Friday, June 29, 2012

News or Propaganda - Seeing the Pattern

In the last article we discussed the tools for advertising and how they help create the thoughts, feelings, or needs that help the target audience accept an idea. The best advertising, even though it may seem useless, is the commercial where one doesn't understand what was being marketed, because the person actually believes that she came up with the idea herself. This is done by distracting the person and bypassing the part of the brain that monitors and examines the messages through distraction, intensity and repetition. We also briefly discussed Narrative criticism and how we can examine the news more closely if we look at is as literature, with each segment arranged in the order to place us in the right mindset to receive the information that follows.
In this article will show you how to explore this order and its effects. We can start on the micro level by just observing one show. This can be done by watching any news program, but it is even better to do this with a channel like CNN or Fox, because they have news going twenty four hours a day. If we can start with one of the news programs on these channels, we can see how it works, and then branch out farther to the rest of the news. All that we need to do is either to really pay attention, or write down what we hear.
Here are some suggestions for doing this. Look at the first segment. Try to summarize what the story was about, and write down your conclusion in one sentence or less. Also, write down your thoughts and feelings. There are often so many commercials that you can do this. Do the same thing for each segment. If you watch the same program for a week and keep notes on thoughts, conclusions and so on, you will notice a pattern. It is similar to the concept of foreshadowing in biblical study.
This concept basically says that all of the Hebrew Scripture, or Old Testament to some, was a preview of the Greek Scripture, or New Testament. The theory is that you find spiritual truths in the New Testament that was already well known and pre-shadowed the actual events that were supposed to happen in actuality in the New Testament. In many of these segments, overtime, you will find thoughts, ideas and conclusions presented as facts, that will serve to prepare you to receive other similar conclusions as a great awakening of your own idea. You may actually hear so many conclusions and see so many of these foreshadows, that you will think that you have made the decisions about the later situations by yourself, just like the way commercials work. Next try this watching several programs on the same channel. Below is an example of deeply exploring a news broadcast.
I saw an interview on the Fox channel last week about the Homeland Security Chief that was leaving his post after several years. It ended up being an interview about terrorists in Iraq and the success of the U.S. military. It sounded like two different conversations. His questions were very surface and leading, but the interviewee was very good at spinning and providing the answers for the questions that put forth his agenda. The interviewee ended up saying that terrorists come from people who are poor and dissempowered, with very little opportunity. With the help of the interviewer and cues from him, he said that they are looking for self esteem and greatness, so they are blowing themselves up to be someone big in their communities.
When asked how the U.S. would help deal with terrorism later, he said that the U.S. would provide economic and educational opportunities for these poor people, so they would have hope. In the first part of the interview we see a group of people just seeking self glory, with no real reason to be suicide bombers. This is the idea that we are supposed to hold onto. But the answer to how to help them goes much deeper. Had the interviewer been a real one, and not so eager to lead him to the first conclusion, he would have asked, "Well, is it not possible that these people are doing terrorist acts because they are in a situation where there isn't any hope?" or saying, "Maybe they are doing this because they don't have any hope anyway, so they are trying to at least give their lives to relieve everyone else from oppression." He could have asked anything that would go deeper, instead, he went along with the first assessment and even repeated it back to make sure we all heard it. This is bad news, but good propaganda. It stops us from identifying with the terrorists and makes them look like bad people, pathetic people who would kill others just for their own glory, or losers.
If we write down conclusions like these and look at them, we can see what types of stereotypes we are being fed. As we recognize them we can understand how they influence us, and permit the media and others to lead us to believe negative, or positive beliefs about certain people. This in turn, in a democratic society, shapes our thoughts, opinions, and who and what we support when we go to the polls. It is important, therefor, to know what is being presented on the news daily. After really observing for several years and writing down our conclusions and observations, or just remembering them, we will begin to see a bigger pattern that can span months, or even years. When we can see this, we can see clearly how the news is really shaping us. One way of freeing ourselves from this process is by destroying the stereotypes. How? By identifying with the target group instead of separating from it. We can know more about terrorism by asking, "What would have to happen to me to make me be willing to do terrorist acts? What is happening to them? Who is doing it?" Those three simple questions can bring home much truth, understanding, and break the conditioning. And they can be applied to any of the many offenses committed by humanity that we see on news programs everyday.
In our next article we will discuss comparing the reports that we see on different news channels, in newsprint, and on radio. We will look for the big story, and see how familiar the wording and conclusions are. We will then look at the agenda of the newsgroup to see if we can predict what will happen on the next broadcast. This is a lot of fun. Through this process we will discover how we can find the main narrative: the covert narrative underneath everything that we read, see and hear in the news. This is not about conspiracy, it is about the systemic effect that makes the media, like many other institution, behave a certain way and think that they are doing something good by doing so

Friday, June 22, 2012

Obama's Map For Education is Critical

President-elect Obama has a background in community service that frequently put him in touch with individuals whose K12 education was lacking. His compassion to implement strategies that bring about access to the best education for all students is critical to our nation's future. With all of the talk about the financial crisis the president-elect needs to make education a major priority. We are fast approaching a significant period where large numbers of professionals will retire. There is potential for a largely underutilized workforce that needs more education to help the country will remain unemployable in corporate level jobs. As the states continue to struggle due to a loss of tax revenue more must be done to keep education funding afloat. Losses in financial resources to educate the youth who are the rising workforce will put many companies in jeopardy.
More needs to be done to highlight the education issues that students and parents face today. Education is not affordable at all levels. There needs to be a road map that leads to creative solutions. Many of the larger cities and rural school districts are underfunding the education investment that should be received for each student. One idea is to have corporations to receive some type of tax credit for investing their finances in local schools. This type of innovative idea would provide two benefits. First it could raise corporate involvement in making school better. Secondly it would help more students to prepare for the world of work. More mentors are also needed in all of the schools because students are unaware of how companies work.
President-elect Obama must not back away from the education crisis. If the country backs down from addressing the education crisis we will suffer severely. Students already come to school unprepared to learn. Their parents are unaware of the role that they play in their child's future. Obama and his wife Michelle have an opportunity to participate as supporters of parents who need guidance to effectively educate their children. There needs to be encouragement so that parents talk to their children about where they will go to college rather than if they will go to college. Their must be a definite response that reaffirms that college is possible. This tone should be set at the beginning of Obama's presidency.
It would be great to say that after the presidents first 100 days in office education gained ground in the war against economic instability. There should be a plan in place that outlines how education in this country must change. Just like we have witnessed what a weak infrastructure can do to a country we are witnessing a national school system that needs repair. The president must diligently hear messages that demonstrate that the education of every citizen is important. The country needs more adult learners to pursue additional education. Obama must emphasize that it is never too late to renew your desire for education.
President-elect Obama has an opportunity to create a lot of good will within the education community. There are K12 schools and colleges that need to know that there contributions to society are valued. Obama could work with the congress to require banks who are receiving money to invest 5 percent of their stimulus dollars to improve resources for local schools. Our country needs an education revolution that raises the inspiration of students, parents and teachers to expect the best from the American education system.
For twenty-six years, Dr. Jones has delivered presentations on numerous topics including how to study, leadership, effective communication, and innovative management practices. He is the author of three books one is titled "Seven Secrets of How to Study" the second is the "Parent's Ultimate Education Guide" and the third is the "Ultimate Scholarship Guide." The book provides an easy understanding of the seven pillars that are essential to learning success in K12 schools and college.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Online Christian Education

Online Christian education is tailor made for individuals who are interested in Christian education but have put a stop to their education due to financial issues or time constraints. Good news for such people is that a vast number of online colleges and universities now offer online Christian education programs completely over the internet. With online Christian education programs, you can attend classes anytime you want and from wherever you are most comfortable. What's more, the tuition fee of online Christian education programs is significantly less as compared to the traditional Christian education programs.
Online Christian education programs consist of non-degree courses, bachelor degrees, master degrees and PhD degrees. Certificate programs in Christian education are also available. Some free non-degree courses in Christian education are:
o Christian Personality Development
o Bible Study
o Postgraduate Diploma in Christian Apologetics
o Master of Bible Subjects
o Master of Divinity
o Master of Theology
o Master of Religious Education
o Doctor of Ministry
o Doctor of Philosophy
o Doctor of Systematic Theology
o Doctor of Letters
Is Online Christian Education Easy?
Some people think that the acquisition of an online degree in the field of Christian education is quite easy and they can earn the degree very easily. But in reality, it is not that easy. As a matter of fact, earning an online Christian education degree is way tougher than earning a degree through traditional classroom setup.
This is because of the simple reason that most of the individuals are accustomed with the traditional classroom set up where faculty members regularly update you regarding projects and studies. You will not get all these things in online education. If you are not self-disciplined, there is a good chance that you will not be able to earn your online degree.
Interaction with Faculty Members
Interaction with faculty members is quite minimal in online Christian education programs. Therefore, you need to understand all the concepts on your own. In order to understand concepts, you are going to rely quite heavily on the study material that is being offered by your online university. If the study material is not good in terms of quality, you are going to face plenty of problems in understanding concepts. Teacher to student ratio is normally quite high in an online environment, so understanding complicated concepts of Christian education is not that easy.
Before enrolling in any Christian education program, make sure that you check the accreditation of the online college first. If the online institution you have opted for is not accredited, not only are you going to face issues in earning your degree, but more importantly employers are not going to hire you as they normally prefer students that have earned a degree from an accredited university.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Be Aware of the Negative Influence of Newspaper and Media News

Newspapers are in business to sell news and media news is driven by ratings. Bad news sells five times faster better than good news which is why they don't publish "good news" newspapers.
My first sales job was with a newspaper advertising department and it was while I was there that I learned the only kind of news that sells is bad news. If a newspaper was set-up to publish only good news, it would rapidly go broke. It seems the public at large, has a morbid fascination with other people's problems and tragedies. I was 30 years of age when I learned this and since then over the past 50 years I have never bought a newspaper for that very reason. Similarly if you stop to analyze the content of the incessant stream of news that is bombarding your mind all day and every day from the television newscasts, you will find at least 90% of it is bad news. Imagine the impact of all this bad news on the public psyche over time. Is it any wonder that there is a worldwide increase in depression, anxiety and stress. The reality is you can get through life successfully without subscribing to the practice of avidly following local and world events just to stay up-to-date.
If there is something of importance that will affect your life, it will be "in the air" and someone in your environment will be only too glad to tell you about it, without you having to go looking it.
This approach has two benefits,
1) It frees up the time for you to pursue more positive actions in your life.
2) It makes other people feel rewarded when they are able to tell you the bad news.
Let me remind you of just some of the things you could be doing instead of spending more time than necessary watching and reading the news.
You could read a good book.
You could do some exercise.
You could go help a needy friend or some other community activity.
You could enrich your mind with further education.
Any of these alternative activities will keep your body and mind in better condition than if you simply spend the time watching the news more than you need.
Don has over 35 years experience in sales and sales-management in the advertising and insurance industries. He is a highly successful and motivated entrepreneur involved in coaching salespeople through articles, talks and sales training seminars. His new book "The Master Skills in Selling" has just been published on Amazon for $47.95 but if you are really interested in how to make Bigger Sales More Frequently and with Far Less Effort, you can get a Free Download of the whole book and the other 5 books I have published by going to the link below.
Let me know if you find it helps you make more money.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Understanding and Unleashing the Transformative Powers of Education

As a child, my parents always impressed upon me the importance of getting a good education. My father in particular, always told my siblings and I that we should strive to be number one in our studies. Because of the strict nature of my father, getting good grades was the rule, while getting low grades resulted in punishment. Needless to say, my siblings and I achieved honor role status throughout our K through middle school years. However, as I hit high school things began to change for me. I was no longer that little boy that followed my father's every wish out of fear. By now, I had been hardened by the tough streets of Brooklyn and questioned whether getting a good (formal) education could take me out of this environment.
You see, in my community, I knew of few high school graduates, much less college graduates. My parents had limited education and struggled to provide for my siblings and I. Like many that grew up in poor communities, I experienced my fair share of pain and struggles. Like many of today's youth that are dropping out of high school in record numbers, I too doubted the transformative powers of formal education touted by my parents and teachers. I did not believe that formal education alone could transform my socio-economic situation. As a result, I began to devalue formal education and withdrew (cutting classes regularly). Luckily, I began to realize the error in my thinking brought about by the intervention of a high school guidance counselor. I struggled to graduate high school, needing to attend summer school two years in a row in addition to night school. Nevertheless, I did graduate-But what next!?
Today, we hear news reports about the high dropout rates for inner city high school kids across America. I believe that this high dropout rate stems from the inability of the youth to understand and witness the transformative power of education within their communities. As a 34 year old man with a PhD, I can now attest to the transformative powers of getting a good education, but not just one that is formal. I have seen examples of education's transformative powers in the lives of my colleagues, as well as in my own life. However, most people wont get a PhD, or even a college degree. Does this mean that they are doomed to a life of suffering and pain because of their socio-economic situation? Well not necessarily, as a significant percentage of millionaires in America did not graduate from college.
Still, statistics do show that one's level of formal education directly correlates to one's income (the higher the degree, the higher the income) and employability (the higher the degree, the higher the level of employability). So, it is safe to say that formal education does have transformative power in regards to one's socio-economic situation. But, is simply graduating from high school and getting a college degree the answer to unlocking education's transformative powers?
Let us take a look at the essence of education. Education is all about learning basic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics, and then building on these skills with more complex fields of study such as science, history, and economics. What you are doing as you master and broaden your intellectual skills is teaching your brain how to learn.
What ways do I learn best?
What topics interest me most?
What topics do I find easiest to learn?
What topics will help me transform my life?
What topics will help me realize my life's vision?
These are questions that you should be asking yourself as you learn how to learn (education). The truth is that formal education is beneficial to a point, but after that point it is not necessary for everyone. The reason for this is that once you learn the basics as previously described, you can take the initiative to go to libraries, museums, art galleries, plays, as well as surf the Internet to learn about anything you deem useful. Many successful people such as former President Abraham Lincoln were self-taught. But do keep in mind that because many of us do not have the discipline or desire to learn just for the sake of learning, K-12, trade schools, colleges, and universities put together formal curriculums designed to legitimize our educational experiences with a diploma, certificate of completion, or degree. The degree in particular, became popular with American employers in the 1960s, as America moved out of the Industrial Age to the Information Age. Prior to this shift, one could graduate high school and get a good middle class job at the same factory your father worked in. However, as industrial jobs disappear by the thousands because of outsourcing and globalization, a college degree has become essential for anyone looking to ascend in today's new work world (the corporate world).
But, is the opportunity to transform one's socio-economic situation utilizing formal education truly available to all? While formal education (K-12) is now available to all in America, getting a good formal education still comes at a premium. For example, inner city (K-12) public schools have historically underperformed when compared to their suburban public or private school counterparts. Therefore, socio-economics seems to be a factor in who has access to quality formal education. Another example of this is in the higher education arena, where the cost of attending a four-year institution is outpacing inflation, making attending college a dream for some and a burden for others finding it difficult to repay huge student loans after they graduate. What is someone who wants to transform his/her life utilizing formal education to do?
Well first, one has to assess his/her future goals.
What are you interested in doing with your life?
Reach out to guidance counselors, teachers/faculty in your schools. Maybe they can find outside educational programs that you can participate in that will increase your learning if your school is not providing you with enough rigor.
Seek out educational programs within as well as outside of your community.
Ask yourself questions such as-Do I need to go to an expensive college and be burdened with huge student loans when I graduate in order to achieve my goals?
Or could I attend a less expensive school and learn how to learn what I need to know to get where I want to go?
Parents, participate in your child's education. Get involved with the faculty and other parents.
Keep abreast of political matters and then vote in the best interest of your child. And of greatest importance, seek out and provide examples of the transformative powers of education for your child. Be sure that they understand that the essence of education is not about getting a prestigious diploma or degree and saying "now pay me" to some employer.
The essence of education is about learning how to learn so that you can learn what you deem necessary for transforming your life.
Dropping out of high school does not help your cause.
Going to a prestigious school just to be burdened with huge student loan debt that you will have difficulty repaying does not help your cause.
Obtaining a particular degree that is not in alignment with your life's vision, simply because it is easier to acquire then the degree you really need does not help your cause.
There is no doubt that education (learning how to learn) has transformative power, but in order to unleash that transformative power one has to understand the essence of education and then use it strategically.
Dr. Barrett has an earned PhD in applied management and decision sciences, with a specialization in leadership and organizational change. He also holds a MS in organizational leadership and a BS in organizational management. In addition to these degrees, Dr. Barrett has completed several executive certificates focusing on various areas of management and leadership development.