July 16th, 2014
06:19 PM ET

What I'm reading: How to change minds

By Fareed Zakaria

“What if the best way to change minds isn’t to tell people why they’re wrong, but to tell them why they’re right? Scientists tried this recently and discovered that agreeing with people can be a surprisingly powerful way to shake up strongly held beliefs,” writes Julia Rosen in The Los Angeles Times.

“Researchers found that showing people extreme versions of ideas that confirmed – not contradicted – their opinions on a deeply divisive issue actually caused them to reconsider their stance and become more receptive to other points of view. The scientists attribute this to the fact that the new information caused people to see their views as irrational or absurd, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”


“[W]hile many Americans accidentally get caught up in the wide nets tossed out by NSA operatives into chat rooms and Facebook groups, the reporters also found that it is quite easy for the NSA to manipulate Section 702 when it wants to monitor American citizens without first getting a warrant,” writes Sue Halpern in the New York Review of Books. “It does so by using loose criteria to define ‘non-US persons.’ Americans who converse in a foreign language have been classified as ‘non-US persons’ under Section 702, for example, as have Americans who use off-shore proxy servers (that appear to place their computer in a foreign country, a practice often used by people in one country who would like to watch television in another, or want to bypass government firewalls). The implication here is that when the NSA wants to target American citizens without a warrant, Section 702 enables it to find a way.”


“Islam in Europe tends to be viewed as not only a recent, but also a foreign and threatening presence. This popular misperception results from a thousand years of willful forgetting,” writes Nayef Al-Rodhan for Yale Global. “In fact, Europe and the Arab-Islamic world have brushed shoulders for centuries, and their histories are inextricably linked. Knowledge, techniques and institutions made their way from East to West. As Europe was plunged into the Dark Ages, the Arab-Islamic world experienced its Golden Age; illustrious centers of learning in Baghdad, Cairo, Palermo, Cordova, Granada, Seville and Toledo drew scholars from far and wide, who not only studied the works of the Ancients but also developed bodies of Arab-Islamic science and philosophy. This westward flow of ideas and practices profoundly shaped Europe's development.”

“Yet, these positive encounters no longer constitute part of the collective memory of the West.”


« Previous entry
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. palintwit

    " Sieg Heil" ! Frau Palin !

    July 17, 2014 at 9:28 am |
    • So True

      Whip me like an "undesirable" (you know...the poor, old, sick, non-white, non-Christian, female, unemployed, and gay person) Frau Palin.

      July 17, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    Let us try the researchers' technique on @ palintwit.
    You are so right @ palintwit! That's brilliant–why, you're just a genius, aren't you. I don't know how you knew that Sarah Palin was the last SS officer to escape the Berlin bunker after Hitler's suicide there.

    July 17, 2014 at 9:38 am |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ palintwit. R.S.V.P.

      July 17, 2014 at 9:43 am |
      • palintwit

        Tea party patriots get turned on when Sarah Palin wears her hobnailed jack boots and carries a riding crop.

        July 17, 2014 at 10:01 am |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        Naw. It's her eyeglasses.

        July 17, 2014 at 10:35 am |
      • So True

        But Tea Tards also get turned on by the back side of a pig or sheep too. So that's not saying much.

        July 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    During the 1980s, I often walked a magnificent Doberman on NYC streets, and one lunatic in my neighvothod would always yell at me, "that was the Auschwitz dog! That dog was at Auschwitz!"

    July 17, 2014 at 10:00 am |
    • banasy©

      Maybe it wasn't the dog giving him flashbacks.

      July 17, 2014 at 2:56 pm |
      • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

        Ach, banasy–so you think it was my long leather coat from Selbach's?

        July 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
      • banasy©

        Or the silver buttons. Flashbacks are tricky.

        July 18, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
  4. rupert

    Help! Help! I caught botulism.
    @ joey. Hey! Your dirty dog is an Auschwitz dog! Keep him in a leash.

    July 17, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
  5. OK

    OK GOPTards get this straight. If the Maylasian jet was actually shot down by someone. That someone is a terrorist. It doesn't matter if that terrorist shot the jet down because he watched a video, if he was mad at his wife, or because the price of milk is too high. Do you understand that?

    July 17, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Uh, wrong story Bubba.

      July 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
  6. chri§§y

    Superman says hi guys! Lol

    July 17, 2014 at 6:31 pm |
    • bobcat2u

      Tell Superman I said hi right back at him. And btw how is Javier (right?) doing ?

      July 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
  7. chri§§y

    Lol yea you got it right @ bobcat. And hes doing well but bummed that he can no longer climb.

    July 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
  8. rick

    Uh oh.. This stinks of another ploy for Hillary! Maybe mind control will sell her book enough to take her out of the ONLY $100 million dollar poor house!! She would love to be put in a round room and told go sit in a corner! Oval office be renamed the MIRROR ROOM because of the walls covered in them. Like Narsisus..

    July 18, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
    • banasy©

      You sound frightened.
      I'm sure Mrs. Clinton won't make any structural changes to the Oval Office.

      July 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
  9. rick

    And the teeny weeny fack that europe refused the convert or die endless attempts.. Never worked.. And everything of their "achievements" was a thousand years ago. And totaly stopped by more civilized scocieties that actualy came OUT OF the dark ages and prospered greatly.. Instead of constantly trying to kill each other and EVOLVED into the modern world. Like indoor plumbing.. The toilet.. Electricity.. Sanitary conditions in field crops.. And family planning to actualy feed the children that europe was smart enough to afford. Instead of a burden on society.. Or.. Is the REAL HISTORY BOOKS not written by someone still in the dark ages in every school in civilized world..?? This lie was shown on yahoo answers as false years ago about the great eastern movement..

    July 18, 2014 at 12:35 pm |
    • banasy©

      Yahoo answers. Really.
      Oh, well, if Yahoo Answers said that, it must be fact. After all, only the finest historians answer questions on Yahoo Answers!

      July 18, 2014 at 8:58 pm |
    • banasy©

      And you do know they had indoor plumbing in Ancient Rome, right?
      And, no, I didn't find that out on Yahoo Answers.

      July 18, 2014 at 9:01 pm |
  10. chri§§y


    July 18, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
  11. dazzle


    July 18, 2014 at 8:48 pm |
  12. not content

    Why in the world are you posting this 4-22-2016 when all comments are dated 1n 2014.
    Why not Look at current events instead of old history.
    We can just call the internet a place to go for ancient news
    Get real

    April 22, 2016 at 11:16 pm |
  13. demstrup

    new balance 655 femme walking chaussure blancuzco converse zapatillas nike snapback trucker cappelli nike classic cortez b艖r f茅rfi z枚ld floral maxi ruha new york giants new era nfl draft 59fifty casquette
    demstrup http://www.demstrup.com/

    July 16, 2020 at 8:13 am |

Post a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

« Previous entry