Framing Questions.

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Framing Questions.

Postby Event Horizon on December 28th, 2018, 11:04 am 

Questions,questions.. If the questions are framed right they can be much more potent, almost visceral. The Levellers did an album once called, aptly, "A weapon Called the Word."

The pen is mightier than the sword. Why? Because it can invoke whole armies against your sword.

This can be taught. Should it be? It seems a simple enough thing, seemingly. Fewer mixups and misunderstandings might result, and efficiency might improve.

All from this small thing.

Thoughts?
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby zetreque on December 28th, 2018, 5:41 pm 

Event Horizon » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:04 am wrote:This can be taught. Should it be?


It's called either a degree in marketing or a degree in psychology or both.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby Forest_Dump on December 28th, 2018, 6:35 pm 

Most universities offer philosophy courses on informal logic, aka rhetoric and reasoning, etc. Many are even oriented around exposing flaws in logic etc embedded in empassioned speeches, or arguments. I think it is extremely important to be able to spot the many kinds of poor thinking found in the most emotional types of arguments thrown out there from all ends of the political spectrum and think that not only should such courses be made obligatory in university but also is high school and is at least as important as math and the other STEM subjects.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby -1- on December 29th, 2018, 11:39 am 

They say it's more important to ask the right questions than to say the right things.

Unfortunately, they, whoever "they" are, made the mistake of failing to maximize its impact by not putting their maxim in the form of a question.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby Serpent on December 29th, 2018, 12:02 pm 

It used to be taught in ancient Rome as rhetoric.
See what Shakespeare has him do with a single loaded question?

Antony --
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men--
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason.


Of-bloody-course Caesar had the ambition of all tyrants and went about patiently and cleverly consolidating his power-base and eliminating opposition. Those self-serving activities are now reframed by his advocate (and ambitious successor) to seem the exact opposite. This is PR spin extraordinaire.

But then, you might consider how questions are framed to direct or divert scientific research, legal evidence gathering, or the mustering of data for decision-making. Each of those processes is somewhat different and uses different protocols for its specific goals.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby Event Horizon on December 29th, 2018, 12:59 pm 

Only the ultimate question can give you the ultimate answer I think.

Teaching this skill to everybody in school was what I had in mind. People might get further in life knowing this "Life skill" I think. But would it inevitably change how we interact with each other? And I dunno if that's a good thing in the medium to long term.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby Serpent on December 29th, 2018, 1:09 pm 

Event Horizon » December 29th, 2018, 11:59 am wrote:Only the ultimate question can give you the ultimate answer I think.

Only a unicorn can carry a chimera? Okay.

Teaching this skill to everybody in school was what I had in mind.

Why? People are born with brains, capable of reasoning investigation, which would naturally develop as they gain experience and knowledge.
Save a whole lot of time, effort and confusion: stop training children to shut down their critical faculties by the time they reach school age.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby -1- on December 29th, 2018, 1:39 pm 

Event Horizon » December 29th, 2018, 12:59 pm wrote:Only the ultimate question can give you the ultimate answer I think.

Teaching this skill to everybody in school was what I had in mind. People might get further in life knowing this "Life skill" I think. But would it inevitably change how we interact with each other? And I dunno if that's a good thing in the medium to long term.

How would people get further in life if everyone is advantaged by the same degree, same amount by learing this life skill, assuming the rewards are a scarce resource, and are inelastic in supply. (Please make sure in your reply that you consider the rewards inelastic in supply and a scarcity.) I propose that people would not get further ahead. In an analogous way, in a one-eyed kingdom everyone is equal; if you give all two eyes, then they are still equal.

But even without the given consideration, nobody would get ahead further in life; only those who would otherwise already have the skill of using this tactic (using leading, framing, loaded questions effectively) would get less ahead of life. The analogy is that in a one-eyed kingdom a two-eyed person loses his or her edge or advantage if all that had been one-eyed, become two-eyed.

However, I grant that the analogy is not exact. The workings of the society would improve if everyone improved their spacial vision; better engineering, better hunting, etc.

But a negotiating skill, such as employing a skill that is ONLY useful to increase or decrease ranking among members of society, is not going to further economy, or the sum of health and welfare of society. Better negotiation skills GRANTED ONLY TO A FEW only aids inequality of division of goods and services. It would not impact the production levels of goods and services.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby Event Horizon on December 29th, 2018, 2:35 pm 

Interesting. Not a popular idea. It seems that teaching it on an almost need-to-know basis if preferable.

But we've all heard talk, I'm sure, of someone coming up with a killer question that stumps everyone; and vital to that is how the question is framed. I think science helped me frame such things better.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby -1- on December 29th, 2018, 5:01 pm 

No, I think yours is a popular idea, Event Horizon. It just isn't feasible.

Every parent wants his child to have an "edge". Now that every child in my community has to finish high school, high school is not an edge, any more. Before, like 200 years ago, it was a big edge.

But not sending your kid to school would be a VERY unpopular idea, both by the public, and by the critics. In fact, it is a punishable offence in my community to not send your kid to school, unless of course you meet the requirements of home-schooling.

That is just one example. Sometimes very popular ideas don't work.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby Event Horizon on December 29th, 2018, 9:02 pm 

I was thinking it could be incorporated into English along with grammar or other oral classes rather than a huge comprehensive change. I don't see why it can't be taught concurrently or as a small module. Knowing how to ask the right questions seems to me an advantage to everyone.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby Serpent on December 29th, 2018, 9:49 pm 

How about putting it in whatever they call Life Skills - hygiene, food, family dynamics, personal finances, etc.
You could pretend it's meant to teach the kids what to ask when shopping for groceries, insurance or apartments. But, really, you'll be teaching them to formulate questions for everything - like how to shop for a president.
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Re: Framing Questions.

Postby Event Horizon on January 3rd, 2019, 11:06 pm 

Role play is no bad thing. Its a good way of teaching. I can see no downside to the proposed idea right now, but I expect there will be a downside. Most innovations have one.
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