Court Attention at all Costs Meaning:
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.
Contents of the 6th Summary of the 48 Laws of Power (by Robert Greene)
Part 1: Video Summary
Part 2: Real Life Applications
Part 3: Negative Example
Part 4: Spirit of the Law
Part 5: Most Important Learnings
Video Summary of the 6th Law of Power
Real Life Application #1)
One of the best-known inventors of all time is undoubtely Thomas Edison. He coined the famous quote:
“I have not failed, I have only found 10.000 ways that don’t work.”
Persistence & dedication were one of the driving factors of his success, but this wouldn’t have brought him a reputation for being the biggest genius the world has seen up to that date if it hadn’t been for his business sense and marketing skills. Edison spared no expenses to court attention at all costs, whenever possible. He knew the power behind marketing and how important it was, even at that time. Thomas Edison was a ruthless individual only out for himself and the glory of making his name go down in history, instead of trying to be a valuable human being and valuable asset to his society.
His biggest rival, the Austrian (a common misconception is that he was Serbian) inventor Nikola Tesla was quite the opposite of Edison, trumping him in every technical aspect. In an intellectual battle, Edison would have fared as well against Tesla, as an infant would have fared against a Mike Tyson in his prime. Once Tesla worked for Edison, and was promised to be given a huge sum of money, if he indeed managed to find a solution for that problem. Tesla, the driven genius that he was, managed to achieve this feat that was believed to be unachieveable by Edison. Being the sneaky egoist that Thomas Edison was, he decided to break his promise and only offer a minor sum of money to his most precious employee. This naturally opened a chasm between the Austrian with a strong code of honor and the treacherous egoist, abusing and squeezing everyone who worked for him.
Some time later, both men were chosen to be awarded with the Nobel Prize, but now being enemies, Thomas Edison decided that he would not trade a little reputation boost for himself, for the opportunity for his enemy to court attention. He decided that the best course of action was to decline the price.
What you can learn from this example is, that not allowing your adversary to court attention, is sometimes worth not receiving a Nobel Prize.
Real Life Application #2)
Pietro Arentino the Italian author, satirist and poet, inventor of modern literate pornography, managed to amass fame by courting attention at all costs, in a bold way. He wrote many slanderous satirical letters, attacking influental people, including the pope and Vatican’s favorite elephant, called Hanno. He wrote “The Last Will & Testament of the Elephant Hanno”. On one side, this angered many people but also resonated well with a lot of his readers, making his name publically known almost overnight and kickstarting his career. It is a wise decision to find the tallest Goliat, in this case the pope, if you yourself are a David. Careful though to not go aboard and become a repetitive troll, for people will grow tired of your act and start to resent you.
Real Life Application #3)
I want to congratulate you on taking the initiative, reading my article, watching Illacertus’ video and reflecting upon it. To be honest, you could almost extract the same value, you get by reading this article, from watching Donald Trump in action.
He is the epitome of the law in action. An enthusiastic, loud peacock, who knows how to mobilize the masses and polarize with every action he takes. Every speech he gives. Trump might be a natural who doesn’t strike me one bit as overcoached. Some high class politicians are known to not take advice and consulting on rethoric, body language, public speaking and topics alike, and Trump might be one of them. Everything he does, comes from heart and I consider him one of the best self-marketers with an unbelievable ability to mobilize the masses.
Think of him what you will, but you can’t stump the Trump. I highly recommend you to study his PR stunts and listen to his speeches. Trump is “Court attention at all Costs” on two legs.
Roosh V, also known as Daryush Valizadeh, is the founder of a movement called neo-masculinity. A professional provocateur, who managed to amass a huge following by courting attention at all cost. He teaches men how to supposedly act masculine in a consistently more feminized world. His articles are provocative and full of bad taste at best, while not offering much applicable content.
Despite not being blessed with either the intelligence, charisma nor the writing skills to make a dent in our world, he managed to draw attention upon him and earn huge sums of money, by doing what he does best, trolling. He is a known Pickup Coach and teaches people who can not get laid, how to travel the world, flash their dollar bills and lull Asians into giving away some love. His own forum is a desolate place, populated with loser whose Sexual Market Value is too low for decent local women, having to utilize the fact that women from poor countries are programmed to be attracted to wealth, or the appearance of wealth.
Once he wrote an article, demanding that rape should be legal inside the four walls of your home. I have not read the article, nor am I interested in changing this, but its content does not matter one bit. He now claimed it was a satire, but again, maybe he did demand rape to be legalized, maybe it only came across this way. What matters is not reality but appearance. And the article struck enough people as a realistic brain fart. What happened is that the media picked up on this movement and slandered him publically. Recently (06.02.2016) he called for international meetings of his followers in every major city, both domestic and foreign. What happened was that basically every single country dedicated a news story to him, resulting in a public outrage, while referring to it as a “Christian rape mob”. Of course, it would be highly undoubtful, that many of the participants would run the risk of becoming rapists, but again, appearance is key.
Within days of his announcement and the media attacking him, his follower base exploded. But you can’t expect to only make friends with such a tactic and even for a boy, raised by wolves, living in the jungle his whole life and only having come to a city in the past month, it should be clear that you can expect to experience some kind of a backlash and repercussions.
It is important to know what you are going to do with the newfound fame while courting attention at all cost. Have a plan on how you are going to leverage it and how you are going to deal with the negativity you will create.
Roosh V bit off more than he could chew and completely crushed his reputation and credibility in the course. While I in no way am a fan of the false prophet called Roosh, I can’t condemn the actions his enemies took. Just kidding, if it works, it is great, no morals should hold one back. His adversaries started sending him death threats. Our poor false prophet got scared, he got scared that someone who is not all-talk would search for him and hurt him. So he did two things. The first one was to cancel the meetings all over the world.
Some people claim this to have been a marketing gag all along, but couldn’t come up with the reason why he would cancel the meetings. There is no harm in having people all over the world meet up in his name, and draw much more attention to him, than by simply cancelling the meetings. He claims that he cancelled the event because he could no longer guarantee for the safety of his followers. Even if you are blind and oblivious to basic rational thinking, you would be able to translate his sentence and grasp the real meaning behind it. He never could guarantee the safety of the people responsible for his fame and financial well-being and he actually meant: “I can no longer guarantee my own safety.”
This was the first pathetic step the coward Roosh took, tarnishing his reputation in the eyes of his followers and the public and the second misstep is going to make you laugh.
Apparently he got so scared that he is going to choke on the chunk he had bitten off, that he called the police, who visited him in his home. Did I say his home? I meant his mother’s home. Roosh does indeed live with his mother. In her basement. Really. Read the articles.
Now we have an excellent self-marketer who should visit the Wizard of Oz and ask both for brain & courage, who was exposed as the false prophet he is, only because of two mistakes. If it hadn’t been for them, he would have pulled off the biggest PR stunt in his career. What remains is him having lost all credibility.
A very similar example would be the Pickup Artist Julien Blanc, who too had no idea how to cope with the new-found attention and acted like an obedient dog when attacked by the media.
Spirit of the Law
I have provided a couple of excellent examples about courting attention at all costs, but the best examples can be found all around us in the business world. PR, politics and marketing are the perfect examples of this law at work.
If you don’t stand out by establishing a distinct reputation (see Law #5), and people don’t hear of it, you might as well not exist. Hard Work is a waste of time if nobody hears of it or someone else takes the credit. Read Law 1 & Law 7.
Harness the tools to court attention & be colorful often and decisively, people love mystery and will want to peek behind the mask. If you only have one course of action and your modus operandi only involves doing one thing to court attention, people are going to predict your every move and will start to become bored. You want to abide to Law 25, Re-Create yourself, from time to time to change things up.
You want to be seen. Place yourself in a visible spot. If the CEO of your company sees you every time he goes to lunch or even when he goes to the toilet or water dispenser, he is going to remember you. Repetition of courting attention is key.
Always have a Plan
Always have a plan laid out what you are going to do with the new found attention and how to best make use of it. Attention is like fire. It can be both used to make yourself warm and cosy if you control it, but if you lose control of the fire, it is going to consume you.
If you lead a company, and are just starting out, any type of attention makes for a good publicity. Don’t go overboard and get yourself into more trouble than you can deal with. Take for example Abraham Lincoln. He anonymously wrote offensive letters, insulting his enemies or even people he had no ties with, which were published in a news paper. One day the target of his slander found out who is responsible, called out Lincoln and challenged him to a duel. Lincoln is no fan of the credo: Acta non verba, but instead follows the motto of Verba, non acta. All talk and not prepared to stand up and take responsibility. He was scared senseless when he was challenged to the duel, knowing that he was going to die. Shortly before the duel took place, it was cancelled, for reasons unknown. Maybe he dropped into the dust, kissed his enemies feet and begged for his life. We do not know; what we do know is that you always need to have a backup plan and be prepared to deal with possible repercussions, when courting attention at all costs by attacking people/companies.
Don’t force yourself into the Limelight all the time
Sometimes it makes sense to think twice if you want to don’t draw attention and become most visible neck to chop at. The highest grass stalk is the first to be cut down. If you are not known for achieving results or have made mistakes, it makes sense to lie low and wait for the right time to shine.
Don’t be melodramatic and force yourself into the limelight all the time. People will resent you for it. Be subtle, be sneaky. Court attention when beneficial, but don’t appear to do so.
Most Important Learnings
- If you are invisible, you are expendable. Being attacked is better than being ignored
- There is (almost) no bad press when you are at the bottom. Careful when you are on the top
- Careful to not draw unwarranted attention towards yourself. The nail that sticks out when he shouldn’t, gets hammered in.
- Don’t alienate people by pushing yourself into the limelight every occasion possible
- Court attention and constantly remind people of your reputation
- Don’t court attention if you have no idea what you are going to do with your new-found attention
- Hard Work is a waste of time, if nobody hears of it or someone else takes the credit
- If you are small like David, find your Goliath to attack
I hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of the law and if you have more examples of the possible applications or questions of any kind or wish to share your thoughts and experiences, please feel free to do so. Grab the book here and support the author if you don’t already own it.
Go ahead and share it with your friends & on social media. Until next time, fellow Machiavellians.