media + terrorism

Rob Shavell
Mon, 29 Oct 2001 08:04:53 -0800

interesting sociological phenomenon illustrated via anthrax - our media
accelerates the effects of societal concerns/fears almost instantly now.
any knife or nail clipper, any white powder anywhere, takes on larger sig.
of course mcluhan nailed this in an aside, "in 1962 when Minneapolis had
been for months without a newspaper, the chief of police said: "Sure, i miss
the news, but so far as my job goes i hope the papers never come back.
there is less crime around without a newspaper to pass around the ideas."

ok, maybe not a road towards any quantifiable theory, but an interesting
observation.  also argues that most effective terrorism is with the most
commonplace tools (airplane, white powder, mail) - those that everyone is
exposed to - those, in conjunction w/our media, are far more dangerous than
esoteric biotech and nukes which can be physically and pychologically


-----Original Message-----
From: Donald P Hayes []
Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 10:41 AM
Subject: RE: remember that guy rob shavell?

Pinker--right on  re: (1) language development 'theories' are premature yet
are generally
useful guides in choosing between problems/questions: which is more likely
to pay off (pragmatically and theoretically) than others; (2) developments
in genetics
and related fields will have a lot to say about what is now treated as
'cognitive' psych'/linguistics

This morning I found from my visiting son (who is a linguist at UCLA) that
they are using Pinker
in their first course in linguistics, but supplemented by a variety of
other readings.


At 11:38 AM 8/30/01 -0700, you wrote:
>ok prof,
>sounds like some great traveling.  also sounds like i will miss you around
>sept 22nd?  too bad as it's my first trip back and def wanted to stop by
>catch up.  i will check back before i arrive just in case.  yeah, i tried
>read the Pinker book several years ago.  my gut feeling is al lot of the
>linguistic and bio/linguistic theories are early, too abstract, and that
>subject of language acquisition and processing requires some significant
>developments in a variety of fields before becoming more interesting..
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Donald P Hayes []
>Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2001 9:18 AM
>Subject: Re: remember that guy rob shavell?
>Its good to hear from you--been wondering.
>As a childhood Californian (Pasadena, Claremont , Pomona College),  the
>          changes there have been stupendous.   Orange groves used to
>            the towns, now you can virtually polevault from one rooftop to
>          from Banning to Santa Monica/ north of  Santa Barbara to the
>Mexican border
>Reading:  I recommend Steve Pinker  The Language Instinct.   I don't agree
>          much he has to say, but he puts his case well, building a good
>          for  replacing much of what  has been and is current
>psychology.  Another
>            'paradigm shift'  -- Chomsky inspired -- in the loose sense of
>the term.
>Today is the 1st day of 2001/2 classes -- its been a quiet,  productive
>         including several trips: to the Altamira cave in northern Spain
>with the
>         neolithic paintings; Switz (Bernese Oberland),  parts of Bavaria;
>         a trip with daughter #2, her husband and 2 daughters to Costa
>         an unusual place with a growing volcano that has killed 87 people
>          the last 3 years; daily heavy rain for about 1/2 hour and endless
>         animals galore:  sloth, 16' crocs, monkeys of several variety;
>kinds of
>         migratory and permanent birds including brightly colored wild
>makaws, toucans, etc.
>Re: the low verbal scores since 1970's---while I'm not much of a Bush
>          lover, his pressure to 'measure' progress in such basic skills is
>          a positive effect on educators--what causes verbal skill to rise
>or fall?
>            Does a classroom teacher make a difference?  What,
>makes the
>          difference?  Can those skills be taught to new teachers?  Do
>have an
>          effect?  At last,  educators are having to face these questions.
>Re:   Will we be here in Sept.   Yes up to mid-month but gone to Lebanon
>          to examine Phoenician and later archeological sites later.  Many
>of the
>            major old sites are buried beneath modern cities (built from
>            from the older sites).   We might be in town if events in the
>south turn even
>          uglier and the State Dept. refuses to allow travel in Lebanon.
>At 09:54 AM 8/10/01 -0700, you wrote:
> >hi Prof,
> >
> >how are things?  i see from my web search on you that you kicked up some
> >dust last year w/your analysis of detiorating difficulty in textbook
> >smart way to get pr cause the bad news sells the good news.  and kuhn
> >be proud.  i read him on your recommendation and he is superb (not as
> >as mcluhan but damn good). not reading
> >much right now other than technical papers (you want to talk about
> >
> >anyway, i am planning on making a pitstop in ithaca in september (the
> >weekend of 22nd/23rd) and was wondering if you were going to be around?
> >
> >ps: i moved from nyc to california a couple years ago so i have all kinds
> >tall tales about silicon valley.
> >
> >rgds,
> >
> >-rob
> >
> >______________________________
> >Rob Shavell
> >SOFTBANK Venture Capital
> >200 West Evelyn Ave, Suite 200
> >Mountain View, CA 94041
> >650.962.2094 (Direct)
> >415.596.8143 (Cell)___________