Monday, November 19, 2012

Blind Men, Elephant, and MLM

Blind men and an elephant
Blind men and an elephant (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Those of you in the West probably never heard of the Indian parable (which spread throughout the world, to Buddhism, Islam, and other religions) about "Blind men and the elephant". Here's the summary:

In various versions of the tale, a group of blind men (or men in the dark) touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one feels a different part, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then compare notes and learn that they are in complete disagreement.
The stories differ primarily in how the elephant's body parts are described, how violent the conflict becomes and how (or if) the conflict among the men and their perspectives is resolved.
In some versions, they stop talking, start listening and collaborate to "see" the full elephant. When a sighted man walks by and sees the entire elephant all at once, they also learn they are blind. While one's subjective experience is true, it may not be the totality of truth. If the sighted man was deaf, he would not hear the elephant bellow. Denying something you cannot perceive ends up becoming an argument for your limitations.
Cited from Wikipedia
When I see people "defending" their specific MLM, they often ended up doing the "blind men" routine, as they basically argue that the part that they saw, experienced, or researched, is good, while refusing to concede that other people's research about the parts that s/he did NOT research / experience can also be valid.

Just like the "blind men" in the story, the "defenders" argue that whatever they had perceived is the whole truth, when they only experienced ONE FACET of the whole thing.

Here's one such attempt to 'defend" a potentially illegal scheme, by emphasizing his experience and alleged intent of his sponsors:
Critic: Nobody is investing money with [redacted] without the expectation of a ROI so the intent is clear.
Defender: That is false, because that is not my intent or people in lifeline or people the people that introduced me into [redacted].
By claiming that he's doing it legally, therefore the company is legal, is bogus logic. He can't prove that he's the rule, that majority of the people does it his way, instead of being the exception. Furthermore, what is the company doing to encourage the "right" way and punish those people doing it "wrong"? Why have the "wrong" way at all? 

Here's one such attempt to "defend" a potentially illegal scheme (the same one, in fact), by de-emphasizing the potentially illegal parts and talk up the legal parts, i.e. "the way I am doing it is correct"
(In response to explanation that the compensation plan of suspect scheme fits the legal definition of a pyramid scheme)
The compensation plan (of suspect scheme) is has 10 ways to generate revenue and is all inter connected and has checks and balances in it. It seems this site (of a critic) is focused on part and ignoring the rest of it.
Cited from BehindMLM 

So basically this guy claims that even though one part of compensation scheme is illegal, the whole thing is still legal because there are OTHER PARTS that are probably not illegal, and why are critics being so negative and concentrate on the part that's illegal.

When I asked... "Why have an illegal portion at all?" There was no reply.

This sort of... illogical thinking is just... baffling.

Ah, but I can hear you asking... what if the critics are the "blind man" discussing only ONE ASPECT of the scheme?

For example, let's say a business has two aspects... it can operate purely as a frequent shopper's program, and generate shopping credits. Or if you can convince other members to "pre-purchase" gift cards you can earn those shopping credits much faster.

The critics points out that if you purchase gift card, and you recruiting other members who also purchase gift card, and you are compensated by such recruitment, then it is a pyramid scheme. This is a fact, and the law.

The defenders then claim that one can operate legally by NEVER purchase any gift card, only rack up credit through lots of shopping.

Who's right? Both are.

But the VERY FACT THAT THIS BUSINESS CAN OPERATE ILLEGALLY is somehow lost to the defenders. If the business can operate illegally as defined by company's standard ops, then the company is clearly illegal, and being legal is an EXCEPTION, not the rule!

(By the way, this is a real company)

So what is the difference between critics and defenders? The critics understand there are sometimes ambiguity, while the defenders want to somehow believe that their company CANNOT be illegal, and when they fail to prove that, they claim their company is "mostly legal", like "10 ways to earn, one of which is illegal" excuse above. It's a shifting goalpost.

"Mostly legal", ha-ha. Is that like "sort of pregnant"?

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1 comment:

  1. Hello, I choice your topic. I'd like to add. I thinknNetwork marketing is strickly helping people with products and business opportunities. I think people fail because they focus on themselves and not the client. People will trust you when you genuinely care, like any other business, Then and only then will you truly be sucessful. MLM was originally created to help people learn how to build in business and become rewarded when the do it correctly. Thanks, @John:)