Surgeon and writer Sherwin Nuland makes a brilliant connection between medicine and language. “If there’s one operation for a disease,” he explains, “you know it works. If there are 15 operations, you know that none of them work.” Such it is, he suggests, with the many definitions of the word hope. In this talk, Nuland traces the latest political and cultural buzzword to its IndoEuropean root to find its original meaning. Studying the etymology of this powerful concept, he proposes, is the only way we can hope to make sense of it.
Have you noticed that time passes more quickly the older you get, and milestones don't seem so milestoney anymore? There's a neurobiological basis for it that has something to do with expectation and habit: we get more familiar with the ebb and flow of experience as we get older so there's less likelihood that we’ll be truly surprised (and thus any individual experience will stand out). An 8 year-old is far more hopeful for a novel holiday season her parents, generally speaking. The acts of living shift from active engagement to semi-somnambulant routine; undifferentiated moments becomes unmemorable experience, and we're left wondering where the time went. From a marketers' perspective, I think this tends to make older people more cynical, distrusting, and difficult to convince.
Yesterday's Influx Curated was a complete over-stimulus fest. If you ask for short-bursts of information, this is the result. It's great chaos, but now is the time to try and make sense of it all and ask some serious questions about what it might mean. Here are 10 themes that came across loud and clear to me and some of the people who raised them.
In recession, as in war — and also, conveniently, in times of peace or prosperity — the movies we evidently need are the ones that offer us the possibility, however fanciful or temporary, of escape. Maybe so. But what if, at least some of the time, we feel an urge to escape from escapism?
It seems counterintuitive to accentuate the positive amid all the downbeat financial news. But Madison Avenue is typically a place called Hope. Besides, gloom-mongering could convince consumers to put off what little spending they still intend.
end .primary-media end .related-media In an apparent homage to the new President, PepsiCo has plastered the sides of buses and bus stops in the nation's capital with slogans like "Yes You Can," "Optimismmmm" and "Hope." That said, the marketing campaign, which includes TV and print ads as well, does raise a question: Is Pepsi actually the choice of the Obama Administration?