fear

Reflections on Fear in a Networked Society

I’ve been trying to work through some ideas on how fear operates in a networked society. At Webstock in New Zealand, I gave a talk called “Culture of Fear + Attention Economy = ?!?!” Building on this, I gave a talk at SXSW called “The Power of Fear in Networked Publics.” While my thinking in this arena is still relatively nascent, I wanted to make available what I’ve thought through so far in the hopes that you have feedback and critique.

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Will You Become Irrelevant?

I often wonder what makes us pull up short. Why do we not step over the line between being comfortable and terrified? Between the center and the edge? Between staying the course on a path we know leads to a slow decline and another that leads to an exciting but unknown future?

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Scary Idea: Forget Focus Groups

In the last week, a lot of press attention was devoted to the use of brain scans to optimize the fear factor in horror movies. As CNN reported,

 

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Synthetic Fear: How to Make a Scary Movie

Over the years, movie-makers have tried to go beyond what’s on the screen to scare theatergoers. In the 1950s, director William Castle startled those viewing his horror films, notably The Tingler, with gimmicks like vibrators installed under some theater seats. When the creature escapes into a theater in the movie, Vincent Price’s voice warns the viewers that the Tingler is loose and tells them to scream. At this moment, the theater projectionist would activate buzzers under the seats of a few people in the audience, often eliciting the desired screams.

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Neuroarchitecture Gets More Attention

by: Roger Dooley

My 2005 post, Neuroarchitecture Next Buzzword, was more premature than prescient. In the ensuing years, the idea that neuroscience had anything to offer architects received little public attention. Now, however, the field is again in the public eye.

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The Power of Falling

by: John Winsor

A couple of weeks ago I took a big fall while climbing a route that I was scared of and having trouble figuring out. I was about 20 feet off the ground when my feet and hands slipped at the same time sending me flying towards the ground.

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Maybe the Meltdown's a Guy Thing

by: Scott Goodson

This is a great article from today's NY Times and a fun read if you have a moment. I knew testosterone was powerful, but I never thought that the presence of cortisol could change the world so dramatically. Yikes! Perhaps it can.

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Fear Factor Branding: The Best Ad Placement Ever

by: Roger Dooley

One of the interesting tricks our brains play on us is to transfer physiological and emotional states that we are experiencing to something else going on at the same time. In Sway, authors Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman describe one of the more unusual experiments in behavior I’ve seen.

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