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  • Every movie you've ever seen,

  • every TV show, every magazine,

  • every time you surf the Internet,

  • you're absorbing information,

  • a bit like a sponge absorbs water.

  • The words on the screen, the images,

  • the colors, the sounds, the angle of the camera,

  • every detail is designed to make you think,

  • act or feel a certain way.

  • Your brain is subconsciously decoding images and sounds,

  • and just by being alive today,

  • by interacting with and reading all these different types of media,

  • you're already an expert

  • at decoding and understanding these hidden messages.

  • A set of codes and conventions that work together

  • to make you feel happy, angry, afraid, excited.

  • To make you want to buy a particular product --

  • a refreshing drink, a new phone.

  • To style your hair a certain way.

  • To cheer for the hero or boo the villain.

  • Welcome to the family tree of technical codes.

  • So what constitutes a code?

  • First of all, it has to be recognized by all who read it.

  • Imagine a busy city where motorists don't know how to read the traffic signals.

  • We all have to know red equals stop,

  • green means go, for the system to work.

  • Otherwise it would be chaos.

  • Secondly, codes are made meaningful by their context.

  • We can't fully interpret or decipher a code

  • until we see how it relates to other signs and symbols.

  • Look at these two intersecting lines.

  • Without any context, things around the code to help you understand or make meaning from it,

  • it's hard to know exactly what these lines represent.

  • They could be a cross, symbolizing religion,

  • an add sign, symbolizing a mathematical concept,

  • the letter T from the alphabet,

  • or they could just be two lines intersecting.

  • If we add a crescent moon shape,

  • and a circle with a line on it in front,

  • the two lines now have a context,

  • a relationship to their surroundings,

  • and are magically revealed as the letter T.

  • By adding additional information around the code,

  • we've changed its context, and therefore given it a concrete meaning.

  • Let's meet the family.

  • Technical Codes, Senior has three sons:

  • Symbolic Codes, Written Codes and Technical Codes, Junior.

  • Symbolic Codes has three sons:

  • Symbolic Color, Symbolic Objects

  • and Symbolic Animals.

  • This branch of the family is all about representation.

  • Red represents hot

  • or stop or danger, depending on its context.

  • So if you see a red light above a yellow and a green light

  • on a pole above the road,

  • you know by this context that the light represents stop.

  • Written Codes has three sons:

  • You and Only You, Buzzwords and Catchphrase.

  • These guys are all about saying a lot with a little,

  • or planting a word in your subconscious

  • that triggers a response whenever you hear or read it.

  • Have you noticed how many times I've said the word "you?"

  • You should feel like it's directed specifically at you, and only you,

  • that it's addressing your needs and desire to learn about your world.

  • If I tell you that all the cool, fresh and hip people are buying

  • a new drink or wearing a particular brand,

  • the buzzwords "new," "fresh" or "free"

  • make the product seem more interesting and appealing.

  • If I wrap that product or idea in a simple phrase

  • that's easy to remember and becomes part of your everyday speech,

  • then every time you hear or say those few words,

  • your brain connects them to the product.

  • So Just Do It, Think Different,

  • and Enjoy the power of the catchphrase.

  • And Technical Codes, Junior has three sons:

  • Camera Angles, Framing and Lighting.

  • For these boys, it's all about how the camera is placed,

  • how objects, people and places are shot,

  • and what we see on screen -- or just as importantly, what we don't see.

  • When the camera is placed high above the subject,

  • it makes you look small, insignificant and powerless.

  • And the reverse is also true, when the camera is below.

  • So is this video trying to manipulate you to buy something?

  • Yes, an idea.

  • The idea that understanding the relationship between technical codes

  • and the role they play in shaping your understanding of the world around us

  • through the media we consume is fun and interesting.

  • Is it trying to make you feel a certain way?

  • Absolutely.

  • Every image, every word,

  • has been carefully crafted to work together

  • to make you feel positive about the idea

  • that you need to be educated to engage with what you read,

  • watch and listen to in movies,

  • TV shows, magazines

  • and on the Internet.

  • By understanding these codes,

  • and how they work together to subconsciously change the way you think,

  • feel and act towards products and ideas,

  • you'll be aware of these techniques

  • and able to identify their impact on you.

  • One of the most powerful advertising mediums in the world

  • is word of mouth.

  • If you've ever recommended a product or movie, a service, or even a video online,

  • then you've played your part in passing the message.

  • So soak all this information up.

  • Recognize how the family tree of technical codes

  • works on you, and those around you, to make an impact

  • Find excellent examples,

  • and spread the word.

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【TED-Ed】The key to media's hidden codes - Ben Beaton

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    許藝菊 posted on 2014/08/13
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