Samir’s Selection 01/22/2014 (p.m.)
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You : The New Yorker
Jonah Berger… In 350 B.C., Aristotle was already wondering what could make content – in his case, a speech – persuasive and memorable, so that its ideas would pass from person to person. The answer, he argued, was three principles: ethos, pathos, and logos. Content should have an ethical appeal, an emotional appeal, or a logical appeal. A rhetorician strong on all three was likely to leave behind a persuaded audience. Replace rhetorician with online content creator, and Aristotle’s insights seem entirely modern. Ethics, emotion, logic – it’s credible and worthy, it appeals to me, it makes sense…Almost ten years in, he feels he’s discovered a formula of sorts: as sites like Upworthy or BuzzFeed would likely put it, The Six Things You Need to Know to Make Your Voice Heard. While emotion and arousal still top the list, a few additional factors seem to make a big difference. First, he told me, you need to create social currency-something that makes people feel that they’re not only smart but in the know… The presence of a memory-inducing trigger is also important. We share what we’re thinking about-and we think about the things we can remember… Lists also get shared because of another feature that Berger often finds successful: the promise of practical value… We want to feel smart and for others to perceive us as smart and helpful, so we craft our online image accordingly…A final predictor of success is the quality of the story itself. “People love stories. The more you see your story as part of a broader narrative, the better,” Berger says.
The origins of originalism
Yale Law School Professor Jack Balkin:
American originalism is primarily a nationalist idea. It arises from distinctive features of American cultural memory — namely, that in popular imagination the American nation was created by Americans themselves through a self-conscious act of political revolution, and that the American nation, people, and constitution came into being more or less simultaneously through this initial act of self-creation. A similar story is not told in most other political cultures. This story has helped encourage Americans’ special veneration of the founding generation and particular figures within that generation (like George Washington and James Madison) as culture heroes…
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.