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6/4/13 questions and discussion

From: Jon A.
Sent on: Monday, June 10, 2013 5:28 AM
6/4/13 questions and discussion

1-how ought we balance our dreams with our realities when going to work?6
2-do we Americans treat animals ethically?9
3-how important is honesty and trust and would we be better off with more or less of both?7
4-what's the relationship between freedom and complexity?7
5-does the word "majority" have the same meaning for everyone?5
6-is it better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man be punished?6
7-is no government better than bad government?7
8-what has greater impact: words or images, and why?10


what has greater impact: words or images, and why?

Shannon: is a picture really worth 10,000 words? I'm taking a class on graphic novels and comics. I'm noticing the impact of those images with few words. Words create images in our minds differently than do images.

Jon: are words better for our imaginations?

Shannon: don't know. But images can stir things up in ways that words cannot. For example the photo of the running girl who'd been severely burned by napalm during the Vietnam war.

Gina: there are people in the world who don't or can't read. Children's books always have lots of images to go with the text. Most of us just watch TV.

Shannon: do you think they're thinking when they watch TV?

Gina: I don t think they think at all.

Meg: brain wave research says we flatline when watching TV. But science TV and PBS make me think.

Marla: at first my mind went back to silent movies. There's lot to that, we've lost that art. All the senses do play together. Images are more emotional, words more intellectual.

Shannon: did you see The Artist?

Marla: yes! it's back to the basics, not full of visual distraction

Shannon: have we lost something without the silence?

Marla: absolutely. Reading lets me develop my own images, a really good practice for our minds. How often do we say "The movie was not as good as the book."

Jon: [to Shannon] have you read/seen The Watchmen comic book/movie?

Shannon: both. I'm seeing interesting connections between the two but can't yet say which I prefer.

Marla: I recently listened to a book on tape. That's enjoyable for driving but if I have time to read myself, I'd prefer that.

Steve: I think I agree with marla about images = emotion. But then there are the emotionally moving words in the Gettysburg Address! Because words are better for complex thoughts, they may be more important.

Jon: in the documentary The Bridge they spend a year with cameras trained on people walking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco ("#1 suicide destination of the world") and they have filmed people as they prepare to jump and then jump/fall. That's emotional!

Meg: watching a suicide is wordless -- leaves us speechless

John: I agree with a lot of Steve's ideas. Symbols frequently invoke emotions (like the swastika) and they're also a way of quickly conveying lots of ideas and feelings, like company logos. In economics it's better to have graphs because patterns can be more easily seen. Graphs, though, can be misused. Good presentations usually have lots of graphs. I'm fascinated by branding. By repeatedly showing the same icon it can leave a sense of quality. People will sometimes buy items based even on the quality of the packaging. Words are more important when warning people to stay away from something dangerous. Road signs seem better with images instead of words.

Marla: is it wise to make Huckleberry Finn into a comic book?

John: if it's for kids who might then wish to go on to read the book.

Steve: my daughter Sara who is now training to be a teacher says getting kids to enjoy reading is key to all of their futures.

Shannon: graphic novels are new since the 70s. Our teacher has brought up the importance of these as excellent ways to get kids to read. I've long had interests in comics. Perhaps an example of images making philosophical issues come up is Ghost in the Shell [dealing with transferring human consciousness out of bodies and into machines].

Margarete: this makes me think mostly about advertising. What appeals to the audience? To tired people?  Those images affect our senses, get us engaged and stay with us longer. A movie appeals to more senses that just words, especially if done very well. Images in movies can give our imaginations more with which to work. They can in fact show us images we could not have imagined on our own.

Meg: movies vs. books. I loved the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's and disliked the book. The way my brain works if I like both the movie and the book they merge into each other.

Jim: the question needs another dimension: what are you trying to achieve with words/images?  The Vietnam image Shannon mentions, the Kent State image of the dead protester. Such images, when well done, go straight to feeling. But if we are inclined to look at the truth of those images we need words. To then get to the truth we need to know history and other subtle details involved.

Shannon: what truth might not be captured in the imaged?

Jim: for the Kent State example what was not shown were the young kids with weapons (National Guardsmen), inadequately trained, being pressed by a crowd. This makes the truth of the image more complicated, with room for interpreting its meaning differently.

Shannon: would a picture stop us from looking for more information?

Jim: yeah, I think so, it could. And somehow what we hear can be just as emotional as what we see.

Lynn: when we hear words we create images in our minds. Some people tend to be more visual when they think.

Margarete: so you might be saying image is not enough, words must be added.

Jim: if our objective is truth, even a great image doesn't do the job.

Margaret: could words alone have given more truth?

Jim: pictures help capture people's attentions.

John: images are frequently good for propaganda. Photos of homeless people don't tell us why they're homeless. 

Jon: we can never know all the contextual data?

Jim: exactly. That is an advantage words have over images.

Oren: comics have words, and images. I read them when I was 5 and still read them now! I have been dealing with images my whole life. Video/movies come the closest to reproducing life.

Jim: if I say I'm gonna look at the first animal wioth eyesight. We end up with reality but it's almost like having no cognitiopn at all without previous experience it means nothing. 

Dick: graphs can lead us in to the text but text is required. We need icons when driving. At our computer we want icons not text. Poetry conveys things with few words.


If there is a problem you can do nothing about, why be upset? If there is a problem you can do something about, why be upset?

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