Apparently you can demand money without menaces. This is a revelation to me, and will revolutionise my life. I shall embrace it.
The idea of telling people how good you are so that they’ll send you money is not new – we’ve been seeing flim-flam artists practice this since the first days of the printing press. Every prophet of profit has sought to gather a church of suckers around themselves, with the express purpose of milking them for as much as possible. In many cases it has been wildly successful – look at the French National Lottery or the South Sea Bubble. Look at time share apartments in tea-tree plantations. Look at bitcoin and NFT’s.
For that matter. look at pea-and-shell games.
Now the idea of promising an actual product, rather than riches or salvation in the next world, has taken over. Inventors, or people who have inventors locked in the basement, advertise some new product that will only be produced if enough faithful send in money. They are promised that they will get the goods for a lower price than regular customers…if and when they are produced…but the promoters mumble the ” if ” part under their breaths.
Some items do eventually get made; many do not. The money sunk into them is written off and the scoop net is emptied, ready for the next catch. Virtue is trumpeted by the organisers and everyone is encouraged to think something real just happened.
If I cannot invent an imaginary product that will bring in a washing-basket full of money with which I can decamp into the woods…well I am simply not trying.
Roll up, roll up…