How Minds Change — About Retirement Studies and Site-Building Strategies

I recently posted the following words — titled How Minds Change – to the Suckers Buy It! forum:

A2DKristi said (in the thread on university courses) that:

I just finished reading the entire “No Trolls Allowed” thread from the SBI forum (I love that people send me this stuff), and believe me, these people worship Ken like he’s the messiah, and talk about me like I’m the devil.

They simply don’t care.

I have lots of personal experience with the phenomenon that you are referencing here, Kristi.

I am the person who discovered the errors that were made in a type of study that millions of people have used to plan their retirements (the studies are called “Safe Withdrawal Rate” studies). I reported on this at a Motley Fool discussion board in May 2002. At the time, a good number of people thought that what I said made sense but a larger number said that I was “off my meds.” I received numerous death threats. I was banned from 15 different web sites. There are entire discussion boards where people meet every day to plan how to destroy my business. They still do this 11 years later. I am not joking. This really goes on.

The Wall Street Journal wrote an article about two months ago saying that I was right about the retirement studies. A fellow who I know from an old job who had heard about the controversy called me up to congratulate me. I told him that the people who hated me still hated me, that the WSJ article didn’t change a thing for them. He didn’t believe me. He made a bet with me that I would be unbanned if he put a post up about the Wall Street Journal article at one of the boards where I was banned. His post was immediately removed. I won the bet.

What you say above is CLOSE to being so. If your best friend falls in love with someone whom you know is no good and you tell her, you may lose a friend. People are not rational.

But people DO possess the capacity to engage in reason. So people DO change their minds. They just don’t do it in through a process that most would view as logical or orderly.

Someone might have 20 reasons why they love SiteSell. You might argue effectively against 8 of them and they might entirely ignore you. Why? Because they still have 12 reasons they are holding onto and cannot bear the emotional pain of giving up their love or permitting themselves to experience conflicting thoughts. But, once you disprove 11 of the reasons and things reach a point where they make a decision to move on, you won’t even need to discuss the other 9 reasons, they will come up with those reasons on their own in about two minutes. Often the ones who take the longest to persuade to give up their love become the most intense of “haters” (because they feel the most betrayed).

People posses the ability to reason. But it is the human will that determines how the ability to reason is put to use. Someone who has a will to love SiteSell is going to love it no matter what you say. That much really is so. But people do give up their love of SiteSell every day. And the points you make facilitate the process by which minds are changed. Your points are being considered in the background even at times when they are being rejected on the surface.

People can say they hate you and still be listening to you. In fact, if what you said didn’t have any effect, they wouldn’t hate you, they would ignore you. When people say they hate you, you know you have hit a nerve. You gave voice to ideas that have been stirring about in the back of people’s minds for some time.



  1. Rob says

    I am grateful to you for your kind words, Pink.

    Please take good care, my old friend.

    Rob, the Fastest Trigger Finger in the West

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