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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Why some narratives are really easy to fall for

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Who actually advantages from distant work? Is it true that politicians must be anti-immigration to win elections? Every episode of Good on Paper, the brand new podcast hosted by my colleague Jerusalem Demsas, delves right into a misunderstood coverage situation that deserves extra nuanced evaluation. I spoke with Jerusalem about how some narratives get lodged within the public’s thoughts and the hazards of tales that really feel true however aren’t.

First, listed here are three new tales from The Atlantic:

A Option to Simplify

Stephanie Bai: Why do you assume sure narratives can grow to be so entrenched, even when the info don’t help them? And why are different narratives extra prone to fade?

Jerusalem Demsas: Narratives are a manner of simplifying a very difficult world. Compelling ones observe story constructions that we’re used to seeing: a villain and a hero, a foul developer versus a mom who’s struggling to get her youngsters by means of school. These sorts of narratives are compelling as a result of there’s a spark of fact in them, which is that there are energy struggles on this planet; there are winners and losers. Many narratives stick as a result of they reaffirm our personal opinions and views, however that may be actually harmful: Simply because one thing feels true doesn’t imply that it’s.

The narratives that don’t stick are normally those which might be extra difficult. There isn’t at all times a clear-cut good man and dangerous man. Typically we’re simply current in techniques the place a bunch of individuals act in their very own self-interest; a few of them try to do good, however individuals have completely different conceptions of what good is. Making an attempt to explain a world stuffed with that type of complexity will not be as satisfying.

Stephanie: In your current story about maternal mortality, you discuss in regards to the doom-and-gloom framing that activists can use to highlight points. What are a number of the counterproductive penalties of that method that folks won’t anticipate?

Jerusalem: There’s this notion, which will be proper within the quick time period, that in the event you say, “A bridge goes to break down,” it’s going to get extra consideration than a report that claims there are some structural deficiencies in America’s infrastructure.

However in the long run, that first framing actually erodes belief between the people who find themselves attempting to get consideration for his or her trigger and the people who find themselves attempting to triage completely different points. As a result of on the finish of the day, there are finite quantities of time and assets. Coverage makers have to decide on which issues to prioritize, which means that one thing else will lose out. So if established organizations or journalists are always pushing out this narrative that every part’s on fireplace, it impedes coverage makers from making any kind of ordering choices. They could attempt to do every part without delay or prioritize the mistaken issues, which might result in chaos.

Stephanie: In your first episode, you talk about a examine that discovered that senior ladies engineers at an unnamed Fortune 500 firm had been extra productive after they labored remotely as a result of they had been spending much less time on mentorship and giving suggestions. However a prevailing narrative that took off through the pandemic is that ladies working from dwelling are doubly burdened: They must juggle little one care and take care of the same old work tasks. As extra analysis will get carried out on this matter, what are the following questions in your thoughts with regards to how distant work impacts ladies?

Jerusalem: After we ask, Is distant work working for ladies?, we’re additionally asking, Are they fulfilled? Is it true that distant work is making it attainable for them to be extra versatile, go decide their youngsters up from college, or hang around with their mates of their free time? Additionally, although it’s the case that mentorship is uncompensated by most employers, there’s plenty of connection that extra skilled staff derive from that sort of labor. Some individuals have responded to my podcast saying that they miss that facet of their work, regardless that they resented not being paid for it.

I feel it’s actually vital to begin from the query: What do we would like work to do for individuals’s lives? Does that differ by business?

Stephanie: What’s an concept or narrative that sounded good on paper to you however won’t warrant a complete podcast episode?

Jerusalem: The concept that go/fail lessons are simple and never nerve-racking. I took Mandarin go/fail my senior 12 months of school, considering it might be a low-stakes manner of studying a bit little bit of an vital language. I ended up within the horrible center house of devoting sufficient time to the category in order to not fail but not devoting sufficient time to really decide up a bit Mandarin. What do I bear in mind? Wǒ bú huì shuō zhōngwén.


Right this moment’s Information

  1. Hunter Biden was convicted on three felony fees associated to the acquisition and possession of a handgun.
  2. Hamas stated that it was keen to simply accept the UN Safety Council’s U.S.-backed decision for a everlasting cease-fire in Gaza as the premise for additional negotiations, based on Reuters. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has neither formally accepted nor rejected the proposal.
  3. The Biden administration introduced a proposal that will stop credit-reporting businesses from utilizing medical debt to calculate credit score scores.

Night Learn

A orange, red, and yellow photo collage of various new country musical performers
Illustration by Paul Spella / The Atlantic*

The Subsequent Nice American Mega-Style

By Spencer Kornhaber

If you happen to ask People about their favourite style of music, the highest decide tends to be traditional rock. However in the event you ask them which style is “most consultant of America right now,” you get mainly a cut up: 36 p.c say nation, whereas 37 p.c say rap/hip-hop, based on a 2023 ballot from the analysis agency YouGov … These findings would appear to help numerous preconceptions a couple of purple/rural America and a blue/city America, united solely in affection for “Don’t Cease Believin’.”

However what if these genres needn’t be all that separate? What if hip-hop and nation merged into one thing that felt like traditional rock? The thought seems like it might be worthwhile for the file business—and it could be what’s taking place now.

Learn the total article.

Extra From The Atlantic

Tradition Break

The US cricket team celebrates after a win against India
Tony Gutierrez / AP

Cheer alongside. Group USA’s historic win within the present world cricket event was a shot heard around the globe, Joseph O’Neill writes. Now it simply wants a home viewers.

Watch. Ishana Night time Shyamalan’s debut movie, The Watchers, finds a cautious steadiness between the freaky and the mundane, David Sims writes.

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