(en) Top NEWSPEAK Stories of the Week #73 (fwd)

Lyn and Shawn (linjin@tao.ca)
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 06:33:11 pst


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------- Forwarded Message Follows ------- Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 00:27:52 -0700 (PDT) From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org> Subject: Top NEWSPEAK Stories of the Week #73 (fwd)

AMERICAN NEWSPEAK. Hoarded at http://www.scn.org/news/newspeak Celebrating cutting edge advances in the Doublethink of the 90's Written by Wayne Grytting

Willy Lohman Meets Automation

The Internet is finally developing a way to make advertising work on the Web - search engines that deliver customized ads. At Excite, a search for a word like "car" will lead to the delivery of a banner ad for Acura. Not only can sites trigger ads to preprogrammed words, but they are developing the capabilities to track people as they surf the Web to determine which ads should be delivered to them. Even more exciting is a development by a company called BlackSun - automated spokesmen. BlackSun has developed the software for 3-D chat rooms in which visual cartoon-like characters interact. Into this arena they send ad robots for participating companies, designed to appear when specific words are used by chat room participants. It's "immersive advertising." Just drop the word "clean" into your discussion and ad robot Dusty the Dustbuster will invite you for a private chat about his favorite vacuum cleaner. Not only can you program the robot's dialogue, but says BlackSun, "you can program a robot's humanness." Programming humanness? Spock, can you help me on this? (Knight-Ridder 5/28, WSJ 4/24)

Ad Agencies Have Worries Too

Advertisers in their search for emotionally compelling ideas are running into a roadblock. It's getting harder and harder to reach consumers who are hit by an estimated 245 commercial TV messages a day. David Lubars, ad executive with the Omnicom Group, complains that consumers "are like roaches - you spray them and spray them and they get immune after awhile." A truly humbling simile. Meanwhile, to get around this resistance, advertisers have long relied on focus groups to get at consumers real feelings about products. But now even this approach is failing because, says the Wall Street Journal, oversaturated consumers "display an alarming tendency to re-gurgitate ad-world lingo..." Ask and people will now say they like Sanka because of its "full bodied aroma." Apparently advertisers have done their work too well. In the quest for spontaneous or "naked" subconscious reactions to base new ad campaigns upon, researchers are now turning to scanning eyeball movements and using hypnosis. It's a tough job getting past conditioning your own ads have inflicted. (WSJ 5/30)

A Brave New Health Care World

Richard Scott has turned Columbia/HCA into the McDonald's of the health industry, with 348 hospitals flying its banner. Now the Wall Street Journal has been kind enough to make us privy to Mr. Scott's grand vision of the future of healthcare. "It is a world," reports the WSJ, "in which diseases from cancer to diabetes to manic-depression become profitable 'product lines' for businesses like his..." Columbia, for example, now offers 8 "product lines" for cancer, cardiology, diabetes, etc. Individual doctors are to be replaced by disease management programs that standardize treatment, thus allowing lower priced health technicians to punch into a computer and come up with treatment plans. In Scott's world, executives produce sentences like the following: "The disease management approach would give the company a competitive edge with managed care in marketing these lines." Keep repeating it until you feel fluent with this manner of speaking or your cerebrum shortcircuits. (WSJ 5/28)

The "Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness" Dept

The CIA found to its surprise that after promising to open its files on our many overthrows of governments, like that of Iran in 1953, the cupboards were bare. The records had already been destroyed. Brian Latell, a CIA official, revealed that CIA higher ups had told the keepers of the Iran records that their "safes were too full and they needed to clean them out." Few people are aware of the CIA's dedication to cleanliness. And sadly the money strapped agency could only afford a few safes, so tidiness was of paramount importance. But disregarding this reasonable interpretation is a former CIA historian, Prof. Nick Cullaher, who claims the records were obliterated by a "culture of destruction." The CIA harboring a "culture of destruction"? I do hope he was just referring to the paper shredding. (NYT 5/29)

Respectable Panhandling

Congratulations are due to Rep. Susan Molinari for her promotion from Congress to a Saturday morning news anchor job with CBS. No more panhandling from multinational media giants. But it raises an interesting question. Given the daily fundraising politicians engage in and their willingness to run errands for big corporations, just how low has the job's reputation fallen? Well, Sam Walker, a professor of criminal justice and an ACLU advisor, has a backhanded answer. He uses politicians' behavior to defend the rights of panhandlers. "You cannot draw a line between making a political speech and asking for money. Panhandlers have a right to talk to someone else about their condition. It's like talking about a political party." It certainly is today. The once existing difference between public representation and pandering to those with ready cash has dissolved. The destitute pleading for spare change certainly should enjoy the same rights as the Representatives they mimic. (AP 5/30)

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