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Showing me or telling me? Succinct or verbose. (14/01/22 09:15:23) Reply
    In news media - specially radio and TV - I am presented with interviews - often repeated several times. Most of them can be summarised in a few words - and they are not by far important enough to require repetition. It is verbose raw data instead of a succinct summary. In more scientific types of programs there are quite a few repetetitions that are unnecessary for the attentive watcher - but necessary for the sorry lot that has to endure the interpolated commercials.

    I think Fravia's supermarket marketing essay could serve as an introduction for adults. But the real worry is that the structure threatens the ability of children to developing a long attention span, or real understanding of written, non-illustrated text. How many twelve-to-fifteen-year-olds are big consumers of books nowadays compared to, say the 1960s? And - as a control: What do animated movies and computer games give as replacement for the internal pictures obtained through reading Huckleberry Finn, or Treasure Island?

    Methinks the power games played at the physical supermarket are not the frontline any more.

Re: Showing me or telling me? Succinct or verbose. (16/01/22 06:44:58) Reply
    Children: There are some. They are rare breed. Instant gratification and distraction is the challenge, way of least resistance.

    Supermarket is still a kata imo.

Re: Rare breed  (16/01/22 08:52:16) Reply
    Indeed. So we have no such talent to lose. I believe the iPad lures quite a few children towards picture media and away from books - and too many have parents who give no resistance. The social scientists tell us that the ability to have a theoretical education runs in families. There might be a genetic component to that one - the reactionaries certainly say so. I believe it is more about background and economy. Someone must set an example, and there must be space and time for reading if there is going to be reading. Public libraries. School libraries. Quiet rooms, away from the noisy and colourful toons of children's TV (or iPads).

    I would love to have a generation of politicians and administrators who really could take in and understand large amounts of information and have sensible discussions about it with the authors - and build compromises between competing ambitions and needs. Only then can we have policies that are agreeable to all reasonable people, and that are needed to solve all the difficult dilemmas presented by overpopulation, climate changes and unfair distribution of wealth.

Re: Showing me or telling me? Succinct or verbose. (17/01/22 15:59:17) Reply
    All kinds of problems. Language for one. My first language is phonemic. That means that I did learn reading in about an hour when I was about five years old. And keep reading since. My normal portion is a book a day. Mostly fiction, but anything else that's interesting enough. Have no TV and whenever I try to read the so called news it just pisses me off.

    Now if you take my second language - English - it's a complete mess. Poor relation between the written and spoken language. And you can add to it the ridiculous dialects the natives speak. So a big lot of the English speaking world cannot read. Also add to it the spirit of Orwell and Huxley. There is a language for the masses, and another one for the few chosen ( at least in the UK ). Try to read something from the undiscribable Daily Mail ( even a headline ). Compare it to The Times.

    So actually a big portion of the British population are functional illiterate. They don't read their own ( internationally respected ) literature, they rarely read world literature translated to English ( Mika Waltari, Panait Istrati, Robert Merle, all the russians, about nobody at all ). They don't keep books in their homes. Also they seems to be less sensitive to plain propaganda.

    And regardless of this both populations - the one with high level of literacy and the one with a shameful one - produces about the same level of intelligence when voting for political parties, making decisions.

    So probably just the ability to read isn't relevant to the ability to form intelligent thoughts. See also

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