I’ve been thinking about the infamous burning armchair that has become the symbol of the X-phi movement. It’s a brilliant symbol, and a smashing PR success. Students get a kick out of it. Journalists love it. And it’s all in good fun.
Traditionalists need to counter with a PR hit of their own! But how?
[[Camera fades in.]] A lab coat hangs next to a clipboard prominently displaying a questionnaire, outside a lab door labeled ‘Nichols, Knobe & Associates’. The coat, and subsequently the lab, catch fire [[cue the background music]], and slowly burn to ashes. [[Camera pans out to reveal the destruction.]] Everything is black and charred … except for a regal armchair, which sits comfortably in the corner, utterly unscathed. [[Pan in slowly on the chair while fading to black.]]
The only complication I see arising from this PR battle is that, aside from assuming that their children will be poor if they go into philosophy, parents might also start thinking that they’ll become pyromaniacs too. Not exactly a winning combination.
(And yes, I know ‘Nichols, Knobe & Associates’ makes them sound like a law firm. But it rolls off the tounge nicely. Maybe we can come up with something better. ‘Department X’?)