July, 2018 archive
Robert Epstein, former Editor-in-Chief at Psychology Today among many other accomplishments, offers a construct for understanding why Donald Trump does and says what he does and says. The concept is “sympathetic audience control”; it does not refer to the individual’s controlling the audience, but rather to the audience’s affecting the individual.
Everyone, of course, is affected by this to some degree. We behave differently at the in-laws than at the neighborhood watering hole, differently in church than at a party or in a business meeting.
Epstein suggests that Trump manifests an extreme version of sympathetic audience control.
I find this completely consistent with Trump’s behavior as observed and reported daily; follow the link to determine whether or not you find his argument persuasive.
Here’s a bit (emphasis added):
Sympathetic audience control and a small time window produce most of the odd cognitive glitches. Moment to moment, Trump either sees a foe and shoots, or he sees a friend and is influenced. In that kind of perceptual world, Trump inevitably shifts his views frequently and has no trouble denying what he said yesterday. All that’s real to him is what friends or foes are saying inside those small time windows. All else is fuzzy, and that’s why he can so easily tell so many lies. From his perspective, lying has no meaning. Only reacting has meaning. Trump reacts.
In a similar vein, Dick Polman mourns the death of truth.
Professor Robert Strong theorizes that Donald Trump’s political success is related to his mastery of super market check-out aisle marketing. A nugget:
The answer (to why he got elected–ed.) may be that our president has a kind of tabloid intelligence. He knows which lies will garner publicity without completely destroying the liar’s reputation and which ones tap into deep seated fears and anxieties. He knows how to pitch a falsehood so that it gets more consideration than it deserves. He knows what we will look at while we wait for our groceries to get their turn on the checkout conveyer belt.
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It’s not hard; it’s just different.
Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.
Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room (map). (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.
Thom and Juan Cole discuss whether it’s thinkable that Donald Trump may join with the Neocons to foment a war with Iran so as to turn the focus away from his own conduct.
The Raleigh News and Observer reports that Rufus Edmisten, who served on the staff of the Watergate Committee, hears a familiar ring in contemporary events. A snippet:
The parallels between then and now are striking: a break in at the Democratic National Committee, hush payments, secret tape recordings and an investigating Senate committee led by the senior senator from North Carolina. But Edmisten thinks the investigation into possible collusion with the Russians by the Trump campaign could trump the historic 1970s scandal.
“I think they’re trying to outdo Watergate,” he said of President Trump’s advisers and associates and the president himself. . . .
“If some of the people around Trump would read the Nixon-Watergate playbook, they wouldn’t be doing this foolishness. Instead they are expanding on it,” he said.
Do please read the rest.
Rear your children with politeness.
The investigation into the circumstances of the fatal accident revealed that two children were left in the care of an adult family member while the parents were at work. That adult told officers that after stepping out of the kitchen, one of the children took a loaded handgun out of the kitchen cupboard and inadvertently shot himself in the upper body.
Farron is not impressed with Sean Spicer’s new book. (Unfortunately for Farron, he makes an egregious error in his rant. Can you spot it?)
Will Bunch covers the fire this time and why it’s not getting the media play it warrants. A snippet:
Why is this, and what is to be done?
In the Why Dept., climate change is ultimately a science story — which is bad news on several fronts. Bill Nye aside, America is pretty much a nation of Not Science Guys and Gals — with study after study showing that the U.S. lags the rest of the developed world when it comes to science education. Lack of education typically leads to lack of interest, but I don’t think that’s the only reason viewers reach for the remote. We’ve also seen a steady devolution as reality-show production values trump (pun intended) any kind of real-information culture in the news media.
And it’s not just here.
I fear we are well past the tipping point.
Brian Greenspun marvels at the Republican Family Values of ripping the children or immigrants and asylum-seekers from the arms of their parents. A snippet:
Through the decades, though, as the nature of human interaction and the darker human instincts overruled decency and neighborliness, there has never been the slightest concern about the role of government in the fight to protect children from harm.
Until Donald Trump.
Do please read the rest.