Wednesday, February 3, 2010

An Excellent Article!

Social science research has demonstrated it over and over again, but we let ourselves be bamboozled every time.

We are so influenced by hype, glitz, cultural biases and tricks, and other gimmicks that lead us to make decisions already predetermined by others. And it’s amazing how well such tactics work when hoodwinkers want to use them against us. Or when we fall victim to our own information-processing vulnerabilities.

Audiences rate speeches delivered by a man as superior to the exact same speech delivered by a woman. The content of an essay attributed to an individual described as an expert is rated well above that same essay attributed to a college freshman. A high-priced artwork is preferred to that same piece at a bargain price. And judges of wine are influenced by so many factors that the pattern of winners looks almost random.

Leonard Miodinow’s Wall Street Journal piece titled, “A Hint of Hype, A Taste of Illusion” inspired my cartoon. He tells the fascinating story of the winners and losers of wine competitions. Judges vary so significantly that such contests have little meaning. My advice here is to just figure out what you like. Some expert sommelier somewhere will extol your excellent taste in wine.

So, what does all this mean regarding our ability to pick (and then vote for) competent leaders with strong character?

We know that getting caught up in spin can be dangerous. Bernie Maddoff’s sweet talk comes to mind. But in this election year we have to be ultra-sensitive lest we be duped again by both the media and candidates’ spinning machines. We already know what a slick campaign can wreak—and we are living it out now at the highest levels.

It may be difficult to remain oblivious to the dazzling words and the flying mud that we are beginning to experience as November elections heat up. But if one keeps totally focused on candidate’s documented previous experiences and integrity, it is more difficult to be stupid.

Finally, it is said that when Issac Stern learned that a Carnegie Hall concert was sold out far in advance, he went out in his old clothes and played his violin on the sidewalk so that his fans who were not lucky enough to get tickets could hear him up close. However, few stopped to notice.

So I offer this analogy: “Pay attention only to the sound of the violin and you will know what to do.”


When Life gives you lemons...

What DO you do with a drunken sailor?

Hey, Bill Morton...

Just remember who removed the third person from this photograph and heavily retouched it!

When are you ever gonna repay some of the $1,425
you owe me?

Why are you STIFFING me, Cheeser?

Is Obama on board with Panetta, or not?

This seemingly-Muslim president bows--a lot--even to the mayor of Tampa? Florida?

But this headline precedes anything Obama can even attempt to accomplish!

Senators Warned of Terrorist Attack on U.S. by July

Leon Panetta, Director CIA

“The biggest threat is not so much that we face an attack like 9/11,” said Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director. “It is that Al Qaeda is adapting its methods in ways that oftentimes make it difficult to detect.”

And Obama NEVER said a thing to the American people, because he cannot understand that America is, as Abraham Lincoln poignantly stated in his Gettysburg Address (which Obama seems to know NOTHING about),:

"...and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

After all, it is the second of February!

Quinn declares victory but Hynes won't concede in Democratic governor's race

Shouldn't it all be left up to the GROUNDHOG today?

And, by the way, that would be pronounced "feh-broo-airy'!

Just for all those of you who were never attentive in English class!

Why the hell would YOU vote for HIM?

Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias declared victory tonight in the Democratic primary for President Barack Obama's former U.S. Senate seat.

Unless you're in love with the MOB?

Just to let you know, I am half-Greek by birth, and I would not vote for this jerk if ATHENA herself begged me!