At The Common Room"
yesterday they had a quote that rung true with me. "Making people cry is something movies do very, very well. Making them think, not so much."
This pinged because yesterday I was talking to my husband about how difficult it is to debate with people anymore. (I will put myself in that category. I try to look at facts, but I am WAY too quickly swerved by emotion instead of fact.)
Take the capital punishment arguement going on over at Red-State
-- It is an awful lot easier to SELL "We don't want an innocent man to be killed by the state" that leads to so many people to be anti-capital punishment (even after one of their iconic "he was innocent" men turns out to have been guilty by DNA test after all). The other side is the "But if we don't kill them, what about the guards, other victims that are killed when they escaped/are released -- are they not just as innocent?" -- but it is another step removed and harder to sell. (And at least, in this case, the other side of the case can be told in a sentence or two. What about the case of aid to third world countries that they have started to rely on and, instead of making them self-suficient, may be preventing them from standing on their own feet!)
I picked up a book in Barnes & Noble bemoaning how much the government isn't doing to help 20s and 30s become adults (graduate from college, buy a house, get married, have a kid). How college is SO much more expensive. And so are houses. And there is not enough day care provided for free/cheap enough that both parents can continue to work... and that yes, these were problems back in the mid-60s, but the government put in Pell Grants that paid for 2/3 of college (as opposed to today's... half?) and more aid, and etc. And there doesn't seem to be any realization that the government action of that day may have caused the escalation in college tuition the book is complaining about happening today. And how has the addition of as many women as are in the workforce today put a downward pressure on wages -- the economics of supply & demand -- thus making it much more difficult to LIVE on one income?
so I was trying to figure out how, in a mass market way, we can start teaching people to think. To look past what seems good, makes them feel good in a personal matter. Because giving money like this -- is very easy compared to getting involved in people's lives. Even buying anonymous Christmas gifts are easier than figuring out exactly what is needed in one family's life and doing it.
But just how do you teach wider implications? How am I going to teach my own children when I have trouble with it myself? And is there some way to use movies, etc to teach logic instead of just emotions?