“It becomes one of those ‘if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck’ kind of things."
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18 November 2016
A bit concerned about posting this article as I do not want to be mistaken as promoting any political view; not only because I do not believe that it would be appropriate, but also because this is considered definitely inappropriate for nonprofits.
Rather, I've decided that it might be an article of interest to those tasked with teaching informational reading skills. The article focuses upon what might be compared to "rebranding" efforts made to counter negative impressions triggered by previous branding practices. For example, today's extremists are more likely to present themselves as "normies." wearing suits than wearing sheets, or obvious tattoos that carry negative reactions.
There is a recognition that reducing or pre-empting the instant negative reactions and repackaging themselves as appearing more towards the look of the mainstream is more effective than the previous branding that hoped to be effective via fear and intimidation.
It is my hope that many charged with raising awareness while reading for information include the term "cherry picking" as an important and intentional side-stepping tactic used to mislead.
Another distinction that I hope is made in every informational reading curriculum is the difference between being "well-informed" and being "ill-informed," "misinformed," or "disinformed."
The article uses the term "obfuscate" which ought to be part of every thinking person's critical thinking detection skill set.
The article suggests that the intentional rebranding of what are considered radical and negative ideologies "...becomes one of those 'if it walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck' kind of things.'"
I might begin a lesson on this intentional misdirection common in public discourse, commercial promotion, and much social interaction with the reading of Aesop's "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing."
The wolves learned early on that hunting sheep while looking like wolves was less effective than pretending to look like sheep..
(A shout out to the truth to be found in LITERARY READING!)
I might end the lesson by having students search for the pattern in their email spam folders.
One of my favorite sayings is, "Don't believe everything you think."
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