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George Lakoff is Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of
Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at
Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. He previously taught at
Harvard (1965-69) and the University of Michigan (1969-1972).
He graduated from MIT in 1962 (in Mathematics and Literature) and
received his PhD in Linguistics from Indiana University in 1966.
Protect Internet Freedom
The Internet is a public resource that belongs to the People. That's because the Internet was developed by our federal government in the 1960s and 1970s. The idea was to "build robust, fault-tolerant communication via computer networks." The result was the Internet. The Internet belongs to us. But we have to fight for it right now, or we may lose it.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017(4 comments)
Why Hate Speech is Not Free Speech
Hate speech changes the brains of those hated for the worse, creating toxic stress, fear and distrust -- all physical, all in one's neural circuitry active every day. This internal harm can be even more severe than an attack with a fist. It imposes on the freedom to think and therefore act free of fear, threats, and distrust. It imposes on one's ability to think and act like a fully free citizen for a long time.
Monday, August 7, 2017(19 comments)
The President Is The Nation: The Central Metaphor Trump Lives By
It seems clear that the President is living by the metaphor, with enormous repercussions for our nation and the world. We see this in his speeches, his tweets, and his official actions. It also explains the tension with Reince Preibus and why Preibus had to be replaced.
Sunday, July 30, 2017(6 comments)
Time to Solve the Student Debt Crisis
The student debt crisis is crushing Americans. It keeps them from buying homes, getting married, and living fulfilled lives. It directly robs them of their freedom, their opportunity, and their pursuit of happiness. And this is not just a problem for young people. Student debt hurts entire families.
Monday, January 27, 2014(2 comments)
SOTU 2014: The Cognitive Power of the President
The president has material power without the Congress, and personally, I would like to see him use it. He could issue an executive order for the government to grant contracts only to companies that pay their workers above some higher minimum wage. Or he could reject the XL pipeline on national security grounds. Cognitive powers may seem small, but used over time they can have major effects.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013(2 comments)
The NY Times Uncovers Conservative Attacks and Then Prints One; Both Are On The Front Page
It's one thing to publish a blatant conservative attack on President Obama in a column on the op-ed page or in the Sunday Review, and another to publish it on the front page, as if it were a news story. Political words do not just pick out something in the world. They reflect value-based frames. If you successfully frame public discourse, you win the debate.
Obama Reframes Syria: Metaphor and War Revisited
President Obama has reframed his position on Syria, adjusting the Red Line metaphor: It wasn't his Red Line, not his responsibility for drawing it. It was the Red Line drawn by the world, by the international community -- both legally by international treaty, and morally by universal revulsion against the use of poison gas by Assad. metaphors can kill.
Saturday, February 16, 2013(6 comments)
Speaking Out Is at the Heart of Being a Citizen
Speaking out is at the heart of being a citizen, speaking out is political action, and only if an overwhelming number of us speak out, and live out, this American vision, will the president and the Congress be forced to do what is best for all.
Friday, February 15, 2013(1 comments)
How the State of the Union Worked
Obama made the SOTU address work by keeping his eye on the prize: a steady focus on general principles that form the foundation of progressive policy.
Sunday, November 4, 2012(26 comments)
Global Warming Systematically Caused Hurricane Sandy
Yes, global warming systemically caused Hurricane Sandy -- and the Midwest droughts and the fires in Colorado and Texas, as well as other extreme weather disasters around the world. Let's say it out loud, it was causation, systemic causation.
Systemic causation is familiar. Smoking is a systemic cause of lung cancer. HIV is a systemic cause of AIDS. Working in coal mines is a systemic cause of black lung disease.
Obama Defends Freedom of Religion: Be Not Afraid of Mitt Romney
Do you believe in freedom of religion? President Obama does, and he is defending Americans' freedom of religion against Mitt Romney and Fox News in the administration of his health care bill. Do you believe in freedom of religion? President Obama does, and he is defending Americans' freedom of religion against Mitt Romney and Fox News in the administration of his health care bill.
Monday, June 18, 2012(5 comments)
Obama vs. Romney: The Framing Matchup, Round One
We are now in a situation where conservatives have framed almost every issue. The least Democrats can do is to refuse to repeat their language and so help them.
Perhaps the most important omission from the Obama speech was any overt mention of The Public -- everything that our citizenry as a whole provides to all, e.g., roads, bridges, infrastructure, education, protection, a health system, systems for communication, etc.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012(6 comments)
The Santorum Strategy
The Republican presidential campaign is about a lot more than the campaign for the presidency. It is about guaranteeing a radical conservative future for America.