Written in the Sand
Dune, Book One, Chaper One part 3
Welcome back to Written in the Sand. I’m Patrick. Thank you for your patience in waiting for this episode. I think the extended breaks may be over for a little while. I did pick up some software that is helping in organizing and plotting, so that’s a bit of good news. In looking over my material, I realized that I’ve written so much, I might as well be writing a book, you’d be surprised how many words can be spoken in a minute. So that’s how I’m approaching this project now, as a serialized book..
I’m actually liking this method. It’s so much easier than thinking I must cram everything in. While completing this episode I have written almost all of the next and the one following, so we should be back to a regular schedule shortly.
This is a short episode. There is a big one coming up that is almost complete to finish off Chapter One, but I forgot this part and exploring it separately buys me more time. And it also means I don’t have to get a headache trying to force fit it in.
What I want to address today is the manipulation of Paul Atreides in the first chapter. It is a very subtle form of manipulation, and my interpretation is somewhat speculative, but it’s Dune, so plans within plans within plans is par for the course. Now, I did mention this manipulation previously with regards to family, but there is another aspect to it that is used more than once. Paul is the son of a Duke. He has rank and his commitment to his role in society, what we call duty, is called into question here.
He is basically told that if he fails to comply with Mohaim’s wishes, he has failed his lineage, and failed at life — which is actually true because she’ll kill him, but even before she makes that obvious, she is goading him into compliance, and Jessica may be helping her.
The first indication of this manipulation is when Mohaim catches Paul pretending to be asleep.
continued in podcast…
The relevant book for the episode will always be in resources. If you haven’t picked it up yet, you should.
The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard
I read this as a kid. As I recall, I was looking to do a science report on lab rats and instead I rabbit holed into behavioral psychology. As I’ve mentioned before, I was a strange kid. This sparked an early fascination with looking into deeper meanings. I became more interested in the techniques of creating commercials rather than in buying what the commercial was hawking. I looked for the things that were implied rather than spoken, critiquing because it was fun. Needless to say the desired results don’t usually pan out very well with me — I buy from convenience or research, not commercials — but I do enjoy watching and listening to the advertising efforts.
Subliminal Seduction by Wilson Bryan Key
No longer in print, unfortunately, but another book I came across that sparked my interest in the manipulations of advertising. It road a certain wave of paranoia that swept the nation in the 1970’s. Most of it was eventually dismissed, but I’m not entirely convinced it was complete hogwash. As my next link suggests, there is some renewed interest in some of the techniques described.
Subliminal Seduction gets a Second Glance by Julie Sedivy Ph.D.
Just an article that came up as I was browsing along. Some interesting points, nothing too fancy.
How to Win Every Argument by Madsen Pirie
This delightful little book covers some basic tools used to manipulate. Presented as a lesson to be exploited, it serves as an introduction into the world of base Sophistry. Learning these techniques is actually a good way to learn how not to fall for them. Just try not to be a dick about it.