Seeing is believing

Christopher Caldwell in the Financial Times , reviewing the new book of film academic Stephen Apkon called The Age of the Image , argues that “The written word is becoming the language of a scholarly establishment”:
“Until recently, it was the essence of statesmanship, scholarship and justice to purge strong emotion from our deliberations. Images today, though, are so plentiful and sharp that they dominate our thought processes. Although Mr Apkon relishes the immediacy of YouTube, he fears that political advertisers will soon be able to craft stories around “hidden mental hungers”, easily manipulating voters.
Citizens tend to think about voting in one of two ways. First, you base your vote on your identity. You are a farmer, so you choose the candidate best disposed towards farmers. The second theory is that you vote on arguments, independent of identity. You believe a sales tax should replace income tax, so you vote for the candidate who shares that opinion. But today’s image-based communication has little to do with identity or arguments. It has to do with the lowest-common-denominator traits that mark you as a human animal.”