You don't want to read this

Story from the Dan Lewis – Now I Know email list; this one is titled Regal Potatoes.

Cutting to the chase, it goes:

Like any good despot, Fredrick simply decreed that his wishes become true: in 1774, he mandated that everyone must cultivate, harvest, and eat potatoes. And like any good populace, the people refused, with some noting that even dogs refuse the things. Other sovereigns in Europe tried similar tactics, with similar results — even the threat of force or incareration was not enough to get Europeans to grow (and eat) potatoes.

But unlike the other kings and queens of his time, Fredrick did not give up. Instead, he changed course, banning the potato from being used — by anyone other than royalty, that is. As legend has it, he set up a royal potato garden replete with royal guardsmen “protecting” the crop from commoners (but, of course, the guards were instructed to do nothing to would-be “thieves”). His ruse worked, as the crop began to appear — somehow! — in the gardens of Germans near and far.

Lewis writes that the story came from this TED Talk – Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man. The story begins about 3:40 in to the video.

Reminds me that I’ve always wanted someone to make a movie called, “You Wouldn’t Be Interested In This.”

As Sutherland says in the video: “persuasion is always better than compulsion.”

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