It's worth noting - with some irony - that many of those commentators who demand this of 'brand authenticity' are among the worst bullshit offenders.
Returning to Frankfurt's text briefly...
Have a nice day.
The brain is a physical system.
It functions exactly the same way as a computer.
Its circuits are designed to generate behavior that is appropriate the environmental circumstances in which it needs to function.
The above statements are part of the first principles of evolutionary psychology.
(This is our current area of study, by the way.)
This means that all of our thoughts, hopes, dreams and feelings are simply the product of chemical reactions going on in our heads.
In this sense there is no 'self'.
(While evolutionary psychologists are generally the most vocal opponents of anything that smells of religion, it's curious how much of the theory corresponds with the same ideas in buddhism, for example.
Although buddhism is not strictly a religion, of course.)
The circuits of the brain, firing together, are designed to generate different kinds of motion.
This is what we would call behaviour, and it happens in response to information from the environment.
Now we've got that out of the way it's interesting to note how many behaviours we share with other species.
This particular example that I found in an uncredited EP primer reminded me of some people I've encountered in the advertising agency and marketing world.
Regular readers will know that many years ago I worked in a record shop.
And on occasion I've recounted a tale or two about how I learned a bit about marketing and selling on the job.
I never knew the theory in those days, just the practice.
We were a small indie and our range was smaller than the big chains.
There was a lot of top 40 type material that we would have struggled to sell.
We were in a different partition, if you like.
At certain times of year however, we had a bit of an opportunity to sell some stuff that the chains would normally clean up on.
Christmas, for example.
There was a certain type of buyer, and there were lots of them, who were very light category buyers.
They only bought music once a year, sometimes even less.
The 'Christmas number one' was what they bought.
Whichever song was number one in the charts at Christmas.
So we made sure we had a shed load racked out at the till point, so the once a year category buyer could walk straight up, get their CD and get off.
I soon learned not to even try and upsell because they didn't know or want anything else.
The book business is similar, I would imagine.
There's still lots of volume to be had from light category buyers - especially in the bricks and mortar stores.
Even among those who we could call 'buyers of the category' many buy less than one book a year.
And that one book might be the year's blockbuster. The book equivalent of the Christmas number one. Fifty Shades was probably one of those.
Today the local Tasmanian newspapers ran four or five pages on the spectacular success of local author Richard Flanagan winner of the 2014 Man Booker for The Narrow Road to the Deep North a story about Australian soldiers on the Burma Railway.
Only the fourth Aussie author to win the prize, and the first from Tasmania.
I'm not a novel reader, to be fair, I like factual stuff and biographies.
My wife is though.
Because there's a local connection to where I am working, I nipped over to the main city centre bookshop at lunchtime today to pick up a copy for her, before I go to the airport to go home.
They were sold out.
I was also told that they had only a few in stock at the beginning of the week.
'It has been out for a year, after all'.
Ever curious, I hung around for 20 minutes as dozens of light category buyers - and some so light they could likely be classified as non-buyers - filed in for the one book of the year (or decade) they were ever going to buy.
It was was out of stock.
No doubt this has been going on all day.
All day hundreds of shoppers have walked in and out with $30 still in their pocket.
They buy books so infrequently they don't even know what they should expect to pay.
All those books could have been sold at full whack.
It will be back in on Tuesday, though.
By that time the one book a year buyers will get someone to order it online and they will have it delivered by Tuesday (this is Australia. It takes about a week to come from the US or Europe).
Or most likely forgotten about it.
They could have got a pallette load on consignment from the publishers, just in case.
Or a big poster in the window letting people know when it will be restocked and taking orders as a damage limitation tactic.
Have an empty table in the shop where the book would have been. Making it look scarce and popular.
It was on the shortlist.
They had one chance.
And the bookstore will complain about Amazon, killing their business.
They are doing a good job on their own.
Kahneman and Gigerenzer have clashed many times over the years with regard to their individual points of view on intuitive heuristics.
Why they are at each others throats is slightly puzzling to this reader, as they are both saying the same thing, for the most part.
When confronted with a problem that requires some degree of thinking, and where there is at least partial ignorance (ie just about everything) - some examples often cited are; choosing a chess move or deciding whether to invest in stock — decisions are governed mostly by intuitive thought, and the intuitive mind does the best it can with whatever information it can use.
In Gigerenzer's writing he identifies a number of smart heuristics - 'take the best' and 'recognition validity' are two.
Similarly, Kahneman would say that if the individual has at least some relevant 'expertise', she will recognise a solution, and that this intuitive solution that comes to mind is quite often correct.
But what happens when the question is more difficult and a 'skilled' solution or smart heuristic is not available?
DK would say that we instead answer an easier and related question, automatically and usually without noticing the substitution.
Indeed, attribute substitution is thought to underpin a number of cognitive biases and perceptual illusions, something GG and DK can agree upon, and is part of a larger set of shortcuts that form the effort-reduction framework as proposed by Shah and Oppenheimer, which states that people use a variety of techniques in order to reduce the mental effort of making decisions.
So, an easier question to answer might be one that allows us to simply look at our previous behaviour. If that feels related to the problem at hand we then feel reasonably happy proceed in-line with what we have previously done.
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable thing, of course.
We want our attitudes to be in line with our behaviours.
Whilst we might believe that we are not the sort of person who drinks and drives, once a couple of beers have gone down and we have to get home we soon change our minds.
The behaviour has been done so that's impossible to change, so of course we want our attitude to be consistent and tell ourselves a story to rationalise it. It's just easier to do this.
I've done some of my own research that seems to indicate that despite having more access to information than at any point in history in order to do proper evaluation of alternatives in choice situations, we simply cannot be arsed and will use all manner of effort reduction strategies to dramatically simplify and limit consideration sets.
Especially, as it would appear from our studies, in categories such as insurance; where making the wrong choice could have pretty serious consequences. Yet the vast majority of buyers are happy to buy from an existing FS provider, or if they do switch; then the brands with biggest share of market and share of voice tend to pick up most of the switchers and new to market buyers.
So, for example, if the difficult question (or computationally complex attribute) asked is “Should Scotland be an independent country?”.
The reality is that for many voters perhaps an easier to calculate heuristic attribute might be “Am I already deeply invested in a pseudo-religious and political sectarian Unionist or Republican 'philosophy', (imported from somewhere else) and based on my allegiance to a particular Glasgow based football club?”
Despite the fluffy rhetoric about a nation engaged in a new passion for political discourse, debate and democracy, we fear that this description does not account for all of the voting public.
But for a number of the reported 1.4million Scots who are R*ngers supporters this will almost certainly be the case. Numbers for C*ltic are unavailable, recognition validity indicates they will be similar, though...
Whether those numbers are enough to have made a significant impact on the final poll we will never know. Perhaps they cancelled each other out, in which case an engaged minority held the balance.
What was clearly visible were the ugly scenes of from George Square last week.
Far from any intellectual jousting of political and national ideologies the scene resembled more closely the famous 1980 Scottish Cup Final. A sorry affair in which a narrow one-nil victory for the green half of the great unwashed resulted in a pitch invasion from the blue side, a mass bricks and bottles battle between thousands, and TV commentator Archie MacPherson prompted to remark 'its like a scene from Apocalypse Now'.
The Unionists won the vote, of course. Goodness knows what might have happened had they lost.
There's a splendid chapter in Bill Drummond's book 45 entitled 'A Cure for Nationalism' that seems to neatly sum up the uncomfortable cognitive dissonance at the heart of a certain kind of Scottishness, and particularly poignant at this defining moment in modern political history.
To set the scene, our protagonist, Drummond, is in Paris for the 1998 World cup where Scotland faced - and were narrowly defeated by - Brazil in the opening fixture.
Drummond's dissonance is revealed, made manifest and resolved within a few short paragraphs.
'I was present at the births of all five of my children; not once did I well up with the mystery and wonder of it all, but just the notion of Scotland is enough to make me weep.
This morning I sit silent on the train. I feel totally empty. Not because Scotland lost. Even if they had won I'd feel the same. It's investing all that emotional energy into something that you have no control over.
At least Bruce's men were willing to give their lives to defend Scotland's sovereign statehood.
What do I or any of the Tartan Army ever actually do for Scotland? For the good of its appalling nutritional standards, its chronic abuse of alcohol, its stagnant economy, its highest rates of cancer in Europe?
"Let us do or die" - what a lie. we do nothing but die.
Forget fantasy football, this is fantasy nationalism. None of us really gives a sh*t about Scotland, even those that vote SNP.
Thank God we are not about to do or die like some former Yugoslavian state. We have never had an empire, never wanted one.'
But on the upside, he concludes...