Scare tactics

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Scare tactics

Back in the early 1960s when I was but a lad I remember my parent's vehement objections to the government forcing the auto industry to stop using leaded gas and install catalytic converters. My parents had bought into the notion that if allowed, the economic disruption to the country would be catastrophic: gas prices would skyrocket, cars would become unaffordable, collapse would be imminent. With their meager incomes, this was something that scared the crap out of them.

As a no-nothing kid, this made no sense to me. Smog in the LA Basin was so bad it was difficult at times to see across the street and older, weaker people died from breathing it. And the lead was poisoning us. Why would my parents worry about paying more for a car when it was obvious that staying the course was detrimental to public health?

They had succumbed to a quite common technique of swaying people one way or the other. The scare tactic.

It's hard to avoid, even if it defies common sense.

I recall a time in our industry when scare tactics were employed. First, there was the digital scare: listening to digital music was actually bad for your health and there was plenty of "evidence" to support it.

Then, there was the distortion scare where anything higher than one thousand of a percent was contaminating what you were hearing. Despite the facts.

We're all susceptible to the scare tactic.

What's your favorite?

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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