One Reason Why People Hate the New Google Logo: Irrationality
The quality of discourse over the new logo has skewed toward the low social media standard, although there are some smart and introspective things to be said for and about Google's sudden shift.
Not that you're not already aware, but Google has a new logo. Here's what it looks like:
Bow before your new typeface overlord.
For comparison, here's what it used to look like:
As is natural when a major organization changes literally anything, the peanut gallery has been plenty vocal on whether or not they approve. Putting aside the silliness that is Twitter discourse, it's important to remember that change to a familiar sight is always going to be a major topic for discussion, and there's a good reason for this. We're irrational beings and our goofy reactions to stuff like this are worth an introspective glance.
Many of us have laid eyes on basically the same Google logo at least once a day for the better part of 16 years. That level of consistency means the familiar logo has become more than just something we interact with — in a way it has become a subconscious part of the self — pretty much the Holy Grail of corporate branding. As Erving Goffman would note, sudden shifts in self-perception necessitate a period of grieving, cooling, and analysis. So if anyone tries to approach you and say the changed logo isn't news, you can go ahead and smack them with a social studies textbook.
But with that in mind, we should also acknowledge the irrationality of the outrage over what is, rationally speaking, an innocuous change. Achieving the aforementioned Holy Grail of branding requires the exploitation of the brain's irrational impulses. Designers strive to imbue products with personality, which is impossible in real life because they're inanimate objects, but is totally possible in our minds because we're wired to associate products with emotions. (As Wired wisely noted, that's exactly what Google is trying to do with the new logo -- communicate the company's soft, gentle friendliness).
— Herb De Mattos (@hdemattos) September 4, 2015
A major reason why people like that guy and this guy are both bothered by the new Google logo is because their brains had developed irrational affection to the "loved character" of the old brand. Sure, says the thoughtful human. Anyone who once carried around a security blanket can empathize.
But if we adjust our thinking caps, it's not too difficult to realize that this is all our irrationality speaking. These particular critics are taking emotionless items like typefaces and color schemes and associating them with human traits. Goffman might have volunteered the idea that these folks are in the midst of a grieving process — the loss of a friend — and are self-adjusting.
Either way, it's useful from time to time to step back and think about why we choose the products we do. Where does our brand loyalty come from? Who is exploiting our brain's weaknesses for financial gain? And finally, whether or not it's a good thing we're so wired for irrationality.
Not that irrationality is always bad. Just ask Dan Ariely.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
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If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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