GPB Funding Campaigns

Over the past couple weeks Georgia Public Radio ran their fall funding campaign for National Public Radio. (We get to go through this again in the spring.) These funding campaigns are the least I listen to GPB. And they actively discourage me from wanting to donate.

So when the campaigners lament about how so few people donate, my sense of why is these campaigns. They work like a guilt trip:

YOU are a freeloader. So now that you feel bad about yourself, you can feel better by sending us money.

My inclination to that is the opposite. Maybe a large portion of the 90% of people who listen but do not donate feel the same way?

The way I was able to donate was a couple weeks after a funding campaign, I happened to be on the web site and sent my contribution. Now they send me reminders before the funding campaigns. So I send in my contribution before they go on air making me regret having sent them anything.

GPB claims not to have commercials, but they have plenty of sponsorship advertisements. They mean, I think, that commercial radio has constant, overwhelming advertisements. So my discontent is the semantics of the difference between none and few.

Oh, and the gifts for contributing are the same cheap vendor swag items that cost them cents to a few dollars per item to have made. Yet they are valued at $25-50? Lame.

Outside of when these funding campaigns are active, I am really happy that I contributed. So, it is not that I want to be a freeloader. It really is guilt trips cause me to react the wrong way. And I really am not sure how they should address changing the funding campaigns so I would be attracted.

Stories

Those who enjoy thinking are mentioned at the end of this quote from Why Stories Sell: Transportation Leads to Persuasion as most vulnerable to being persuaded by a story. Reading Oscar Wilde is fun if only because he puts in so many entertaining quips from his characters to comment and persuade the reader. I feel transported back to college where my friends were challenging my ability to keep up with the craziness of who did what, when, how to who.

Stories work so well to persuade us because, if they’re well told, we get swept up in them, we are transported inside them.

Transportation is key to why they work. Once inside the story we are less likely to notice things which don’t match up with our everyday experience.

For example an aspirational Hollywood movie with a can-do spirit might convince us that we can tackle any problem, despite what we know about how the real world works.

Also, when concentrating on a story people are less aware that they are subject to a persuasion attempt: the message get in under the radar.

Two sorts of people who may be particularly susceptible to being persuaded by stories are those who seek out emotional situations and those who enjoy thinking (Thompson & Haddock, 2011).

Drew Westen at Emory University has a good New York Times piece on how President Obama failed to keep up the grand story he built transporting people into building a better America during the campaign. He needs to resume telling it or start a new one to convince the American public he should be elected for a second term.

The Enemy’s POV

Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence, when it helps us to see the enemy’s point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

From the Martin Luther King, Jr. entry on wikiquote.

At brunch yesterday, the point was being made to me over and over that if climate change advocates could ask deniers, “What would it take to convince you?” and give that data or answers, then that would spark the necessary dialogue to help both sides understand each other. Running across the quote above, it struck me as quite funny and unsurprising that I would be on the wrong side of MLK.

As though proving my point, my repeated argument that ideology trumps facts according to studies fell on deaf ears. False information (such as a misleading negative campaign ad) agreeing with a person’s ideology followed by a retraction or fact checking tends to result in strengthening the false info. The recalled “facts” are those necessary to defend conclusions. It appears to work this way for both liberals and conservatives. The mechanics appear to include remembering the false information because they agree and not the correction because they disagree.

Even before I ran across this through to the present, I try to expose my self to Libertarian, Republican, Green, and Democrat information sources. I find myself dismissing some things and then armed with the ideas above feel bad about having done so. So I dig for more information and sometimes find I was wrong. Doing this is hard. It is far easier to just assume I was already correct. But then I am an information glutton.

Schrödinger’s Politician

Here is good explanation for Schrödinger’s Cat. I’ll continue below the video.

If the embedded video does not work, then go to Schrödinger’s Cat on Youtube.

So the cat exists in two states both dead or alive until something forces the universe to choose one.

It seems like many political decisions follow something like this. Until all the votes are cast, any particular decision is both yes and no at the same time. Tracking the campaign monetary pledges can be a guess, but people could surprisingly have a conscience. Polls rarely use the same language as the actual vote and so framing in both can distort the results.

This is all to say, the American election for president is still over a year away. Yet the pundits are guessing at who will win the nomination over 6 months away and the presidential vote. They have no idea. They know the guesses will change over the next several months all the way up to hours before the election. Probably good for them no employer will fire them for making wrong predictions.

Then again, that the decision is both yes and no at the same time until all the votes are cast is why people should cast their votes.