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Open Thread for Night Owls
At Grist, Chris Mooney does what he says he rarely does, "gushes" over a book. It's Joe Romm's new book, Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga. Here's what Mooney has to say:
Everybody who cares about why science doesn’t get through to the public should read it.

Basically, it is a powerful treatise on the neglected art of rhetoric, the technique mastered by Shakespeare, Lincoln, and the writers of the King James Bible. As an English major, I particularly delighted in Romm’s discussion of figures of speech and how they make orators persuasive by allowing them to activate people’s emotions. Indeed, as Romm writes, modern neuroscience now confirms what the poets always knew about getting to people’s heads through their hearts (that’s a metaphor, by the way — one of the chief techniques that Romm discusses).

Joe Romm, climate change polemicist
Joe Romm
If you ever want to understand why scientists fare so poorly getting their message across — and why liberals lose policy debates and, often, presidential campaigns — this is also the book for you. In essence: Too much higher education, too much wonk sophistication, destroys the common language simplicity of good rhetoric and makes you less persuasive.

Romm — quite self-consciously — uses powerful rhetoric himself to get the point across. And he shows how, slowly, climate researchers are coming to recognize the power of figures of speech — comparing global warming’s influence on the weather to a batter on steroids who hits more home runs, for instance, or to the loading of dice.

You can also hear Mooney's interview with Romm here.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008:

I'm not going to link it directly, but via Boing Boing, one Michael Goldfarb is making the case that progressives who read Daily Kos are like tweeners playing Dungeons & Dragons in mom's basement. Now, the knee jerk reaction here would be to state "But I'm not playing D & D in my mother's basement!" But you know what? I'm not going to play that role and I'm not going to be nice.

Mr. Goldfarb was one of the original PNAC boys, the lovable neoconservative guys and gals who dreamed up and then whined for an invasion of Iraq starting in the late 1990s, claiming it would be decisive, quick, cheap, and easy. If that sounds familiar, it's because these are the very same opportunistic assholes who used a bogus WMD threat to stampede a spooked nation into their cherished war on Iraq in the traumatic aftermath of 9-11. When the wheels fell off their experiment and it ground to a brutal halt on the streets of reality, true to neocon form, they scattered and ran hitherto, pointing fingers at the CIA, the Democrats, blaming anyone and everyone else for their giant, massive, bloody Baghdad fuck-up, once it became clear what a colossal fuck up it was.

Mr. Goldfarb, please accept this with all the venom and hostility you can conceive of: D & D players don't scare me. They hang out quietly in dorm rooms and apartments playing their RP game hurting no one. You and your friends at PNAC on the other hand stand guilty of practicing gross fatal global negligence to a degree so grotesque I would not have thought it possible in this modern nation.

Tweet of the Day:

Hank Williams Jr said "We’ve got a Muslim president who hates the US!” When asked for comment, Mitt said  "Those aren't the words I'd use."
@TeaPartyCat via HootSuite

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Comment Preferences

  •  505,411 registered users on dKos now. (24+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not all spammers.)

    crainjordy (user #505,408: real estate spammer)

    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #504,500: edmondbeach511 (spammer)
    #504,600: BoninoCian725
    #504,700: nomors4ue
    #504,800: hunterrollin121
    #504,900: edwardlove716
    #505,000: chadaphy5rz5 (spammer)
    #505,100: JeffinDC
    #505,200: vianneyyu12 (spammer)
    #505,300: luigibrinch512 (spammer)
    #505,400: aldenvester49

    We've added 991 more users in just the last 24 hours.  This is a continuation going back to May where we've been absolutely flooded with new users.  I'm pretty sure almost all of these new users are spammers or bots.  Notice how they all have a number at the end.  For the first time in months, that number is under 1,000 for a 24-hour period.  Is this a thankful sign of a slowing down of the spammers, or just because it's a weekend?  What are they planning?

    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life Again".

  •  Everyone should watch... (10+ / 0-)

    the Nat Geo show Seconds from Disaster, which carefully details major disasters in recent world history, and the chain of events that went horribly wrong that led to disaster.  With manmade things, there's almost always some regulation that a corporation wanted to skip to reduce costs, and lack of oversight from that evil government the Republicans and libertarians always want to cut back on.

    Well, folks, this is what happens without regulations, when you let private industry dictate the rules.  Here's the entire episode about the infamous Hindenburg disaster in 1937.

    Many of the episodes are available in full on YouTube.  Watch them while thinking about what could have been done to prevent those disasters from happening, and in almost every case, it's government that could've mandated some extra check or regulation to stop the disaster.  And usually, they DID end up stepping in, but only after the disaster happened and hundreds of people died.

    And despite the fact that NatGeo is ultimately owned by News Corp., like I said the other day, I'm still going to promote this show, simply because it's a damn good show that explicitly shows the need for strong government oversight.  Don't want to watch it on their channel?  At least watch the episodes that have been uploaded to YouTube.  And share them with your conservative anti-government friends, and ask them if they feel comfortable about leaving their safety in the hands of a private corporation without ANY government oversight.

  •  Hotel Transylvania (5+ / 0-)

    This looks like it can be a pretty enjoyable movie as well.  These two trailers give you an idea of what to expect.

  •  A personal reflection (11+ / 0-)

    in which I attempt to explain how my life is changing, how I am changing

    I am in the process of changing in ways I do not fully understand.

    I decided to share what I could in this post which went up this morning.

    read it if you want.  

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:31:40 PM PDT

    •  I just read it. It was stirring and lovely. I am (4+ / 0-)

      in the process of a big change myself and I don't know where it will take me but just the thought of change is so exciting to me!  And I really am putting a for-real bucket list together.

      What I am finding is that it is really helping to renew me. I got that from your post as well.

      I'm a bit younger than you are, and not retired yet, but I hope to move in two years. Dunno where. Has to be no father than the penninsular ranges from the Pacific, between here (Orange County) and Canada and be blue. Has to be rural or some place I can legally run my rescue/sanctuary. I want to slow my pace down to 90mph.

      It's exciting to think about.

      Best to you!

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:52:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  transformation is inevitable; while you are a bit (0+ / 0-)

      ahead of me chronologically, I find my self metamorphosing as my memory slowly deteriorates.  Recently I could not remember the term for "magnifying glass" and had to call someone to ask what the term was.  I find myself less and less articulate as time passes and less able to express complex ideas or even read with comprehension.

      The flip side of the experience is that it is interesting to witness the deterioration of my intellect and my ability to communicate.

      •  i really do hope (0+ / 0-)

        that you find it entertaining, at times.
        i was stumped by what that "thing" where the kitchen sink is was called... took me over half a day to come up with it:
        "counter." and i really laughed, because i really found it funny to forget something so simple as that, but be able to carry on in other ways just fine.
        some days, it's as if my throttle gets stuck but things are ok, so long as i keep the clutch pedal down.

        Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.
        * Join: OBAMA'S TRUTH TEAM *

        by greenbird on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:03:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Might I point out ... (11+ / 0-)

    my review of Romm last week here at DKos:  Learning intelligent Language from Lady Gaga, Lakoff, Lincoln, Luntz, and others ... ...

    Or, since the link was outside Dkos, on GESN

    Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

    by A Siegel on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:35:27 PM PDT

  •  Any early reports from today's meetups? (12+ / 0-)

    NYC or Pt. Reyes... ?

    I need some vicarious fun.  Had to take hubby to the ER yesterday, and brought him back today.  They admitted him tonight, and he has gall bladder surgery tomorrow.

    As he says, it's like a broken arm - it hurts like hell and you have to take care of it, but you recover from it.

    All I can say is, thank heavens we have insurance.  I can't imagine being in the kind of pain he's obviously been in for two days and holding off on seeing a doctor because you can't afford it.  It's obscene that anyone has to make that decision.

  •  The latest in Ron Paul fan nuttery. (7+ / 0-)

    They're now sharing this piece that says Australia's crime has skyrocketed since its gun control laws.

    When the forced gun ban (buy back program) went into effect law abiding citizens had to turn in their semi automatic firearms, pump action rifles, and shotguns or face going to jail. Six hundred forty thousand conventional firearms were taken out of the hands of law abiding citizens, confiscated and destroyed. Law abiding citizens followed the law and turned in their weapons. Citizens were promised safety in return for turning in their guns. Does any of this sound familiar, like UN Gun Treaty perhaps?

    Since the gun ban in Australia, armed robberies are up 69%, assaults with guns up 28%, gun murders increased 19%, and home invasions jumped 21%. More proof that not only does gun control not work, it makes it safer for the criminals at large.

    Yes, it includes a nice dose of UN conspiracy theorizing as well.  There's also no written source I could find that validates those statistics, either.  Are they actually true?
  •  But it's true, I swear! (9+ / 0-)

    I do not play D&D in my mother's basement. I play D&D in my dining room.

    Organ donors save lives! A donor's kidney gave me my life back on 02/18/11; he lives on in me. Please talk with your family about your wish to donate.

    Why are war casualty counts "American troops" and "others" but never "human beings"?

    by Kitsap River on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:37:04 PM PDT

  •  Hank who™? n/t (9+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:37:42 PM PDT

  •  Vote for Worst GOP Vice Presidential nominee (6+ / 0-)

    in this  Snap poll

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:39:35 PM PDT

  •  As the bard might put it, well, duh (5+ / 0-)

    I realized this as a kid growing up in the 70's. Conservatives, while clearly crazy and creepy, at least had this compelling passion and fight to them that drew you to them (up to a point, of course), like a cult leader or really good salesman. But liberals--at least the ones they allowed on TV, the better ones having since been killed off or otherwise marginalized--put you to sleep with their incessant need to sound level-headed and measured when you really wanted them to wipe the floor with these knuckle-dragging neanderthals and their batshit craziness.

    Things haven't gotten all that much better since then. Screw being nice and calm. The public wants passionate fighters who get them fired up.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:44:17 PM PDT

    •  My favorite example (0+ / 0-)

      Because I got full marks on my paper, is the contrast of the funeral oratories of Marcus Junius Brutus verses Marc Anthony in Julius Caesar, Act III.

      Brutus was rational.

      Anthony appealed to sentiment.

      Guess who won over the plebeians?

      "My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar"

      Clever bastard.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 04:10:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is so great I can't resist (0+ / 0-)

        Julius Caesar, Act III

        The often maligned Brutus:


        Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.
        Cassius, go you into the other street, and part the numbers.
        Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here;
        Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
        And public reasons shall be rendered
        Of Caesar's death


        Be patient till the last.

        Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause, and be silent, that you may hear. Believe me for mine honour, and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe. Censure me in your wisdom, and awake your senses, that you may the better judge.
        If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Caesar was no less than his.
        If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer:
        Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more.
        Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?

        As Caesar loved me, I weep for him;
        as he was fortunate, I rejoice at it;
        as he was valiant, I honour him;
        but, as he was ambitious, I slew him.
        There is tears for his love;
        joy for his fortune;
        honour for his valour;
        and death for his ambition.
        Who is here so base that would be a bond-man?
        If any, speak; for him have I offended.
        Who is here so rude that would not be a Roman?
        If any, speak, for him have I offended.
        Who is here so vile that will not love his country?
        If any, speak, for him I have offended.
        I pause for a reply.


        Here comes his body, mourned by Mark Antony, who, though he had no hand in his death, shall receive the benefit of his dying, a place in the commonwealth; as which of you shall not?
        With this I depart, that, as I slew my best lover for the good of Rome, I have the same dagger for myself, when it shall please my country to need my death.


        Good countrymen, let me depart alone, And, for my sake, stay here with Antony:
        Do grace to Caesar's corpse, and grace his speech.
        Tending to Caesar's glories;
        which Mark Antony, by our permission, is allow'd to make.
        I do entreat you, not a man depart,
        Save I alone,
        till Antony have spoke.

        Then, Marc Anthony:

        Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
        I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
        The evil that men do lives after them;
        The good is oft interred with their bones;
        So let it be with Caesar.

        The noble Brutus Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:     
        If it were so, it was a grievous fault,     
        And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it
        Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest
        — For Brutus is an honourable man;     
        So are they all, all honourable men—     
        Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.     
        He was my friend, faithful and just to me;     
        But Brutus says he was ambitious;     
        And Brutus is an honourable man.     
        He hath brought many captives home to Rome     
        Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill;
        Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?     
        When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:     
        Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
        Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;     
        And Brutus is an honourable man.     
        You all did see that on the Lupercal I thrice presented him a kingly crown, Which he did thrice refuse. Was this ambition?
        Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;     
        And, sure, he is an honourable man.     
        I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
        But here I am to speak what I do know.     
        You all did love him once, not without cause:     
        What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?     
        O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,     
        And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;     
        My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,     
        And I must pause till it come back to me



        Caesar had declared himself Dictator for Life and aimed to subordinate the Senate, thus imperiling the state of free men. Brutus, putting the common good above friendship had been persuaded to join the conspirators, who, in typical Shakespearian fashion, had less noble motivations.

        Yet, Anthony, with rhetoric above facts, casts doubt on the motives of Brutus and resurrects a noble leader from the grave that did not exist in life.

        He hath brought many captives home to Rome     
        Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill;
        Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?

        Thus, the ambitious despot who pillaged the world by force is rehabilitated as a benevolent benefactor to Rome and the clueless plebeians he would have enslaved.

        Mitt Romney, take note & copy to staff.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 07:03:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You've Got to Be Shootting Me. (5+ / 0-)

    There does not exist, in the historical record of humanity, a widely known figure who persuaded fewer of the people to accept his ideas, out of those who claim to follow them, than Jesus of Nazareth.

    I defy anyone to name a sect or denomination of self proclaimed Christians that doesn't teach and practice the exact opposite of multiple teachings of his as recorded in the quotational material they nonetheless preserve.

    Jesus of Nazareth is the greatest famous failure of persuasion humanity has ever produced.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:49:14 PM PDT

  •  I agree about using more figures of speech (6+ / 0-)

    Which is why I advocate that the left should be using more military and sports metaphors.

  •  Heh... (6+ / 0-)

    I just tried going to Rasmussen Reports to copy the text from today's tracking poll results, which show Obama leading Romney 45-43... Romney's 43% being the lowest percentage he's received in a Rasmussen tracking poll since March.

    So, anyway... the site is down (first time I've ever experienced that).

    Coincidence? I think not.



  •  Mitt has all the intellectual heavyweights in his (12+ / 0-)

    corner.  Ted Nugent, Donald Trump, Chuck Norris and now Hank Williams Jr ?  


    I think that Republicanism is revealing itself as a personality disorder, not so much an ideology." -- Naomi Klein

    by AllanTBG on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:06:50 PM PDT

    •  the quote to which I turn most often ... (6+ / 0-)

      to sum up human experience is from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, wherein the Duke and the Dauphin debate whether to keep fleecing the little town, or abscond before they're discovered:

      Hain't we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?
      •  Adlai along those lines.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        this just in

        'During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to him,

        "You have the vote of every thinking person!"
        Stevenson called back,
        "That's not enough, madam, we need a majority!"'

        I think that Republicanism is revealing itself as a personality disorder, not so much an ideology." -- Naomi Klein

        by AllanTBG on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 10:15:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh great... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Friend of the court

    another book to add to my list. (insert fakey frustrated sigh here) ;)

    Nice to see my old friend By-Tor up there. Hey MB - how the heck are you?

    Thank your stars you're not that way/Turn your back and walk away/Don't even pause and ask them why/Turn around and say 'goodbye'/Just wish them well.....

    by Purple Priestess on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:11:55 PM PDT

  •  Disagree. Problem isn't inferior rhetoric (6+ / 0-)

    The problem is that all of the outlets to communicate with the public are owned by people who have views that are anthetical to science and progressive values.   When you don't want an informed public, you don't get one.

    Our media is supported by advertising, which by definition wants to persuade people to make irrational decisions.   Drinking lots of beer makes you fat, not irrestable to hot chicks.  

    I can't think of any forum where a scientist or progressive (not always the same) are allowed to utter more than a couple of words.   Heck, we landed a very complex machine on Mars and the media coverage is of -- one guy's Mohawk?

    •  Yes, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, maryabein

      Drinking lots of beer can make not-hot chicks irresistible, so it balances out.

    •  Trimming around e edges (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This can help a bit, but this is arming for the last war. They don't do nuanced words anymore. They just lie. Direct, not subtle, refutation is what's called for now.

      GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

      by Attorney at Arms on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:32:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On the contrary, politics is applied communication (0+ / 0-)

      in the same way that engineering is applied physics. Convincing people to agree with you is all about social communication.

      I get that intellectuals like the broadcast media as more efficient, but a better way to get the message across (especially if other methods are compromised or corrupted) is word-of-mouth via talking to people in person or phone/text/email and social media. Phone banking may be useful, but networking is probably much more effective.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:09:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So how long does a spam account stick around? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Y, jan4insight

    It's really annoying to see them all when you search for a user by a common name. For example searching for
    "John" since August 1:

    Search Daily Kos
    Diaries Comments Users Groups Tags
    Search Users
    By Activity    
        Between and

    185 results were found
    User     Joined     Last Diary     Diaries     Comments     Followed By     Mojo
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    anouarjohnst1229     08/06/2012                     No Mojo
    johnniebest11     08/06/2012                     No Mojo
    johnnieself512     08/06/2012                     No Mojo
    johntyson93     08/06/2012                     No Mojo
    gabejohnoooon     08/06/2012                     No Mojo
    johnhassan     08/06/2012                     No Mojo
    desmondjohns616     08/06/2012                     No Mojo

  •  For a good time... (10+ / 0-)

    watch Dave Catanese from Politico totally implode on Twitter trying to debate/figure out what Todd Akin was really trying to say.


  •  We could use a new hard sci-fi tv show (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, JeffW

    like Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Next Generation perhaps.

    Capt Picard was basically a resolute, intelligent (if bookish) liberal in spaaaace. But more than that, TNG always tackled big topics like self-determination, equality, diplomacy and civil rights, while extolling the benefits and importance of science.

    In other words, it was a popular show that promoted a generally liberal agenda. We could use another one of those. Something to combat the "'Merica Fuck Yeah" bullshit from shows like 24.

  •  Charles Jaco on his interview with Todd Akin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    this just in, grover, AaronInSanDiego

    Would that more in that industry were as forthcoming with they fuck up.

  •  this morning, on Meet the Press, (0+ / 0-)

    Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Georgia made me stand up and clap my hands.  

  •  CNN mentions Akin's remarks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

  •  I remain gobsmacked that the neocons have (0+ / 0-)

    been able to enlist traditional Fundamentalists in their cause (not really that they enlist them but that the True Believers alter their beliefs to fit neocon Gospel) so that Fundamentalists who have demonized Catholics and Mormons for generations now have embraced these two groups as true brethren.

    However despite these alliances of convenience, I note that each of the groups continue to stand outside the others' places of worship to poach members. (Local SBC church came calling today to invite me to worship though it is well known I have to be the 24/7 caregiver for a family member and have been so for the last 5 years.  Not one offered to take my place for me to attend worship)

    With Mitt, I note the Fundamentalist sects continue to try to mainstream Mormonism while Mormons themselves remain very jealous of their church history.  I wonder if the Mormon Church will purchase this document in order to suppress its conclusions:

  •  I don't see the Scientist as being too educated (0+ / 0-)

    I just see them as not being taught good communication skills.

    It can be frustrating, trying to communicate a complex subject to a disinterested or even hostile audience. It' doesn't help that our wage gap has widened our education gap, so that those who have gone to college are communicate differently than those who do not.

    Those communication styles can be taught. Some people are born with a knack for it, and should be groomed.

    As for Dems loosing, well sometimes they win big and then throw it all away in a fucked up compromise with a rival party that has no intention of giving an inch and has made plans to grab every mile they can.

    That's not a problem with communication. That's a problem with backbone. That's a problem with understanding their enemies, that is a direct failure to comprehend that their opposition has no intention of following the rules or being civil or fair.

    That much is very obvious this week with the attempted Swiftboating of the POTUS over the Bin Laden assassination.

    When you are hunting for bear, you load for bear. The Dems have to put away the slingshots and the pepperspray and the tasers, and start fighting for real.

    Otherwise they will keep loosing and keep loosing big.

    •  Oh lord it is late, and I am tired. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Friend of the court

      Please excuse my typos and extra words. It's bedtime.

    •  can any idea be reduced to the point it can (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, GreenMother

      be understood by anyone at all? Or are some ideas just too complex to be reduced?  I note that in the case of Evolution there have been attempts to reduce it to the simplest terms and the upshot has been distortions of what the theory really says (for that matter, IDers are unable to understand what a theory really is)

      •  Yes, Analogy is useful, but only as an analogy. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zinman, GreenMother

        Distilling complicated ideas is easy for simple explanations. Once someone wants to go beyond the simple explanation it gets complicated and that's when you no longer use that analogy as an approximation.

        "Know your audience" is key to knowing how to talk to them.

        -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

        by JPax on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:15:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well there is also willful ignorance. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You cannot communicate with someone who doesn't *WANT to understand.

    •  It's institutional laziness more than anything. (0+ / 0-)

      Like most professionals who talk mostly to others like themselves more than people in other sub-cultures, they maximize word economy via jargon and assumptions and socially acceptable methods of communicating that may be different than that which is useful for explaining to non-specialists.

      In other words, they need to dumb it down and they don't know how. Dumbing down doesn't mean the audience is stupid, it just means the audience isn't up on the lingo. If it helps, we can create a folk etymology that "dumb" in dumbing down refers to the meaning of mute, instead of stupid.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:24:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No I disagree. If you *Dumb it down, then you are (0+ / 0-)

        not doing anyone any favors.

        I agree that some people purposefully obfuscate discussions by getting needlessly technical. But that is about ego. Sometimes you meet people who are afraid I guess that others with less education might grasp certain concepts.

        No one should have to dumb a subject down. Metaphor might be used to help people grasp certain concepts, but dumbing a topic down can only lead to misunderstandings.

        This is a two way street.

        The audience has to be willing to meet the speaker/authority half way. Otherwise no amount of dumbing down or disneyfication will have the desired result.

        The biggest issue is vocabulary and I suspect the ability to not insult the audience. If you can help people feel comfortable, and give them the tools to listen to you, then that goes a long way.

        •  You can't demand an audience already know (0+ / 0-)

          the things they need to know to understand what you're going to tell them. That violates fundamental rules of physics and communications.

          If you want to teach them the preliminaries first, then do that, if you have the time, but explaining calculus to a baby isn't going to result in much.

          -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

          by JPax on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 11:31:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  A good communicator is a storyteller (0+ / 0-)

        It's hard to sit down and participate in a story telling session when the press has left you addicted to it's stupid, HFCS cousin--The Soundbite.

    •  I see them as living in a world where the Koch's (0+ / 0-)

      and the Exxon's buy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of advertising every year and have control of the content of the Media Trusts.

      I think that is a much stronger argument than the claim that Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a "bad communicator".

      All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

      by JesseCW on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 06:09:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't say Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a bad (0+ / 0-)

        communicator. On the contrary, he is an excellent communicator for the reasons listed above. He has the ability to tell a good story, to employ metaphor and analogies, while simultaneously teaching his audience [those who need it] a new vocabulary.

        I would say the same of Bill Nye, Carl Sagan, and Michio Kaku.

        Anyone willing to really engage these speakers will learn something [if not a lot of things], but therein lies the rub.

        People who are already hostile to science are not going to be active listeners.  And not every Scientist is going to be as engaging as these men, used as examples in this discussion.

        So if you combine hostility of the *laity with the hostility and mental exhaustion of the Scientific community [dealing with concerted institutionalized attacks on science via religion and politics, then there isn't going to be much communicating at all.

        Everyone is pissed off.

        No one is talking or listening to each other, other than to lob more insults at each other for every slight [real or imagined].

        It's sad really. Because if these groups worked together, then we could accomplish a lot, but that requires mutual respect. I think that the implementation of Citizen Science Programs has done a lot to heal the breech to a limited degree. But we have a long way to go. And the forces that oppose that healing are organized and insidious.

  •  What this country needs is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover, jan4insight, HeyMikey

    a president as witty and wise as Lincoln. One as charismatic as FDR, JFK and Bill Clinton. A person that can explain complex ideas in, "terms, so simple, as to command their assent," ala Jefferson.
    Now, who do we know...

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:47:52 PM PDT

    •  Except racism means they don't bother listening (0+ / 0-)

      to him. That's why his words don't have much of an effect on him.

      Maybe we need to have a white person say the same thing and see if the right wingers listen to him.

      Actually, that may be Mitt Romney's intent. Say the same thing and get elected because it came out of a white person's mouth.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:27:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Rhetoric LEARNED. Aristotle, Cicero, Orwell, Obama (0+ / 0-)

      People can get better at rhetoric, like they can at a lot of other things, by study, practice, feedback, and more practice.

      The genius of Obama's 2008 campaign was that it hit all three of Aristotle's elements of persuasion: pathos (emotion, the strongest element), ethos (justice or morality), and logos (reason, the weakest element). The Democrats' political failures since then have been largely because their message has been all logos and no pathos or ethos. E.g., we argue about whether Obamacare will improve or worsen the deficit, instead of about whether it will provide security to millions of families, saving many lives and preventing untold suffering.

      Thus the Democrats have proven Orwell and Cicero right yet again:

      The energy that actually shapes the world springs from emotions—racial pride, leader-worship, religious belief, love of war—which liberal intellectuals mechanically write off as anachronisms, and which they have usually destroyed so completely in themselves as to have lost all power of action.…He [H.G. Wells] was, and still is, quite incapable of understanding that nationalism, religious bigotry and feudal loyalty are far more powerful forces than what he himself would describe as sanity.

      —George Orwell, “Wells, Hitler and the World State” (1941)

      If the truth were self-evident, there would be no need for eloquence.


      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 10:50:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And Molly Ivins, and Al Franken. (0+ / 0-)

        There was a recent diary noting the birth anniversary of the late, sorely missed Molly Ivins. As I noted on that diary, if John Kerry had hired Ivins and Al Franken to be his speechwriters, he'd now be wrapping up his second Presidential term.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 10:53:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wish I found on Daily Kos (0+ / 0-)

    every time I logged on.......

    Some really good action links and donate buttons that really WORK to take back the get more and better Dems move the country back to the center and protect the vote, election systems.

  •  The Newsroom: Mock Debates (0+ / 0-)

    Had a Paddy Chayefsky Broadcast News reference in terms of the miraculous. Casey Anthony and Anthony Weiner. Trolling experiment with Sloan: comic relief. Debt Ceiling meme. The psychotherapy of the relations: blame, recrimination, rejection, validation, forgiveness, betrayal, whistleblower testimony. The mock debates could clear out the clown car, but the RNC flak rejects the format and we get a peak at what might have been idealized GOP ethics from probably the William F. Buckley era.  Comic relief with Will trying get his pants on one leg at a time as the metaphor for the lowest common denominator. "Just write the Truth" The Casey Anthony rundown gets thrown out and disclosures abound at the end.

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:56:14 PM PDT

  •  A funny thing about Jesus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Friend of the court, koNko

    He might be the least persuasive communicator of all time.

    So many people have read him. So very few were ever much persuaded by what he actually said.

    •  so few are able to understand what they read (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I note that many people depend upon their preacher to tell them what the Gospels say and most ministers only give sound bytes, bits of pieces of sentences, with the most extreme examples simply splicing together sentences and stitching together fragments from different books to prove their point

    •  He only had 3.5 years to say it. (0+ / 0-)

      The whole crucifixion thing was planned from the beginning, So he had to set up and organization to delegate his speaking gig to after wards.

      Everyone knows that the best way to get an enduring legacy is to say some controversial stuff and then die young under mysterious circumstances or as an out-and-out martyr. Coming back to life put the exclamation point on it.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:35:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For those of you, like me, that are retred (0+ / 0-)

    and couldn't give a shit less about time, Exodus is just now coming on TCM.


    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:10:21 PM PDT

  •  hilarious recap of disaster porn (0+ / 0-)

    "suppose it's all a fraud and we build a better world for nothing?"
    Wired with a litany of doom sayers from the 60s on. I have some nit picks with this (DDT and the environment) and he doesn't mention solar (he does write for the WSJ so ...) but it's why I've watched many very literate old lefties roll their eyes at climate change. We greens (lower case 'g' mind you) are the boys who cried wolf.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:29:12 PM PDT

    •  That diary is missing but the wired article is (0+ / 0-)

      available here.

      Some of the issues are nuanced. They would run out of oil, unless they found more. But they did find more. However, the Hubbert Curve seems to be correct when you look at it as only referring to the single resource it was concerned with  in Peak Oil. Oil Shale and Oil Sands are different resources, so it's apples and oranges.

      -We need Healthcare Reform... but i'm selfish, I Need Healthcare reform-

      by JPax on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:04:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ouch did the link wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't post here enough and I wasn't paying attention.

        I think he spins a bit much but to be expected given the WSJ connection. What I found funny was the parade of "doooooom just around the corner dooooom" quotes - which I'm old enough to remember and was buying hook line and sinker in the 70s.

        And his climate change argument is based on "well, maybe ..." which is acceptable. Anyone who says they KNOW is either deluded (or doing pure mathematics ;->) or spinning". But wouldn't it be better to just get it together and create lots of jobs in the process? Sustainability equals jobs.

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:56:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Call President Obama a Muslim (which he is (3+ / 0-)

    not) and you get far more time of day than

    If you call Mitt Romney a lying, arrogant, 1%'r Mormon

    which he is.

    Mitt Romney was CEO of Bain until Aug 2001. Proof of Bain & Romney Fraud

    by laserhaas on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:45:23 PM PDT

  •  science and the mind-body connection (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am in a cancer support group and the stupid amazes me sometimes. Uninformed I understand, but outright stupid irritates the bejeesus out of me.

    There are huge  numbers of people who say they believe in a mind-body connection, but when questioned can't really say what that means, or if they actually think that bad thoughts cause cancer. Somehow, good thoughts are supposed to cure or prevent cancer, but nobody wants to own the corollary.

    I actually read a post yesterday by a woman who had heard that muffins with flax prevented 70% of new breast cancers. She couldn't find the link, but she'd seen the article, and it had charts and stuff.

  •  Yes yes yes Romm's book (0+ / 0-)

    I just listened to the Chris Mooney podcast today.

    I can't wait to read the book.

    I've been thinking about it all day.

    Figures of speech. Ahh

    it's the nut in the nutshell

    by themank on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:11:44 AM PDT

  •  Re Blast from the Past: what does Darksyde think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    … now regarding our covert war against Iran, and the campaign to move to overt war? In what areas are PNAC and the Obama administration now on the same page? In what areas, if any, can they still be regarded as diametrically opposed to each other?

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:28:12 AM PDT

  •  Glenn Greenwald's last column for Salon: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Best wishes, Glenn, at your new job with the Guardian!

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:50:53 AM PDT

    •  I'd look at that as a temporary gig (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Few survive for long and I foresee Greenwald eventually clashing with the editors.

      He is anything but understated.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 04:25:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like The Economist before it, The Guardian is now (0+ / 0-)

        … apparently seeking to expand its readership to a predominantly U.S. audience.

        I hope that doesn't mean an increase in selective reporting and/or a lurch to the right, in order to cater to the neocons and neoliberals in America's political class.

        The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

        by lotlizard on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 10:10:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My Republican roommate just told me, in no (0+ / 0-)

    uncertain terms, that I am the most negative person he has ever met in his life.  These are very strong words for one person to commit to another person.  My first gut reaction was one of mild shock.  I say mild because what else would one expect for a Republican to say to a Liberal Democrat?  However, I had to take a step back and consider the truth of his words.  I wouldn't be a liberal if I didn't.  I considered his words very thoughtfully and considered the reality that they conveyed.  I must admit it hurt my feelings.  I thought we disagreed on politics but never considered that my disagreement might be construed as negativity whole scale.  On the other hand, what else would a conservative have to respond to a liberal except negativity.  However, it made me think about the way I respond to people politically, and I must admit I felt badly about the way in which it might be perceived.  I don't know.  I am feeling ambiguous about this.  Sometimes I feel quite absolute in my feelings about politics, but there are other people in the world I must interact with who feel strongly different about things.  I don't doubt the veracity of my opinions for the benefit of the most people and the planet, but it is quite probable that my method of conveying that belief system is not best suited for mass consumption.  I continue to try and improve myself and my message to others, however, I humbly acknowledge my shortcomings and work continuously to improve my delivery methods.  I encourage any of you to provide me with tips and suggestions in this regard.  My best wishes to all.

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

    by helpImdrowning on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 12:51:25 AM PDT

  •  RIP Tony Scott. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Half of writing history is hiding the truth. " -- Cap'n. Malcolm Reynolds

    by here4tehbeer on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:12:20 AM PDT

  •  How the American university was killed, in 5 steps (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First, you defund public higher education

    Second, you deprofessionalize and impoverish the professors

    Step #3: you move in a managerial/administrative class who take over governance of the university

    Step four: you move in corporate culture and corporate money

    Step five — destroy the students

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:23:01 AM PDT

  •  Hank Sr is to Hank Jr as George Romney is to Mitt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, JeffW

    In both cases the father was a creative, pioneer in their field who ascended to the peak of their profession through hard work and sacrifice.

    The sons, who each inherited fabulous sums of wealth without lifting a finger, became elitist, self-rightous scolds who used their money to pursue greedy obsessions; Hank Jr: pills, booze and crackpot gun culture, and Mitt: the unbridled pursuit of ever more money and power.

  •  Liberals lose because they historically devote (0+ / 0-)

    their resources to attacking, delegitimizing, torturing, jailing, and killing the Left while desperately seeking to "persuade" the Right.

    Those seeking to communicate scientific facts lose when those facts are inconvenient for the powerful.

    It's public masturbation to pretend the enlightenment lost to the Czars for 100 years because the Czars were "better at rhetoric".

    Fighting power is harder than serving it, normalizing it, and trying to prop it up.

    As someone who spent half their life doing one for free, and half their life being paid to do the other ought to be able to tell you.

    All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

    by JesseCW on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 05:48:01 AM PDT

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