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Irrational Rational Animals

by Miki Saxon

We human beings are taught that it is rational thought that separates us from other animals—what we aren’t taught is that the ability to think rationally doesn’t necessarily translate to acting rationally.

While irrationality and outright stupidity isn’t new to the modern scene (think PT Barnum’s sucker) social media has certainly opened up new vistas on it.

One expects a certain level of irrational actions from teens, expressed these days by sending nude photos, but if you think adults have more sense think again; a new survey shows one in four adults stores intimate pictures on a mobile (easily hacked) device—which, as an adult, ranks as just plain stupid.

For both irrational and stupid you can’t beat those who turn to Twitter, etc., for investing advice accepting both poster and information at face value.

Startups often cater to irrationality, but they wouldn’t be in business without irrational customers—like the women willing to pay $18 for a box of tampons delivered regularly because they can’t remember to buy them.

Companies aren’t immune, either.

Online stores are trumpeting a service that only 9% of their customers want, paying celebrities for social media endorsements only to have their brand branded with the celebs bad behavior or irrationally deciding the only thing needed to foster an innovation renaissance is mandatory face-time.

However, my all-time favorite (that I’ve found so far) is Dennis Hope, who has earned a legal living since 1980 selling plots on the moon.

(Monday probably isn’t the best day to offer you distracting links, but these were burning a hole in my pocket; shades of Sundays past)

YouTube credit: TheeOscar2013

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