Archive › 2011

Strategic Frames for The Occupy Movement

I’ve been watching the Occupy Movement from a distance these last several months, intentionally standing back so that I might observe the larger web of patterns shaping its unfolding path.  In the early weeks of the movement, I wrote about the swarm behavior through which OWS grew quickly — seemingly out of nowhere — from […]

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Where Rational Choice Theory Comes From

Every wonder how it came to pass that a global economic system was put in place that is so harmful to human well-being? In this video, I share the historic origins of rational choice theory (also known as the theory of rational action) and describe how cognitive science ultimately revealed its foundational prejudices. Hope this […]

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Words That Don’t Work

Progressives had some fun last week with Frank Luntz, who told the Republican Governors’ Association that he was scared to death of the Occupy movement and recommended language to combat what the movement had achieved. But the progressive critics mostly just laughed, said his language wouldn’t work, and assumed that if Luntz was scared, everything […]

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A Framing Memo for Occupy Wall Street

I was asked weeks ago by some in the Occupy Wall Street movement to make suggestions for how to frame the movement. I have hesitated so far, because I think the movement should be framing itself. It’s a general principle: Unless you frame yourself, others will frame you — the media, your enemies, your competitors, […]

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Occupy Wall Street, Swarm Behavior & Self-Organized Criticality

If you’ve been watching the Occupy Wall Street protests these last few weeks, you may be surprised by how quickly it spread from a small group of disgruntled youth in New York to a planetary mobilization that is now active in more than 100 cities — all in a few short weeks.  This is an unprecedented […]

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Want to Change the World? Study Deep History

Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.  We’ve all heard this adage and many among us take to heart the wisdom of looking backward as a vital practice for understanding the future.  As a student of global systems, I’ve followed the rabbit deep down its dark hole on more than one […]

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Taking Our Work to the Next Level

Cognitive Policy Works has existed now for three years.  It started out as a consultancy that continues the mission of George Lakoff’s Rockridge Institute, which closed its doors in April of 2008.  We have offered workshops and trainings on the framing of health care and education, the workings of the political mind, values-based communication, and […]

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The Use of 9/11 to Consolidate Conservative Power: Intimidation via Framing

My wife, Kathleen, and I stood gaping at the TV as we watched the towers fall. Kathleen said to me, “Do you realize what Bush and Cheney are going to do with this?” We both realized very well. Until 9/11, the Bush presidency was weak. On 9/11, Cheney understood that the attack was an opportunity […]

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Lakoff and Westen Miss the Constitutional Elephant in the Room

I am interested in helping to stimulate a dialogue towards ultimate solutions whereby the American people’s will becomes the law of the land. I believe this cannot happen within the framework of our current government, its constitutional limitations, and the resulting two-party system entirely corrupted by money. I believe this can happen, indeed must happen, by exercising our natural, […]

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How Obama Got It Right

This article is co-authored with Glenn Smith and published on Huffington Post. Morality drives policy. Too often, progressives have tried it the other way around, then looked on in dismay as conservatives led with their moral view and won one policy fight after another, even when polling showed most Americans disagreed with conservative policies! On […]

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