[ASC-list] Follow-up to last Conversation article

Charles Willock charlesw at cse.unsw.EDU.AU
Fri Apr 8 08:34:27 UTC 2011

On Fri, Apr 08, 2011 at 03:04:22PM +1000, Roderick Lamberts wrote:
> Will and my next salvo about the science lunacy in Aus...
> http://theconversation.edu.au/articles/gentlemens-rules-are-out-scientists-its-time-to-unleash-the-beast-785

Hi Rod / All,

----> 2) Get out there on radio and TV. And again, don't just go to the
---->    ABC, go to as many different outlets as possible. You might
---->    despise the stance of any particular shock jock on any number of
---->    issues, but if you can get to their listeners then that is a
---->    win.  You never know - on your particular issue, the shock jock
---->    might agree with you.

Nice bit of motivation.

For radio, one can extend that idea with a bit of experimental "radiology"
by way of preliminary sampling:  (Note that different radio jocks have 
different attitudes even on the same station.)

  In Sydney you just need to listen for a relatively short time (30 mins)
  to determine if a particular shock jock is likely to accept alternative
  views ... or even facts.  (Just because they say they will, doesn't mean 
  that they do ...)

  To determine the "flexibility" function, ring the radio station on air 
  when the shock jock is broadcasting and put to the producer that (eg) 
  what the shock jock has just said misrepresents reality (or however you
  want to phrase it).  Unlike the nice words that go to air, the producer
  is usually rather more direct and will often dump you immediately if
  you propose an alternative viewpoint.  Some of the shock jocks find
  facts and reason fairly hard to take.

  Also, for many stations, they won't accept URLs unless they have 
  carefully screened them first.

  For those that don't pass that sampling, I'd suggest they are not worth
  pursuing ... to any proposal stage of putting an idea to him ... that is
  unless you really enjoy a bit of time-wasting verbal biffo.

    Alan Jones interviews Julia Gillard

  Picking a gunfight with a gunfighter on his own territory is probably a
  waste of your time.  If the shock jock isn't listening, then good chance 
  neither is his particular audience.

There are plenty of well meaning, on the ball and highly competent ABC programs 
who will listen and give you air time.  If you speak particular well, and
sound informed.   A bit disconcerting though if the content is one-eyed.

   Professor Barry Brook on nuclear power

Worth realising that avoiding shock jocks and firing from behind better
protection might also be effective in the long run:

  Fox News dumps Glenn Beck

Also worth understanding the linguistic basis of what is going on and
use that with integrity.  

Robert Thouless "Straight and Crooked Thinking" provides a good start to
de-nurgling twisted thinking.

George Lakoff's "Don't think of an Elephant" is a popular version of 
understanding messages from the right and left wing thinking processes
(from a left wing writer).

Frank Luntz "Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear"
is about lexical use (from a right wing writer).

(Unfortunately, there is considerably more to it than that.)


> Dr RG Lamberts
> Deputy Director
> Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science (CPAS)
> A Centre for the National Commission of UNESCO
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      "Creativity and innovation are measured not by what is done, 
           but by what could have been done ... but wasn't"

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Charles Willock                                 charlesw at cse.unsw.edu.au
c/- School of Computer Science and Engineering       
University of New South Wales,                  
New South Wales  Australia  2052    http://www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~charlesw

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