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About media framing • (written by Brian Dean)

Lakoff in Guardian

guardian-lakoff-01-02-2014Feb 5, 2014 – Just a brief post to: a) point to a smart Guardian piece on George Lakoff’s ideas, and b) express my frustration (ranty prose ahead) at the level of ignorance/idiocy on the topic of framing that I see in feedback on newspaper comments sections, Twitter etc.

I’ve found Twitter useful for searches. For example, a search on “lakoff” brought up tweets linking to Zoe Williams’s new Guardian article (well worth taking the time to read). Unfortunately, the same search brings up an assortment of not-so-knowledgeable reactions to the article, and to Lakoff’s ideas in general.

It’s the same with the “post a response” sections underneath online newspaper articles. Tom Hodgkinson (editor of The Idler) recently put it this way:

“At the foot of the article sat a collection of ‘comments’ by the usual collection of morons. Anyone who believes in the democratization of journalism should check out the dimwits who gather ‘below the line’. The Telegraph ones seemed even more big-headed and stupid than the Guardian ones, if that’s possible.” *

Zoe Williams’s article states that Lakoff prescribes “the abandonment of argument by evidence in favour of argument by moral cause”, which is understandable within the context of Lakoff’s cognitive-linguistics work on how we think (eg in political frames). But to someone who isn’t familiar with Lakoff’s academic books, and the emphasis he places on empirical research, the notion of abandoning “argument by evidence” (and the notion that “facts” “weaken” political beliefs) probably confirms their ignorance-derived suspicions that framing subverts “reason” in a bad way. Indeed, the first response to Williams’s article was this:

guadian-lakoff-comment

Interestingly, the Guardian article attracted less than 50 comments – low compared to the number Zoe William’s articles usually get. That’s probably because it was hidden away in the ‘Philosophy’ section of the Guardian site, rather than in the more-publicised ‘Comment is Free’ area – a strange decision by whoever was responsible (it’s happened before with Lakoff-themed pieces) given that the article seems more topical and comment-worthy than much of the frivolous space-filler published in CiF. Williams’s article was also posted (pirated? stolen?) at the “independent” media sites, AlterNet and The Raw Story, where, in both cases, it attracted several hundred comments (many of them as stupid and/or ignorant as the ones you get at online corporate media). I hope those sites pay Zoe something for her work, or at least asked her permission to publish.

Moving back to Twitter. One of my “lakoff” searches brought up the following:

lakoff-tweets-04-02-2014

It turns out that both of these Tweeters write for the Guardian and New Left Project (and one of them follows me on Twitter). So I can’t quickly dismiss such remarks as ignorant Twitterish. But I find it a tad frustrating: you don’t have to read the complete Lakoff oeuvre to see that he doesn’t “ignore” those things mentioned in the tweet. Probably just one of his books is sufficient to show that. To dig deeper, there’s a rich treatment of the “libertarian-authoritarian axis” in his work on moral politics. The academic work on conceptual metaphor, prototype and narrative will likely give you more new insights into the “difference between sales pitch and product” than you’ll find in 99.9% of political commentary (including the “radical left” variety).

As for “ignoring” “big money”, the irony is that Lakoff’s political books (Whose Freedom, Don’t Think of an Elephant, etc) seem motivated by his concern precisely at the way “big money” – via the giant, massively-funded rightwing messaging machine, acting through the mass media – has managed to shape our thinking for decades, at the level of what we think of as “common sense”. This is a constantly recurring theme in Lakoff’s books, together with his treatment of “free market” ideology and what he calls the ‘Economic Liberty Myth’.

Note: If you were perplexed by the notion of making evidence and facts less prominent in political argument, I’d recommend the following passages from Lakoff’s Thinking Points, to give a flavour of what he is saying:

We think and reason using frames and metaphors. The consequence is that arguing simply in terms of facts—how many people have no health insurance, how many degrees Earth has warmed in the last decade, how long it’s been since the last raise in the minimum wage—will likely fall on deaf ears. That’s not to say the facts aren’t important. They are extremely important. But they make sense only given a context. […]

We were not brought up to think in terms of frames and metaphors and moral worldviews. We were brought up to believe that there is only one common sense and that it is the same for everyone. Not true. Our common sense is determined by the frames we unconsciously acquire […] The discovery of frames requires a reevaluation of rationalism, a 350-year-old theory of mind that arose during the Enlightenment. We say this with great admiration for the rationalist tradition. It is rationalism, after all, that provided the foundation for our democratic system. […] But rationalism also comes with several false theories of mind.

We know that we think using mechanisms like frames and metaphors. Yet rationalism claims that all thought is literal, that it can directly fit the world; this rules out any effects of framing, metaphors, and worldviews. We know that people with different worldviews think differently and may reach completely different conclusions given the same facts. But rationalism claims that we all have the same universal reason. Some aspects of reason are universal, but many others are not—they differ from person to person based on their worldview and deep frames.

We know that people reason using the logic of frames and metaphors, which falls outside of classical logic. But rationalism assumes that thought is logical and fits classical logic.

If you believed in rationalism, you would believe that the facts will set you free, that you just need to give people hard information, independent of any framing, and they will reason their way to the right conclusion. We know this is false, that if the facts don’t fit the frames people have, they will keep the frames (which are, after all, physically in their brains) and ignore, forget, or explain away the facts.

If you were a rationalist policy maker, you would believe that frames, metaphors, and moral worldviews played no role in characterizing problems or solutions to problems. You would believe that all problems and solutions were objective and in no way worldview dependent. You would believe that solutions were rational, and that the tools to be used in arriving at them included classical logic, probability theory, game theory, cost-benefit analysis, and other aspects of the theory of rational action.

Rationalism pervades the progressive world. It is one of the reasons progressives have lately been losing to conservatives. Rationalist-based political campaigns miss the symbolic, metaphorical, moral, emotional, and frame-based aspects of political campaigns.

* From Hodgkinson’s Register, mailed on 29/10/13.

Written by NewsFrames

February 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm

27 Responses

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  1. Yes, in some ways, the Guardian (or at least its editors) is much more closely aligned to the Cartesian rationalist tradition or approach than to the new cognitive revolution. That makes them more likely to favour Chomsky-style rationalist critiques than Lakoff-style ones (even if some of the Guardian people have a problem with Chomsky). That’s why you’ve always seen a fair amount of the Seamus Milne type material at the Guardian.

    And many people just don’t get Lakoff. Even very intelligent thinkers such as Steven Pinker didn’t seem able to make the shift required to understand Lakoff. Or rather, he tried to understand Lakoff in terms of the premises of the old enlightenment rationalism, and just got muddled as a consequence. You can’t understand relativistic worldview approaches with a frame (or “premise”) of literal, direct, universal reason.

    And now that cognitive science ever-increasingly backs the relativistic approach (for how we think) rather than the old Cartesian (and incidentally Chomskyite) notions, people are going to have to rethink in a radical way, especially when it comes to politics. Or get left behind in a cognitive backwater.

    Andre SC (@Andre_Serov)

    February 5, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    • And meanwhile those who defend the new cognitive ideas (eg Lakoff’s) against misrepresentation, etc, don’t pick up many fans, whereas those who defend, say, Chomsky, automatically have a huge level of support (from people who have so long been in the groove of thinking along Chomsky-type lines, it’s second nature). When Chomsky gets fundamentally misrepresented in the same way Lakoff does above, you never hear the end of the outrage. But I feel I need to apologise for defending Lakoff against the same level of misrepresentation (often from sensitive Chomskyites). Go figure, as they say.

      NewsFrames

      February 5, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    • There’s a comment underneath Zoe William’s Guardian article on Lakoff which says some of the same things:

      “The Guardian is a case in point. It is the archetypal example of “liberals doing it wrong,” in its naive adherence to the Enlightenment ideal, resulting in a belief in a public discourse consisting of rational, fair and even-handed debates based on neutral words and facts (“facts are sacred”). ”

      http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/01/george-lakoff-interview#comment-31529956

      Jeff_J

      February 7, 2014 at 9:56 am

  2. What came through Z Williams’ article strongly was that whatever the left is doing, it’s failing, and the conservatives’ approach to debate is winning in so many areas. Look at the welfare debate in Britain! It’s insane. So Lakoff for me deserves a chance to be heard. It’s new in concept, so leftists need to be patient in understanding it, rather than adopt their usual superior dismissive mode.

    Cath

    February 5, 2014 at 3:26 pm

  3. Lakoff has an uphill struggle, for sure. Such is the way with new systems of thought. A lot of resistance and resentment from the very people who might benefit most from his research. Has to be seen as a longterm project…

    ScottW

    February 5, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    • Well put, Scott & Cath. This blog is blessed with some very thoughtful & intelligent feedback.

      NewsFrames

      February 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm

  4. What is the best long-term strategy to make these ideas become mainstream? I recognize that George repeats his core messages all the time and I guess that is an important part of the solution as well as what you do here Brian. Are there other efforts that will add even more to implementing and conveying the progressive worldview?

    Rikard Linde

    February 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    • Hi Rikard. I’ve noticed that people who focus mostly on envronmental matters have been the most enthusiastic about applying Lakoff’s ideas – to date. I’m thinking about concentrating mostly on framing relating to work/welfare/income issues in the future, in a positive way. I doubt the kind of approach I’ve taken above (mainly critical) does much except alienate people! (It was just something that was bugging me, and I felt I had to get it out of my system, as it were, through writing).

      I agree with ScottW that it’s a longterm thing. And communicating your enthusiasm on a particular area seems the best way (for me at least) to go about repeating something without it getting mechanical and rote.

      NewsFrames

      February 5, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      • Indeed, enthusiasm for a particular area you’re interested in (and more importantly, knowledgeable about) lends that sense of “authenticity” to your communication.

        ScottW

        February 6, 2014 at 9:14 am

      • Or it could be that – for reasons we don’t yet understand – Lakoff’s ideas are simply more workable and acceptable when applied to discussing the environment, or to people who are drawn to environmental concerns rather than social or cultural ones.

        pwlsax

        February 7, 2014 at 9:02 am

  5. Tim Holmes points me to an interesting blog post, which is critical of both Luntz & Lakoff. I agree with much of it, but I take an entirely different view of Lakoff’s moral politics. For example, the blog post says:

    “I doubt you can read one chapter in any of [Lakoff’s] books without encountering at least one sentence that illustrates the only-two-sides metaphor that keeps our political culture in this seemingly endless dispute mode.”

    But the “only-two-sides metaphor” isn’t Lakoff’s creation. Disputes that have existed long before Lakoff came on the scene (whether you label them left/right, capitalist/worker, elite/ordinary, conservative/liberal, whatever) have remained permanently unresolved because the “opponent” (eg the “corporate shill” or the “lazy hippy bum”, to give examples) is regarded simply as immoral and thus not worth “understanding” (eg “greedy, full of power-lust”, or “weak, feckless, undisciplined”, etc).

    Rather than impose an only-two-sides metaphor, Lakoff’s research sheds light on the cognitive roots of what is already happening (and has been for centuries). As a result we see different moral systems branching from two roots deep in our neurology, and how they fit together – rather than an absolute, literal Us-good vs Them-evil. If you’re interested in getting out of “seemingly endless dispute mode”, that’s probably a good cognitive starting point.

    (Ironically, some on the “radical left” criticise Lakoff for not being more uncompromising in denouncing the Power-Elite and their “apologists” in the media as Immoral/Evil. That’s the “only-two-sides” dispute in another form).

    Certain apparently unrelated positions do seem, statistically, to correlate or cluster (eg a person’s position on abortion and their position on, say, social security). Prior to Lakoff’s strict-father/nurturant-parent model, nobody had provided an explanation for this evident social reality. And Lakoff’s model seems incredibly rich and successful at explaining the combinations and correlations of seemingly unrelated moral viewpoints, and how they cohere.

    I’ve written at length on how the “strictness”/”strict-father” or “authoritarian” morality documented by Lakoff (in Moral Politics) underlies and explains/predicts a wide range of so-called “conservative” or “rightwing” positions/views: https://newsframes.wordpress.com/essentials-of-framing/

    NewsFrames

    February 6, 2014 at 12:48 am

  6. Worst on the left. At least the neoliberals are openly hostile towards Lakoff. The leftist critics go “I like Lakoff, but…”. But they don’t like Lakoff very much it seems, judging by their comments.

    Abi Shaak

    February 6, 2014 at 9:44 am

  7. For me, the interesting thing is how these discussions of framing and ‘bounded rationality’ fit into wider theories of the policy process. There is now quite a well-established focus in policy theory on the combination of empirical and emotional appeals that go into policymaking strategies and underpin coalitions, with more or less strong foci on that process compared to other issues (e.g. socioeconomic context). So, the ‘social construction of target populations’ work focuses on the cumulative and hegemonic qualities of framing people as the deserving/ undeserving recipients of benefits, and the ‘narrative policy framework’ focuses on measuring the effect of causal stories. Then, you have the ‘advocacy coalition framework’ focus on people’s beliefs underpinning their membership of (metaphorical) coalitions and their tendency to demonize their opponents. Then you have work such as ‘punctuated equilibrium theory’ which focuses on the implications of framing when most issues do not receive much attention. For example, issues can be portrayed as ‘solved’ and ‘technical’, excluding most people from day to day discussions within ‘subsystems’ -but with the potential for lurches of attention, as new ways to understand issues arise and gain attention very quickly. http://paulcairney.wordpress.com/1000-words/

    Paul

    February 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

  8. I find it rather telling that you don’t cite a shred of evidence to rebut my criticisms. And if the interview (and what other stuff of Lakoff’s I’ve read) is even vaguely representative, then my points are completely valid. If you criticise the Democrats’ move to the right as simply a strategic miscalculation based on excessive rationalism +without mentioning money+, then there’s something badly wrong with your analysis. If you think the difference between right-wing libertarians, left-wing libertarians, right-wing authoritarians and left-wing authoritarians is reducible to two big “deep frames” – and I’ve yet to see anything by Lakoff that argues otherwise – then your account is clearly inadequate. As for the difference between the sales pitch and the product, I don’t even understand your rejoinder. But if you only assume that Democrats and Republicans are two tribes expressing their genuine core beliefs – rather than two well-funded political machines exploiting the values of the public for their own gain – then again, you are going to produce some thoroughly misguided prescriptions.

    Not that I don’t like Lakoff, as I say. I think he’s got a lot to contribute. But he strikes me as a specialist who goes badly off the rails when talking confidently about matters outside his specialism. Which is pretty typical of “political psychologists”, in my experience.

    Tim Holmes

    February 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    • “I find it rather telling that you don’t cite a shred of evidence to rebut my criticisms.”

      You mean the evidence that Lakoff doesn’t “ignore” what you assert he does? That evidence exists in abundance in his books, and throughout his writings. Every time he writes about what you call “big money” – that’s evidence refuting your claim that he “ignores big money”.

      I could, of course, list the occasions in his books where he writes about, say, the rightwing thinktank industry which has received stupendous amounts of funding from “big money” (for decades) precisely to shape our thinking on political issues. But I’d rather you did the minimum amount of work first – ie flick through the books I named to find it. (Since you’re the one who made the blunt claim to your followers that Lakoff “ignores” “big money”, etc).

      As for the rest, I’d be happy to discuss it with you at length, in good faith (and hopefully good humour) – perhaps by email, since it’d take up a lot of space. But it’s difficult to gauge how serious you are about exploring Lakoff’s claims. I’ve had these kinds of debates before with people who eventually admitted that they’d never read any books by Lakoff (only web articles etc) – and of course this gave them an inadequately-informed, narrow, distorted view of Lakoff’s thinking, with the result that we wasted a lot of time getting nowhere. Not that I’m assuming anything of the sort with you.

      Anyway, please let me know if you want to debate it at more length.

      NewsFrames

      February 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      • “Since you’re the one who made the blunt claim to your followers that Lakoff “ignores” “big money”, etc”

        I was responding to the claims he made in that interview, in the 140 characters allotted me by twitter – not an easy medium through which to expound a nuanced argument, or to make anything other than “blunt” statements. My point was that, by attributing everything to questions of misguided political strategy, he was ignoring the direct influence of money on the Democrats – a criticism I stand by 100%.

        Tim Holmes

        February 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      • Tim –
        Lakoff’s approach on “big money” (which he doesn’t ignore on political issues, including political-funding) is different from the standard left’s. The corrupting influence of corporate power and wealth is well-established, valid enough, it’s not a new idea. It’s not something Lakoff ignores any more than Chomsky or you or I ignore it. The difference is that Lakoff approaches it in terms of what it arises from, ie different moral systems – whereas the ‘standard’ left position holds that its essential nature (really, its effects – that much we can all agree on) are amoral or immoral, inhuman (or against “human nature” in Chomsky’s terms).

        To adopt an extreme form of the latter, you’d feel obliged to constantly point out that anything “corporate” is essentially amoral. And that’s what people who internalise this belief do. It gets annoying. “Why are you silent about the effect of rapacious Corporate Power?”, etc. Moral systems, ideology, cognitive frames don’t enter into it – it’s just plain bad, corrupt. Anyone who looks like an apologist for it must be cynical or lying. If big money corrupts, it corrupts all it touches. And, since the Democratic Party is funded by big corporations…

        That’s not how Lakoff sees it. He doesn’t ignore the influence of big money or its appalling effects, but he sees it as part of existing human moral systems – not some essentially immoral, inhuman Power. (Why do many on the left capitalise “Power”?). He writes about the market ideology of big business in terms of authoritarian moral frames (which is where your libertarian-authoritarian axis comes in.

        James Ellis

        February 6, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      • Tim Holmes, the problem isn’t tweeting blunt judgments, it’s tweeting inaccurate or misleading blunt judgments which, added to others of a similar erroneous claim, create a false mythology about what someone (such as Lakoff) does or doesn’t say. This is an occupational hazard for thinkers who come into the limelight with few people having actually read their works.

        Jeff_J

        February 7, 2014 at 9:36 am

      • Tim, your approach reminds me of a Chomskian UK website called Medialens, which criticises people for what they +don’t+ mention, usually Corporate Money’s all-pervasive effects. So if a journalist writes an article about, say, Tony Blair lies on Iraq, but doesn’t mention Corporate Big Money’s corrupting effects on liberal newspapers in the same article, that journalist is criticised for what she has “ignored”.

        Your line about Lakoff “attributing everything to questions of misguided political strategy” is a dead giveaway. The vast majority of Lakoff’s work has nothing to do with political “strategy”. Obviously your reading is limited to the narrow sample of his work where it does come up – media articles. That’s because it’s what journalists want to know about. Even there, the only aspect of political “strategy” Lakoff is interested in is that progressive parties bring themselves up to date on *how* people actually think and process political messages. He just wants them to benefit from findings in cognitive science, and to stop shooting themselves in the foot with an old, incorrect, unconscious set of assumptions about how people actually think and evaluate.

        You might say, “what difference does it make, when the Democratic Party is funded by the same Corporate Big Money as the Republican Party”? But not even Noam Chomsky thinks that. He was telling people to vote Democrat in some areas, on a tactical application of “lesser evil”. So, he obviously thinks there is some difference, even if it’s a small one. That’s Chomsky being “politically strategic” – but it’s a tiny part of his overall body of thought and work, because communication at that level, for him, is all literal, not frames-based.

        Ewan Mathers

        February 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm

  9. We can get way too caught up on Lakoff- and especially his strict father/nurturing mother model – and even framing as a stand alone discipline and lose sight of a) the truck loads of insight cognitive and complexity sciences can bring, wether you agree with one man’s model or not and b) how much the such things are now standard practice for many government agencies, corporates and many on the right, regardless of what they have to say about Lakoff as a figure. Having been involved with this work for several years now, I have seen this argument play out time and again and I think perhaps we should zoom out a bit, and recognise that the left – certainly in the UK – is long way behind the times and too much focussing on individuals, or specific details, is perhaps holding us back even further.

    Not too long ago I came across a promotional flyer for Booze Allen – the consultancy that Edward Snowden worked for. And down at the bottom was a description of their “socio-cultural development centre”. I’d post it here but I don’t think I can. Can I share it somehow? Here’s a little snippet:

    “Booz Allen’s SCDC is a collaborative, multidisciplinary effort that includes sociologists, anthropologists, economists, psychologists, and scholars from other social science disciplines, as well as technical experts in such areas as geospatial analysis, modeling and simulation, and intelligence analysis.”

    This is the sort of space we need to get into – multi-disciplinary, with high expertise. The sooner we stop hiring generic “campigners” and start hiring cognitive linguists, social psychologists, anthropologists, big data analysts etc, the better we’ll be. I’ve promoted framing – and Lakoff – a lot in my career, and I think frame semantics is an absolutely essential tool in the toolbox, but putting all our eggs in that basket is a mistake. We should talk about expertise as a thing. We need to totally re-think our staffing strategies and start building teams that can develop fresh, evidence based, deep insight.

    But that’s just me.

    martin372

    February 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    • The smart, thoughtful comments are really piling up on this blog post – thanks Martin, I agree with a lot of that. Here’s a link to Booz Allen. Thanks also Tim & James.

      Incidentally, this blog has started getting lot of hits from Facebook, but I can never find which Facebook pages they are coming from. Does anyone know?

      NewsFrames

      February 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    • We’ll need big money. Where’s it coming from?

      pwlsax

      February 7, 2014 at 9:06 am

      • True. And there’s money out there. But before we get too caught up with what we don’t have right now, there’s also a lot that can be done with the money we do have. Start getting ourselves more tooled up in these areas. Hire the right people. Invest in the right research and training. Or, perhaps another way of saying it, stop investing in the wrong people (generic campaigners, untrained communications people etc) and stop investing in the wrong research and training (bog standard opinion polls, crappy focus groups etc). That would be a start, and something we can begin right away. Then we can worry about drawing in the big, new money from outside. Right now, why would anyone give us money – we’re hardly experts or people who have a track record of effort, let alone success, in this area.

        martin372

        February 7, 2014 at 4:19 pm

  10. You may or may not be aware that I’ve been quite critical of Media Lens myself: http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/orwell_would_have_backed_brands_call_for_revolution

    But my point was not to provoke a Media Lens-style “why don’t you criticise your employer”-a-thon. It was that Lakoff, from what I know of him – and in that interview specifically – peddles rather misleading diagnoses and prescriptions. I’m still very interested in his ideas, which I see as possessing definite merit and applications. But by ignoring political economy (among other problems), he ends up with a distorted reading of the political world.

    Now maybe he’s simply communicating his ideas badly, and his academic work is far more subtle. I don’t know. But even if that’s true, it’s still a very big problem.

    James Ellis – well, I think you are being a bit complacent about the institutions of corporate power, which were well-tackled in The Corporation. There +are+ fundamental institutional pressures that set limits and maintain pressures, indeed often largely regardless of the beliefs or preferences of those involved in them. But yes, privilege itself also fosters system-justifying tendencies psychologically, as that Oswald paper about lottery winners has recently pointed out.

    Incidentally, is Chomsky’s rationalist ideology flawed? Quite possible; though it’s also easy to caricature. But in terms of his actual +practice+, Chomsky has done as much as anyone to reframe the debate, in my view, simply by telling the truth about matters of importance in plain terms over and over again to anyone who’ll listen. Who called corporations “unaccountable private tyrannies”, for instance? It was Chomsky. Maybe the Democrats should try it – I’m sure their financial backers would just love them for it. 😛

    timbird

    February 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    • I agree with your criticisms of Medialens, and wouldn’t necessarily lump you together. Having said that, your whole approach (including wording, phrasing and style of argument) reminds me, too, of Medialens (as it does the commenter you were replying to). For example, you write:

      “James Ellis – well, I think you are being a bit complacent about the institutions of corporate power, which were well-tackled in The Corporation.”

      But this is after James Ellis (who commented above) prefaced his remarks by writing “The corrupting influence of corporate power and wealth is well-established”! That’s just so… complacent.

      As for your claim that Lakoff “peddles rather misleading diagnoses and prescriptions”, it’s “rather telling” (to use your accusing style of wording) that you don’t cite specific examples of where Lakoff does all this misleading. Perhaps you could cite a few examples in context?

      • For some examples, just read the interview that began this whole tedious process.

        On James’ complacency – yeah, well, just citing a single line out-of-context to imply that I’m an inflexible extremist engaging in misrepresentation is just childish, in my opinion. It’s the analysis as a whole – that the dangers of corporate institutions arise from ideology, and not (predominantly) the other way round – that seems complacent to me. Which should be pretty obvious to anyone not nit-picking through what I’ve written for some sort of “gotcha” quote.

        timbird

        February 19, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      • Ideologies don’t arise from corporate institutions, Tim, they arise from human brains. And they always take the form of conceptual frames. Corporations and their effects don’t take form out of pure greed or immorality or destructiveness. Ideology (in its broadest sense) is at work – and it’s what the corporations puke out of the mass media every day. Much of it finds a place in the minds of the public because it’s based on a certain conceptual system that already exists in people’s brains. It’s not “complacent” to want to investigate that, and, frankly, I find it incredibly arrogant and presumptuous that you would call me “complacent” based on my above comment. I suggest you really have no idea what you’re talking about.

        James Ellis

        February 19, 2014 at 8:45 pm


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