RE: This is Your Brain on Marketing

“This idea, simple as it seems, requires us to completely re-imagine our assumptions about memory. It reveals memory as a ceaseless process, not a repository of inert information. The recall is altered in the absence of the original stimulus, becoming less about what we actually remember and more about what we’d like to remember. It’s the difference between a “Save” and the “Save As” function. Our memories are a “Save As”: They are files that get rewritten every time we remember them, which is why the more we remember something, the less accurate the memory becomes. And so that pretty picture of popcorn becomes a taste we definitely remember, and that alluring soda commercial becomes a scene from my own life. We steal our stories from everywhere. Marketers, it turns out, are just really good at giving us stories we want to steal.”

David Brooks, The Social Animal, LINK

Qualitative Knowledge and the FDA

Qualitative knowledge (or qualia for short) figures on being a big part of whatever I study in the near future. I thought this article was fascinating because the FDA seems to suggest that a picture communicates more effectively what a label could not. In other words there is a fullness of knowledge which is communicated better with these pictures in spite of their lack of propositional content. Sure this isn’t new news. But in the world of epistemology the status of qualitative knowledge is neglected. This is a good example of its value.

Three examples of proposed warning graphics that will appear on cigarette packaging as part of the government’s new tobacco prevention efforts, seen in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)