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The Persuaders

The Persuaders
FRONTLINE takes an in-depth look at the multibillion-dollar "persuasion industries" of advertising and public relations and how marketers have developed new ways of integrating their messages deeper into the fabric of our lives. Through sophisticated market research methods to better understand consumers and by turning to the little-understood techniques of public relations to make sure their messages come from sources we trust, marketers are crafting messages that resonate with an increasingly cynical public. In this documentary essay, correspondent Douglas Rushkoff (correspondent for FRONTLINE's "The Merchants of Cool") also explores how the culture of marketing has come to shape the way Americans understand the world and themselves and how the techniques of the persuasion industries have migrated to politics, shaping the way our leaders formulate policy, influence public opinion, make decisions, and stay in power.

Can There Be “Good” Corporations? by Marjorie Kelly When companies are owned by workers and the community—instead of Wall Street financiers—everything changes. posted Apr 16, 2012 George Siemon calls himself Organic Valley’s “C-E-I-E-I-O.” Photo courtesy of Organic Valley. Our economic system is profoundly broken. There is another approach. First, we haven’t acknowledged what unites them. Ownership unites them. The alternatives emerging in our time represent an unsung ownership revolution. Here we confront the second consideration—the need for a name. Employees in this firm are not a countervailing power. Options like worker ownership and cooperatives not only spread wealth but ensure that owners are local, hence more likely to care about local ecological impacts. In writing the book, Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution, I’ve been traveling around and visiting places where this new economy is bubbling up. Founded on Fairness Consider, for example, the John Lewis Partnership (JLP) in England. “Very much so,” he said. 1.

Du tout médias au medium rien Cette manie de prétendre tout mettre dans tout… Le journal dans le téléphone, la télé dans l’ordinateur et le petit commerce dans la boîte à musique… L’exercice n’est plus réservé aux acteurs du machin numérique : pour ne pas se laisser tondre, les vieux médias se sont résolus à recycler leurs produits diversement recyclables. Avec des fortunes diverses. Le truc à la mode, et qu’avaient vulgarisé sur Inter, en leur temps raccourci, Didier Porte et Stéphane Guillon, c’est la radio filmée. Soit, dans le poste, le chroniqueur chroniquant, dans la lecture, non de son prompteur, mais de son petit papier du jour. Face à lui, une caméra fixe qui tourne toute seule ; dans son dos, comme chez le footeux faisant pour ses sponsors l’aumône d’un commentaire en langue à crampons, le mur autopromotionnel du studio de la station ; hors champ, dans l’agitation d’une régie qu’on devine, la voix off d’un comparse pour une «relance» téléphonée. Ces coulisses, on devrait ne jamais les dévoiler.

Wealth Inequality Sep 30 Wealth Inequality in America Perform the following thought experiment. Remove yourself for a moment from your present socioeconomic circumstances and imagine that you are to be replaced randomly into society at any class level. Now, before you know your particular place in society you are told that it is within your powers to redistribute the wealth of that society in any way that you choose. Here is what we found: As you can see from the figure, participants rather badly estimated the current state of wealth disparity! What this tells me is that Americans don’t understand the extent of disparity in the US, and that they (we) desire a more equitable society. Maybe this suggests that when there are no labels, and we think about the core of our morality in abstract terms (and under the veil of ignorance), we are actually very similar?

The Rise of Digital Multitasking [STATS] More Americans than ever are multitasking while they watch TV, according to a new survey from Deloitte. Between September 10 and October 8, 2010, Deloitte polled 2,000 U.S. consumers ages 14 to 75 on their digital habits. Unsurprisingly, it found that Americans are plugged in. Eighty-five percent own a desktop computer, yet another 68% own a laptop or a netbook and another 41% have Internet-enabled phones. TV is still king, though; 74% of U.S. consumers still watch TV primarily on their TV sets, and a full 59% of U.S. households now own flat-screen TVs. The TV-watching experience is changing, too. The survey also addresses the decline of print media. We're a bit surprised to see that print magazine subscriptions haven't dropped off like a cliff in recent years, but they are definitely falling, and it's forcing publishers to make hard choices.

Economy and psychology The podcasts and blogs below are produced by professionals with extensive experience working in their respective fields as a psychotherapist and an economist. Here they combine what they have learned to explore how the twin crises of the US economy and our psychology interact today. Isolation, anxiety, loneliness, and depression are psychological issues that profoundly impact work, consumption, and debt. Likewise, unemployment, income inequality, and exploitation shape our emotional and intimate lives. The interaction of economy and psychology helps to determine our society and our individuality as well. Yet these topics remain loaded with taboos, confusions, ignorance, and fear preventing us from asking big questions and daring to discuss big answers. Podcasts Meanings of the Election Results Monday, December 3, 2012 Everyone from the candidates to the parties to observers and voters are making their respective senses of what the election results mean. The Decline of Traditional Families

American Thinker: The Story of the Egyptian Revolution My apologies for the length of this article, but I see it as extremely important to tell the whole story as it happened. The Story of the Egyptian Revolution One week ago, Egypt was a stable authoritarian regime, prospects of change were minimal and every expert in Washington would have betted on the endurance of its regime. Contrary to pundits, it turns out that the Egyptian regime was neither stable nor secure. For two weeks calls were made using new social media tools for a mass demonstration on the 25th of January. But beneath that, things were very different. It should come as no surprise to anyone that after 58 years of organized state propaganda, people would not believe for a second the government's media machine and its coverage of the events. The next day the demonstrations continued with a promise of a return on Friday the 28th after Friday Prayers in Mosques. The internet was cut off in Egypt. Friday was an unprecedented event in Egypt. The Egyptian army is hugely popular.

How Class Works Richard Wolff Examines Class on The Real News Published on May 6, 2013 Richard Wolff is an economist who has studied class issues for more than 40 years. In this animation and audio presentation, Wolff explains what class is all about and applies that understanding to the foreclosure crisis of 2007--2011. He argues that class concerns the "way our society splits up the output [and] leaves those who get the profits in the position of deciding and figuring out what to do with them... Visit Professor Wolff's social movement project, Permission to reprint Professor Wolff's writing and videos is granted on an individual basis.

Midem 2011: How Music is changing. Long live the hackers! » Article », Digital Journalism I’ve attended @Midem for the last 12 years and there’s one thing that’s still the “same”, Cannes has super vibes around entertainment and music and spending 2-3 days there is always cool. The sun helps and I love running on the Croisette early in the morning. This year’s vibes were especially amazing. I’ll try to explain. I attended very few panels; they tended to be boring rehashes of things we already know. Instead I spent most of my time talking to people, matchmaking, mentoring, attending special events and meeting with my team. Obviously I was really happy to have been invited to participate in the session called “How to License Your Music Business Worldwide.” But the coolest part of the entire Midem, hands down, was the MusicHackDay. Companies such as Soundcloud,, The Echonest, Bmat,, 7 Digital, SongKick, Musescore and musiXmatch participated in the all-nighter and delivered an amazing showcase of apps. You don’t believe me? Long live the music! Max Ciociola

Machines Can't Flow: The Difference Between Mechanical and Human Productivity - Linda Stone More output, produced faster may be great metrics for machines, but for homo sapiens, the most powerful metric is engagement. Workers punching the clock at the SKF roller bearing factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Library of Congress) At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, it seemed machines could do anything. We tend to think of productivity as maximizing output or quantity. A few years ago in a set of interviews, I asked people if they managed their time, their attention, or both. Mid-level managers talked about their best practices for time-management, and at the same time, expressed their concerns: "I just can't get it all done. They expressed anxiety about the future: "Can I accomplish all these things?" In contrast, surgeons, artists, and many senior managers talked about managing both their time and attention. What is engaged attention and what is flow? Surgeons, by necessity, have to manage time and attention. It's time to rethink productivity.

The Scale Every Business Needs Now - Umair Haque by Umair Haque | 10:43 AM January 20, 2010 Beancounter 1: “Our new widgets business — we think it’s amazing”. Beancounter 2: “We’ve ridden the learning curve, the product mix is optimized, the supply chain’s streamlined, the market’s tightly segmented.” Beancounter 3: “But we’ve got a burning question for you, Umair — will it scale?” UH: “You know what doesn’t scale? Beancounters 1, 2, and 3: (enraged, attack UH with pitchforks). That’s what happened to me not so long ago in one of the anonymous boardrooms of the universe. Here’s what the economic historians of the 23rd Century are going to say about the 20th. “They built giant, globe-spanning organizations, that employed tens of thousands of people working around the clock, to produce… sugar water, fast food, disposable razors, and gas guzzlers. The old scale was about stuff. Everything scaled in the 20th Century except what mattered most. In the 21st century, “stuff” is a commodity. From whence, then, ambitionlessness?

Bondsy and the Modern Myth of Barter In the first chapters of every Economics 101 textbook there’s a misleading hypothetical about the origins of money. David Graeber, in his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years calls it “the founding myth of our system of economic relations.” This myth is so pervasive that even people who have never taken an Economics 101 class know, and believe in, this myth. We tend to assume that before money there was this awkward barter system where you had to keep all your chickens and yams with you when you went to market to buy a calf. If the person selling the calf didn’t want chicken or yams, no transaction would take place. Money seems to fill a very important need: it lets us compare and exchange a wide variety of goods by establishing a common metric of value. Currencies are a good way of making transactions among people you don’t know or actively dislike. Gold and silver coins are distinguished from credit arrangements by one spectacular feature: they can be stolen. Enter Bondsy.

Pierre Omidyar: Separation of Mosque and State There is a growing tide of opinion in this country that religion and government should be intertwined. This view tends to be most widely held by evangelical Christians, who believe that society would benefit if Christianity played an official role in government. A recent Honolulu Civil Beat poll found that 11 percent of likely voters in Hawaii believed Christianity should play an official role in government. Among evangelical Christian voters, the number was 32 percent. Those who hold this view have begun questioning the Constitutional principle of separation of church and state. Despite its name, the separation of church and state applies equally to any religion, so it could also be called the "separation of temple and state," or the "separation of mosque and state." This important principle derives from the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which reads, in its striking simplicity and brevity: Ask the Christians who live in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The Glory of the Commons by Timothy Noah July/ August 2013The Glory of the Commons Jonathan Rowe’s brilliant posthumous meditation on the shared, non-commercialized realms of life that sustain us. By Timothy Noah Our Common Wealth: The Hidden Economy That Makes Everything Else Work by Jonathan Rowe Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 123 pp. One of the sharper satirical jabs in People, a recent play by the English writer Alan Bennett, occurs when a consortium of wealthy investors decides to purchase Winchester Cathedral. What makes the joke funny is our understanding that a hallowed monument like Winchester Cathedral could never belong to anyone but the public. Jonathan Rowe, alongside whom I worked at the Washington Monthly in the early 1980s, and who died two years ago at the distressingly young age of sixty-five, would describe Winchester Cathedral as part of “the commons.” Our Common Wealth makes the case for the sort of social arrangements that are seldom acknowledged except to be attacked or dismantled. Similar examples abound.

"FRONTLINE takes an in-depth look at the multibillion-dollar "persuasion industries" of advertising and public relations and how marketers have developed new ways of integrating their messages deeper into the fabric of our lives." by jerrybuchko Oct 27