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I confess that I am a mathematically inclined geek, and so I understood and agreed with and even enjoyed Ezra Klein’s segment on the Romney campaign’s misuse of Venn diagrams (The Rachel Maddow Show, July 3, 2012).

But for the most part, it doesn’t matter.

The Romney campaign people may not understand how to use a Venn diagram.  But are they effective?  Are they getting across their message?  That’s the question that should be asked.

Many voters don’t know how to read a Venn diagram (and obviously the Romney campaign will not help to educate them).  They probably don’t care either.

Furthermore, I want to remind my fellow geeky Kossacks of Humpty-Dumpty’s attitude in Alice Through the Looking Glass: words (and by extension, graphs) mean what he wants them to mean (and by this citation I have established my geeky credentials).  

One of the issues that I have with my fellow liberals is that we don’t know how to make our case.  We argue ourselves blue but without persuading.

A big reason is that the conservative brain is different from the liberal brain.  Building a logical argument does not persuade.  I know some people who out of principle refuse to persuade in any other manner, but they are wasting their time.

If you’re open-minded to finding other ways to convince the others but are at a loss, remember KISS (keep it simple, stupid).  Also appeal to emotions.  They should be angry at how the Republicans have been screwing them.  Get them angry.  And use their prejudices.  If they hate the abortion industry, tell them how Romney makes his money.  Point out that the Republicans are trying to take away their right to vote, too.

Take Obamacare.  It’s got great stuff in it but most voters don’t know.  The messaging has been screwed up here, as it has in many other situations.

Be very cautious about pointing out to people you want to convince that the Romney campaign doesn’t know how to use Venn diagrams.  Many people don’t know how to use them either, and they will feel more attracted to the Romney campaign.

When does Venn matter?

Yet in the end, it does matter.  Because those who know how to use logic will know how to solve more of our country’s problems.

Thanks for letting me rant!


If you want to know more about me and my interest in Greek mythology go here...

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