Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Blog Tutorial...

It's been a long day, so this will be a short post... I've just returned home after visiting Joanna for an emergency blogging tutorial. This had the advantage of combining some of my favourite activities into one evening: driving (you say "global warming" like it's a bad thing!), meeting friends (I don't do much of that in term time), teaching (I adore being able to show people how to do stuff), eating (Joanna cooks a mean lasagne, and I didn't even have to wash up), drinking tea, blogging and enjoying chocolate cake of various descriptions.

The evening was very enjoyable. It did take on a slightly surreal twist: a MORI-poll canvasser knocked at the door while we were drinking tea (waiting for a video to upload.) I am very suspicious of such polls. I know enough about Psychology to understand that the questions can be phrased in such a way as to produce exactly the result you want. I rarely give the canvassers the time of day...

Joanna was far more friendly. She also knows the question-twisting proclivities of such organisations, but she's a kindly soul, and so invited the chap in. He seemed extremely confused by his welcome: I suspect that the majority of people react with the same suspicion I do, and he was slightly caught off-guard. He refused her offer of tea, coffee or cake, and when Joanna said, rather kindly, "I suppose not, you'd be drinking huge amounts of tea all day!" he seemed almost embarassed to have to admit that this wasn't the case... but was too polite to say that most people sent him away with a flea in his ear.

It was extremely entertaining: Joanna wanted to give answers that weren't "on the answer card" and the poor man kept scrolling through his list of tick boxes looking for somewhere to record her responses. Finally, Joanna presented the canvasser with a couple of cards of the Holy Father, and he wandered off, looking slightly shell-shocked.

I wonder what she does to Jehovah's Witnesses?

6 comments:

Brendan Allen said...

Yes, there's a scene in "Yes Prime Minister" where Sir Humphrey gives Bernard a briefing on how to manage and hold opinion polls. He demonstrates how you can simply get the punters to give you whatever answers/results you want to hear by using the questions to steer and direct them.

The example Sir Humphrey gives is about the re-introduction of National Service. If you want the punters to return a result in favour of National Service, you start off by asking questions such as: "Are you worried about youth unemployment?" "Do you believe young people would respond to a challenge?" and so on, leading to the last question "Are you in favour of National Service?"

And if you want the opposite result, you steer the punters with questions like: "Are you worried about the threat of war? Are you worried about the high level of Government spending on the military, when it could be spend on hospitals or schools? Would you oppose training young people to kill other young people." Then finish off with: "Are you opposed to National Service?"

And of course, when publishing the results, you only refer to the very last question.

That's that. Now Mac, please may we have a full report on the chocolate biccies!!

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Re the Jehovah W's..they called on Monsignor Graham Leonard once & quoting scripture & all that..said why don't you drink a cup of poison if we give it to you, since you believe it won't harm you? To which he replied, 'no, you drink the poison & i'll raise you from the dead!'..love it..

gemoftheocean said...

Mac, Jehovan's Witnesses are easy to get rid of. Tell them you are a Mormon. If the Mormons come to the door, tell them you are a Jehovah's Witness. Those two groups despise each other. It's not lying if you have your fingers crossed. Really.

Adele said...

How funny! Isn't she a sweet lady? Her house sounds like a warm Hobbit Hole, all cosy with all kinds of hospitality and good food.

la mamma said...

Oh, Mac, it sounds like you had a fun evening. I'm not interested in the biscuits (unless they were home-made); I'd like to hear about the cakes. I have fond memories of our Mrs. Bogle and it sounds like she hasn't changed a bit. Fantastic.

deb said...

Is that a picture of her? She looks like a sweet woman. I'd love to visit with her myself.

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