Friday, August 24, 2012

Rommin Rommin Rommin

Three things I learned listening to Chris Mooney's interview of Joe Romm about rhetoric:

1.  It's pronounced "Rome" and not the way I've been mentally pronouncing it for years.

2.  Are you a scientist or (in my case) a pseudo-wannabee who tries to think like one?  Joe's not writing for you.

3.  Bloggers should spend as much time formulating blog titles as they do on anything else the post (the one I did here took hours to craft).


EliRabett said...

Eli is ok with titles, but he does need the chain link curtain.

coeruleus said...

I've known for years how to pronounce it, and I still pronounce it like the memory on the computer rather than that big, old city in Italy in my mind.

Anonymous said...

When I started work for Digital Equipment Corporation in the late 1970s, you stil hand-wrote memos and got secretaries to type them.

My first boss said to me "If you are writing a memo, try and get everything you want to say into the Subject line"

Still great advice. Never forgotten, but (alas!) not always followed.


Anonymous said...

Romm as in Romanoff,
or something quite similar iirc.

jay alt

Anonymous said...

"O Rommeo, Rommeo! wherefore art thou Rommeo?
What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.
So Rommeo would, were he not Rommeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title. "


david lewis said...

I listened to that Mooney interview as well.

So I assume, after many hours, you came up with the Rommin, Rommin, Rommin title because you agree with Joe when he says repetition is important.

And obviously, the crowd in the video you've chosen to go with your title is the typical audience climate scientists are aiming to convince when they speak. They look like a typical random selection of the types that make up Western Civilization.

The "Gimme Some Lovin" song, definitely, is the kind of thing your typical climate scientist is serving up now. The reaction of the crowd seems authentic. When the crowd throws objects at the band with no thought as to whether anyone in the band is killed, it seems to illustrate how the message being served up by your typical climate scientist is being received at the moment.

The appearance of Joe's book is the equivalent to the point in the video when the bar owner turns out the lights and Ackroyd tells the band "ok we've gotta figure out something these people like and fast". Its the turning point.

Apparently, just reading Romm's book has changed some people's entire lives. Van Jones is saying so.

And as the band sings "Rawhide" it dawns. There is a way climate scientists will discover, most likely after reading Romm's book, that will convince all, and everyone will live happily ever after.

I'm somewhat skeptical.

badger badger badger said...

Rom, as in "don't call me a Gypsy"


The 47 Rommin came to a very bad end, but then, they weren't on a mission from God.

Hank Roberts said...

> 2. Are you a scientist or ...
> a pseudo-wannabee who tries ...

Yep. I don't grind my teeth while reading his stuff since I figured out there really is a distinction in what people understand --- he he does know what he's doing. He understands his intended audience -- and I don't.

Because I tend to think everybody's naturally a scientist, or would want to be, if they only paid attention to the world.

And it ain't so. I have to remind myself most of the scientists ever made are living now.

I think it was Scott Adams who noted that individually bright scientific thinkers likely have been born tens of thousands of years, lived alone all their lives and were forgotten.

Then printing came along, and those solitary individuals got to meet other scientists by reading their writing -- the "most of my best friends are dead" observation isn't uncommon among smart youngsters.

Knowing there were others out there, they began writing themselves, and started building on each other's work and standing on each others' shoulders or at least toes -- and lo, here we are in this handbasket moving at warp speed changing the world.

Joe Romm does reach his target audience successfully -- look at the number of readers, that's the proof he knows what he's doing there.

I also suspect he gets new young readers who pick up on his energy, and start going into depth and reading more, and discover they have the information to nitpick and improve on his writing -- and eventually that means many of them pursue careers doing real science.

Anonymous said...

Eli may need chain link, but the band gets by with chicken wire. Highfalutin grade by the looks, but just chicken wire.


Anonymous said...

Could it be that "rhetoric" has a negative connotation because many people can see that it is being used to manipulate them?

Is Romm a "master of communication" or a "master of rhetoric"?

Is good blogging about reaching a wide audience and potentially convincing fencesitters (or even oppositters) of one's point of view?

Or is it about "generating traffic" (possibly through controversy)

Why do all those glass bottles break when they hit the chicken wire?

Why wouldn't beer bottles (which are pretty beefy) simply bounce off? After all, you can drop a beer bottle on concrete and sometimes won't break.

J Bowers said...

It's a movie. Movie bottles for throwing at people or for breaking over heads are made from sugar. Real bottles really, really hurt. Chairs not made from balsa, too.

Anonymous said...

"It's a movie"



Brian said...

Re good bloggin - I've always thought climate communication is about the lurking fence sitters and not about changing the minds of people on the opposite side. At best, we might shame the committed into not using their worst arguments.

There are a few like Muller, Bailey, and Greg Easterbrook who eventually wake the hell up, but so rarely that they're not really the important target.