Never mind me, it’s just the chronic framitis

When ever I try to read about “framing” anymore, I start to twitch and suffer from hysterical blindness, which makes it really hard to blog. Fortunately, Greg Laden has a stronger constitution than I do (either that, or anthropologists have access to exotic drugs that help them overcome), so I’ll just send everyone over there to read that. Don’t tell me what it says, though: ir’ll jost teigger the husertical twrches agian ind I’ll hve to fo lie diwn for aquile. Eck. soasr neb vwiffffleop. Gorsnck.


  1. ConcernedJoe says

    I caught this (Standing in the Wings: Bill Moyers interviews Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale, for his series on Faith and Reason.) in and I am sharing my comment. Think it applies in this discussion.

    To me framing and playing nicey nicey when one side is devious, has motives unrelated to seeking the truth, and is dangeously wrong, just plain is getting sickening.

    ____ my two cents re: the Margaret Atwood interview:

    Could that interview be any more vacuous??

    I give up… why cannot intelligent people simply say into the camera: “the need for a sky-daddy is OVER — so grow up people, and care for the only place and life you will ever have!”

    I could go on .. but why bother. Framing to be fair and balanced in the face of bullshit is bullshit. People who should defend what really matters are such wimps.

  2. Christian Burnham says

    I completely agreed with PZ’s previous blogs about framing. Then I read some other scienceblog in support of framing and I found that I completely agreed with what the other guy said.

    Basically, I’m easily swayed. I can’t help thinking though that PZ could have just as easily written several blog posts in support of framing and got 95% of his readers to agree with him that it’s the best thing since fried scampi.

    It’s all subjective. If you get something out of it, then use it. If not then don’t. Whatevs. I’m just surprised it’s become such a powder-keg. Big-Endian/Little-Endian all over again.

  3. Arnosium Upinarum says

    PZ: remember to concentrate on your breathing and visualize the hideously-constricting F-thing as expanding to fill all of space until it vanishes into a point behind you.

  4. ConcernedJoe says

    Christian Burnham naturally you have a point (if it works use it). And marketing and consumer packaging of message works when properly done.

    Just we must not confuse proper marketing, civility, and open-mindedness with compromise of proper and just principles.

    And let’s not forget this: don’t ever enter a fight thinking your opponent will be gentle. Really come to fight or don’t enter the fight. Many have been beaten by smaller, weaker opponents because of underestimation or being gentile. Anti-science, etc. “professional” mouthpieces are dangerous fighters — don’t be fooled by appearances to contrary.

    Win over your audience BUT NEVER accede a point simply to play up your gentle side or win popular vote. Gentle sides shown get abused and misused. Tell it always as it is — don’t say it meanly but say what you really should mean to say. And do not be afraid to call bullshit bullshit.

    PS.. I am not saying pick a fight with poor Aunt Tilly on her deathbed who wants to meet her maker, or your colleague at the office who goes to church just because they go to church. Sometimes in ordinary situations — one should deflect and move on and be gentle without agreeing. Pick your fights wisely and with justice. Normally being an overall prick serves no cause well.

  5. Gork says

    Hysterical blindness sounds like a smart move. It should save you from reading a lot of really sorry dreck.

    I had a boss who was superb at hysterical deafness. I tried to find out what the trick was, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. Oh, wait a minute, now I get it. Oops!

  6. says

    I think that the way to really grab the public’s attention for Science and make it cool is not to frame but to drink heavily. Science should stay out late at Hollywood Clubs, get too drunk, assault a reporter, run a cockfighting ring, show its crotch, make a sex tape(I think that’s all ready been done) go into re-hab and cry on the Today show.

    And when that is all done, leave re-hab and again, drink heavily. Doing that, Science will be everywhere in the public’s attention.

    A little coke wouldn’t hurt.

  7. heliobates says

    ir’ll jost teigger the husertical twrches agian ind I’ll hve to fo lie diwn for aquile.

    Have you been reading Chaucer?

  8. Caledonian says

    Christian Burnham naturally you have a point (if it works use it).

    Christian Burnham is by his own admission too weak-minded to reach a conclusion through reason or hold on to a conclusion he’s reached through any means.

    He has a point, but I don’t think it’s the one you’re making.

  9. Bruce says

    “The same number of hours per High School career are today devoted to science as, say, 30 years ago, but the amount of information in science has increased by a few orders of magnitude.” -Greg

    At least share what’s going on in the world of biology to high school students. 30, er 40 years ago we cut open frogs and yep, they had hearts and all that, but it was only useful as a way to gross out some of the girls. What I’m reading now (Endless Forms..) would be fascinating to younger adults.

  10. Christian Burnham says

    Christian Burnham is by his own admission too weak-minded to reach a conclusion through reason

    That’s a bit of a cheap-shot Caledonian.

  11. Will Von Wizzlepig says

    Is there a link I can go to where this concept of framing is described? I’ve found plenty of people discussing it, but no good explanations of it. Wikipedia has a bunch of entries, I read the one for economic framing, which seems to imply something like:

    Given two similar choices, people will choose the path that seems good and/or does not cause them to feel like they have done/caused a bad thing.

    And then framing would be, essentially, purposely packaging your choices which you present to people such that they choose the one you meant them to?


  12. says

    Will Von Wizzlepig:

    My first post on “framing” is here. It links to several of the earliest things written in the sprawling sound-and-fury which was that “discussion.”

  13. says

    Eck. soasr neb vwiffffleop. Gorsnck.

    I was scrolling up from the bottom of the page, so that was the first part of this entry I saw. I was expecting PZ to be imitating a T Rex a la Calvin. Boy, was I disappointed.

  14. James says

    As a psychologist and therapist I would like to say, framing and re-framing are particular terms coined by Carl Rogers for helping people understand how their behaviour no matter how negative it seems, has been developed for a particular purpose i.e. to help the mind cope with difficult situations.

    Could you please tell any creationists you meet that we would like our terminology back please.


    P.S If you meet any neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioners you can give them the same message

  15. says

    There are more scientists writing essays and books for the general public than there are people in many other professions. Go to any large bookstore. There will be a section on “law” and it will include textbooks and case books and stuff that law students may buy, and that is it. Go to the section on “science” and there will be a couple of thousand well written current books on science that regular people who read will buy on a regular basis, and most of them are written by scientists. And look around the rest of the book store. Half the self-help books are about science, even if they are sometimes dumb books written by hacks.

    Can this possibly be true?
    I moved from Texas to Johannesburg, South Africa about 9 years ago. The debates in science and religion and politics are quite different here. They can still really piss one off (for example when the the Minister of Health for the country with the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS in the world PUBLICLY states that taking garlic and olive oil is an effective treatment for the disease)…. but I am getting off track.
    I was looking for a couple of science books in one of the major bookstores here, and could not find them. I noted that there were 78 books (yes I counted) in the natural science section, but there were two complete book cases (about twenty feet long and 4 shelves each) filled with sections on Religion and another that, I forget the label they use, but it is full of astrology books, tarot and the like. I did not count those.
    I now order my books online, but I miss browsing.

  16. says

    CalGeorge: Incompetent at what? If the goal was to serf-ify the US, prevent the Russians and the Chinese from rising in world power through control of petroleum, etc., Bush has been pretty successful. That many of these involve warcrimes isn’t the point. (Remember that even madmen can have goals.)

    ScienceTeacherinExile: Generally bookstores I’ve seen in the US have been pretty good, but I’ve never been in any “red states” in small towns, so … maybe it is worse in SA. Mind you, on the science shelves in the US (and here, and in the UK) are mixed in crap books like “quantum woo” crap and such.