[lit-ideas] Re: interaction of polls and public opinion

  • From: Ursula Stange <Ursula@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2006 14:01:08 -0500

I thought it was a really good example. Unfortunately, it's no different than following fashion trends. When you first see something ridiculous, you think to yourself that you wouldn't be caught dead in it, but as it becomes more familiar, it becomes more familiar. And pretty soon, you're fingering it at the store and considering which colour you'd prefer. (See the story of those ugly rubber clogs -- which I may yet look for.) John's analysis is explanatory here as well. Not everyone will come 'round. Whether something catches on, then, depends on a whole lot of factors about the 'audience': their age, their experience, their general intelligence, their independence, their closeness, their religious affiliation, their sense of community, their level of education, usw. Sometimes there's a critical mass. Sometimes not. One wonders about pivotal events...the Russian Revolution for instance. Could it (would it) have been successful if Lenin had tried it ten years earlier? Or ten years later? The revolutions of 1848 were successful in parts of Europe...but not in England...why? Wrong time? Wrong place? Wrong audience?

Ursula (now thinking about Nathaniel Hawthorne's story about the Great Stone Face....didn't it fall apart recently?)

Judith Evans wrote:

Eric wrote:
and it gives you increasing permission to adopt what was once a true minority 
opinion. Convert to Islam? Maybe it won't be too wretched.

interesting you should invent that particular example, Eric.

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