A writing piece from Scott P. Scheper.
Daily Issue No. 116
One American Plaza
Downtown San Diego, CA
Saturday, 3:55 pm
Last evening I was installing my 3x5" index cards into my Antinet. On these index cards are notes written in black ink. These notes contain ideas, and quotes, and concepts, mainly from books I've read. Last nights were from my readings of Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.
If you're a copywriter, marketer, or entrepreneur interested in mass persuasion, I recommend reading Sapiens. The reason why centers on making you think about human nature. I accept most of Harari's work, some I am not convinced of; however, all of his work made me think very deeply.
One concept Harari touches on is this: belief.
For marketers, and copywriters, belief stands as the most critical concept in persuasion.
"The longer I work in this business the more I realize how everything comes down to one thing: belief" (emphasis mine).
Belief creates the customer. Belief creates the results.
How do you create belief?
In brief, storytelling. This is the conventional wisdom in marketing and copywriting. Why? Because it works.
However, Harari also writes about how to get people to believe. Here is how you create belief, according to Harari:
- First, you never admit that the order is imagined. You always insist that the order is sustaining the society. Why? Because it was created by the gods, or by the laws of nature. "People are equal not because Thomas Jefferson said so, but because God created them that way."
- Second, you educate them thoroughly (brainwash them); and you do this from the moment they're born. You indoctrinate them in fairy tales, dramas, paintings, songs, and mythology espousing the hero's journey.
The genius of America, Harari implies, is that it aligned itself with religion. It did this to forge itself with God to stand as the recipient of trust. In God We Trust finds itself inscribed on the dollar. This is not a coincidence.
The tone of Harari can seem nihilistic, though I do believe he strives for objectivity. I'd even say he leans towards optimism.
The importance of belief takes up a large section in Harari's book. This is no small thing. Sapiens stands at 443 pages yet covers 200,000 years of human history. Harari believes this impossible unless one develops intense focus. One must only include the most critical forces in human history.
The bottom line is this: Belief stands as a powerful force. It drives human desires and actions. If you're a copywriter, marketer, or entrepreneur, you must never forget this.
Scott P. Scheper
Inspired by Niklass Luhmann's, Zettelkasten system. My Antinet is a term I use to describe my analog note system. I found Antinet to be the name that has stuck. It implies Anti (Greek origin meaning "against, instead of"), and -net (which may imply the digital internet). However, that's not technically a perfect name The reason why is that net can really mean any type of network (even your brain's network). In reality, the terms stands for: Analog Thinking Interconnected Network. However, I write it as Antinet instead of AnTINet for personal style reasons, and partly pragmatic reasons. ↩︎
Brunson, Russell. Expert Secrets the Underground Playbook to Find Your Message, Build a Tribe, and Change the World, 2017. ↩︎
"How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined. You always insist that the order sustaining society is an objective reality created by the great gods or by the laws of nature." Harari, Yuval Noah. Sapiens and Homo Deus: The E-book Collection (p. 90). Harper. Kindle Edition. ↩︎
Harari discusses this in various interviews. Specifically in several on Vipassana meditation. Also, in: Ferriss, Tim. “Yuval Noah Harari on The Story of Sapiens, Forging the Skill of Awareness, and The Power of Disguised Books (#477).” The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss, October 27, 2020. https://tim.blog/2020/10/27/yuval-noah-harari/. ↩︎
Scott P. Scheper