Friday, July 16, 2010

Inception: don't think of George Lakoff

One of the lines in the movie is, "Don't think of an what are you thinking of?"

The whole premise of the movie is how to plant an idea so deftly, at a deeper level, that the subject takes ownership of the idea, such that it becomes self-sustaining.  That is an "inception."

Could Don't Think of An Elephant by George Lakoff have been on the mind of the writer and director?  Could the importance of getting framing right, so that a person has no choice but to come to their own conclusions in your favor, have been a lesson of this movie?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lakoff derides "disaster messaging"

George Lakoff
This is the start of George Lakoff's recent piece in the Huffington Post, called "Disaster Messaging":
Democrats are constantly resorting to disaster messaging. Here's a description the typical situation.
  • The Republicans outmessage the Democrats. The Democrats, having no effective response, face disaster: They lose politically, either in electoral support or failure on crucial legislation.
  • The Democrats then take polls and do focus groups. The pollsters discover that extremist Republicans control the most common ("mainstream") way of thinking and talking about the given issue.
  • The pollsters recommend that Democrats move to the right: adopt conservative Republican language and a less extreme version of conservative policy, along with weakened versions of some Democratic ideas.
  • The Democrats believe that, if they follow this advice, they can gain enough independent and Republican support to pass legislation that, at least, will be some improvement on the extreme Republican position.
  • Otherwise, the pollsters warn, Democrats will lose popular support -- and elections -- to the Republicans, because "mainstream" thought and language resides with the Republicans.
  • Believing the pollsters, the Democrats change their policy and their messaging, and move to the right.
  • The Republicans demand even more and refuse to support the Democrats.
Read the whole piece here.