Old Dogs and New Tricks

An alternate title for this blog entry might be “Adjusting to Social Media.” Many of us who are older “dogs” at this point haven’t really caught up with the changes in forms of communication that have occurred in recent years. Some of us are making the effort. Others aren’t. If you’re a student of communication, you’re probably familiar with Morris Massey, who has used the lens of generational differences to help individuals understand the communication process. Where we were when, especially in pre- and early adolescence, influences the principal frames through which we view the external environment. When I was . . . → Read More: Old Dogs and New Tricks

Selling Fear in the New Year

One of the things I’ve been paying increasing attention to (perhaps because of the ongoing political debate in the U.S.) is fear marketing. I find it amazing at how pervasive “fear appeals” are and the various ways they are used to sell “stuff,” including politicians and political “talking points.” The basic concept is that we really need to be afraid of X, and, if we want to be safe, we need to stock up on (or vote for) the anti-X.

The world has a lot of risky stuff in it, of course, and we are undoubtedly safer when we . . . → Read More: Selling Fear in the New Year

Stubble, Etc.

You may be wondering what stubble’s got to do with it…. I had been wondering why so many men in current advertising, including the man deemed the “Sexiest Man Alive” by a popular magazine, are often photographed and filmed with three to five days of stubble. My curiosity got the better of me when I read an interview with a female actor who had just completed a movie about a same-sex relationship. When asked what she liked best about kissing another woman, she replied, “No stubble.”

It turns out that stubble is women’s Number-One complaint about kissing men. It . . . → Read More: Stubble, Etc.

Lesser of Two Weevils

In the movie, “Master and Commander,” Captain Jack (Russell Crowe) asks the ship’s surgeon, Dr. Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) to choose one of the two weevils crawling around in their food. The doctor initially says that they are the same in the critical aspects: “Arcades ambo. They are the same species of curculio, and there is nothing to choose between them.” When Captain Jack insists on a choice, the doctor chooses the larger one. The captain says that he has chosen incorrectly because “in the Navy you must always choose the lesser of two weevils.”

Now that the political . . . → Read More: Lesser of Two Weevils

Why Everyone Needs to Know Hypnosis

Several news sources used the following headline to report the results of a recent medical study: Doctors predict impotence after prostate treatment. A number of other news sources used the following wording: Study: Potency after prostate cancer varies widely. And other headlines put it this way: Sex After Prostate Cancer: New Study Helps Predict Erectile Function Post-Treatment

Which of the headlines is a hypnotic command promoting impotence for those facing prostate surgery? I suspect that most readers of this blog know that “Doctors predict impotence after prostate treatment” is a form of “doctor hypnosis.” One of my videos on . . . → Read More: Why Everyone Needs to Know Hypnosis

Elephants, Crooks, and Class Warfare

When President Obama announced his new plans for improving the economy in the States, Republicans cried, “Class warfare!” Obama’s response was, “It is not class warfare—it’s math.” This response not only reminded me of Nixon’s infamous claim, “I am not a crook,” but also reminded me of George Lakoff’s warning against using your opponent’s frame in your counterarguments (see Framing—Again. It is a failure to remember the Don’t think of elephants rule. When Nixon said, “I am not a crook,” the connection made in most people’s minds was, “Nixon—crook.” The not gets lost in translation.

In addressing the issue . . . → Read More: Elephants, Crooks, and Class Warfare

Arguing with Reality

Previously—”I Read the News Today (Oh, Boy),” 4 June 4 2011—I lamented the need for greater understanding and appreciation of the essential premises of Alfred Krozybski’s Science and Sanity, which evolved into the metamodel of NLP. Those premises are basically a cry to pay closer attention to reality, known in both Korzybski’s work and NLP as “territory,” which is distinct from “maps,” which are human beliefs. The problem is that beliefs too often argue with—disagree with—reality, and, as Byron Katie (Loving What Is) has said, “When you argue with reality, you lose. But only every time.”

If you want . . . → Read More: Arguing with Reality

I Read the News Today (Oh, Boy)

With apologies to the Beatles and “A Day in the Life”:

One of my daily habits is reading through the major online news sources to get a sense of what is happening here in the U.S. and in the world. I often find it fascinating to see what subjects are drawing the most media attention—and the kind of attention they are attracting. Here’s a brief round-up of recent “stuff”:

Placebos are in the news (again): One of the things I find most interesting about placebos is that articles about them written by medical doctors studiously avoid the word . . . → Read More: I Read the News Today (Oh, Boy)

Metaphors We Die By (and For)

Way back in the pre-Internet days of 1980, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson published Metaphors We Live By. This landmark study of the metaphors we use in daily conversations illustrates the ways common metaphors shape our thinking and behavior. One of the examples often cited is “argument is war.” Ideas are attacked, defended, and shot down. We may even “destroy” someone’s theory or “kill” his or her idea.

A few weeks ago, while watching political commentary on TV, it occurred to me that we not only live by metaphors, but also die by them. This is a broader, and . . . → Read More: Metaphors We Die By (and For)

Details

One of the things NLP teaches is that details are important. Details have always been important, of course, but they are often overlooked. A TV show I saw recently had a couple of detectives enter a mosque to talk to the Imam. He has them leave their shoes in the entryway. We see them remove their shoes, and we watch the female detective use her shawl to cover her head. We watch them have their chat with the Imam, and then we watch them leave the mosque without stopping to put their shoes back on before hitting the cold and . . . → Read More: Details

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