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Marketer's Ruse: How To Foment Popularity

Restaurant, cell phone and clothes: People usually buy what others appear to want, so companies use the illusion of low supply to create new demand. But there are paradoxes to human instincts and desires.

A deep love
A deep love
Jürgen Schmieder, Angelika Slavik and Vivien Timmler

MUNICH — "Professional Line Sitters." That's a real profession. No training needed — those employed in the field do nothing but wait in line for others, in front of the supermarket, the motor vehicles bureau or a fancy night club.

Agencies do exist: one in New York, for example, which is called Same Old Line Dudes. They take $25 for the first hour and $10 for each additional 30 minutes. And they make sure you get those tickets for the Broadway musical Hamilton, or wake up at 3 a.m. to queue for your fresh-baked Cronuts. Bad weather costs extra, by the way: $5 per hour.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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