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Posts Tagged ‘headlines’

If your beliefs fit on a sign…

1 November, 2010 Leave a comment

The Rally to restore Sanity and or Fear was held recently with bunches of great signs on display.  This one caught my eye for many reasons.  Its simple. Its asks the reader for more of themselves. It doesn’t tell them how to think, only to think.

I can be a little difficult to work with because I don’t give easy answers (instead I add a tougher question or two). I tend to build in more details for people to look at so they can come to a conclusion (not remove them in place of a pithy comment). And I ask serious questions about integrity of the information at hand (and have even suggested that no data would have been better than some).

We do have a focus now in the world on the headline, the topline, the elevator pitch, the ‘skinny’, etc. Sometimes people give excellent summaries that cut to the very heart of a problem and its optimal solution – and sometimes they don’t.
Can you tell which is which?

Is it who it comes from? Is it how they say it? Is it that other people are saying it with them?
But maybe I am being too harsh and overly concerned with unnecessary details…

Alternate Post

Headlines Rule – Its all people read anyway 🙂

Keith

PS.  “This is the problem of attention-span. To understand something—an essay, an argument, a proof of innocence—requires a certain amount of attention. But on many issues, the average, or even rational, amount of attention given to understand many of these correlations, and their defamatory implications, is almost always less than the amount of time required. The result is a systemic misunderstanding–at least if the story is reported in a context, or in a manner, that does not neutralize such misunderstanding. The listing and correlating of data hardly qualifies as such a context. Understanding how and why some stories will be understood, or not understood, provides the key to grasping what is wrong with the tyranny of transparency.” – Larry Lessig via O’Reilly Radar

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Framing the Question

I pride myself on not just answering a question when I am asked. I prefer the askee to walk away with a better understanding of the problem they are facing and how to overcome it (though sometimes they don’t – sorry).  This often means questioning the frame (or box) they have put the question in.

Google is asking a fairly big question at the moment: “What’s the biggest barrier to free expression on the Internet, and what would you do to overcome it?”. Certainly a great topic, worthy of time and effort to explore.

The question is framed as an online one.  To date though, we are still working out what we can do in our own free society – like this, or this.

If we took the worst view of the those-in-power-responses-to-whistleblowing-type-activities we could easily suggest some pretty bad things (and many do).

Working with key performance indicators all the time though, I know that the story is almost always infinitely more complex.  The only thing I have ever found to explain this is a Larry Lessig quote that is far too long (and even that says something)

This is the problem of attention-span. To understand something—an essay, an argument, a proof of innocence—requires a certain amount of attention. But on many issues, the average, or even rational, amount of attention given to understand many of these correlations, and their defamatory implications, is almost always less than the amount of time required. The result is a systemic misunderstanding–at least if the story is reported in a context, or in a manner, that does not neutralize such misunderstanding. The listing and correlating of data hardly qualifies as such a context. Understanding how and why some stories will be understood, or not understood, provides the key to grasping what is wrong with the tyranny of transparency.

Bring on the Matrix style training download of full, complete, detailed understandings.

Keith

PS. “Tell me I’ll forget, show me, I may remember, but involve me and I’ll understand.” – Chinese Proverb

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