Learning to live in a post-fact world, where persuasion is most effective under conditions where facts don’t matter, is nothing new

11 Shamrock Ave. in Long Branch. Jaan Pill photo

My most recent Etobicoke Guardian / Toronto.com opinion article, submitted on June 30, 2017, includes a discussion of the May 24, 2018 Etobicoke York Committee of Adjustment decision (severance refused) regarding 11 Shamrock Ave. in Long Branch. Jaan Pill photo

I am currently working on my next opinion article for the Etobicoke Guardian / Toronto.com website, concerning the dismal history of land-use decision making in Long Branch.

In a previous article, submitted on June 30, 2018, I spoke of the very desirable lakefront community of Long Branch.

A subtext to my description of Long Branch – that is, “the very desirable lakefront community” – is that its social fabric, along with its physical character, is under relentless assault through a culture of land-use decision making that in many cases appears, from what I can gather, from walking along the street, to give free rein to rampant lot-splitting / overbuilding.

I have seen the results with my own eyes. I see the results every day that I walk along the street.

The purpose of the above-noted opinion articles is to bring additional readers to my website, and to promote a book I am writing about Long Branch history.

The power of framing and emphasis

I have also been reading several library books concerned with human capital, framing, and emphasis, as they relate to any story.

Human capital is explored at length, in a book on my current reading list, entitled: The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind: How Self-Interest Shapes Our Opinions and Why We Don’t Admit It (2014).

Other books that I’ve been reading include:

Extraordinary Science and Psychiatry: Responses to the Crisis in Mental Health Research (2017). I like this book because I am keen about evidence-based practice and evidence.

Coffee

As well, the books on my current reading list include:

The Coffee Lover’s Diet: Change Your Coffee, Change Your Life (2017).

The book features directions on how to add hot water (that is, with a focus on how to most effectively maneuver the column  of dripping water, and how to time the movement) to a Chemex filter, once the ground-up coffee beans are in place.

This is a topic that – along with my research about the best coffee grinder to use – is a source of interest for me.

I enjoy a good cup of coffee, and have a great interest, as well, in the framing of the Fair Trade concept, as it relates to efforts on the part of coffee consumers, such as myself, to help poverty stricken coffee farmers who actually grow the beans that we consume.

I am pleased that, through direct-import arrangements with selected coffee growers in Latin America and elsewhere, made available through the internet, a consumer’s capacity to buy great coffee beans while actually helping coffee farmers has been appreciably enhanced, so far as I can gather, in recent years. I currently buy freshly ground coffee beans at local coffee roasters such as the Birds & Beans Café in Mimico.

I look forward to checking out coffee roasters online, and at local coffee roasters in the Stratford, Ontario area as well. We are moving to Stratford, although I will continue to write about Long Branch as a foreign correspondent.

The philosophy of deception

Also on my current reading list is The Philosophy of Deception (2009), which addresses Kant’s theory of the purposes that are served by ethical lies as contrasted to juristic lies.

I am also reading True Enough: Learning to Life in a Post-Fact Society (2008), which among other topics addresses “the twilight of objectivity.”

The list also includes The Aesthetics of Meaning and Thought: The Bodily Roots of Philosophy, Science, Morality, and Art (2008). I enjoy this book, because I like to think about the context, in which our thoughts arise.

Finally, on my current list is Ultimate Exposure: All You Need to Know to Take Perfect Pictures with Every Camera (2017). I like this book because I enjoy learning more, in my do-it-yourself approach to learning about topics such as Shutter Speed and Aperture.

Such photographic terms can serve as metaphors for the framing of sensory input, with framing serving as a central feature of storytelling.

An engaging analysis, with regard to the systematic study of framing, is provided by Erving Goffman (1974), whose observations regarding how situations are defined, by means of a working consensus among participants in a given social interaction, are valuable and relevant.

I am pleased that Goffman’s work continues to be cited – by way of example, in at least one of the books on the above-noted list of studies dealing with truthfulness and falsehood.

Decision making

Since we are dealing with the culture of decision making, and the related topic of strategic thinking, I’ve also been reading additional books including:

Harvard Business Review on Decision Making (2001)

Guide to Decision Making: Getting It More Right than Wrong (2012)

The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds (2017)

 

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