Saturday, December 29, 2007

FUD - The Three Swords of the Manipulator - Mythology? Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Mythology. Great creatures. Monsters representing primordial forces, killing people, freezing, paralyzing, killing potential. Deep roots, borrowed deity relationships. The fear of fearful things. Here is St. George, at Zagreb, Croatia - killing the dragon. Name the monster and we shall slay him, say the heroes. But first we have to know the monster is real, or we wear ourselves out for nothing. Equivocation, the false alarm, breeds blahs.

For serious monsters with proven track records, dragons top the list, see ://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Stage/5132/dragons1.htm; and ://www.angelfire.com/mi2/horror/Dragon.html. See other monsters -- Medusa, at ://www.pantheon.org/articles/m/medusa.html (this is a very bland, minimalist site - search for Medusa yourself for more cultural-psychologically colorful ones); and Grendel and Grendel's Mother of Beowulf fame, see ://www.lone-star.net/literature/beowulf/; and Cyclops, see ://ancienthistory.about.com/od/cgodsandgoddesses/g/Cyclops. Other entities are not necessarily monsters, but symbols, anti-deity, ante-deity, co-deity, personifying qualities to be rid of, like Azazel, see http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?letter=A&artid=2203.

And so the monsters freeze those who look upon it, paralyze the actors, cause mayhem. See ://www.answers.com/topic/mayhem?cat=biz-fin. Or a more detailed definition - loss of limb included, to hinder the fighting back, at ://www.hydroponicsearch.com/spelling/simplesearch/query_term-mayhem/database-!/strategy-exact.

Only slaying the monster brings relief, a stop to the deaths, the inability to act.
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In modern days, what is our equivalent.

Try this: The Monster FUD of our day. Here is its lair.

The FUD! A three-armed, three-sworded paralysis-dealer, slashing out and spreading Reason for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. throughout the land.

See FUD at ://redvip.homelinux.net/varios/jargon/html/F/FUD.html.

But the story continues beyond the mere identifying of the monster. Watch it unfold itself.

The Minders - officials, talk show teeth, promoters - cried, "FUD!" the first time, as though there were a reason for it, and the people ran and hid and would not be counted. Then they came out. And the Minders cried, "FUD!" again, and again the people ran and hid and would not be counted. This went on for so long that finally the people said, "So?" And went about their paltry business anyway.

The Minders hissed again - "Fear! Uncertainty! Doubt!" And this time, the people slept.

But the next time, the Real FUD came out and upon them - real Reason for Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, and it slipped through the little barriers, so nondescriptly erected, and the Minders cried out again, "FUD!" and -- fill in the ending.

Story time. Wolf Wolf. See Aesop's Fables at ://tomsdomain.com/aesop/id87.htm. Where is accountability. Who loses? The Minders take their marbles and leave for offshore. Leaving us like sheep? Moral, among several, for The Minders of the airwaves, the government: Crying FUD about the other guy is no substitute for lack of substance in the Minder.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Selling Sasquatch - A Fiduciary Approach to Sales, Politics,

Swiftboating eggs. In year one, they are life, they sustain life. In year two, eggs kill. Identify one component, cholesterol, and ban the beast.

Ads. How to balance. Surrounding us: Selling stuff not needed, useful, even good for you, but the ads are great. Bullying people along while flawed decisions are being made, serving the seller, of cholesterol medication: are eggs really connected to your dying? Does lowering it prolong life? It may reduce heart attack, but the people die anyway? So?

The marketplace. Commercial, political.

What is so holy about Buyer Beware.

Why should we? How about Seller Beware. How does mutuality of knowledge make a difference. Who owes what obligation to whom, for stability of transaction, economic feasibility, and the common good?

How to avoid the seller of Sasquatch. How to figure out what really is what we need and want.

1. Narrow the problem. Here, the back yard. Everything down. A little domestic 9-11.

2. Reconstruct the Scene.

Follow the round paddy things to and from the woods.

Is any of this within your ken? See://www.dictionary.net/ken. If something falls within your general experience, you might be ok in making the next decisions. But check it out.

3. Get some allies. Ask around. Look around. Get your own knowledge base. A trusted knowledge base. A sale of a solution only has a chance to be fair - or accurate - if knowledge and power are moving toward equal. See Fiduciary America, issues.

4. Find a note: "You are bothering me in my woods," the Perp says in a writing left by the far feeder in the snow, "So I am doing this so you will know we mean it when we say to get out and go home."

A message like that. Sounds straightforward enough. We get out of theirs, they get out of ours.

5. Jab your cellphone! Tell the expert what's up, or down, and you think you know who!

Enter expert.

"No. You don't know anything. I'm the Decider and Sasquatch was here! Look at those round paddy things! I'm getting my people to bring in X, Yand Z and starting again with the Whole Alphabet and we'll build huge forts in the woods and show them! Trust me. No, no access to information in my store, just trust me. It costs, but we have no choice! Pay!"

6. And you just walk away. After all, this is the expert. He said so. If he says Sasquatch did this, must be so - no way to get information about your other choices because he just says no, that's his to know and you not to find out.

So you shrug and edge away, meekly.

7. For next time: Let me sell you this Anti-Sasquatch remedy; the Ultimate Malignant Salesman Deterrent. Just go to PoseJuxta: Plank - Public Consumer Education.

Falling for Marketing for All the Wrong Reasons: Obstacle Removal


Are you boxed in by too many words? Are your feet stuck in the brambles? Can you not even see your way to any solutions at all? Don't just sit there.

1. Self-educate.

A civic-minded group in 1937 warned us against propaganda -- see Edward Filene and the Institute for Propaganda Analysis, //mason.gmu.edu/~amcdonal/Propaganda%20Techniques.html. If those techniques are now being used on us, learn up. Stay reading. Make a Fodder Plan.

2. Self-enthuse.

Mantra. You have a right to decide, not only to be "told." Look into marketing reasons, financing, motivations - is the public good served, or someone's profit and power. Which do you want to see succeed? As fodder, you may want the common good. As an elected official, you may want to perpetuate yourself, or not. Depends. You pick, but do it consciously and with full information.

3. Read; verify; or question and discard.

Try books about marketing for the wrong reasons.
Marketing is interested in more marketing, not you. It persuades, but is there a connect to an underlying truth at all.

New book, in the Hartford Courant under the article heading, "How Marketing, Religion Depend on Each Other." 10/16/07.
The book is "Shopping for God; How Christianity Went From In Your Heart to In Your Face," by a James B. Twitchell, Simon&Shuster 2007. Marketing religion. The field is not the point. The point is marketing taking over what a historical holy figure may or may not have said, and the later accretions, and why they attached. Who was served.


4. Find people who make sense and offer foundations for what they say, not just conclusions.

Avoid "advocacy journalists", see http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2885, unless you are also holding them accountable for what they rely on and present, and look into the interests behind them. They are not independent, probably. You can be.

With that caution, try reading opinion pieces about sales for the wrong reasons. They give a good overview of the topic in a media age.

This article is from the Hartford Courant. "A Lean Left, A Lurch Right," by David Segal, page A5. Candidate Romney in the spotlight there, but the point is not so much the individual candidate as it is the fact that salesmanship in political success is the topic. //www.courant.com/news/nationworld/hc-romney1016.artoct16,0,2987361.story. A candidate for our Presidency is described in terms of his hyper-sales abilities - that his success and talent in persuasion in politics and business have led him to adopt and sell any position, regardless of prior positions taken, as long as it gets him where he wants to be - bought by enough people to win an election. Right or wrong as to the candidate, that, I believe is the gist of the article.

More opinion pieces about s
ales that work against our national interest, not for it.

See the Hartford Courant 10/16/07. Washington columnist, David Ignatius, writes an article in the opinion section called, "U.S. Neglects Dignity." He says in summary that the US drive to sell its version of democracy and impose it has been counterproductive because it ignores a basic human need -- for recognition, validation and dignity. People resent intervention by outsiders that denigrates their prior choices, and "will fight to protect their honor even - and perhaps especially- when they have nothing else left."

You can read it at //www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%22U.S.+Neglects+Dignity%22&btnG=Google+Search; and at //www.einnews.com/russia-cis/newsfeed-russia-cis-human-rights (The Russia News Service, for "global professionals."

5. Talk, discuss, avoid taking positions, stay open. See if the circle can be widened to include people's ideas rather than fortressing them out. Then each of you may, just may, change.

This from a recent jury duty: Avoid making anyone articulate anything at the outset. Just start a thinking process. A position becomes a part of a person, a matter of saving face. Then formal options are few. Like on jury duty, if people insist on polling first, seeing who is where on an agreement spectrum before discussing ideas, thoughts, you lock into win-lose. The group splinters and it takes time to get back into discussion mode. Time waster.

Identify what communications are in issue - commerce, politics, what's for dinner.

See the legal side of the issues in commercial and political speech, see a little slide show at www.ibiblio.org/medialaw/commercialspeech.ppt. Or a court critique at //www.mediainstitute.org/digest/97fall/hudson.html.

It is hard for anyone to change, - fodder, officials, consumers, citizens. See definition thoughts at Studying World War at point 4, kinds of people in the dance of governments and people; and Petr Ginz, Lens and Legacy, propaganda post. Read about the history of sales manipulation, and handbooks for manipulation. Hard to get out of the mold

But, since we are all in the same global wagon, a human approach is worth trying. Go back to the David Ignatius article - the indirect approach, the human dignity approach. No mind is changed by force. Few minds change at all. But some can and do. Reread Ignatius.

Now, how to get the self-educating effort going. Everybody's out shopping instead.

6. Stay current on First Amendment rights

So far, it seems that if you're not under oath, you can lie at will -- for opinion, political, other speech. If people want tests for credibility and merit, go to court. . See the Social Science Research Network, at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=626521 - False Campaign Speech and the First Amendment.

See Freedom of Press and Speech at ://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/06.html. You don't need to be a lawyer to read. Try the First Amendment Center at ://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/about.aspx?item=glossary. Consider a fiduciary approach to all dealings, difficult, but there are legal standards governing fiduciary duty. It is one way to avoid the piecemeal enforcement-regulation morass we are in now in commerce, any kind of sales, investment relationships, pharma, etc. See Hello Fodder, Fiduciary America.

So: Fact-check, or join the piggies going to market who lose. Be realistically aware that false and ambiguous is fine if you get away with it, stall, or buy enough airwaves, cable, and newspapers, and people, to say what you want them to say until ideas are imprinted in their heads.

The countinghouse overflows.

Then again, equivocation is not all bad.

It's a dark woods overall, but see the bright spots.
Take a break from malignant communication, and go back to the benign - where the speaker uses double meanings or open-endedness to keep you coming back for more - an interest stimulator. Like Uncle Remus, see Joy of Equivocating, Uncle Remus overview and Tar Baby story; or even "Scherezade, and the 1oo1 Nights." See //www.middleeastuk.com/culture/mosaic/arabian.htm. See how to keep a story going in //www.pantheon.org/articles/s/scheherezade.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Uncle Remus and Ambiguity in Theology

Our main Uncle Remus site is located at Uncle Remus Tales and Translations This topic, however fits as well in a discussion of the uses of ambiguity.

Read the Uncle Remus tale, "The Story of the Deluge and How It Came About." An informal translation is here: Uncle Remus Tales and Translations, Story of the Deluge.

Look at it now for theology. Focus on the double asterisk at the part where the little boy asks where the ark is in that story.

Remus allows how it isn't up to him to add to his own story, that there might have been two deluges, and again there mightn't, and he lets his story be - little boy, don't bring this up to Aunt Sally unless she does it, and time to run along to bed.

Aunt Sally - she stomps on ambivalence. Must have one rule. Some people just can't abide open-endedness. But the underdog knows better. Ambivalence lets one keep his or her own ideas intact, without inviting blows.
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Do read the comment below. In response - We also note that Uncle Remus' story has the greater-sized creatures themselves, and their behavior in ignoring the little guys, as the cause of the deluge.

Does this suggest the truth that there will be no social stability without paying attention to everyone's needs, even the small. And there is no deity involved at all in Remus' story. Whether a deity was watching, judging, or concerned, or involved, Uncle Remus saieth not.

Monday, December 3, 2007

"Beowulf" and Distortion of Myth, for New Purposes - Marketing Dross

Beowulf! Thou art here! Or....?

Hwaet a minute. What is happening here. Hwaet.

Hwaet. The first word of Beowulf. It means Listen. Hush! Attention! Or Hear. Whatever you are doing, pay attention, it says. See //www.languagehat.com/archives/000867.php. Here, pay attention to distortion of cultural treasures to fit a marketing agenda, without educating us about what is changed, and why. A call for transparency. Calling dross, see ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dross, dross.

The issue is interpreting myth, adding to it, making it "fit" current entertainment needs. As in the film, "Beowulf," altered beyond recognition on the screen, but without even a trailer to let the audience know they are seeing ersatz. See ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ersatz.

If we must do it, a simple disclaimer at the end would have helped - what did the myth say, and what does the movie do to it. Do it at the end - instead of outtakes. As it is, the film entertains - but deceives. An action flick, but destructive.

Why bother? Because this could have been a fine educational moment - tuck it into entertainment. So, teach yourself. See the poem online, and even in Cliffsnotes. See http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/. Go back to Beowulf in its mythical antagonistic, full-warrior panorama, with the mother of Grendel's role remaining as formidable monster - truly a worthy opponent. Read Beowulf at onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=9700; or ://www.beowulftranslations.net; or //alliteration.net/beoIndex.htm/. Or, start with a summary - for example, at www.awerty.com/beowulf2.html; or www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/beowulf/shortsumm.html.

We get nothing of that in the film, Beowulf. See an apt review at ://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZmM5ODg2MDlhNmU5ZjExMDRmNTNkMmYxNjFmNGY5ZGE=

Please, Angelina Jolie, reject roles that distort epics. Just hwaet for the right role.

Ye great Nordic gods and goddesses, see ://www.sunnyway.com/runes/gods.html . The film says this is all about sex. It isn't.

Spagettization of literature. This is the earliest epic poem in the English language. Spaghettization. N. The process of reducing whole wheat and substituting proportions of non-nutritious white flour, adding salt and water, and squeezing into long strands of tangles for the purpose of fill-up, and disseminating same as though it were not dross." WidDic.