Hello and welcome to the TCC Weekly – the Friday bulletin for people who know their NIMBY from their DINKY.
This Friday we bring you a politics section that’s all about the idea of embodying America – including a corker of a Congressional advert. Plus, we have a 30% discount code on tickets for the UK Social Marketing Conference, where we’ll be presenting and speaking. And there’s also our hypothesis about the values of those most angry about Iraq.
And of course, there’s Charlie’s Attic, the sexed-up appendix to our weekly dossier. This week’s includes the ten funniest words in the English language, plus the infographic explaining why Jane Austen endures.
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Turn it down!
Behaviour Change is often divided into upstream (influencing policy and infrastructure), midstream (influencing the practitioners) and downstream (influencing residents or consumers). So often too little attention is paid to mid stream and even upstream, but this a week we spotted a cracking example of upstream behaviour change, with Spotify reducing the volume of all their songs to address the health impacts of excessive loudness. "From a medical point of view, the loudness reduction is wonderful," said Dr Tanit Ganz Sanchez, an associate professor at the School of Medicine at the University of São Paulo.
Speaking of behaviour change, we’re excited about the UK Social Marketing Conference on the 14th September. The event is a must for anyone looking to positively impact on the behaviour of communities. We’re delighted to be able to offer a 30% discount to any readers of The Weekly who work in local government. Just sign up here, quoting the code LAUK17.
L’état, c’est Trump
The brilliant George Lakoff this week gave further pearls of wisdom on the tenure of President Trump. Lakoff explains that all people think in metaphors, and that Trump’s abiding metaphor is the idea that he is and embodies America – the country serves him, rather than the other way around. As Lakoff puts it, “Under the metaphor, the phrase “the American people” comes to mean the supporters of the President.”
It’s a fascinating insight, and one brought into sharp relief by this fantastic campaign video courtesy of Amy McGrath, the Democrats’ Congressional candidate in Kentucky. It’s a brilliant piece of filmmaking, built around a simple, powerful story. We especially enjoyed the understated final lines. And in terms of a politician seeking to embody – and provide an allegory for – American values, we thought it offered a strong and positive counterpoint to Trump’s internal metaphor.
This week saw the recurring issue of Iraq make the news again, after a bid to prosecute Tony Blair for the invasion was rejected by the high court. But which are the groups most angry about Iraq? We thought we’d drop this hot potato into the Values Lab.
The four heat maps below, which we tweeted last week, show the Labour base between 2005 and 2017 – with support coalescing in the Pioneer corner. In looking at it, we were particularly interested in the patch who were ice cold towards Labour in 2005 but red hot on the party by 2017. We’ve circled this group, and can’t help wondering if these represent the precise group on the values compass who were angriest about Iraq. If so it’s curious that they’re the comparatively individualistic and confident form of Pioneers known as Transcenders. One might have expected them to be the more anxious and tribal group immediately to the right of the circled patch, who are known as Concerned Ethicals.
This is a very speculative and hypothetical idea – it isn’t solidly evidenced that the circled group stopped voting Labour because of Iraq. But for values geeks like us it’s nevertheless a fascinating straw man to discuss.
And finally this week, Charlie’s Attic, the purple patch which rounds off our bulletin each week: