11 Replies to “PoSWW 10: Higher Powers”

  1. I love it. Bullshit at its finest. What I’d give to see these campaigns dissected on Gruen ….

    Anyway, ignoring all of the stupid bullshit (that is, the words following the slogan), strictly speaking YOU^us does involve multiplication. But I think there’s two things at work in the marketing department (OK, there are lots of things at work but remember, I’m ignoring all of the stupid bullshit):

    It thinks YOU^us looks better than YOU x us or (YOU)(us) or YOU.us etc.
    It either has never heard of the word ‘exponentialised’, has heard of the word but is pitching to students who haven’t, or thinks the word multiplied looks better.

    I doubt the ad campaign is aiming at maths or hard sciences students. It’s undoubtedly to trying to attract ATM’s ahem I mean international students and other suckers into the many soft degrees on offer (like a Postgraduate Diploma of Bullshit).

    And the small print at the bottom: “You to the power of us”. It sounds kinda creepy. And the pictures labelled with ‘You’ and ‘us’ look even creepier – they’re stalking ‘us’ ….

    I’d be telling the marketing department to go forth and multiply …..

  2. The recent discussion(s) on exponentiation made me think of it while at Macquarie this weekend. The campaign is really everywhere (I mean physically) on the campus. One thing that struck me — as you are walking down Wally’s Walk (that’s one of the main “streets” on the campus) you pass the construction site of the new central courtyard, which is surrounding by a big wall with massive images. Each image is part of this ad campaign and highlights a research project in the university. And, a staff member. Superstars I think.

    You’d guess — expect, no doubt — that given the mathematical nature of the slogan, there would at least be one mathematician. But, there aren’t. And there is no mathematics either.

    I think there is something clever to be said about index laws and the literal meaning of the expression (“another one of us allows you to multiply you by yourself one more time”) but I’m not able to do it right now.

    And let’s all please remember, the academics at an institution do not endorse all actions by that institution. In particular I think the people I know at Macquarie think this campaign is bizarre.

    1. Amazing. Monash University have done exactly the same thing with the big walls around one of its construction sites. The people doing these things are clearly the same muppets flogging to death all the reality cooking and renovation shows on all the different networks.

  3. I have no major problems with the formula, provided that one adds the missing assumptions 0 < you < 1 and us > 1.

    1. Indeed. So then the process of exponentiation leads to a smaller result than if you were ‘you’ all by yourself …. Sounds about right.

  4. I want to know what the units of YOU and US are, and how they are measured (re Christian Rau’s comments above). If YOU is a single person, then we may suppose that YOU = 1… On the other hand, this is marketing, which is totally divorced from any rules of science, grammar, or even common sense.

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