Thursday, September 16, 2004

Word of the Day

Neo Tokyo Times offers a treatment on the election via the word "heresthetics"

A theory developed by William Riker, Heresthetics, NTT explains, is the framing of a debate or issue so that one is on the superior or winning side, or so that one’s choices are better-received by others.

More directly: structuring the world so you can win.

(there's always a word for everything, isn't there?)

“Of heresthetics, Riker says it is true that people win politically because they have induced other people to join them in alliances and coalitions. But the winners induce by more than rhetorical attraction. Typically they win because they have set up the situation in such a way that other people will want to join them--or feel forced by circumstances to join them--even without any persuasion at all. And this is what heresthetics is about: structuring the world so you can win.” (Emphasis added.)
NTT goes on to compare the Iraq resolution with questions Lincoln posed to Douglas during their great debates.

It's an interesting analysis, and though I'm not sure I agree with his concluding paragraph it's definitely worth a read. At the very least, we have another word to help describe what's happening in the world and what's happening to us.

ID-ing the problem is half the battle. A name always gives power.

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