Friday, January 07, 2005

Huebner 1 7

For week 2, begin to read Noonan (course pack 1), since we have yet to receive Elements of Style.
Policy Memo assignment due January 15 (week 2). Write a policy memo about a change you would like to see made at work, a past workplace, or about a public policy issue (a letter to editor). Five double-spaced pages, written to someone at a senior level in the organization about which you’re writing.

Week 3 - Bring a good example of fallacious reasoning from a memo, speech, article, or broadcast, and be prepared to present it in class. The Kahane reading discusses falacy.

What do we mean by "Power"?

To get people to do or think what you want them to do or think. Can be done with force or coercion.


Coercion = Torture, Blackmail/threats, force, bribes/rewards,

Social pressure = symbols of authority (uniforms, badges, titles)

No liberty, total cohesion


Voluntary Assent = inspiration, promise of positive benefits (credibility, trust)

Values = Self Interest

Balance between conformity and liberty

Power is leadership, the few leading the many.

Without leadership, there is anarchy, in which the many do what they want in a totally free environment. The extreme of power/leadershop is the many, unsatisfied because of too many rules; the extreme of anarchy is chaos, absolute liberty.

The instrument of Persasion/Consent power is words.

At the beginning of the 20th century mass media began to rise, and a fear developed that words could be instruments of coercion, the right leader could "hypnotize" the public with words. Could consent be coerced by the right leader? A word developed to describe the misuse of words; propoganda. The Roman Catholic Church developed the college of propoganda after the reformation to spread the faith, but it took on a negative connotation later.

Orwell (Politics and the English Language) suggested that a writer ought to let the meaning find the word, or to start with meaning and choose words carefully to express it, language enables speakers and writers to not think (Noonan suggests that a good speech starts with good ideas).


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