Political Opinion with Blinkin’ Lights

David Frum makes some excellent points in this video op-ed, which is accompanied like many such pieces with flashy, ever-changing graphics. I have some doubts that this is an effective method of communication for complex ideas.

Clearly, the parade of images holds the eye and at some level entertains, but my suspicion is that if you interviewed viewers afterwards, their memory of the actual content of what Frum said would be lower than if he had simply talked, or limited himself to a few static charts/graphics at key points (and BTW: what is wrong with so many people that listening to cogent political analysis for 217 seconds without blinkin’ lights embedded is beyond their attentional capacity?).

h/t: Andrew Sullivan

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based community]

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Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University. He served as a senior policy advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy from 2009 to 2010.