Meta States around Eldred

Over at the American Open Technology Consortium Doc Searls is going deep about the metaphorical aspects of the Eldred case:

Watch the language. While the one side talks about licenses with verbs like copy,distribute, play, share and perform, the other side talks about rights with verbs like own, protect, safeguard, protect, secure, authorize, buy, sell, infringe, pirate, infringe, and steal.

This isn’t just a battle of words. It’s a battle of understandings. And understandings are framed by conceptual metaphors. We use them all the time without being the least bit aware of it. We talk about time in terms of money (save, waste, spend, gain, lose) and life in terms of travel (arrive, depart, speed up, slow down, get stuck), without realizing that we’re speaking about one thing in terms of something quite different. As the cognitive linguists will tell you, this is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s very much the way our minds work.

But if we want to change minds, we need to pay attention to exactly these kinds of details.

He also links to Metaphor, Morality, and Politics, Or, Why Conservatives Have Left Liberals In the Dust, by George Lakoff. This 1995 article examines the different guiding metaphors that underly the conservative and liberal (in the US sense) views of “what is moral”.

I think Doc is onto something here – and the link that is forming in my mind is with the Meta-states / neuro-semantics model. At a recent training Michael Hall was starting to [apply those models to aspects of culture][9] – how to understand, how to change… It seems obvious that two of the meta-states at work here are “It is important to protect property” and “It is important to enrich the store of public knowledge and creativity”, but I have a sense that the two sides can be linked… I need to play with this one for a bit…

[9]: Cultural Modeling

Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change