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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Fear sells

A friend proposed writing a blog on The Frightful FiveAmazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. Their market value on the stock exchange has surpassed the old market giants: banks and oil companies. Data is the new oil. Should we be afraid of The Frightful 5?

Their market dominance may lead - or has already led - into a monopoly or oligopoly which could indeed be a good reason for fear. Their perfection of technology (means) as a new human addiction (aim) is a good enough reason for fear. Also see my 31 July blog.

The flip side is the immense speed in the Technological Revolution of 1800-2100. The Frightful Five might be more afraid of market disruption by newcomers than we are of them. Their acquisitions often shed some light on the level of their fear.

Fear is only relevant once you believe in it, else it has no Power over your emotions. In the (temporary) absence of wifi and mobile internet, where is the danger of The Frightful Five? Comparing them to utilities (eg, electricity, gas, water) makes no sense as they do not constitute a basic necessity in our lives; perhaps a (temporary) addiction, like drinking and smoking. 

I still remember the decades when "sex sells" was an advertising slogan. Scantily clad women were used to promote selling products and services in exhibitions, newspapers and on TV. Especially, the automotive industry was/is famous for this approach. 

For several decades, conservative media have been using an approach of "fear sells". Liberal media have joined this approach. This joint approach may also explain the surge in media which are selling inspirational stories based on positive psychology (eg, TED) and the websites full of cute animal videos. Life is always in search for symmetry and balance.

Fear is like a fire in constant need of oxygen, else it dies - and Hope returns. I am dealing with this omnipresent Fear by deliberately changing my attitude: I have stopped watching the irritatingly negative 8 PM Dutch TV news. My iPhone and iPad are no longer in reach of me but at least 2 meters away. I have also minimised their notification sounds because those are causing the constant and irritating distractions (eg, GQLife Hacker, Quartz). 

It's important to separate genuine from artificial fears. Genuine fears are related to the 4 classical elements: air (suffocation), earth (eg, earthquakes, volcanoes), fire (burning), and water (drowning). Artificial fears are however related to differences in disability, gender, nationality, race, religion, and sexuality. Spreading artificial fears is related to a well-known coping mechanism: reverse psychology and projection. The real question is: Who is afraid of whom??

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” Quote by Nelson Mandela

F.E.A.R. (2001) by Ian Brown - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2