Controlling the Frame






Frame is everything. Always be aware of the subconscious balance of whose frame in which you are operating. Always control the Frame, but resist giving the impression that you are.

Also understand that the balance of frame often shifts. Frame is fluid and will find its own level when a deficit or a surplus of will is applied to change it.

It’s kind of hard for most ‘plugged in’ men to grasp that they can and should exert frame control in order to establish a healthy future relationship.

[...] You will enter her reality or she will enter yours.

'Frame'



In the context of politics or mass-media communication, a frame defines the packaging of an element of rhetoric in such a way as to encourage certain interpretations and to discourage others. For political purposes, framing often presents facts in such a way that implicates a problem that is in need of a solution. Members of political parties attempt to frame issues in a way that makes a solution favoring their own political leaning appear as the most appropriate course of action for the situation at hand

Framing is an integral part of conveying and processing data on a daily basis. Successful framing techniques can be used to reduce the ambiguity of intangible topics by contextualizing the information in such a way that recipients can connect to what they already know.

According to Susan T. Fiske and Shelley E. Taylor, human beings are by nature "cognitive misers", meaning they prefer to do as little thinking as possible. Frames provide people a quick and easy way to process information. Hence, people will use the previously mentioned mental filters (a series of which is called a schema) to make sense of incoming messages.


'Framing (social sciences)'




When faced with opponents who don't share our worldview, Rorty explained, we cannot hope to refute them, but we can concretely elucidate our worldview in the hope that it will make their worldview look untenable.

"There is no answer to a redescription," he pronounced, "save a re-redescription."

[James Ryerson]
'The Quest for Uncertainty: Richard Rorty's pragmatic pilgrimage'




The basic principle of Russell Conjugation is that the human mind is constantly looking ahead well beyond what is true or false to ask “What is the social consequence of accepting the facts as they are?”

While this line of thinking is obviously self-serving, we are descended from social creatures who could not safely form opinions around pure facts so much as around how those facts are presented to us by those we ape, trust or fear. 

Thus, as listeners and readers our minds generally mirror the emotional state of the source, while in our roles as authoritative narrators presenting the facts, we maintain an arsenal of language to subliminally instruct our listeners and readers on how we expect them to color their perceptions.

Russell discussed this by putting three such presentations of a common underlying fact in the form in which a verb is typically conjugated:

I am firm. [Positive empathy]
You are obstinate. [Neutral to mildly negative empathy]
He/She/It is pigheaded.  [Very negative empathy]

In all three cases, Russell was describing people who did not readily change their minds. Yet by putting these descriptions so close together and without further factual information to separate the individual cases, we were forced to confront the fact that most of us feel positively towards the steadfast narrator and negatively towards the pigheaded fool, all without any basis in fact.

[...] many if not most people form their opinions based solely on whatever Russell conjugation is presented to them and not on the underlying facts. That is, the very same person will oppose a “death tax” while having supported an “estate tax” seconds earlier even though these taxes are two descriptions of the exact same underlying object.

Further, such is the power of emotive conjugation that we are generally not even aware that we hold such contradictory opinions. Thus “Illegal aliens” and “undocumented immigrants” may be the same people, but the former label leads to calls for deportation while the latter one instantly causes many of us to consider amnesty programs and paths to citizenship.

[Eric R. Weinstein]
'Russell Conjugation'




[…] Fat Tony’s power in life is that he never lets the other person frame the question. 

He taught Nero that an answer is planted in every question; never respond with a straight answer to a question that makes no sense to you.

[Nassim Nicholas Taleb]
Antifragile, p. 252



Related posts:-
Giving and Receiving
Masculine / Feminine
Guiding Fiction
Re-frame

Going to extremes



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It suffices for an intransigent minority [...] to reach a minutely small level, say three or four percent of the total population, for the entire population to have to submit to their preferences. 

[...] If the people following the minority rule lived in Ghettos, with their separate small economy, then the minority rule would not apply. But, when a population has an even spatial distribution, say the ratio of such a minority in a neighborhood is the same as that in the village, that in the village is the same as in the county, that in the county is the same as that in the state, and that in the state is the same as nationwide, then the (flexible) majority will have to submit to the minority rule.

[...] How do books get banned? Certainly not because they offend the average person - most persons are passive and don’t really care, or don’t care enough to request the banning. 

It looks like, from past episodes, that all it takes is a few (motivated) activists for the banning of some books, or the black-listing of some people.

[...] Let us conjecture that the formation of moral values in society doesn’t come from the evolution of the consensus. No, it is the most intolerant person who imposes virtue on others precisely because of that intolerance. The same can apply to civil rights.

[...] once a moral rule is established, it would suffice to have a small intransigent minority of geographically distributed followers to dictate the norm in society. The sad news [...] is that one person looking at mankind as an aggregate may mistakenly believe that humans are spontaneously becoming more moral, better, more gentle, have better breath, when it applies to only a small proportion of mankind.

[...] The entire growth of society, whether economic or moral, comes from a small number of people.

[...] Society doesn’t evolve by consensus, voting, majority, committees, verbose meeting, academic conferences, and polling; only a few people suffice to disproportionately move the needle. All one needs is an asymmetric rule somewhere. And asymmetry is present in about everything.

[Nassim Taleb]
'The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority'


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Related posts:-
Centre / Periphery
In-between
Wishy-washy
Giving and Receiving
The Oak and the Stream
The Nymph and the Oak
Walk a straight line

Withdrawing projections


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When we enter a new situation in life and are confronted by a new person, we bring with us the prejudices of the past and our previous experiences of people.

These prejudices we project upon the new person.

Indeed, getting to know a person is largely a matter of withdrawing projections; of dispelling the smoke-screen of what we imagine he is like and replacing it with the reality of what he is actually like.

[Anthony Storr]
The Observer Magazine (12 July, 1970).



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Casting a Shadow