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Negotiation: Negotiation (n.) The art of saying you don't want it, and even if you did, you aren't the one who decides.

Every successful negotiation starts with nonchalance, a shrug of the shoulders, and explicit choice. One wants competition among the opposing parties. If necessary, the negotiator will invent opposition and establish his or her clear choice. When showing the young couple the shiny car, the salesman explains that another couple saw it this very morning and will be back later to sign the contract, but if they hurry they can still get it. Similarly, a young man proposing to a woman to go on a date may mention, offhandedly, that he had planned to go with a competing female but… shrug…

To back up this position of not caring excessively about the outcome, successful negotiators make sure they are never seen as the deciding party. This is sometimes called the "pet rock" principle, on the basis that the negotiator will respond, to any request for a firm proposal, "hang on, I have to ask" (insert pet rock here). When the couple ask the price, the car salesman explains he "must clear it with the boss". A smart businessman will "consult with his partners", even (or especially) if he does not have any. A smart young girl will invite suitors to home to face her parents, thus losing some freedom of choice in exchange for significantly increased value in the market.

Sophisticated negotiation teams can have many structures, and in politics this takes the form of an arms race in which each side tries to up the ante, leading to "Mandarin politics", named after the historical Tang Dynasty Chinese state in which every decision involved over one thousand layers of bureaucracy, leading to the 1655 starvation of ten million peasants who were unable to get permission to farm their fields for six months, and the second Mongol invasion which got as far as Shanghai largely because the Mandarins were unable to decide whether or not to take their armies out of their sleevies.

  • Hell: Hell (n.) The first invention of any organized religion, following the basic technique of mass marketing that to sell a product you must first scare customers into wanting it. [marketing power]
  • Saints: Gods (n.) Modern thinkers recognize four principal saints: Darwin, saint of the necessary accident; Newton, saint of necessary accidents involving motorbikes and fast cars; Streisand, saint of the freedom of speech, and Sturgeon, saint of life mostly sucking. [religion]
  • We: We (n.) Everyone except you. [society you]
  • Female Orgasm: Female orgasm (n.) During sexual intercourse, an unfakeable indicator that the male is capable of giving women intense pleasure. []
  • Spirituality: Spirituality (n.) A state of mind whereby an individual successfully ignores all inconvenient evidence and facts. In the perfect spiritual state, the real world ceases, temporarily, to exist at all. [confusion]
  • Breasts: Breasts (n.) Twin fatty deposits on the chest of the mature human female. The purpose of breasts is to attract males by indicating fertility and availability. [sex]
  • Negotiation: Negotiation (n.) The art of saying you don't want it, and even if you did, you aren't the one who decides. [power]
  • Diary: Diary (n.) A type of virtual Bitchtorrent peer invented by a frustrated teenage girl. [communications female]
  • Woofing: Woofing (n.) The canine command-and-control language that men use to self-organize. As in the common female complaint, "he's Woofing, instead of listening to me". [communications male]
  • Bitchtorrent: Bitchtorrent (n.) The peer-to-peer protocol that women use to exchange information, more politely called "bluetoothing". [communications female]
  • Bluetoothing: Bluetoothing (v.) The communication pattern by which two, or rarely, three, mature human females will synchronize their mental data sets using wireless acoustic signals to trade units of knowledge and information in a private setting. [communications female]
  • Beauty: Beauty (n.). In women, an aspect that makes them socially mobile. In objects, high levels of useful functionality, relative to the observer's needs. [female hair male sex]
  • Gangster: Gangster (n.): A rich boyfriend, but a poor husband. [gene male power]
  • Girlfriend: Girlfriend (n.): a female companion that young men must acquire by fifteen to avoid strange looks. [gene]
  • Boyfriend: Boyfriend (n.): banned, tolerated, accepted, and finally embarrassing. [gene power]
  • Parent: Parent (n.): An adult with an offspring, who dedicates an hour or more, every day, to that offspring. [sex]
  • Society: Society (n.) Equal parts of beggar, baker, bureaucrat, and bandit. [society]
  • Male: Male (adj.) That gender destined to ultimately be replaced by a computer program. [stupidity]
  • Promises: Promises (n). "I love you", "Your check is in the post", "I'll call you", and finally "I promise not to sue you". [lies money power]
  • Open Source: Open source (n.) A form of software written cheaply by young often unpaid programmers, packaged by large businesses, safely patented for its own defence, and then sold at significant profit to major firms, in the form of "support licenses". [money patents software]
  • Death: Death (n.) 1. An irrecoverable crash, resulting in full data loss. 2. The point in which a player is removed from the game. [epicfail]
  • Life: Life (n.) A game in which most of the game consists of discovering the rules, and then realizing that everyone loses. [epicfail]
  • Democracy: Democracy (n.) An imaginary form of government in which the will of the people is expressed through a series of so-called "elections". [power]
  • Beard: Beard (n.) A hairy covering of the lower part of the adult male face that reduces the noise-to-signal ratio of the facial area. The result is to make hairy adult males look more like other hairy adult males. [genes hair male violence]
  • State: State (n.) Generally, "the State" refers to a ruling national authority. [violence]
  • Bush-whacked: Bush-whacked (adj.) Severely damaged due to malign larceny disguised as incompetence. Also, "Bushed". [epicfail]
  • Zebra: Zebra (n.) An African wild horse, especially skilled at hiding, from lions, among other zebras. Edible. [food group]
  • Recession: Recession (n.) A shocking, sudden collapse in economic activity after only years of clear warning signs. [epicfail money]
  • Business: Business (n.) (1) The art of hating your suppliers, destroying your competitors, and despising your customers in the pursuit of profits. (2) War in suits. [money]
  • Darwin: Darwin (n.) One of the two gods of survival along with Newton. [darwin newton]
  • Burnout: Burnout (n.) A post-traumatic stress disorder caused by excessive investment in an imbalanced project. [pain]
  • Crash: Crash (n.) The sound of a bubble bursting. [epicfail money]
  • Housing Market: Housing Market (n.) The only market where governments deliberately create inflation. [economics]
  • Mathematician: Mathematician (n.) A kind of programmer who never makes mistakes, so needs no computer. [mind]
  • Theory: Theory (n.) An analysis that can never be entirely right, but can be entirely wrong. [stupidity]
  • Oil: Oil (n.) The remains of ancient bacteria, conveniently liquefied and converted to pure combustible hydrocarbons. [oil]
  • Love: Love (n.) A blinding smugness emanating from one's genes when they think they have found a perfect match. [genes]
  • Disease: Disease (n.) The undesirable state of being a microbe's lunch buffet. [darwin disease]
  • President: President (n.) Like a king, but without the burden of history. [power]
  • Hero: Hero (n.) A powerful man who has successfully hidden all his vices and weaknesses. [people]
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