Given the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election, everyone needs read Neil Postman’s 1982 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. Reading it won’t change the outcome of the election, of course, but it will provide understanding for how and why it happened the way it did. Postman’s main point is that print encourages logic and reflection. Visual media, and television in particular, encourage the feelings of the moment. To be taken seriously and believed, written documents need to be logical and coherent. To be successful, visual media need to influence feelings. We . . . → Read More: A Media Star Is Born
Will Rogers famously said, “I’m not a member of any organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” The sense that Republicans are “lock-step” in pursuit of their objectives, while Democrats are no better organized than a herd of cats, has been around since the days of Senator Joseph McCarthy and the frantic search for Communists thought to have infiltrated the US government. Republicans learned how to stick together during the “Cold War,” and it was not long until they had developed what came to be known as the Southern Strategy, which was essentially race-based politics, designed to take advantage of White . . . → Read More: Politics as Usual?
By now, you undoubtedly know about the devastating earthquake in Nepal. You may not have heard, however, about the earthquake in SW Michigan. Earthquakes come in all sizes, from the huge and deadly to the minor shake-ups. Michigan’s earthquake was a minor shake-up. When I was growing up in California, we had numerous minor quakes. Even though they always came as a surprise, we learned to recognize them for what they were. After I had grown up and left, California experienced at least two serious quakes with extensive damage and some deaths, one in northern California and one in southern . . . → Read More: Earthquakes
A recent Internet news article, “Want To Look Smarter? Stop Sending Emails And Speak Like A Human,” by Emily Peck, reminded me of the ways communication channels influence the meanings of messages. The principal communication channels fall into three general classes: visual (what we see), auditory (what we hear), and kinesthetic (touch, taste, smell, and emotional response). Although neither the article nor the study on which it is based specifically addresses the concept of channel richness, that is basically what the article is about.
Face-to-face (F2F) is considered the richest communication channel because it conveys the most information. Assuming . . . → Read More: Changing Channels
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.
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