Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Episode 34: Reiteratively Repeated Redundancy

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Episode 34: Reiteratively Redundant Repetition concerns me asking the eternal question: Why do advertisers run the same damned ads again and again and again? Won't we get sick of them, and maybe just avoid those media outlets who stoop to such echoing? I attempt to answer the question with an actual expert!

This episode includes an explanation of two very key psychological phenomena by Ray Hyman (interviewed by one of Skepticality's hosts Derek Colanduno). We also hear a short clip from Kelsey Grammer's Frasier Crane from the Cheers years, backed by Pietnastka's "Dice." That piece also closes this shorter than usual episode.

Why the brevity? Well, let's just say I started worrying that the entire sketch I included as an illustration of the Amnesia Effect might be: a) taken the wrong way, a way in which I did not at all intend; or b) taken exactly as I intended it. Either way, there might be some folks a bit grossed out by my cave men and their conundrum. I should get some listener feedback about what is and what is definitely not funny before showing my humor in all its glory and ghastliness.


  1. Subtitle of episode: Caveman gets first "boner"

    1. *Rimshot* FTW!

      (If you think that was painful to hear, wait until I post the finale. . . .)

  2. This bit reminds me of Infinite Jest's take on advertising yet again (it presents a very clever satire involving the death of broadcast advertising due to a trend of ads that are simultaneously extremely obnoxious and extremely effective). The essay in my previous link mentions a study that I found very interesting (though unfortunately could only read the abstract). The study suggests that people's subjective enjoyment of a show is unexpectedly enhanced by advertising because many people have a terrible time paying attention to anything for long without interruptions (any interruption), enough to outweigh the effect of the interruption being less enjoyable than the show and generally annoying.

    Makes me wonder if there's any correlation between things like Netflix and ad-skipping DVRs and the present trend of increasing <A href="http://www.fastcocreate.com/1682278/infographic-the-state-of-multi-screen-viewing>multi-screen viewing</A> (the marketing jargon for checking Twitter on your phone or browsing the web on your computer or whatever while half-paying-attention to the TV).

    1. Sorry about the messed-up markup. Could've sworn it looked right in the preview.

    2. Interesting. So interruptions help with appreciation. I can buy that. And since our brains appreciate the break, they don't necessarily hold the ads against the experience.

      Orson Welles was asked about an obnoxious squawking parrot in Citizen Kane that came out of nowhere; he said he needed to "Wake 'em up," meaning the audience. And Sesame Street has been criticized as long as it has been on the air for breaking its sketches as if they were on a commercial broadcast; think of the "Brought to you by the number 9" spots, for example, and all the mini-sketches between the main theme sketch.

      Then again, I doubt this is anything new. In essay, Edgar Allen Poe once said that poetry should never be longer than a certain number of lines. That might explain why he only wrote one novel, and why that novel read more like a string of short stories.

      I don't know about multi-screen viewing myself. I'm, er, too old for that. ;-)

      No worries about the error. I'm still getting used to this interface as well.