Yes, I am late posting my podcast. That said, I have found the debate around media coverage of China and the HK Protests (yes, I am aware of the geographic, historical, and political distinctions between the two) somewhat interesting. On the one hand critics of western media coverage retreat to arguments of fact while many western media reports appear to filter their coverage through existing perceptions of China (which typically are not good).
This week I make a humble effort to wade through the communication implications of the debate and you can listen here.
It’s a tough question that any educator must confront. Years ago I decided yes, that laptops were to always be closed in my class. But a recent article published by PBS shares Prof. Clay Shirky‘s decision to ban laptops and mobiles in his classroom. Listen to this week’s podcast to find out why.
The practice of tailoring a political message to a particular group is commonplace, of course. But the climate activist community has broadly failed to understand just how differently conservatives and liberals see the world on certain issues, and, as a result, just how radically different messages targeting conservatives should look.Related StoriesHow to Win Your Next Political ArgumentAwareness Is Overrated
“Although climate scientists update, appropriately, their models after ten years of evidence, climate-science communicators haven’t,” said Dan Kahan, a professor of law and psychology at Yale who studies how people respond to information challenging their beliefs. Luckily, social and political psychologists are on the case. “I think there’s an emerging science of how we should talk about this if we’re going to be effective at getting any sort of movement,” said Robb Willer, a sociologist at Stanford.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that when I do have a specific reason to ask everyone to set aside their devices “lids down,” in the parlance of my department, it’s as if someone has let fresh air into the room. The conversation brightens, and more recently, there is a sense of relief from many of the students. Multi-tasking is cognitively exhausting — when we do it by choice, being asked to stop can come as a welcome change.
So this year, I moved from recommending setting aside laptops and phones to requiring it, adding this to the class rules: “Stay focused. No devices in class, unless the assignment requires it.” Here’s why I finally switched from “allowed unless by request” to “banned unless required.”
I made the same decisions years ago. I agree with Clay’s views about multi-tasking, and would add to that list: 1) digital literacy, and 2) maturity. Too many students simply do not know how to shut off and focus. Additionally, a portion of those who do not know how to power off are simply not mature enough to independently make the right decision. So, I banned all laptops and devices unless I requested the students to power on.
This week in Asia….I share two stories about corporate reputation in Asia. The first is a news report citing extraordinary figures from China about the economic costs of a poor corporate reputation. And then I try to offer some useful advice by sharing a S+B article on doing business in markets with weak governance.
people who are happy but have little to no sense of meaning in their lives — proverbially, simply here for the party — have the same gene expression patterns as people who are responding to and enduring chronic adversity. That is, the bodies of these happy people are preparing them for bacterial threats by activating the pro-inflammatory response. Chronic inflammation is, of course, associated with major illnesses like heart disease and various cancers.
“Empty positive emotions” — like the kind people experience during manic episodes or artificially induced euphoria from alcohol and drugs — ”are about as good for you for as adversity,” says Fredrickson.
It’s important to understand that for many people, a sense of meaning and happiness in life overlap; many people score jointly high or jointly low on the happiness and meaning measures in the study. But for many others, there is a dissonance — they feel that they are low on happiness and high on meaning or that their lives are very high in happiness, but low in meaning. This last group, which has the gene expression pattern associated with adversity, formed a whopping 75 percent of study participants. Only one quarter of the study participants had what the researchers call “eudaimonic predominance” — that is, their sense of meaning outpaced their feelings of happiness.
Trust in others and confidence in societal institutions are at their lowest point in over three decades, analyses of national survey data reveal. The findings are forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“Compared to Americans in the 1970s-2000s, Americans in the last few years are less likely to say they can trust others, and are less likely to believe that institutions such as government, the press, religious organizations, schools, and large corporations are ‘doing a good job,'” explains psychological scientist and lead researcher Jean M. Twenge of San Diego State University.
Twenge and colleagues W. Keith Campbell and Nathan Carter, both of the University of Georgia, found that as income inequality and poverty rose, public trust declined, indicating that socioeconomic factors may play an important role in driving this downward trend in public trust:”With the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, people trust each other less,” says Twenge.
“There’s a growing perception that other people are cheating or taking advantage to get ahead, as evidenced, for example, by the ideas around ‘the 1%’ in the Occupy protests.”
Is social media really fostering robust discussion and debate?
According to a new report from the Pew Research Center called “Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence,” the answer is no. In fact, it may be doing the opposite. Pew polled 1,801 Americans, asking them about their “opinions about the Snowden leaks, their willingness to talk about the revelations in various in-person and online settings, and their perceptions of the views of those around them in a variety of online and off-line contexts.”
Pew chose the Snowden story in part because polls have showed Americans are relatively evenly divided on it. Despite the still-prevailing idealistic vision of social media as a platform for engaged citizenry and robust debate, the report notes that “people were less likely to discuss these issues on social media than they were in person.” Moreover, “if people thought their social media friends and followers disagreed with them, they were less likely to want to discuss the issues at all.”