Thursday, February 22, 2007

Q&A Is a website something, what's nothing?

On Feb 21, 2007, at 11:53 PM, Charlie Dowd wrote:

OK, if you guys are all about nothing, 1.)Why do you have a website that is "something" and it sells "something? 2.)Nothing is something isn't it?

To which I replied:

It is true what you say regarding our commitment to nothing. We are virtually devoted to nothing and want others to appreciate nothing as much as we do.

As for your first question, I'll have to answer that in two parts.

1a: I will agree with you that a website is something, but it is the least (thing) of almost any other advertising medium. Even Word-of-mouth must come from a discernible location or the benefits of using that medium are void. When you think about it, a web site requires no specific location, it is nowhere to be found, and yet it is everywhere. Obviously, it must reside on a server somewhere but the space it takes up is minimal. If you look at our site specifically, it escapes almost all criteria for even being tangible (by dictionary definition). That's why so many people ask us questions that are already explained in detail on our site. To summarize and illustrate, the site is something, but it is about nothing. You wouldn't write to car manufacturer and ask them, "If you are all about cars, why do you advertise on television and in magazines?" You know they wouldn't do all their advertising on their cars because people don't usually read cars, you can't fit a car in their pocket, and you can't demonstrate a car at any random occasion in someone's home unless it fits on a TV screen, computer screen, or is on the page next to what you are reading, again, not on a car but in, on, or displayed by something that is more appropriate for distribution.

1b: We sell tee-shirts (which is currently the only thing we sell) for much the same reasons as mentioned above, It is a great advertising tool. People can read them when you walk around wearing them. They cost us nothing in the long run because people buy them from us, thus paying our (shirt) advertising costs. This would make it about as good an advertising tool as putting the name of a car on a car, except a car can't usually go to the mall, it can't spread word-of-mouth (but people will ask about shirts that say nothing on them), and it has to be parked. Shirts can use any mode of transportation you can use. So they are about the best "free" advertising you can get.

2: NO, Nothing isn't something. YES, people can buy nothing. The word nothing is something but the real meaning of that word is nothing. I know it is difficult to comprehend because the word nothing has the word "thing" as its base. Thus, most people think nothing is a thing. The prefix "no" helps us to see more clearly that nothing really has no thing to "it", and although this isn't the very best definition (nothing is), "nothing is the absence of thing". This quality of the word nothing is great comic fodder due to the paradoxical, ironic, and homonymous relationship the word nothing mostly doesn't share with its meaning. So, once again to summarize and illustrate. Nothing "is" "the" "it" "that" doesn't exist. We use the word nothing to help us sell nothing. It (the word nothing) is everything you could ever want in a marketing concept (and less). "It" (nothing) isn't. Imagine everything, now imagine everything being gone (including yourself), now imagine that you (nonexistent) didn't even imagine all of that, now imagine your (nonexistent) self making a joke about the impossibility of all that, now imagine yourself (nonexistent) using that joke to help sell something important, now imagine that what you (nonexistent) thought was something important turned out to be nothing important, now picture yourself (nonexistent) with nothing. I hope that illustration clears everything (nonexistent) up. It is sometimes difficult to answer so many something-centric questions, when my stated purpose doesn't exist.

At any rate, thank you for your questions regarding nothing.

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