Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Digital skills a must for PR practitioners

Twitter is not a passing fad ...


... and how Google works

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Plato's cave analogy, on YouTube in glorious claymation!


And a written explanation and illustration of Plato's theory of forms:


Communications a problem at volcano ...

from The Dallas Morning News.


And here's what Anthony Appiah says, p. 37-38, in Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers:

"There's an oft-told anecdote about a medical missionary in a remote place, who watches, in horror, as people give untreated well water to their babies. The children regularly get diarrhea, and many of them die. The missionary explains that, even though the water looks clear, there are tiny, invisible creatures in it that make the children sick. Fortunately, she says, if they boil the water, it will kill these bacteria. A month later she's back, and they're still giving the babies the dirty water. After all, if a stranger came into your community and told you that your children got influenza because of witchcraft, would you respond by going out and slaughtering a sheep? Then the missionary has another idea. Look, she says, let me who you something. She takes some water and boils it. See, she says, there are spirits in the water, and when you put it on the fire they flee: those bubbles you see are the spirits escaping, the spirits that are making your children sick. Now boiling water makes sense. Now the babies stop dying. In belief, as in everything else, each of us must start from where we are." (NY: Norton, 2006).

Think about the connections to be made between the news story, and Appiah's advice to us in communicating between cultures, between a culture of Westernized science and a non-Western, non-scientized culture.

Japanese apologies ...

... to help with our analysis of cross-cultural corporate apologies. These links were given to me by one of my co-researchers, Koji Fuse, Ph.D., University of North Texas.

An extremely high-class Japanese restaurant and store chain committed a fraud selling low-quality beef:


A Japanese comedian’s barbecue restaurant caused food poisoning:


(These are all examples of "shazai kaiken" or "apology news conferences," says Dr. Fuse. He elaborates: "A report says that depending on how appropriately you apologize, you’ll gain people’s sympathies or you’ll go down. The report also says that Westerners feel this Japanese practice 'creepy,' because in the Christian world, people apologize to God, not to victims. An interesting interpretation!")