6 Easy Steps to Making Stupid Things Smart – by MCM

Conventional wisdom says that wisdom must be conventional, which is a scam as old as the hills.

The thing to remember is that most conventionally-wise people were once idiots too.  They had ideas that were crazy and irrational, but because they printed themselves business cards that said “Thought Leader”, their ideas developed merit.  Merit is an essential ingredient to success, which validates the aforementioned business cards, which makes a self-reinforcing feedback loop, and eventually produces a BMW of some kind.  And possibly an editor position at Wired.

If you want to go from stupid to conventionally wise, follow these simple steps, and send me 5% of whatever it earns you:

  1. Phrase your stupid idea as an overly-vague mission statement.  Mine is: “People like free books!”  Always end with an exclamation mark, so people know you’re enthusiastic.
  2. Produce something to prove your statement right, but with amplified qualities.  In my case, I couldn’t make something more free, so I had to focus on making better books.  If you half-ass this step, you’ll get nowhere.  Do the work so it pays off later.
  3. Rephrase your mission statement as a mission order, and communicate it to random people.  For example: “You WILL like free books!”  You can add “Now!” if you like.  At first, people will run away from you, but eventually they will just shuffle off sideways, avoiding eye contact.  Do not worry, this is all part of the plan.
  4. Rephrase your mission statement as a mission question, such as: “Do people like free books?”  If your statement was sufficiently vague, this will cause people to question it, too.  Do people like free books?  Of course they do!  I know I do!  Hell, show me a free book, and I’ll love it unconditionally!  I’ll even buy it!  How’s that for liking free books?
  5. Offer your product (made in step 2) to anyone wanting to prove your mission statement is not in question at all.  At this point, they will do anything to prove that they like free books, and may buy you a BMW on the spot.  Connect with them on a personal level, perhaps by calling them “brother” and/or “sister”, as if you’re all in a cult.  Note: secret handshakes are not practical by email.
  6. Suggest to your supporters that there are still some misguided souls out there that don’t believe in your mission statement.  Allow them to brow-beat the doubters into submission.  If there are no more doubters left, change your mission statement to make some.  For example: “People like free books featuring penguins.”  Repeat steps 2-6 as many times as possible before you are assassinated.

If you follow this outline, you can turn any idea into a blockbuster of conventional wisdom, and be quoted in articles about unrelated topics.  The only thing holding you back is the fact that you don’t like free books!

MCM is the author of The Pig and the Box, Fission Chips, and The Vector.  If you don’t hate freedom, you can read them all on his website, where he is equally insane.

2 Responses to “6 Easy Steps to Making Stupid Things Smart – by MCM”

  1. MCM says:

    Thanks for letting me be silly on your site! I’ll do my best to not scare off your readers.

    I mean, starting now. Some damage is already done, obviously…

  2. kdnewton says:



    And you are welcome for the space. I just don’t have a category for Insane Suggestions.

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