Wednesday, October 24, 2007

what's bad for you?

we started a book club of sorts. picking a book and then discussing it here through comments and posts. this is the first one; "everything bad is good for you" by steven johnson. basically, he makes the point that pop culture is not dumbing us down, in some ways it is making people smarter. i found it ironic that johnson quotes a 2004 study from the national endowment for the arts; "...reading for pleasure had declined steadily among all major american demographic groups. the writer andrew solomon analyzed the consequences of this shift: 'people who read for pleasure are many times more likely than those who don't to visit museums and attend musical performances, almost three times as likely to perform volunteer and charity work and almost twice as likely to attend sporting events. readers, in other words are active while non readers- more than half the population- have settled into apathy." might be true but reminds me of the warnings and fears about magazines displacing and destroying newspaper and radio displacing magazines and books and television sounding the death knell of radio and the internet hastening the demise of all other media. it looks more like time spent with the internet and games etc changes things but ends nothing. still only so much time in a day; either fit more in or let something go. seems to be mostly fit more in. thus the multitasking.
but there is some reason why people often say the book was better than the movie. because they helped co author the book. hard to co author a movie when someone tells you what the character looks and sounds like. but maybe there is an element of co authoring games or is it all about the reward system of getting to the next level and sending dopamine through the circuitry of the brain? and are we co authoring at all when we get into games and have to figure out how it works as we go?

at any rate, is there a mass culture or a herd culture or both? does it make any difference when you are trying to develop and media neutral plan and strategy?
more to come(?)

Friday, October 19, 2007


i was looking through seth godin's book "small is the new big" and i was struck by the post on 'cogs'. he states, "the end result is that it's essentially impossible to become successful or well-off doing a job that is described and measured by someone else...the only way our country (or your country depending on where you live), your economy, and most of all your family has to get ahead is this: make up new rules".
"People who make up new rules continue to be in very short supply".

seems formal education tends to work in a linear fashion and aids a linear thought process. those most rewarded in life often think in a lateral fashion, making unusual combinations and connections. as more people become formally educated, are education and creativity headed on a collision course?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

as many have mentioned, it seems an inordinate amount of time (and money) is being spent on the upcoming presidential election. i think this is especially lengthy considering whoever is elected will be in office for 4 or at the best (?) 8 years. so it could be a quarter of the time or more will have been spent on getting to the office. and then it's over because it is a set time limit.
and my thought was, what if marriage worked this way. you spend a year or 2 in courtship. and then marriage lasts for a limited time. perhaps longer than the presidency; maybe 12 years. then you can mutually decide to re-elect each other but at the end of 2 terms you have to either run for another office or choose not to run for anything again. maybe write a book or just read books.
just a thought. blasphemous i suppose.

Friday, October 5, 2007

the inevitable but not to be morose

we can cheat taxes or at least some people can but we can't cheat death. we can add a little to life perhaps by attitude, diet and exercise and of course not forgetting to drink plenty of water. but if we know it is coming why are we so surprised when it happens. my younger brother died in august. he was ill so we knew it was coming. and now he has a chance to get another body and try again according to some philosophy's and religions. and according to others, he is simply in a better place. i think he has a chance at a better body and i will see him again some time. but in either case, i find it curious that it is so hard for us to value the moment and i find it curious that it is so hard for most people to live as if this is the last moment of your life in a positive way and not a negative and hedonistic way. and perhaps most curious is how people can live as if the extinction of life will not come.
in the mean time, think i will do my best to enjoy life.