Curated Resource ( ? )

The Cassandra Curse

my notes ( ? )

the psychology of warnings - why some warnings get heard, why many are ignored and the pitfalls of being a prophet....
a vicious cycle ... As the planet warms, the permafrost thaws... dead animals and plants and fungi start to decompose. More decomposition means more carbon released ... means warmer temperatures... even more melting of the permafrost... disaster... He can see a catastrophe unfolding in front of him, but no one seems to be listening. ... how do you communicate that... there is a value in you understanding what you don't currently understand?...
For millennia, we've often shunned and shamed people who have warned us of looming disaster... Cassandra ... can see the future, but no one will believe her... set aside the curse... she also did several things that made it less likely she would be believed....
She speaks in cryptic language. She doesn't have any formal authority. She's too far ahead of everyone else....
She asks too much of the people she warns... For Agamemnon to take Cassandra seriously, he would have ... to change his entire outlook... He wants to think of himself as a strong, triumphant city-sacker. And he's only going to process the information that confirms that belief...
Christoph Meyer... has spent many years studying how warnings are made and which ones manage to break through the noise.... several reasons Andrew Natsios managed to persuade the Bush administration to act:...
a plainspoken leader... able to ... chart the escalation of the conflict into the future... He laid out clear evidence...
He was an insider... had a relationship with the presidents.... not seen as ... do-gooders... liberal NGO types. Yes, he had a history in the NGO sector. He was an expert. But he had also kind of a conservative pedigree... experience in the armed forces... as part of us...
a Christian ... He knew that George W. Bush's identity as a Christian was important to him ... in Darfur, many of the civilians being attacked were Christian.... that kind of escalation would be politically relevant to the Bush administration...Andrew implicitly understood ... We all tend to look more sympathetically at people ... have something in common with us...
didn't ask President Bush to make a major U-turn...
Cassandra spoke in riddles ...
if it's coming from the mouth of an unauthoritative person or somebody who's dismissed as othered, then that can make it possible to dismiss even a very clear articulation of a scary truth....
many modern Cassandras forget it's hard for most people to look far into the future...If you come in with a vague warning about a distant problem, you're going to get sidelined....
Cassandra also asked people ... to stretch too far outside their comfort zone... If leaders have to reject some foundational belief to act on a warning, there's a strong chance that they will simply ignore the warning.

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The above notes were curated from the full post www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=648781756.

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