[LI] The problem with “get them to…”

Two items posted to LinkedIn in November 2017 and January 2018 that have to do in different ways with some people trying to “get” other people to do something or “make” others act in certain ways. What are the implicit (and unthought) and explicit assumptions behind this common but (I find) problematic turn of phrase?

We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads,” Zeynep Tufekci, TED Talk, September 2017 (posted November 2017)

Further to the discussion of all the talent going into getting people to click ads, this talk on the emerging clickocracy by Zeynep Tufekci is important to hear.

Don’t Just Talk To Customers, Get Them To Do Something,” by Tendayi Viki, Forbes, 21 January 2018 (posted 29 January 2018)

For some time I’ve wondered about the presumption in the common turn of phrase “get them to” when “them” (or whoever) is not say dependent minors or under some contract. Picking on this article as its title was last straw. Anyone else see an issue here?

(my comment)

Basically, where there is not an established relationship of responsibility (as in parent-child) or supervision (as in a contract of employment), “get them to” may end up as instrumentalization of others.


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