i only took 30 seconds to turn me from naive to cynical.
It happened a few years ago while watching the episode of the West Wing where C.J. Craig, the president's press secretary, decided that rather than having a nice, polite official inquiry into the president's cover-up of his multiple sclerosis they should let the inquiry be run by the most vehement republic possible. Why? Because no matter what a Bartlett-hating republican concluded Bartlett's supporters would simply say "what else would you expect?" and Bartlett's detractors would simply say, "we told you so". In other words, nothing would change. I lost my innocence when I realised that they were referring to the whole Clinton / Kenneth Star / impeachment thing . I gained a lot of respect for Clinton that day because I would never had thought of something so cunning and I never spotted it at the time.
Some time later, when I saw the stuff going on at Guantanamo bay, my first reaction was "Why aren't they hiding that sort of thing? Why is all this stuff on TV? Oh, because they're hiding something far less palatable". I might be wrong - but don't forget, I'm cynical now.
And then today when I read about Sony's plans to charge customers $50 extra for laptops which DIDN'T have "bloatware". They've subsequently retracted the charge ... and made all the papers. Sony must be terribly disappointed with all the free publicity for their range of "bloat free" laptops. Perhaps it is just the jaded, cynical part of me ... but they couldn't have engineered this could they?
And then today I see a letter from Jeff Bezos on amazon.com's home page apologising because the new kindle ebook reader's have proved so popular that they've not been able to keep up with demand. The cynical part of me says "Apology? That's not an apology. It's an advert using the age old influence techniques of social proof (everyone is buying them ... therefore ... they must be good) and scarcity (they're in short supply ... therefore ... I must have one)." It's clever marketing.
Or am I just being cynical.