Image Problem?

Image Problem?

I'm breaking the unspoken cardinal rule of street photography and posting a photo of a homeless person once again.

If you've ever had a long conversation with someone who hasn't been in the U.S., or someone who's only visited tourist locations, you end up saying: "Wow I didn't know the U.S. was so cool". That disconnect between their image of the U.S., and the reality you see with your own eyes is due - at least in part - to Hollywood. Movies and TV series, when taken on the whole, distort the reality that is the U.S. That seems normal enough - we all like show our best side - but it's a little more nuanced than that.

In 1990, Harvard professor Joseph Nye coined the term "soft power". It has since come to mean "the influencing of social and public opinion through persuasion, lobbying and propaganda". Nye defines "power" as, "the ability to influence the behavior of others to get the outcomes you want". In itself, power is not a good or a bad thing - that depends on the justness of the "desired outcomes". Likewise, "soft power" can be utilized for good, or for evil, but it differs from "hard power" in that it is primarily clandestine. And things done in secret generally do not work out too well for the majority...

I'll finish this post quoting Joseph Nye: "Attention rather than information becomes the scarce resource, and those who can distinguish valuable information from the background clutter gain power".
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