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« i describe my work as something that goes beyond that which is considered good and evil | Main | life is my poem musings for the weekend »

Feb 02, 2007


keith ray

re "Could you just find something else -- anything else -- to do for a living? Something with the potential to actually provide some benefit for humanity?"

There is are serious problems which MIGHT be solvable by proper use of marketing: War. Violence. Poverty.

The most effective technique for bring people out of poverty in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and many other "third world" nations in Africa and elsewhere, has turned out to micro-lending, rather than government programs. It turns ordinary people into entrepreneurs - people who to sell products, and who need to find buyers.

Marketing could help change the priorities of USA and "first world" nations' spending and aid programs -- stop giving money and weapons to corrupt governments, and start lending money directly to the people who need it.

The mass population in some eastern "Buddhist" nations are so out of touch with Buddhism that they are actually importing westerners to teach meditation. Marketing could help educate people about the true values and practices of Buddhism.

Marketing is a tool that can be used "for good or ill". To help the oppressor or to fight against oppression. To try to get people in touch with humane values of compassion, or to voyeuristically sit around and watch a celebrity will eat live worms on TV.

There's a stupid cliche that says "For every problem there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong."

I'd like to change it to: "For every problem there is at least one solution which involves fairness, compassion, and respect."


I think for me the marketing angle adds credibility to the more esoteric spiritual stuff, which by itself would come off as too fluffy and new agey for me.

I discovered you via gapingvoid. What really resonates for me the the rawness you demonstrate from time to time. That's what makes blogging compelling to me, that and the give-and-take between readers and writers =)

Evelyn Rodriguez

Hi Keith, Thanks. Ooops, I probably should have clarified and said the Bill Hicks quotes weren't from any reader, but the Nondual Highlights newsletter I get (

But it was awfully funny in the context that Nondual Highlights rarely talks about such matters. Almost as if the email was timed just to rub more salt in the wound! Ouch! I don't take life so seriously that I can't take a joke, though.

In fact, usually, I tend to see it as a divine comedy. (Sometimes the joke is on me. But usually I'm in on it.)

I think this exchange raises REAL questions that are in the heart and mind of many, many entrepreneurs and creatives and artists. Am I prostituting, compromising, diluting myself? Am I selling out? etc...

I witnessed a director of a nonprofit community TV and film center in NYC at the Sundance panel say he has trouble getting out there to promote their work. Chris Johnson (of Long Tail) replied that yeah, it can be DISTASTEFUL (exact word), but you have to do it anyway (promote yourself).


Distasteful? Why?

In the final analysis, it comes down to talking to people. You cannot coerce anyone - sure that would be distasteful. Sad, because this guy's work was amazing and it's doing wonderful things in the ghetto communities.

Since I tend to disagree with a many marketing implementations, I've watched myself want to check out of the discussion.

But checking out isn't the solution, for me, anyhow. Engagement is. I find a lot of marketing is a scattered statistics games and ineffective especially for smaller, nimbler companies, not to mention that a lot of it isn't very life- and people-affirming. I suppose that's why I continue to want to write about it, though.

I'm really interested in microfinancing and alternative financing to enable more entrepreneurs worldwide. I've been speaking with another friend about putting on some social finance un-conferences. Will keep you in mind.

Danielle, Thanks. Hugh's not one to be hide either. I certainly fit into the marketing community a heck of a lot better than the new age community! They don't get me at all. I'm too straightforward. I'm not into any facades of happiness and light and love, although I am authentically one of the happiest people I know. It's either there or not. Not manufacturing happiness. So sometimes I write in a sad mood, or a confused mood too. It's there, it's life.

I will be checking your blog out more. Love what you're doing with The Organic Cotton Company. I'm into fashion too (Boy you see people roll their eyes when I say that.) Especially beautiful organics. Would love to feature some designers in the teahouse Salon as well. No accident I mentioned Colette's.

keith ray

Just watched the TED video of Robert Wright...

Quoting from the summary "He also explains the concept behind his book, "Nonzero": That life is a nonzero sum game, where there can be more than one winner, and that civilization evolved thanks to such endeavors, which reward cooperation, rather than competition. His guarded optimism is tinged with a deep worry over the growing prevalence of grass-roots hatred. His hope: that the intelligent pursuit of self-interest will actually be the world's salvation. Robert Wright is author of "The Moral Animal" and "NonZero." He also hosts an excellent interview series called (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 19:54)"

I like how he says that (as far he knows) there isn't much bigotry and hatred in people flying in business class - because they do business with all sorts of people. Capitalism may have done more to reduce hatred and racism and bigotry than any other ism.


I think you're doing everything right.


Have you guys read the book You Were Born For a Reason? It's based on Buddhist philosophy and answers to all the above! At least, I found my answers there... after searching for many many years.

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