Marketing is the business of persuading you to feel the need for something you otherwise would probably have never thought of buying – and to make you feel good about buying something you probably don’t need.
Two automotive examples come to mind.
The first is what’s marketed as “advanced driver assistance technology.” It is a euphemism wrapped in a manipulation, inside a cloying infantilism.
Of course it is “advanced” – in the manner that being in favor of authoritarian collectivism is “progressive.” The implication being that to not possess or desire either thing is retrograde. Thus a car without “driver assistance technology” is not “advanced.” And that, of course, is very bad.
It is certainly not safe.
Ergo, you must buy.
In order to be countermanded, controlled and nanny’d – which is what “driver assistance technology” actually does, with the insulting implication that you need “assistance,” in the manner of offering a wheelchair to a man who can walk. You are too incompetent to keep the car in its travel lane or apply the brakes when it is necessary to slow the car down or stop the car or even park the damned thing . . . without “assistance.”
Which is of the “we’re from the government and we’re here to help you” variety.
Which “help” – and “assistance” – you aren’t free to refuse. There is as yet no law requiring that all new cars be equipped with “advanced driver assistance technology” but it isn’t necessary to legislate because corporations have become functionally indistinguishable from government and have the advantage of not having to bother about passing laws or even spewing “mandates.”
They just give you the “choice” of accepting what they force-feed you – by making sure you have no other choice. It is almost impossible to buy any new car without “advanced driver assistance technology” because it has been made standard equipment in almost all new cars, with the handful remaining being holdovers, soon to be updated.
There is no alternative to “advanced driver assistance technology” because only corporations can build cars in a corporatist state – which is what the United States has become. The corporations figured out that it is more profitable to “partner with” the government, in fact and in principle, than to oppose what the government wants – which is become the same thing the corporations want, which is to leave you with no alternative to what they both want.
Free competition is the last thing either want – because of the freedom and the competition.
They want your freedom – and to be free from competition.
This necessarily means not only reducing your options, it means convincing you that they haven’t. Hence “advanced driver assistance technology,” which does just that while implying it does something else. The less control you’ve got over your car, the more control it has over you.
And when you can’t buy a new car without “advanced driver assistance technology,” they have more control over you.
Not to mention more of your money.
Another example is “dual fuel injection technology.” It is always “technology” – that being a kind of dog-whistle word in the lexicon of latter-day American imbecility. The imbeciles being those who cock their ears when they hear that word – and yelp like pups to get them some without understanding what it is they’re getting – and paying for.
So what exactly is “dual fuel injection technology”? It is the marketing of unnecessary – because duplicative – fuel-delivery technology. Well, it is necessary – because of the government. But the corporations want to make you feel better about having to pay for it. Want to make you feel as if you’re buying something worth paying extra for.
Well, what you’re paying for is a second fuel-delivery circuit to Band Aid the problem caused by the primary fuel-delivery circuit.
The government says, fuel economy uber alles! The corporations respond by replacing efficient port-fuel-injection (PFI) with direct injection (DI) which is a system that spritzes the gas at extremely high pressure (several thousand pounds of pressure) directly into the cylinder, through a hole in the cylinder – like the hole for the spark plug. This does provide a very modest increase in fuel economy – about 2-3 MPG on average – at the cost of carbon building up on the stems of the intake valves, eventually resulting in poor cylinder sealing and terrible efficiency – requiring cleaning of the crudded up valve stems to restore it, at your expense. In a PFI system, they would never get crudded up because of the gasoline (which is a solvent as well as a fuel) washing them down as you drive.
The fix for the problem caused by DI? Add a PFI circuit just to wash down the intake valve stems, in order to keep them from crudding up.
This is then marketed to you, Mr. Rube, as “dual fuel injection technology” – and it is very “advanced,” indeed!
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