I remember a funny, yet sad episode of the television police drama “NYPD Blue.”
It featured a man selling black boxes to plain-looking women, promising them an improved appearance.
All they had to do was plug it in and wear it over their heads for a few hours each day.
And pay him $2,000.
The story sounds like the preposterous invention of a comedic screenwriter, but it’s not really.
For years, I’ve seen ads for a unique brand of fitness equipment that looks like a Victorian time machine.
It allows you to “Exercise in exactly 4 minutes per day!”
And in those few minutes, you can get the same results as an hour and a half of conventional exercise.
For a little over $14,000.
Interestingly, the ads show up in the back of popular science magazines, which appeal to “rational” readers.
People who believe in things, as long as there’s a reason and evidence to believe them.
Whether those readers are aware of it or not, desire is their reason to believe.
And evidence is their permission.
Just like the “irrational” women who wore the black boxes.
From “The Business of Belief.“