...when we started talking about stem cell research, Frank Luntz wrote a memo. Frank Luntz is the conservative language man. And the memo said, “Don’t talk about stem cell research; talk about embryonic stem cell research.” Why? And notice this has spread. The New York Times says embryonic stem cell research. The Democrats say embryonic stem cell research. The bill in California says embryonic stem cell research. What is the mental image of an embryo? Think about it, it’s a little baby. Tom DeLay says stem cell research allows people to tear babies apart. Dismember embryos. How does it really work in stem cell research? Stem cell research is carried out on blastocysts. What’s a blastocyst look like? It’s a hollow sphere, just a few days old. It has in it a small number of stem cells. No hair cells, arm cells, blood cells, heart cells, brain cells, nothing else but undifferentiated stem cells. And if you called it blastocyst stem cell research, who would care? But that’s what it really is.Upon hearing him speak, I immediately grabbed his book, Don't Think Of An Elephant. Lakoff is a Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics, and a founding senior fellow of the Rockridge Institute.
Language matters, framing matters. And framing can distort the truth. It’s very very important, that framing can distort the truth simply by carrying mental imagery. And you know about mental imagery, that’s what you deal with every day.
"'Freedom' is one of the most contested words in American political discourse. For many Democrats, it seems that President Bush's use of the word is meaningless and contradictory--deployed opportunistically to justify American military action abroad and the curtailing of civil liberties at home. But in Whose Freedom?, George Lakoff... reveals that in fact the right has effected a devastatingly coherent and idealogical redefinition of freedom.... In a bold and alarming analysis, Lakoff describes how the country is divided by two dramatically different worldviews, cognitive frames that determine how we think about economic policy, religion, science, foreign affairs - and freedom.Any book that can make a coherent argument for the fact that there are basic, physiological differences between liberals and conservatives is worth a read, in my view.
Posted by FleshPresser at 9:30 PM /