Newsletter 40 : 11 september 2010
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Welcome to our latest newsletter. We like to offer a change from other newsletters which can demand an awful lot of reading.
“Empathy is the invisible hand”. Jeremy Rifkin talks about empathy in this TED talk. Starting small – talking about a monkey eating a nut – he extends his argument to the question “Can we reach biosphere consciousness and global empathy in time to avert planetary collapse?” Incidentally, was it more memorable for you with the visual commentary or less so? (duration 10:39)
Here is Edward Bear coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump on the back of his head behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming down stairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.
When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.
AA Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Another of the principles which we recommend leaders bear in mind when they communicate
The meaning of a communication is what the recipient makes of it
This apparently perverse principle is worth sticking with. Think of situations when someone is communicating with you. In truth a part of the communication is subconscious so, by definition, you’re not aware of it. And a lot of the remaining conscious communication is non-verbal so difficult to discuss. Nevertheless, when you’re receiving communication from someone, you can only interpret it according to your own abilities: knowledge of language, experience of other people’s communication, own world view and so on. If the other person’s communication requires you to know or understand stuff which you just don’t, you will substitute what you do know and understand as best you can. Again, this is partly a subconscious process, so you’re not aware you’re doing it.
A classic example is when then prime minister Margaret Thatcher was widely quoted as saying “There is no such thing as society”. Although her apologists to this day insist she was quoted out of context and she meant something else entirely, the message that most people got was “There is no such thing as society”.
See a railway train make its own track. This raises all sorts of questions like how many of these trains exist? How were they designed? How do they cope with bends?
Jeremy has been signed up by Fanfare, the prestigious American classical CD magazine and am writing half a dozen reviews every two months. Having told the editor I was willing to review CDs of contemporary music, that’s what I’m getting. Not an unalloyed joy, it has to be said. www.fanfarearchive.com, and search on “marchant”
All contributions welcome.
If you have been, thank you for reading.
Kay and Jeremy
Compiled by Jeremy Marchant . added 11 february 2015 . image: screen grab from video