last year and from France to Chile to Lebanon: protesters repurposing tennis rackets to swat back tear-gas canisters and traffic cones to smother them, or using umbrellas as a crude defence against projectiles. A result of protesters in one place seeing social media clips of protesters in another.

Classic Kiwi Karen

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