Agile Kindergarten's Reviews > The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media

The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone
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's review
Feb 05, 2013

it was amazing

Gladstone used graphic non-fiction to deftly communicate the historical, psychological and sociological truths of the media's influence in society. From Caesar's Acta Diurna, the first daily news which pressured the Roman Senators to be accountable (and reminiscent of the Daily Stand-Up Meeting) to the digitally borne diseases stemming from the homophily echo chamber (where people only consume media "facts" that substantiate their entrenched belief systems resulting in polarization), our relationship with information has been as much about our own emotions as about anything objective. This phenomena, as skillfully presented by Gladstone, is about more than media influence. Call it communication skill, knowledge management, data-driven decision making or salesmanship, the bottom line is the cure is in the continued search for clarity - the continued creation and critical consumption of information - be it in a business setting or in our living rooms.

There are many great quotes in this book, but perhaps the most important one is from one of our founding fathers, "The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure." --Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823.
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