think like a scientist talk like a populist

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18/07/2020

Adapting your language to match that of your audience, in today's world, seems to be growing in importance by the day. Let's contrast two public figures in public appearances that took place yesterday: Fauci vs. Trump.

Dr Fauci vs Populism

The rising wave of populism in the U.S has wrought a "distrust of experts". That's a real shame, especially when you don't listen to your infectious disease expert during a Pandemic.

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Dr Fauci literally wrote the book on infectious disease, yet the populists are calling for his head. Why?

They don't understand a word he says

I was watching this interview of Dr Fauci by Zuck, yesterday. Finally Fauci is given a chance to speak to the people. Yet:

"Citizenry"

People?

"myalgic encephalitis"

Feeling too tired to lift an arm or get out of bed?

"deleterious consequences"

Bad things happen?

"i used the word 'comparable' and i think it may have been taken out of context"

Then don't say 'comparable'.

Indeed we already have evidence that working memory predicts social-distancing compliance. This is pretty damning evidence: essentially people with lower working memory capacity are unwilling to socially distance themselves as they cannot hold enough variables in mind to accurately assess the pros and cons.

Thus it isn't too much of a leap to theorise that a lower working memory capacity is also linked with a restricted vocabulary, and thus a reduced ability to process Dr Fauci's long, complex sentences which are laiden with technical jargon and advanced vocab.

Or to put it bluntly: the idiots don't understand Dr Fauci.

Donald Trump is a communication Wizard

Scott Adams accurately predicted Donal Trump would win the elections in a landslide back in 2015.

"Trump is talking directly to peoples subconscious. Everything else he says is just a carrier signal." --Scott Adams (how to spot a wizard)

This is a great example of Trump's communicative Wizardry. On the same Day Dr Fauci was telling the citizenry about myalgic encephalitis and deleterious consequences, Trump did this:

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Trump had the audacity to set up two cranes, to visually demonstrate lifting regulatory weights off the Republican red truck, while regulation still weighing down on the Democrat blue truck. This is pure communication genius, because any idiot can understand it and it communicates to their subconscious.

By catering to the lowest common denominator, Trump ensures he captures 100% of his potential base. Not a single word is lost. In fact this kind of visual communication transcends language, education level, even culture.

Boris Johnson is also a communication Wizard

In this interview, Johnson shares his communication principles:

"What people listen to are short anglo-saxon words that readily correspond to some object in the universe that they can identify. So in other words: talk simply, in plain English, and talk about stuff in the real world." --Boris Johnson

Deriding people like Trump or Johnson for their perceived linguistic blunders utterly misses the point. Their blunders are what makes them accessible. Their simple language is what makes them understable. Their communicative wizardly is what makes them irresistible to their base.

Elon Musk is also a communication Wizard

Those who know me will confirm this to you: i have been a huge Musky for a very long time. Elon Musk is yet another genius at tailoring his communication to his base:

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Musk speaks to engineers, or generally a base with technological interests, so his language is not always as simple as it could be. But when you consider the topics he talks about, you have to admire how accessible he is able to make them. The language is simple, and the topics relate to the real world.

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And then there are his masterpieces of communication, like the Tesla he sent into orbit. Once again, pure communication genius that transcends language and culture.

Or his EDM track:

"Don't doubt your vibe, because it's true." -- Elon Musk

A quick glance at Tesla's stock performance since the [[tesla stock bottom date]] will tell you the message was indeed recieved.

Idiocracy had it right

The movie Idiocracy (2006) is a spooky and hilarious foray into a potential future dumbing down of the human race. The main character, from our time, who's name is "no sure" wakes up in the future as the man with the highest IQ. But nobody understands a word he says.

He narrowly manages to save the human race by showing them that watering crops with water instead of gatorade is the solution to all their problems.

Think like a scientist. Talk like a populist.

All the evidence points to dumbing down your language, and communicating visually and symbolically to become an unstoppable communicator. Think like a scientist and talk like a populist; you will become unstoppable.


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