I encountered the work of political communications strategist Anat Shenker-Osorio through The Persuaders, an important book about how people change one another’s minds that Anand Giridharadas published in 2022.
Shenker-Osorio helps politicians and movements develop “messages,” but unlike the tradition concept of messaging as a way of bypassing the audience’s critical faculties, Shenker-Osorio wants to engage them.
That is, rather than tricking you into supporting an issue by, say, linking it with motherhood and apple pie, Shenker-Osorio wants to actually convince you that a given issue deserves your support.
It is difficult to get a public procurement officer to understand something, when a vendor’s salary depends on his not understanding it.
In the “Shitty Technology Adoption Curve,” oppressive technologies are first imposed on people who don’t get to complain — prisoners, migrants, children, mental patients, benefits recipients — in order to normalize these tools and sand down their rough edges. Once the technology has been rendered a little more acceptable, it crawls up the privilege gradient, bit by bit, until even the most socially powerful among us are using it.
In other words: 20 years ago, if you ate dinner under a CCTV’s unblinking eye, you were probably dining in a supermax prison. Today, you’re likely just someone who bought some luxury surveillance, like a “home automation” system from Google, Apple, Amazon or Facebook.