I deal in fictions – that means that I make my living (well, WOULD be making my living if I was selling any of them) by lying. When I put it that way, I suppose I should feel bad about it, but I don’t represent my stories as though they’re something that really happened.
In my day job, we’ve been asked to participate in something called Digital Fitness – we’re supposed to be getting up to speed on emerging technologies, as well as getting more comfortable and literate as regards the new tech that is now running our world.
I became concerned while watching a couple of Ted talks for Digital Fitness, There were 2 presentations which showed the value of using technology to make an emotional connection with your audience. One showed the power of immersing the viewer within the scene by using Augmented Reality to recreate a “real-world” situation. By placing the audience within the scene, it was easy to get them to buy into that reality, to make the emotional connection that the scene’s creator wanted them to feel.
There was also what I will call the “Sensory Studio” that “brings the future” to us to see, or feel, or smell (for example, they created the scent of heavily polluted air, which they then had the audience inhale). The goal again is to cause an emotional reaction in the audience, to bring this reality to them in a more visceral, and therefore more persuasive way. This might be interesting as a tool, say, to experience what the Brazilian rain forest or Mars smells like (if I can’t get there on my own.)
As new ways of creating art, these are both interesting and effective. But there is a real ethical problem here – the ability to portray an opinion as though it is fact (something that happens all too often in more traditional “news” presentations nowadays), and in such a strong, impactful manner that reason and logic are overpowered by emotion.
Perhaps I was particularly bothered by the work of the “Sensory Studio” because they were attempting to push the audience to action against Climate Change, and I believe that Anthropogenic Climate Change is at the least unproven science, at its worst discredited dogma. Using tools to present people with the unprovable “consequences” of this speculative future as though proven science seems a scam, and totally unethical. Worse than “An Inconvenient Truth” presenting itself as a documentary of proven science.
Don’t mess with people’s emotions to get them to believe false claims. Even if we’re willing to say climate change is a matter of opinion (it’s only a theory, which the true-believers deny) it is unfair to convince people to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT by fooling them so. Win over your audience with reason and sound arguments, not with emotional trickery.
Let’s try to keep our fantasies and realities where they belong.
There is again an outstanding coupon for 67% off of my collection And Yet Still Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND (- the next ten people to purchase the collection at Smashwords with coupon code LZ78M will receive a 67% discount, so you only pay 99-cents for SIX stories (do the math – that IS such a deal!)
Stories included: “The Red Barrens”, “Dempsey’s Debut”, “Look Both Ways”, “The Final Ending?”, “Close Enough”, and, of course, “The Wolves Will Come.”
Here’s the link on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/587154
William Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent release “Date Night” – can be found in many places, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri