Harley Davidson’s Unique Selling Proposition

Seated next to the head of marketing for Harley Davidson Motorcycles, I asked the gentleman why Harley was the premium brand in the world of motorcycles, year after year. He responded:

We allow overweight middle-aged white guys to dress up in leather on the weekends and ride a Harley through small towns and villages scaring the hell out of locals.

That is about as succinct a description of a unique selling proposition as I have ever heard.


(Source unknown – but hey the writer is quoting some guy anyway).




The difference between genius and idiocy

Creationists crowd cyberspace every bit as effectively as evolutionists, and extend their minds just as fully. Our trouble is not the overall absence of smartness but the intractable power of pure stupidity.

Daniel Levitin, The organized mind

Funnily, that’s how I pictured a creationist would look like.

…is that genius has limits.

Has social media stunted our ability to be social?

Social networking provides breadth but rarely depth, and in-person contact is what we crave, even if online contact seems to take away some of that craving. In the end, the online interaction works best as a supplement, not a replacement for in-person contact. The cost of all of our electronic connectedness appears to be that it limits our biological capacity to connect with other people.

Daniel Levitin, The Organized Mind


(Actually this might have been from Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, I am not sure. Poor record keeping sorry)

Falling off and falling in love

“There’s a story, about a woman who falls in love with anyone who saves her from falling off a cliff, I forget the details. The point is, it could have been a tramp, or a politician, or a celebrity, or a horticulturalist that saved her, and she would have fallen in love regardless.”

Andrew Cheah, “Anaesthesia” in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Volume Two


Lol horticultarlist.

Reminds me of that experiment where the researcher/interviewer is regarded as more attractive when she meets the subject at the top of a shaky suspended bridge. Maybe it becomes even more intense when you are actually about to fall off a cliff.

Researchers have said that the suspended bridge experiment points towards falling in love more easily when in a state of fear. But can’t it be the case that the interviewer – who was equally afraid at the suspended bridge – was the one who appeared more attractive in her state of fear? Dilated pupils. Pheromones. A vulnerability in her voice.

Where did writing come from?

The Sumerian city of Uruk was one of the world’s earliest large cities. Its active commercial trade created an unprecedented volume of business trasactions, and Sumerian merchants required an accounting system for keeping track of the day’s inventory and receipts; this was the birth of writing. Here, liberal arts majors may need to set their romantic notions aside. The first forms of writing emerged not for art, literature, or love, not for spiritual or liturgical purposes, but for business – all literature could be said to originate from sales receipts (sorry). With the growth of trade, cities, and writing, people soon discovered architecture, government, and the other refinements of being that collectively add up to what we think of as civilisation.

Daniel Levitin, The Organized Mind


I love the line on liberal arts majors. As someone once said (in a different context), “this thing here is like a liberal arts major — it doesn’t matter.”

Time flies when watching a movie

Films manipulate our sense of time insofar as a whole lifetime might transpire before our very eyes, but in “real” time only two hours have passed. Perhaps a film gives individuals the illusion of escape from the constraints of the colonization of time by providing the illusion of a different experience of time, if only temporarily.

Nichole Shippen, Decolonizing Time



The inborn key to creativity

Research into creative thinkers has revealed that they have personalities full of contradictions. Eminent psychologist Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi has discovered that creative people ‘contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.”

Rolf Dobelli, The art of thinking clearly

From a Rafflesian point of view, maybe there is some merit to having a two-headed bird. More people, more ideas.