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Drink Hemlock Or Become Emperor?


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There's a very interesting book called "40 Centuries of Price Controls."

40 centuries is 4,000 years.

About as long as recorded history.

And they show all the examples of a very common scenario.

The government tries to make laws regarding prices.

They make the rules assuming everybody will willingly and obediently do whatever the government says.

The people say, "Uh, yeah, whatever," and do what they always do.

Figure out ways AROUND the price controls.

For example about ten years ago in San Francisco, the city government thought it was UNFAIR that McDonalds was selling happy meals with toys.


They thought the evil Micky D's was forcing these poor helpless people to buy the toys (that were included with the Happy Meals) when they didn't want to.

So the city council passed a law saying couldn't sell Happy Meals that included the toys.

So, Micky D's said, "Uh, yeah, whatever."

The decreased the cost of the Happy Meals by ten cents.

And they "upsold" the toys for ten cents EXTRA.

And sold just as many Happy Meals with toys as they did before.

Our brains are HARD WIRED to do two things.

All animal brains are hard wired to do two things.

Get good stuff and avoid bad stuff.

And MINIMIZE the costs of getting the good stuff.

And MAXIMIZING the benefits of getting the good stuff.

So whenever we see any kind of obstacle, a goofy government law, or a broken down road, or an invention that hasn't been made yet, we'll respond the SAME WAY.

We look at the obstacle, and say to ourselves, "Uh, yeah, whatever."

And figure out ways AROUND it.

Sure some people are much better at this than others.

The people that are the BEST at this make tons of money.


We tend to believe that our brains are filled with logic.

Not really true, but sort of true.

Sort of true when were are MINIMIZING costs and MAXIMIZING benefits.

But those benefits and costs are very, very subjective.

And when you can combine our naturally slippery thinking to slip around all the obstacles, and get as much benefit as we can, you can do magic.

For example, once upon a time there was a guy named Socrates.

Dude spoke in pure logic.

Could EASILY prove NOBODY had any idea what they were talking about.

As this is the WORST party skill you could develop, they killed him.

On the other hand, another guy from history, Marcus Aurelius, understood the SAME THING as old Socrates.

That NOTHING is true.

But instead of PROVING everybody wrong, as world champion, anti-party skill Socrates did, he spoke BRILLIANTLY.

Using the best RHETORIC ever.

So much he is considered one of the GREATEST speakers of all time.

Socrates talked himself into a delicious cup of Hemlock.

Marcus Aurelius talked himself into being Emperor of Rome.

What do YOU want to talk yourself into?

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