O- yes, but their products and your products are not the same, and nor would you want to. You need to create a need as much as satisfy their already existing needs. You want a product a bit more serious to attract not just pimple-laced youths but also professionals that might not be found dead in such establishments but who have been, unconsciously, waiting for the opportunity you will provide.
PM146- I actually think that Hot Topic and Spencer's might appeal to many professionals. You'd be surprised at the guys that I have seen wprl in the office five days a week, who become leather-clad motorcycle enthusiasts the other two days of the week. Lawyers that spend their weekends playing World of Warcraft, the list goes on.
In any case, though, I think that said pimple-faced youths and acne-scarred collegiates are going to be our target market here, because much like the, "Goth," craze it has little more to do with the belief than about the fashion. Besides, what resemblance do these little Goth kids bear to the Visigoths who once took Rome?
Either way, we might come up with a separate mid-scale line of COTA apparel for either JCenney or Macy's just to see how it does because you could well be right.
Now, I need to go a full post without mentioning Rome, kind of tough while the discussion is partly about Religious history, though.
O- I disagree. While the sale of T-shirts and CD's maybe lucrative, the profit of these sales, either to a retailer or directly to a customer, will be a taxable transaction. The goodies that the COTA, as an NPO could really supply is donations from wealthy atheist who believe in the benefits the COTA hopes to provide. The cost of the COTA "owners" or "prophets", so to speak, standard of living, would be be declared as a necessary expense of the COTA, thus allowing massive donations to be funneled into your wallet and other material wellbeing items which are also necessary for the peace of mind of the voice of the COTA.
PM146- Those are very good points, but at the same time, I'm seeking to avoid external audit here. In addition to that, if the COTA runs the clothing line and the manufacturing end, then the COTA must not take a loss or it will fold. Ideally, both the COTA and the manufacturer will do well, but if either ever hit a rough patch (and as long as both do not do it at the same time) one could always act in such a way to support the other.
O- That would only indicate the success of your brand, but they will be "knock-off" creating the opportunity for COTA stores, just like Nike- a Walmart size store filled with official apparel, normally found in stores and those only found in your exclusive stores.
PM146- That is probably true, but the problem is then that you have to price-compete with the knock-off brands. Of course, you would still have a higher price, but you might have to bring it down to some extent. That's why you see so many knock-off jerseys all the time for different sports. However, if you monopolize the very market that you create, then you can manage your price-point based strictly off of how many people will remain actually in the market for whatever price you want to charge and what are the costs to deliver the market its own demand vs. the revenues.
In that sense, the exclusivity of the market will be based only on what is the most profitable, and the need will not exist to compete with anyone.
O- No one believes "unquestionably". Even conditioning will not drive it entirely away, since it actually depends on this aspect of human nature to work at all. The biggest treath to Big Brother is information. Control the availability of information and you can control a person's mind. The problem is that we do not live in Orwell's dystopia...at least not in every detail. What you see in history is that the encounter with other cultures raise questions about one's own. Likewise, exposure to other kids and their families, when different from yours, raise doubts about the necessity of the values you've been taught. So it is not so much the "conditioning" part one should worry about, but the "isolation" part.
PM146- You make a very good point, here, and I suppose that the degree to which an individual is isolated is going to be to whatever the moral and legal degrees are to which the parent can isolate them. For instance, take those segmentations of the LDS out in Utah that lived in those encampments for so long and had everybody mostly brainwashed. They only got in trouble for violating incest and polygamy laws, not because they were brainwashing people. The could have brainwashed people without all of the incest and polygamy, but it was not enough for them.
O- And probably also associated with pain and pain then with "punishment", etc, etc. Superstition itself, has as a purpose survival. You knock on wood so that nothing bad befalls you, and not because you simply had desire to rap a beat...
PM146- Again, conditioning. That's why occasionally when some people are in need of luck they will, "Unconsciously," knock on wood. I quoted unconsciously because it actually is a conscious action, but it is a conditioned conscious action. I suppose that makes it somewhere in between conscious and unconscious.
O- That is not what I am saying. I am not saying of a particular religion. I am talking that they were superstitious and credulous and that this made religion a natural outcome/phenomenon.
PM146- It is worth noting that many of their superstitions came as the result of not being fully developed mentally. Could the same be true for many of our superstitions?
O- The cat itself or it's color are incidentals. What stands accross the species is the ability to associate the mundane with the spiritual, the carnal with the divine. Some men may have not been indoctrinated into hating black cats but in venerating cows, or trees, or socks, or just rocks. What you need for all these diverse activities is not just indoctrination but the ability to be indioctrinated at all.
PM146- That's true, so I suppose the question that we are having is whether the capacity for indoctrination is inherent or learned. That question really is simply the question of whether indoctrination can or cannot exist without language, and I suppose that it can. Since it can exist without language (without outside human influence) then I would have to infer that the capacity for belief, or to be indoctrinated, is inherent.
So, do you think it took language for Religion to become in any way formalized, or do you think that some people (prior to language) detected the same patterns in things and were able to come to an agreement on what those patterns symbolized?
O- a hipnotic session, just and in the vodoo and in Jesus healings, there is not just the action of the hipnotizer or healer, but an interaction between this person and his "customer". Credulity, I guess, correlates to suggestibility. The success of the Christian indoctrination was caused on two events:
1- A "Kingdom of God". In a time where mobility was restricted for most, all one could interact with was the narrative of christianity. Information of alternatives was unavailable for most.
2- Given condition one, number two, our suggestibility, credulity, superstitious nature, was shaped by what was available.
PM146- I understand whatyou mean here about the hypnotic session, though I don't think that Jesus would necessarily serve as a Universally acceptable example.
Your first point is fantastic, not only did it have the benefit of assuaging the material desires of those oppressed, but it additionally prevented the oppressed from revolting as the very act of revolting might be sufficient to keep them out of the Kingdom! Now, what about the people who have no reason to hope for any kind of a Kingdom because all of their material desires on Earth are already satisfied, would it be strictly number 2 for them?
O- If it is "so ingrained into us" shouldn't you consider that perhaps you have the cart mistaken for the horse? That perhaps the aversion to black cats was present prior to Christianity, and that Christianity simply adopted, as with so much else, what was already there as it's own? Just a thought that seems compelling, if it is as you say that in this "scientific age" we live in black cats are still shunned...or for that matter, why don't we find the adoption rates of snakes, rats, and spiders?
PM146- It was present prior to Christianity, but only amongst the Druids who did not necessarily believe them to be bad luck but merely the reincarnation of former humans who had done wicked acts. In virtually all other cultures except the Pagans and the Christians (At least, in all other cultures who feel one way or the other about it) the black cat is a sign of good luck!
As far as the snakes, rats and spiders are concerned, historically, they have not been kept as pets nearly as long as cats have.
O- And you don't think that language is a quality that defines man?
PM146- I didn't say that it wasn't, just merely that language is the First Cause of all other things caused as a result of language. Of course, man must exist to have language, so man would be a first cause all the same, but you see what I mean.
O- So El was just an early version of small talk? Hardly. he might have been a version of Superman, but Superman carries a message and is not, to itself, a medium without a message. I think that religion, however, did not start with El or Yahweh, but with the veneration of ancestors and the personification of the life-giving Sun. the rituals that early man creates are meant to ensure the continuation of life. When you kill 12 virgins in one night (who knows), you are not just passing time until the next hunt or fruit desert, but ensuring to yourself that there will be a successful hunt and berries, AT ALL.[
PM146- You make a very good point, which only illustrates that it is our capacity for indoctrination and our susceptibility to superstition that makes us inferior to what we could be as well as what makes us conditionable.Fortunately, not very many cultures go around wantonly sacrificing virgins to ensure a good harvest anymore, so we've at least mentally evolved past that.
"Love is the gravity of the Soul" - Abstract -/-/1988 - 3/11/2013 R.I.P