The importance of sound bites, Ctd.
To be, all at once, accurate, concise and emotive strikes me as a difficult task, and I agree with Chomsky that it’s especially difficult when you’re going against the grain. That said, I’m not convinced that it’s a challenge which academics and intellectuals should avoid, or even have the luxury of avoiding. Surely concision, favors the simple and conventional, but this is as true in writing as it is talking on cable news. The problem is that intellectuals are (hopefully) trained to write. They aren’t trained to talk.
As difficult as it may be, those of us trying to convey a more nuanced picture of science have to wrestle with this challenge. Lehrer and Freedman’s work, while important, need to be complemented with concise, clear statements. Without them, our message will not be very effective.