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“It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.” – Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Fresh Reads from the Science 'o sphere!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Things That No Longer Make Sense

I like advertisements.

Weird and dramatic print adverts.

TV commercials with catchy jingles (ultra-absorbent diapers anyone? 谁怕谁,乌龟怕铁锤!) or credit card/ jewellery/ car commercials featuring hot babes.

Not like I'll really remember what they're selling, but I certainly can't forget that song.

Or that hot babe.

I am appreciating advertisements as a art form in itself!

(Technically that means they failed on me.)

Unfortunately, doing science has diminished some of my simpler pleasures in life.

The ol' "upstairs" doesn't work like it used to.

Take this FedEx ad for example:

Anyone can clearly see what it's trying to say.

"Choose an unreliable delivery service and risk making many, many, many people angry... so choose FedEx!"

But my philosophy-battered brain sees two disjointed statements that do not connect in any meaningful way.

The first statement itself already lacks qualification (do late deliveries always make people angry? They make me resigned to fate, for example).

But the second only gives you China's population size.

It doesn't say anything else and it certainly doesn't follow that some late deliveries can somehow piss off 1.3 billion people at the same time.

Here let me rewrite the first sentence so that you can see the problem more clearly.

"Pretty flowers make people happy. China has 1.3 billion people."

So invest in Ah Lim's flower company and become rich, rich, RICH!

Not quite.

Pretty flowers don't make everyone happy.

China doesn't have a 1.3 billion-strong market for pretty flowers, and they also have their own flower companies.

Besides, Ah Lim's flower company cannot produce 1.3 billion flowers anyway.

See why it doesn't make sense?

To make things worse, my psychology-clobbered brain sees something else - the two statements hints at a subconscious desire to dominate the delivery market in China.

Rather than showcasing the efficiency of their company, they are dripping with ambition.


Such complex thoughts and strong emotions from a simple, eye-catching advertising billboard.

Where have all the flowers gone?


Johan Jansson said...

Borrowed your picture. Hope it's ok. link.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Hi Johan,

Welcome to Fresh Brainz. Yes, that's OK. Cheers!