This episode's vocabulary
- Exorbitant (adj.) - exorbitant prices, demands, etc. are much too large.
- Demand (noun) - to ask for something forcefully, in a way that shows that you do not expect to be refused.
- To diversify (verb) -to start to include more different types or things.
- To dilute (verb) - to reduce the strength of a feeling, action, etc.
- Potential (adj.) - possible when the necessary conditions exist.
- To seal (verb) - to make an agreement more certain or to approve it formally.
- Deal (noun) - an agreement or an arrangement, especially in business.
- Sample (noun) - a small amount of something that shows you what the rest is or should be like.
- Tat (noun) - a small amount of something that shows you what the rest is or should be like.
- Legality (noun) - the fact that something is allowed by the law.
- Valuable (adj.) - worth a lot of money; important, useful, or beneficial.
- Commonplace (adj.) - happening often or often seen or experienced and so not considered to be special.
Questions and Answers
M: Rory, are you ready?
M: Good. Do you think people should pay for higher education?
R: I do. But I don't think it should be such an exorbitant demand anymore, to be honest. The internet has done a lot to open up the educational market and leveled the playing field. Nonetheless, if someone is going to work for you and provide a service, then you should pay for it. I'm just not sure it should be hundreds or even 10s of 1000s of pounds in debt.
M: Is it good or bad for people to have a free education in the future?
R: Oh, I think it will be like any government, or social policy, or program, or trend. There'll be winners and losers. So on the one hand, everyone has the chance to get an education. But on the other, that dilutes the value of what is on offer. And so things like funding become an issue. Plus, there are class sizes to consider, although admittedly, we have free education in Scotland and it seems to be working reasonably well.
M: What gifts or free things to companies usually give to their clients?
R: Pens? They always seem to have an endless supply of free pens. I'm not sure where they get them, but they always have them. And they're always horrible quality. There's always this meme of getting a free alarm clock to I'm not sure how much of a thing that is these days, but it was the thing. And I suppose no companies have diversified their free gifts into sort of diluted versions of whatever product or service they offer.
M: Why do companies give away free things?
R: I suppose the idea is to lure in potential customers so they can seal the deal more easily. If you get a small sample of something you like, then you're more likely to buy the whole thing, aren't you?
M: But do you think companies usually give away free things?
R: Oh, I don't know how you would begin to measure that. My guess would be they have some aspect of free things to begin with at least.
M: Why do customers like to receive gifts from companies?
R: I'm not entirely convinced they do if it's sort of useless tat. But let's say they do, it's probably because they have this fear of missing out on something that's on offer. That's usually how companies work, or at least it's how their marketing works.
M: Do you think in the future, we'll have more free things? Or people will have to buy everything?
R: That's a good question. I suppose it will depend on the supply and demand. So for example, there's a massive supply of people who are working in education now. So there's lots of free education. However, if we think about water, then water supplies are drying up of your part in the pond. So you would expect that to be something that's bought and paid for.
M: What about free music and free websites or films? Will they be free or people will have to pay?
R: That probably depends on the purpose. And again, it's about supply and demand. So if we talk about music, then, well, you can already download music for free. Although that has questionable legality. And the same thing for websites, if something that they're offering is valuable, then people will pay to get it if it's not particularly valuable, or if it's quite commonplace, then they won't.
M: Thank you, Rory, for your answers!
M: Right. So, dear listener, this is a new topic, and which was added at the beginning of January. That's why we do not have all the questions, right. So we only have these questions. So let's think about more questions about free things. So what else can they ask you about? Again, like free education, free music, films, websites. Anything else? Maybe like the advantages or disadvantages of getting things for free?
R: Yes. Or how will three things be advertised or in the future, for example.
M: Hmm, okay. Free things in the future. Yeah, we talked about free things and companies, corporations. Also why do people like getting free things or why do some people dislike getting free things maybe. But I think everybody enjoys getting free things.
R: Um, I don't know. I really, I don't. If it's useless.
M: Or some people are just suspicious, you know. Like, if it's for free then like, hmm, why is it for free? You know, like you...
R: So for example, Facebook is for free, but that's because you're the product that they're selling. Capitalism, it's bad for you.
M: True, true. So, and some people think that nothing is for free. So still you pay, you know, in some sneaky discreet ways, but you pay for it having no idea that you actually pay with your time with your, I don't know, with access to everything you do online. They're watching you. Okay, you said this nice word, exorbitant. Such an exorbitant amount. What is that?
R: Exorbitant just means extremely high price.
M: So I can say that Gucci bags are exorbitant?
R: Well, no, you pay an exorbitant amount for Gucci bags. But if we describe the price, you could say, oh, they are extortionate, for example.
M: Free education could be the government's policy. Or it could be a trend, for example, and to get an education, you have to pay. And then the Rory talked about funding. So funding becomes an issue. So for example, in the States, everybody has to pay for the education whereas in Russia, well, you can get it for free. If you're lucky. And if you may be a born genius. So, well, usually, yeah? So funding could be an issue. Yeah, I liked how you talked about pens. So an endless supply of free pens and pencils.
R: Yeah. It lasts forever. Where do they find them?
M: They just make them.
M: Special places, merch, where merch is made. And then companies give away free things. So they give away free pens or pencils. Or notebooks. yeah, notebooks.
R: Yeah, notebooks are always a thing at conferences, aren't they?
M: Yeah, yeah, pens and notebooks. Yeah. A free alarm clock. Oh, God.
R: But that was the thing. They'd always say that. I don't know if you remember, like the early 2000s and late 90s. It was like, oh, and you'll get a free alarm clock. If you sign up to this policy. That's like, looking back on it. Now we have smartphones that have alarm clocks in them. It's like, why would anyone pay for an alarm clock? You have one. It's there. You even have one on like simple phones.
M: A free alarm clock... Yeah, ridiculous. That is ridiculous. Then you said that companies give away free things to lure, to lure in potential customers. So to lure.
R: Yes. So if you lure someone in, then you tempt them, come, come to the business. We do that. We have a free episode.
M: To lure in our potential...
M: Premium listeners.
R: However, it's important to point out that our free stuff is actually valuable. We don't fling free pens at people. And those are just worthless. Anyone can buy a pen.
M: Seal the deal. If we seal the deal, what do we do?
R: Well, we get people to commit to buy whatever we're offering.
M: And then you said that you're not entirely convinced. And it's useless tat.
R: Yes. So, this is like if people like to receive free gifts. So like, the question just assumes that people like to receive free things, but I don't think they necessarily do. I think people are just like, oh, great, another free pen. Wonderful. What am I gonna do with this free pen when everything I do is typed?
M: Oh, yeah. Yeah, it's useless tat.
R: It is useless tat.
M: It's a mishmash of useless tat. Mixture. Yeah?
R: Well, we should explain what tat is, to be honest with you. So tat is like material that's just, it's just worthless, basically. It's just stuff that you have that's got no value.
M: All this tat, all this useless tat. Some people have the fear of missing out on something. So if it's an offer, you get this webinar for free, or the first class is for free. Some people might feel that they're missing out on this special offer of their life. Or an offer of a lifetime.
R: The fear of missing out. FOMO. But that's the thing. Companies exploit this all the time. It's really bad.
M: Thank you very much for listening! And let's meet in the next episode!
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