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Thread: Fear sells.

  1. #1
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    Fear sells.

    The best campaign I can think of is an advertisement of an asteroid hitting the earth and the slogan "If only we'd seen it coming!"

    Not everyone is interested in space but nearly all of us have a sense of self preservation. A large impact may be unlikely but it only has to happen once to end the entire human race. The movies 'Deep Impact' and 'Armageddon' promoted a lot of public debate. I think a campaign detailing recent near misses and how much money would be needed for new telescopes to find and track NEO's could be one way of getting some attention. People love that sort of apocalyptic stuff.

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    What makes you think nothing is being done now? Just how many people are you going to dedicate to this? And the most dangerous NEO's are comming from the viscinity of the Sun. What are you going to do about a two day window?
    Brought to you by "The Fearmonger's Shoppe" , in the Dales, Hopedale ,Lonsdale, Mondale, Allendale, RoynDale,Chippendale,
    Beer n Dale and all the other.... fine...shopping places.

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    'Death from the Skies' by Phil Plait is a great example of using fearmongering to promote astronomy.

    The worst scenario I can think of is a multi-kilometer-diameter, long-period comet discovered several months out on an impact trajectory as it is entering the inner solar system. There is absolutely nothing we could do about it at this point in time. Nothing. Spotting them is a step in the right direction however.

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    Why not use a pea shooter at an iceberg? There is a difference between Hollywood and genuine astronomy and space technology.

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    Asteroids are all the rage, but what is needed most may be the more 'boring' lines of research. So much of science on TV is about explosions and all--and that's fine.Everyone likes fireworks.

    There was an episode of Modern Marvels about a young man who absolutely loved vacuum cleaners. In Readers Digest, there was a man who had a list of folks named Smith (not his name).

    We need unconventional folks like them to do the tedious work.

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    Sadly boring doesn't sell. Obviously increased interest in asteroids and comets could lead to bigger budgets for astronomical observation. A clearer understanding of the range of objects potentially threatening us could lead to defence systems. Its a domino effect. This forum is about eliciting greater funds for space activities such as telescopes and launch systems. Politicians have to listen to the masses occasionally to win elections. The masses don't want to go the same way as the dinosaurs so fearmongering seemed a logical suggestion.

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    Don't try to reduce astronomy to some carnival side show. Science is bigger and smarter than that. Nuff said.

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    Boring too. Carnival side shows get attention. Most people hate science because they think its elitist. Science is seen as being run by condescending stuck up nerds. Jumped up little nobodies who think they are more intelligent than everyone else. Thats why science is a target for derision. That and the fact that its true. Just take a look at the pathetic idiots running this place. I've had several warnings already from these losers for no reason whatsoever. After only a few days here I'm considering going to Frasers house and kicking his head in. Why? Because he created this place and put nerdy little retards in control of it. People want to feel a part of science before they'll accept it. Being excluded and talked down to only creates hatred.

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    I think his parallel universe is ' askew ' .

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    The reason science is complicated is because the opposite is true. Science is simple. Human brains are not. Love, friendship, consideration, money, politics, etc all involve an incredible network of neurons to fire in extremely high numbers. Just to momentarily touch the side of one's face and to return that hand back to one's side takes well over a trillion neurons that must fire in a precise order.

    Electrons and protons are not complicated. They don't care if they burn someone to death or are part of hand that is trying to save a life.

    Therefore, people must rearrange their complicated view (their confused view) into simple parts in order to understand. Secondly, people must recognize that when we are confused is when we are thinking. Being stuck means we want to pause and stop for a moment and think something over before proceeding. All the subject matters we are confused about are the ones that our brains are paying close attention to and all mistakes we make are being made because we are learning.

    When children are creating mischief they find it to be fun because they plotted the whole thing out themselves. If their parents ordered them to text message friends under the dinner table and to do it at a certain time without getting caught it would no longer be fun. Even human teasing shows the same result. The one doing the teasing is having fun since he or she plotted it out while the recipient reacts with anger because reaction without plotting can only occur. School is something the teachers plot out each summer before fall sets in and school is their form of mischief. They toy with their subject matters and plot new ways to deal with both students who are unruly and those who show interest.

    When people plot they are planning ahead. A relative used to buy all his text books the summer before school would start and do all the math problems for the entire year before fall classes ever began. In the fall school was like a toy to him. He coasted right through and flirted with the girls more than ever. He wound up with 2 Phds in math.

    If you dump science on people's heads, you will bore them to death. If you try to coax them into it, they will only move toward it out of obligation but no more, turning away from it the minute you turn your back. Fear will only make them look to some expert to save them. You must look into their lives and simply point out that they already have the hunger.

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    Science education starting at a young age would be a start....Explaining to young'ins that the Sun is just another ordinary average star and that Earth is the third rock from that Sun and that it was once barren of life until evolution took hold....Good Astronomy picture books given to them at a young age so that they are able to maybe gauge the wonders of the Universe themselves

    Science particularly Astronomy/Cosmology needs to be compulsory along with reading writing and Arithmetic.
    God needs to be pointed out as Speculation along with other "scientific" speculation, and that speculation be shown to be separate from actual scientific theory and observed knowledge..
    “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.”
    ― Carl Sagan

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    Astronomy should be taught in kindergarden. There are adults walking about who don't know the sun is a star. Too many of them. Kids love scary stories so fear is a good way of garnering excitement. Jules Vernes cannon story was what excited many space pioneers. Now we have equally frightening true stories to excite young minds.

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    Kids love scary stories so fear is a good way of garnering excitement. Jules Vernes cannon story was what excited many space pioneers. Now we have equally frightening true stories to excite young minds.
    I see absolutely NO REASON why fear should be any part of a science education...
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

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    I think that people who don't know that the sun is a star are few and far between.

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    I have this saying: "Teachers need evaluation and ranking; a simply interview should do. Few poor teachers are merely incompetent." It works better at the college level, but it is functional at all levels.

    Introducing nightmare fuel into the classroom is one of the many reasons this saying works as well as it does.
    Solfe

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    You may find it good at scaring people, or even scarring people. But one misses the point. Illiterate medieval people were too often driven by fear, mystery and majic. They only became enlightened in the renaisance when reason and the beginings of scientific reason and observation replaced the "Fear" you claim as such an intellectual incentive.
    The individual who can reason is more inventive, has better powers of problem solving and remains more productive member of community and by inferance, will become a better teacher, standing on the shoulders of giants with a clear eye to truth and a spirited enthusiasm for the future built on self confidence in himself, his immediate world and tomorrow.
    Beware fear, the dark side of the force. Down the path of vexation will it lead you, away from the light.
    Always the Jedi will be the master of his emotions , and clear shall be his thoughts. And reason and faith shall replace fear.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parallel Universes View Post
    Boring too. Carnival side shows get attention. Most people hate science because they think its elitist. Science is seen as being run by condescending stuck up nerds. Jumped up little nobodies who think they are more intelligent than everyone else. Thats why science is a target for derision. That and the fact that its true. Just take a look at the pathetic idiots running this place. I've had several warnings already from these losers for no reason whatsoever. After only a few days here I'm considering going to Frasers house and kicking his head in. Why? Because he created this place and put nerdy little retards in control of it. People want to feel a part of science before they'll accept it. Being excluded and talked down to only creates hatred.
    I wouldn't say that scientists are eletist, but I think that many educated people think that they can change the world for the better, when actually it is really difficult to improve on cultures that already exist because they have gone through cultural evolution that has helped there society survive.

  18. #18
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    I don't believe that "Most" people dislike science. It has been demonstrated that it does make a difference in how it is presented. If you throw advanced calculus at those who have never been introduced to basic algebra, they turn off right away. That is only natural. It is a strange nightmare they want to end.
    But take the same people and let Alan Alda talk to them with the basic ideas of a program and illustrate it with the advantage of a great graphics studio and many if not most will stay with and enjoy the program. NOVA has enjoyed a very long run indeed, and opened the eyes of many to the the world of science and more complex concepts that they would never encounter in their daily life. Simple tools and a better attitude remove obstacles if you make clarification fun and by degrees interesting. That is a practical approach.
    There is a simple phrase I have often marveled at. It is...... " You can't drink through a fire hose " .
    I have applied it to golf when I teach it, and so many other applications, carpentry, tool making, cooking, welding, plumbing
    , computers... etc. This works. Slow it down. Take the luxury of time and remember that everyone...even you had their first day and first experience in a new subject, and a new world. Don't be anxious. Patience is a stronger force and more usefull by far then negative emotion, fear and anxiety which suggests a lack a faith that the student will comprehend or remember what is said. The novice can be too easily defeated if they are infected by that dark side...criticism. Patience and a good attitude win the day.... each day. It is up to you to " Make it a good day" .

    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    If you throw advanced calculus at those who have never been introduced to basic algebra, they turn off right away. That is only natural. It is a strange nightmare they want to end.
    My bold. That's the best description of calculus. Ever.

    Plus, it was the first laugh of my day. Thanks!
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by danscope View Post
    I don't believe that "Most" people dislike science. It has been demonstrated that it does make a difference in how it is presented.
    You mention Alan Alda and, by coincidence, he was on the radio yesterday talking about The Flame Challenge; explaining science to 11-year-olds.

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    Hi, I admire his interest and work concerning science in an approachable form , kindling interest and nurturing the
    joy of discovery and learning. He has done very well.

    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    I wouldn't say that scientists are eletist, but I think that many educated people think that they can change the world for the better...
    Educated people think that because it is true...just one example being modern medicine.
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    You mention Alan Alda and, by coincidence, he was on the radio yesterday talking about The Flame Challenge; explaining science to 11-year-olds.
    Personally, I now work in medicine. We do a lot to help people, but people also get hurt a lot from medicine. Overall, I think, in time it will be fruitless and harmful. It is near impossible to improve on the millions of years of evolution biological and cultural. Any study we do is very narrow. Very few medicines can have the wonderful affect of vitamin D, vitamin K, fish oil, turmeric, coffee, green tea, fruits, vegetables, berries, cruciferous vegetables, and much more natural nutrients. We can all fight microbiology briefly. It is long term stronger than anything we can do. There are 10^24 viruses on earth. Given the nutrients they can reproduce every hour. Starting from one bacteria. They can reproduce so fast that in 4 days, could have more mass than the whole universe. That is power.

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    Would that we had all true knowledge of plants and foods concerning our health maintenance and to assist when we suffer.
    Surely we will know more in the next years than in the last.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    Very few medicines can have the wonderful affect of vitamin D, vitamin K, ....
    The benefits of vitamins were "discovered" by scientists.

    By your own admission, "educated people" HAVE changed the world for the better.
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

  26. #26
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    Whenever I see the thread title I think of the last episode of Boston Legal and the presentation to the new owners of the firm.

    Anyway, don't have a linky for you but it was recently reported that imagery of 1960's smog was more persuasive than a rational argument in swaying people with anti-EPA views toward a more open position. Generalizing from the OP, I think science and research could use a lot better marketing. (If only talking to marketing people weren't so, um, hard for you.)

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parallel Universes View Post
    The best campaign I can think of is an advertisement of an asteroid hitting the earth and the slogan "If only we'd seen it coming!"

    Not everyone is interested in space but nearly all of us have a sense of self preservation. A large impact may be unlikely but it only has to happen once to end the entire human race. The movies 'Deep Impact' and 'Armageddon' promoted a lot of public debate. I think a campaign detailing recent near misses and how much money would be needed for new telescopes to find and track NEO's could be one way of getting some attention. People love that sort of apocalyptic stuff.
    I think fear sells is a good starting point. But usually people only react to calamity. There are plenty of smart people who see bad thing coming. I'm sure that Bear Stearns, Lehman, etc had people who saw what was coming, but usually people are interested in self preservation. Therefore, if the boss said ignore the underwriters, that what 99.9 percent of people did. My company wanted to move a product line overseas. I went through the cost analysis which showed that it would not make money, but would cost more because of shipping costs alone. I was not regarded as a hero. I was expendable. The CFO agreed with my analysis and wrote a letter to the decision maker, but to no avail.
    I think this is why Steve Jobs said to never get comfortable. When one gets comfortable innovation and correct decision making goes out the door. So my suggestion, is never let a good calamity go to waste. When we get a decent size asteroid destroying a whole city, people will become smart. Otherwise forget about it. This can be applied over and over again. Wait until you have emotional momentum swinging in your direction.
    Right now we have so much astronomy toys that are wonderful. So many awesome telescopes and myriad other things. Be grateful. Asking for more now makes these people look like astronomy gluttons.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    I think fear sells is a good starting point.
    I dont understand how you can have that opinion after reading the reasons why others disagree with you.


    Fear is the absolute worse teaching tool...fear inspires more fear not enlightenment.
    The facts, gentlemen, and nothing but the facts, for careful eyes are narrowly watching. Isaac Asimov

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    Fear is the absolute worse teaching tool...fear inspires more fear not enlightenment.
    That's a best case scenario.

    Think how Jules in Pulp Fiction spoke to people. Educated, but off-kilter, off-color and down right scary... when it wasn't fatal. I can easily imagine that his education was based on fear and he overcame it in the worst fashion possible.
    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    I dont understand how you can have that opinion after reading the reasons why others disagree with you.


    Fear is the absolute worse teaching tool...fear inspires more fear not enlightenment.
    There is a time and place for everything. Just use the right tools for the right job, and improvise and adapt as necessary. I don't drive over a cliff. I fear going over a cliff. I fear lots of things, for they are unyielding in there demands. A cliff is a cliff. I cannot change that, but I don't have to go over it.
    I understand what you mean about trying to motivate with fear. But that is only part of the equation.

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