Strategic Thinking: The Rubber Band Syndrome vs. The Mental Depth Charge

Surely you've had this experience . . .

  • You marshal your evidence . . .
  • You deploy powerful arguments . . .
  • And thereby convince a friend to stop supporting a Statist policy.

But then, you don't see your friend for a while . . .

  • He or she is left for weeks or months, swimming in the river of Statist propaganda that streams from every media outlet
  • So that when next you meet you find that your friend's mind has snapped back to where it was before

It's as if the two of you had never talked. Your friend has completely forgotten . . .

  • The evidence you marshaled
  • The arguments you used
  • The fact that he or she ended up agreeing with the case you made

Jim Babka calls this the The Rubber Band Syndrome.

  • Visualize yourself stretching a cartoon brain to a larger size
  • Visualize the brain snapping back to it's former shape as soon as you walk away

This Rubber Band Syndrome makes a mockery of our persuasion efforts. It causes us to waste time, energy, and money. But here at Downsize DC we consider it part of our mission to prevent wasted effort, to make difficult things easy, and to constantly accomplish more with less. That's why . . .

We want to find a cure for The Rubber Band Syndrome.

Is there a cure? We think there is. In fact, we think there may be two cures . . .

Cure #1:

It seems clear to us that we must equal the river of Statist propaganda that streams from every media outlet every day. One way to do that is something we talk about constantly . . .

Operation Everywhere.

For those who are new to Downsize DC, Operation Everywhere is our plan to reach a size that will enable us to make our ideas -- your ideas -- seen and heard by everyone, everywhere, every day. In other words . . .

We can solve the problem of minds that snap back to their previous dimensions as soon as our arguments are no longer being heard, by creating conditions under which our arguments are ALWAYS HEARD. This is clearly a full-proof solution to the problem, BUT . . .

It's not an easy solution. Operation Everywhere will be hard to execute. It will take time to get there. So, this particular cure doesn't meet one of our most important criteria . . . making difficult things easy. Which brings us to . . .

Cure #2:

This Oliver Wendell Holmes quote is very famous: "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." But the experience we've all had with The Rubber Band Syndrome tells us that it's actually very difficult to stretch a mind in such a way that it REMAINS EXPANDED. So what we need for Cure #2 is obvious . . .

  • We need ideas and facts and arguments that are so powerful that they do not allow the mind to shrink back to its former dimensions.
  • We need ideas that EXPLODE the dimensions of the human mind to vast new boundaries.
  • I call this kind of idea . . .

The Mental Depth Charge

You've probably had this kind of experience too . . .

  • You say something powerful to someone, but it seems to have no immediate effect
  • Days, or months, or sometimes years pass, until . . .
  • Eventually the person comes to you and says "I've only just now understood what you said way back when, and . . .
  • . . . understanding it changes everything."

You see, your idea needed time to sink-in, just like a depth charge.

But for this to happen the idea has to be something that will actually stay in your friend's mind for the time required, and not be popped out by The Rubber Band Syndrome.

We've all had these experiences. We've all laid mental depth charges in the minds of others, and had them placed in our minds too. Often these explosive ideas come about by accident, in the flow of conversation, but the trick we want to master is to create mental depth charges by design!

This means we need a laboratory to conduct experiments, and a factory for production. The Downsize DC Foundation and this website are that laboratory/factory, and the concept of the Mental Depth Charge is, we hope our first good example thereof.

This message is an educational service of the Downsize DC Foundation. Please share it with others. Please tell your friends that they can receive similar material in the future by subscribing to our free email newsletter, The Downsizer-Dispatch.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Perry Willis. Permission to distribute this blog post for educational purposes is granted, if done with attribution to the author and the Downsize DC Foundation. Permission to use for commercial purposes is denied.