There Is No Cat

Groovy '60s Sounds from the Land of Smile!

Saturday, November 16, 2002

The voice of an American

My good friend Kim Andrew Elliott has an op-ed piece in today's The New York Times about "public diplomacy", propaganda, unbiased news, and why America needs to focus on the last of these in its efforts to talk to the rest of the world. Kim is the audience research officer for the Voice of America and has been involved with international broadcasting for many more years than I'm sure he would want me to point out, so he knows of whence he speaks. The following two paragraphs seem to encapsulate the heart of his argument:

I have been doing international broadcasting audience research for 25 years, and I am not aware of any persons huddled by their radios to hear about the achievements and values of the United States or any other country.

People do listen to foreign broadcasts if they are in countries where information is controlled by the government. They listen to the stations that best provide a credible substitute for the news they are not getting from their domestic media.

Sadly, I know that Kim has been on about this for years, in places like that august journal, Foreign Affairs. I doubt anyone in power will pay attention to this article, either. Ideology seems to trump research in politics. (Thanks to my friend John Figliozzi for pointing this article out.)

Posted at 2:59 PM

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This site is copyright © 2002-2017, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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