"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward. "
-Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish philosopher and writer.
Hoodwinked or Wordsmithed?
Feb 21, 2013 Indistinguishable nonsense is meaningless.
Major corporations and government seem to have a penchant for it.
"The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens." -Leo Tolstoy, 1857
Not far from the truth, is it?
Take for example the following game. Match the platitudes from Fortune 500 mission statements:
|To instantly connect people everywhere to what’s most important to them.|
|To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.|
|To be the most essential global Internet service for consumers and businesses.|
How did you do?
It is almost impossible to tell one statement from the other, let alone match the company with the cliché. What purpose do these grandiose and uninspiring statements serve?
People are mesmerized by famous untouchables. Like the Emperor with No Clothes people extol wordsmithing, rather than face the possibility of being hoodwinked.
Feb 20, 2013 This is what people see when they look at a Google Search Result Page.
It is likely the same thing that they focus on when they visit your website. Notice that there is a distinct F shape followed by a triangle. The scientists refer to this as the Golden Triangle.
Feb 19, 2013 Billionaires don't market, do they?
Below are the top 10 billionaires as reported by Forbes, September 2012. Apart from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and the fact that these are the ten richest men in the world, take a gander through the 1153 of this ilk to see how the ones that you are familiar with stack up.
It's quickly apparent that Trump, Cuban, Branson and many others are merely peasants in comparison to over a thousand unknowns.
Why do we think that Donald Trump, Mark Cuban and Richard Branson are the zenith of the club when they are clearly also-rans? It's marketing.
Branson is marketing when he offers to send you into outer space for $1MM. Trump does it when he puts his name on towers that he doesn't even own. Cuban owns a major sports franchise.
In these three cases, that is their story. That story, is interesting, and makes promises of something great or unusual. That's what companies, artists and musicians have to package; -An interesting, unusual promise. Their story. That's what makes them stand out, even if relative paupers.
Money For Nothing
Feb 18, 2013 Everyone wants to get somewhere fast but if there were a shortcut, then everyone would be doing it.
The way to get there, is to offer something that your target audience is genuinely interested in. Then promise exactly in no uncertain terms what it is you're going to do. Then, produce outstanding content.
No shortcuts, no tricks, no tips to get there without something special that people want.
Did you know that Sting was embarrassed to be paid for adding the line: "I want my MTV".
Mr. Haney to Me
Feb 17, 2013 Building a PC from scratch required a visit to TigerDirect today for parts.
The sticker price of one item said save $20 instantly, $29.99!
It's trickery because anyone seeing that sticker card instantly registers $29.99. The item was actually $39.99 at check-out. Why? The missing $10 is a mail-in rebate.
What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising?
Vilhjalmur Stefansson, smartly stated "Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public."
So, is this ethical or unethical? It's all very Mr. Haney to me.
The more important question is: If the rationale for companies to market themselves as fast-talking snake oil salesmen is because the competition is doing it; ergo - they'll go out of business if they don't match tactics; then what is our responsibility as their prey? To accept it and say since you put it that way it is perfectly fine for you to be a weasel? What will happen to society? Should I treat my customers the same way?
It's a deeper philosophy than it may appear to be on the surface. If no one can be trusted, and we have to double check the double talk where is the love? Where is the fellow man? Are we reverting to anarchy with an excuse like; "It isn't personal, it's business"?
There once was a time that people would band together and embargo companies that used these tactics; -Yes even if it cost them a few bucks.
The Real Thing?
Feb 16, 2013 Twist and Shout was The Beatles' second album released in Canada in mono by Capitol Records. It consists of songs mostly drawn from Please Please Me, their first LP released in the United Kingdom. Twist and Shout was manufactured in Canada, using the RAINBOW Label.
Album back has boxed statement (THIS MONOPHONIC MICROGROOVE RECORDING IS PLAYABLE ON MONOPHONIC AND STEREO PHONOGRAPHS. IT CANNOT BECOME OBSOLETE. IT WILL CONTINUE TO BE A SOURCE OF OUTSTANDING SOUND REPRODUCTION, PROVIDING THE FINEST MONOPHONIC PERFORMANCE FROM ANY PHONOGRAPH).
The year was 1964. We played it on a Beatles Phonograph like this one.
It sounded real because of the recording methodology. Vinyl is analog and disseminates the sound in the same rounded waves that a voice or instrument percusses.
Ten years later, 1973, Lake Sebago State Park, Maine, we (four teenage boys) camped after a month of hiking the Appalachian Trail. No iPods back then so unless someone was hiking with an instrument or you were a barbershop quartet there was pretty much just the sound of Hunger Game mockingjays [sic].
One of the campers from Long Island had a battery powered Philips record player and the New Derek and the Dominos Layla Album.
By the early 1980's there were $10,000 turntables and amplifiers and speakers to match. Sound was continually approaching live concert quality.
In the same decade the SONY WALKMAN revolutionized analog listening to the personal level, while CD's were introduced to the market.
Real no more, digital sound gutted the music. It became strictly percussion with squared off sound waves at the peaks and nadirs. What sold it was that the pops and cracks were gone.
It doesn't even sound like music anymore because the MP3 is strictly digital reproduction. It sounds more like someone on a cellphone, than a performance.
My Samsung Android phone is not as clear or defined as my 1975 era Northern Electric handheld.
My photographs taken with a Nikkor Lens in Kodachrome look like the real thing but on Flickr they are just another mashup of light and color.
As Yoda would say: Pale imitations of reality, they are.
Is that all that the digiterati have to offer?
What will happen when the world is nothing but lesser copies, of lesser imitations, of lesser realities? What happens to the real thing?
For the Beatles fans:
Sound was analog, but if you had of asked any of us what that meant, we would have been clueless.
Emergency Spam Zombies Live on TV
Feb 15 2013 It is some coincidence that the same day that we suggested spammers are like a tattoo artist with a ham radio setup interrupting a TV broadcast that it actually happened in an even more hilarious fashion than we had concocted.
Check out the following video which shows what happeened tp Public TV 13 and CBS affiliate KRTV in Montana after someone hacked into the Emergency Alert System:
"Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages onscreen that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt to apprehend or approach these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.
"I repeat, civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Do not attempt to apprehend or approach these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.
"This warning applies to all areas receiving this broadcast. Tune into 920AM to get information in the event you are separated from your television or if electrical services are interrupted.
"This station will now cease transmission, so please use your battery-powered radio. Tune into 920AM for information."
Here is the apology from KRTV
The Station Manager didn't find this funny? I guess those jobs are rare in Great Falls.
Surprises Are Worth Thrice
Feb 14 2013 I'm reluctant to mix business with pleasure today, so suffice it to say that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
I have almost always had trouble with Valentine's Day.
I guess that it's first impressions; -My earliest recollection of it is of Mrs. Hansen's grade 3 class when Jennifer (whom I had a hopeless 8 year old crush on), didn't reciprocate my Valentine's Day wish. Of course there was Carol, which cried because I did the same to her. It seems cruel to break such tender hearts.
Love interests are best kept concealed if you want to maintain dignity. Valentine's Day cards are in the drawer right above clowns.
For those that agree, you know that love is 7/24/365 zen and you're not doing your loved one any favor buying them chocolates. Roses, when they're unexpected are worth thrice.
Happy Valentine's Day.
The Longtail of News
Feb 13 2013 It may not be news, but if you don't want to be in the 6 O'clock news Thursday, don't forget the card, flowers, chocolates and reservations.
What is news?
I'm always conscious of the dates of articles that I read and quote. It's a pet peeve when the writer omits this important reference point. Many things are time-sensitive and to know when something is published (if only as a frame of reference) helps us save time.
If we see the headline: 'Intel Triples the Speed of Their Fastest Chip' we shouldn't have to read through the second page to find it's about the original Pentium, written in '93. This is why each of our posts bears a date; as a common courtesy to those whom read the articles today and to those that will read them some day in the future.
Back to the question at hand; -what is news? News has always been a continuum. Like a Facebook wall. The thing is, that most of what we call news is not important. Anne Hathaway winning an Oscar isn't (unless you're seeing Les Miserables changes the course of your personal history). The largest glacial calving ever; -is.
Important life changing revelations that may take years to transpire should be allowed a wider birth as news. In fact, it can be argued that everything that once was outside of our grasp. that is now available in Wikipedia is news.
We all make our own news as we peruse and parse the universe for knowledge. Maybe it's reading Catcher in the Rye for the first time since High School, maybe it's hearing Linda Perry (4 Non Blondes) sing 'What's Up' for the first time and having an epiphany. Maybe it will come to you when you read the 2004 book the The Long Tail.
That's what news should be: News that is significant enough to modify our worldview and worthy of passing on to others.
It's still news if you haven't heard it. In fact, it's still news if you forgot it. It is even news if you learn something that you didn't learn the last time you encountered it. Such is news. So before you write off something with what seems to be an expired release date, ask yourself if it might be a learning moment.
When you watch the evening news, ask yourself why you are watching what the alphabet networks deliver as news. You might find it is nothing less than mind-sucking drivel.
Released in 1992, just slightly before the first Pentium processor. More about Linda Perry.