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Universal Persuasion


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Once upon a time there was an anthropologist named Brown.

He wanted to find a set of Human Universals.

Characteristics that all humans share.

Kind of like Noam Chomsky's idea of Universal Grammar.

Most linguists and historians will tell you that there are plenty of different languages on Earth.

But Chomsky believed we really only have ONE language.

His theory was very technical, and he had a lot of supporting ideas.

One of his reasons was that all languages have nouns and verbs and adjectives etc.

And you can take any kid and put them any household in any country in the world and they'll grow up speaking that language like a native.

His theory was we all speak different dialects of the same language.

Similarly, Brown wanted to find a similar set of traits that we all share.

Which he did.

All of us are scared of snakes.

Everybody has some kind of beliefs that could be called mythology, or religion, or superstition.

Going back through all major civilizations, they all had SOME kind of "religion philosophy" that connected one's behavior in this world with the world beyond.

All humans in all cultures modify their speech when talking to children.

A kind of universal "baby talk."

You may say that if you go deep enough, we are all similar.

But the closer you get toward the surface, the more different we become.

Even among family members and close friends you can find this dynamic.

We all have a favorite food, but we all have DIFFERENT favorite foods.

Closer to the surface are our own conscious reasons and ideas.

The deeper you go, the more you get to the driving instincts that we all need to satisfy.

Instinctive need for food, love, companionship, safety, self expression.

It's common in persuasion to use more top level ideas.

We believe OUR reasons for doing things will be persuasive to others.

After all, they're good enough for us, right?

From inside our own brains, they make perfect sense.

But this usually only works with close friends whom we know well.

The less you know your target, the deeper you'll need to go in order to persuade.

This actually makes it much easier.

Since the deeper you go, the MORE similarities we have.

Even better, if you start deep enough, and use THEIR ideas that exist up on the surface, persuading them will be easier than you think.

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