1. Biological Limitations<br />Option <br />paralysis<br />Confirmation<br />bias<br />
2. Information Buffet<br />
2. Information Buffet<br />
3. Institutional Distrust<br />
Common Side Effects Include:<br />
Common Side Effects Include:<br />
What to do?<br />ACCESS TO DATA<br />STUPID<br />SENSE-MAKING<br />
Why Creatives ?<br />
Why Journalists ?<br />
FORM<br />CONTENT<br />
Those on the Frontlines<br />
Those on the Frontlines<br />
Those on the Frontlines<br />
Those on the Frontlines<br />
Those on the Frontlines<br />
The Frontlines<br />
The Frontlines<br />
What good is your data if no one can understand it? <br />
A Sense-Makers Challenge!<br />
The War on Stupid Needs You
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The War on Stupid Needs You


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  • We are in the middle of a war.It’s less visible than the war on terror, not as much fun as the war on drugs, but it’s just as dangerousMaybe even more because we don’t even realize that we’re all in danger of being stupidLet me explain
  • Because of the internet and all the devices we’re using now, we have unprecedented access to informationAnd this trend isn’t slowing down, in fact it’s increasing exponentiallyBUTIn addition to this trend (or because of it) there’s another parallel trend happening
  • We’re struggling to keep with making sense of the world around us:What’s preventing us from keeping up?We think 3 major drivers:
  • Biological limitations:- Our brains aren’t that much different from the Cro-Magnon brain, why?Evolution takes a long time, so the hardware is really out of dateSo our brains’ default settings aren’t cut out for this media rich environment we’re living in, and it comes with some bugse.g. Preference biasBelieve “facts” that line up with what we already believe. Distrust anything that contradicts our beliefs.This worked well for us when we were roaming in tribes on the savannah, not so much now
  • That&apos;s not to say that that new media&apos;s making us stupid.There’s an argument out there that the web and video games are making us stupid because it’s affecting our brains….All media affects our brains. Just in different ways…So, e.g., the way we search and find data now, has made us better at:-skimming, (search results)  making quick decisions (which link to click)visual spatial challenges[study of videogaming, published in Nature in 2003,Science article published in early 2009, prominent developmental psychologist Patricia Greenfield ]BUT there are still only 24 hrs in a day and the parts of our brain that creatively solve problems, synthesize, process memories ( i.e. Make sense) still need more time and focussed effort to do what they do so they&apos;re not getting as much of a workout.
  • - Informational natural selection: when options compete, the sexiest, quickest, easiest, prevails. ***** We are quickly approaching an innumerable quantity of information sources. Any flavor you like and many without nutritional information outlining how healthy a source of fact they are, who&apos;s funding the &quot;studies&quot; and &quot;research labs&quot; they cite. Staring at the buffet of information, most people go for junk food. Sexiness over substance. And although we feel like we&apos;re better informed because we have more info; the truth is, we are able to be less analytical with the information because of the speed at which we&apos;re forced to process it. **********- e.g. look at TV news: the choice of stories as well as the complexity of the screens, the graphics are screeming for your dwindling attention.- e.g. 1st televised Prez debates (Kennedy v Nixon) visually Kennedy won, audio-wise Nixon won
  • Or put another way, it’s kinda like this… we’re Lucy trying our hardest to fit it all in… but the conveyor belt’s moving too fastThe result, we end up trying stupid things to compensate
  • Sense-making institutions under attack:Media, Academia, Politics(might be debatable whether politicians were ever our sense-makers)- not just being attacked by opposition, but being diluted in quality and therefore eroding trust.- so many options, hard to tell which is a good source or not- we trust our friends more than we trust other sources... but do our friends have all the intel? *****On one hand these institutions are under attack by opposition seeking to discredit them - Sarah Palin for example, using terms like &quot;lamestream media&quot; or not being ashamed to admit that she couldn&apos;t name a newspaper she read regularly; or creating the neologism &quot;refudiate&quot;
  • So there’s the situation.When we have more information than we can make sense of, or have the inclination to…that’s STUPID!
  • [Patrick]
  • So because our brains aren’t keeping up with the information buffet, and we’re trusting our sense makers less and lessThe stupid gap growing wider and wider…how do we close the stupid gap?We can try to hire lexluthor to slow down the increase in access to info,OR we could try and bump up the sense-making index
  • That’s where you guys come in:- We need new sense-makers
  • Why Creatives you ask? Since mankind knew how to scribble on walls and tell stories,creatives have been the custodians of communication, the gatekeepers of what society made sense ofWe still are it’s just that we mostly use our powers to sell crap nowWe’re skilled at perception management, the FORM part of the equationBUT we suck at research (the CONTENT)
  • research skills (do you know how to do a FOIA request?)- high BS meters- skilled at crafting storiesBUT- medium of choice is words, and we don&apos;t read as much any more plus this new generation of digital natives needs multiple sensory stimulation or else they&apos;ll get bored
  • That’s why we need bothThe form + content working together to make the complex simple and/or understandable.[Dartmouth &amp; GA State Study on the use of graphics to overcome misconceptions and errors in news stories.]
  • I know what you’re thinking:“I can’t do that, I’m just lil’ ol me”But you won’t be alone:Here are brave soldiers already on the frontlines doing what we’re talking about..The Pros who know the difference between distilling and diluting
  • WoS can be fought even with primitive tools. Like scribbling on a napkinDan Roam’s scribbles boiling down the intricacies of the healthcare debate got him a call from the Gov’t to help with their communication strategies
  • For naturally gifted artists, there’s the graphic novel route:[explanation on Copyright comic]
  • What if you’re more comfortable explaining your drawings. You’re starting to see the admin using similar simplifying techniques to try and communicate their messageCoincidence? Maybe…
  • And then taking the whiteboard a step further, we’re seeing a lot more of these animated whiteboard videos like this one from the RSA
  • And then taking the whiteboard a step further, we’re seeing a lot more of these animated whiteboard videos like this one from the RSA
  • Or if you’re really advanced… motion graphics.-When we were in the middle of the aftermath of the financial meltdown and being introduced to terms like Credit Default Swap and Toxic Assets, derivativesJonathan Jarvis used research &amp; info design and created a mograph piece thatcrystalized those concepts and put them in an easy to understand contextIt became viral (thousands of hits)“, Reuters Financial Blog,andNPR Planet Money commented on the simplicity of the explanation and the value of its holistic approach.”
  • Maybe you’re not a visual person, there’s also sound..Remember the emotion vs rational hardwiring I was talking about earlier.Here’s how radiolab explains it.
  • The War on Stupid Needs You

    1. 1.
    2. 2. ACCESS TO DATA INDEX<br />
    4. 4. 1. Biological Limitations<br />Option <br />paralysis<br />Confirmation<br />bias<br />
    5. 5.
    6. 6. 2. Information Buffet<br />
    7. 7.
    8. 8. 2. Information Buffet<br />
    9. 9. 3. Institutional Distrust<br />
    10. 10. ACCESS TO DATA<br />STUPID<br />SENSE-MAKING<br />
    11. 11. Common Side Effects Include:<br />
    12. 12. Common Side Effects Include:<br />
    13. 13. What to do?<br />ACCESS TO DATA<br />STUPID<br />SENSE-MAKING<br />
    14. 14.
    15. 15. Why Creatives ?<br />
    16. 16. Why Journalists ?<br />
    17. 17. FORM<br />CONTENT<br />
    18. 18.
    19. 19. Those on the Frontlines<br />
    20. 20. Those on the Frontlines<br />
    21. 21. Those on the Frontlines<br />
    22. 22. Those on the Frontlines<br />
    23. 23. Those on the Frontlines<br />
    24. 24. The Frontlines<br />
    25. 25. The Frontlines<br />
    26. 26.
    27. 27.
    28. 28.
    29. 29.
    30. 30.
    31. 31.
    32. 32.
    33. 33.
    34. 34. What good is your data if no one can understand it? <br />
    35. 35. A Sense-Makers Challenge!<br />
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