Sep 172017

– – –   Good grief!  Good thing it doesn’t take me five years to get all postings from “draft” to “published”!


Sadly, evidence is not sufficient if people cannot hear it.  That is why I appreciate Randy Olson’s Connection: Hollywood Storytelling Meets Critical Thinking.


“If we want to communicate with people who are not experts, who are not scientists, if we want to be effective in communication, we should speak to their System One.  And that is a different way of speaking.  It almost necessarily involves stories.  It involves concrete events.  You have to assume that System One is largely indifferent to the quality or amount of evidence.  It is bound more by the coherence of the story than by the evidence behind it.

And then I would add something that is crucial.  Because of emotional coherence, the source is extremely important.  The source has to be liked, and the source has to be trusted.  And if the scientific establishment is not liked and is not trusted, then the amount of evidence really is going to have very little purchase on what actually happens.  Messages from distrusted sources will be ignored, and the amount of evidence will not matter.”   Daniel Kahneman May 2012 p. 70

(INSERT: Kahneman’s work is discussed in  2013-11-26 Conservatives are effectively using the techniques that marketers have developed for changing brains, George Lakoff)

Olson’s book supplies this never-fail recipe:

And-But-Therefore (ABT) Storytelling Formula

  1. A series of this “And” this “And” sets up the ordinary world.
  2. “But” is a fulcrum that poses a question and turns the ordinary world upside down.
  3. “Therefore” answers the question by showing how the protagonist resolves their conflict.


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From: Nancy  Sent: September 24, 2015  To: Sandra Finley Subject: Re: Advocating for detailed files on citizens

In a CBC interview this morning Buffy Ste. Marie said something about her message has been the same since the 60’s but now people have the ears to listen.

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On Thu, Sep 24, 2015 at 10:09 PM, Sandra Finley wrote:


RE:     her message has been the same since the 60’s but now people have the ears to listen

Of course – ding dong me!   Some things have to be repeated many times and in many different ways – – – but the same message.   And then one day the words take hold.  Or, they appear to have taken hold.

It just struck me as I read an old posting that is quite alarming, still today – – about the plans for integration with U.S. and Mexico that keep rolling on in the back rooms.   It is so well documented that this is what is happening.

You sent those words at the right time,  minutes before I needed them.  It is not the time to despair but to REPEAT.

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I can think of lots of plans that got dropped,  without it ever being announced.   It doesn’t mean you can drop your vigilance.  Another, or the same person picks up the idea and tries to run with it, again, 20 years later.

Reminds me of kids who eventually wear down their parents!


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On Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 12:53 PM, Sandra Finley wrote:

I wonder how much evidence we need that we are on the wrong path?


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From: Nancy   Sent: September 25, 2015  To: Sandra Finley  Subject: Re: AHA MOMENT!

Pleased my sharing of Buffy’s words was timely.

My feminist mother is struggling.  She has dedicated a large part of her life to women and lives in the Ottawa Valley.  She woke up looking forward to the annual “Take Back the Night” vigil; celebrating with old friends and meeting new, and went to bed knowing that three women had been killed by a man who they had had the courage to press charges against.  The next day she realized that she had taught one of the women and had known her family.

. . .  BACK TO THE TOP, Nancy’s concluding email.

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