Monday, August 6, 2012

Body corporate democracy and ubiquitous advertising

Today I was back with another 'Modern Dilemma', on ABC Radio National's 'Life Matters', with Dr. Doris McIlwain, and host Natasha Mitchell.

We spoke about body corporate executive committees, democracy, and the social dynamics of groups. Should committee members be limited to a number of terms? If so, why? And what does this have to do with Aristotle? You can listen here.

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I also had my regular Canberra Times column today, 'Limiting exposure to the commercial cacophony'. I'm exploring the effects, on consciousness, of advertising (e.g. junk food logos), and how we might avoid these. A sample:
Advertising involves a double threat. The first is that vulnerable groups, and children in particular, will be encouraged to buy unnecessary or unhealthy products - hence rightful calls for banning of junk food advertisements during children's programming, and regulation of so-called ''alcopop'' promoted to minors.  
The second is that consciousness can be interrupted and corrupted by constant corporate stimulation. In the ''information economy'' there is plenty of data - what's scarce is attention, and companies pay top dollar for a share of it.  
Governments are unlikely to regulate advertising on the latter grounds, if only because the effects are nuanced and contextual, and contact with them is seen as the responsibility of individuals. 
This is not strictly true, since our media and cities are saturated with advertising, and children in particular are marinated in corporate sauce before they can even walk. 
But assuming we want, as individuals, to avoid undue corporate and media influence, what can be done?

2 comments:

Rolly Christian said...

G'day Damon,

I like what I am reading here!

I also liked your Drum article "Re: Picking on the fat kids" on ABC news online today.
The Drum Net moderator a Server error didn't appear to let my democratic supportive comments hit the discussion today.
Parents hold guardianship over their children so kids are typically feeding off the poor situation / example offered to them. That “condition” becomes the normal worldview on eating and activity or lack thereof.
I also added to "fire-up" a heated Drum debate you could start to articulate the steps to redress the “toxic culture slump” observed with respect to food choice and activity.

The devil is in the detail and nobody likes to be told what to do, even if it makes positive sense.
Roll out the junk food ad bans now and replace them with fruit, veg, bike riding and bushwalking promotions in the interest of public health. You know it’s right.

Yours faithfully,
Rolly

PS/ If you could add some comments / counter points regarding your thoughts on human individual free will per my “Highway to Hell -who’s driving” post @ www.rolloutyourprejudice.blogspot.com.au I would certainly appreciate them. Have a great weekend.

Damon Young said...

I agree that we are free to choose (though often not as free as we think, e.g. habit, instinct, custom). But I do not agree that this is something god wanted. Because there is no evidence for this claim.

There is no evidence for god in general, or a just, kind, omnipotent Christian god in particular.

Boring, I know. But likely to be true.