paratexts and patter

Ever noticed that a truncated acronym can have a marked effect on the public perception of an organization’s mandate? Take for instance CDC which expanded should net “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”. Minding ps and qs.

In another matter, Malcolm Gladwell towards the end of a long evening’s Munk Dialogues (April 9, 2020) << accessed April 26, 2020 >> is invited to pivot by the interviewer to the themes of his latest book: Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know. A visibly tired Gladwell graciously acknowledges the compliment but then uncharacteristically veers off into gross generalizations by musing about humans as trust machines. I’m not so convinced by the hard-wired nature argument as lovely as it may sound.

This led to my own musings, shared with a group of colleagues also tuned in to the Munk Dialogues:

BTW — I heard the Malcolm Gladwell – Munk Dialogues piece — not quite on board with him at the conclusion where he characterizes humans as machines hardwired to trust others — I would want something a bit more nuanced: we are story telling and story listening machines — this opens the way for the appropriate application of the hermeneutics of suspicion.

I, now for the first time ever, want to read and engage with a Malcolm Gladwell book … Talking To Strangers (which I believe goes astray from the get go — its title should be Talking With Strangers).

Are we not always strangers to ourselves? Encountering ourselves again and again in community?

I may have to rely on a trusted digest before I get around to reading the book:

People, like books, can be difficult to read. Assumed ‘universal’ grammars of demeanour and facial expression seem not to translate across all cultures. Even within communities, there are individuals who react differently — who might, for instance, look most honest when they are not.

Source: Nature, 09 September 2019 << Accessed April 27, 2020

I would carry over those remarks (about the difficulty to read) to “assumed universal machine models”.

Take it on trust.

CDCP, anyone?

And so for day 2778

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