This view of background stress modulating the cognition of most people, with good software people using juxtapositional thinking and structuring their arguments accordingly, says a lot about the traditional conflict between engineers and marketroids. If the customers are all drunk, do you want tee-total sales staff? A roomful of drunks will agree on which stupid things are funny, but a sober person won’t see it, even if they have plenty of experience of being drunk.

It may be that some marketing people have a skill of detecting and matching the stress level of many different organizations, faking it so well that they exactly feed their contacts just the right amount of dopamine hit to condition them into doing their will. Although the genetically immune and self-confidently unstressed are safe from their wiles, they are not fools. They go into BigCo, do the BigCo dance just right, then while their victims are hearing choirs of angels they go, “These are the droids you’re looking for…

How is this less awesome than the Jedi Mind Trick?

The Dark Lords’ mind-numbingly tedious conversation delivers high reliability within well-defined parameters.

A great deal of programming happens within and between large organizations, which are rarely operating at high efficiency. No-one would ever put it this way, but lots of people won’t actually appreciate an efficient supplier, because it puts too much pressure on them to be an intelligent customer. Because so much programming work is not done as well as it could be, the moss has grown around it. So it’s actually important to ask how much efficiency the customer is looking for. A slow and evasive customer can become very unhappy, as the gelled team descends into madness.

Next: Logical Effects