Odorless&Transparent

"the deadliest bullshit is odorless and transparent" - William Gibson

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

America is that really you?

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Simple. Honest. Brilliant.
i suppose that technically the academy gave filmmaker Errol Morris his oscar for his amazing documentary film work, but in my book he got the golden statue for his work in championing "The High Life."
We can now fully appreciate his work online:Miller High Life Commercials.
Now, I am prone to exaggeration and hyperbole, but I firmly and soberly proclaim that it is the greatest series of commercials in American Television History. I'll see anyone who says otherwise on Fight Hill.

Thank you Errol. Thank you High Life

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

peep show

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in my heaven there will be peeps all year round

peep jousting
more than you would ever want to know about peeps...including poems

add has its benefits

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My generation is so add that it is not enough to listen to one song at a time, we have to take multiple songs and mash them together. most times it sucks, but every once in a while...well, it's not like we are going to listen to it again or even be able to sit through the whole track without skipping ahead on the ipod. Anyway, here's some mash/bootleg sites that don't suck.

GHP
Hearing Double
Beatmixed

Big thanks to beatmixed for turning me onto an amazing but loong article in the LA weekly on the current state of the music biz...A small new future:
"The record industry discovered some time ago that there aren’t that many people who actually like music. For a lot of people, music’s annoying, or at the very least they don’t need it. They discovered if they could sell music to a lot of those people, they could sell a lot more records.”
—T-Bone Burnet

"Here is the moral of our story: In a music industry filled with Cynics and True Believers, they say the good men die like dogs, and the bad men make out like bandits. “Good men” has always been code for the True Believers, people who actually like music. Well, it’s about time the Cynics start watching their ankles. Some of those dogs have grown teeth. And they might turn out to be pit bulls."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Rise and Fall

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Come check out the Startup.com flick and co-founder Kaleil D. Isaza Tuzm at UNC this evening. the film contains perhaps my most favorite scene in any documentary film. Free itunes song to the first person who knows what it is or can guess.
UNC News release -- Dot-com rise, fall examined in March 22 screening,
panel

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

tradeoffs

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My headphones have been playing a lot of London's Xfm and we funk radio recently.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

it aint about a wordlock

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The Economist has an article on "The future of innovation" coninciding with a new book by the head of MIT's User Innovation Project - Eric Von Hippel.

The book, Democratizing Innovation will be available electronically via a Creative Commons license, and "looks closely at this emerging system of user-centered innovation." It's great that big business is finally realizing that this is a real force, even if they don't really understand the customers who are contributing, but from what I can tell, everyone is still looking at the end result rather than the process itself. I'm excited that von Hippel's book may finally start addressing some of these "ancilliary" benefits...it'll be interesting to see how far he goes.

The number one rule for any of these projects is that the project should be worthwhile even if you take away the end result/product/concept/etc. If a company is eyeing ROI from such a project, then the project should already be worth commiting the resources even if all the customer "innovations" are garbage. The real value is the process itself, the conversation between company and customer, not in any "new idea" that is spawned. The totally lame and lazy metaphor at the end of the economist article, "Either way, some firms are starting to believe that there really is such a thing as a free lunch," shows that unfortunately the "creative consumer" is still being looked at through dusty 19th century lenses.

update: full book now online here

poopy in training

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I don't know if muppet understands cockney, but i'm thinking about enrolling in school with
this guy. I think muppet would make an excellent on ball defender.

Friday, March 11, 2005

cant knock the hustle

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I'm not sure what to think of the trailer i just watched for
Death of a Dynasty. Is it possible for anybody, much less image conscious hip-hop moguls to pardoy themselves "in the spirit of This is Spinal Tap"??? Damon Dash could always have some surprises up his sleeve, but the trailer isn't encouraging (to be kind).

ye ole AI waffling

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I'm listening to the mp3 of On Intelligence (which i higly recommend), so I got interested in a fun but disjointed and academic discussion over at Edge entitled THE PANCAKE PEOPLE, OR, "THE GODS ARE POUNDING MY HEAD" started by avant-guarde playwright/etc Richard Foreman:
"But today, I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self-evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the "instantly available". A new self that needs to contain less and less of an inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance—as we all become "pancake people"—spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button."
...lots of smart famous people respond.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

redline

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Paul Graham, author of solid gold Hackers & Painters, writes a great column on How to Start a Startup. Thank you.

Here's some of my fav cuts:
" I can think of several heuristics for generating ideas for startups, but most reduce to this: look at something people are trying to do, and figure out how to do it in a way that doesn't suck."
"If you work your way down the Forbes 400 making an x next to the name of each person with an MBA, you'll learn something important about business school. You don't even hit an MBA till number 22, Phil Knight, the CEO of Nike. "
"Hackers are so used to computers that they have no idea how horrifying software seems to normal people. Stephen Hawking's editor told him that every equation he included in his book would cut sales in half."
"If you want ideas for startups, one of the most valuable things you could do is find a middle-sized non-technology company and spend a couple weeks just watching what they do with computers. Most good hackers have no more idea of the horrors perpetrated in these places than rich Americans do of what goes on in Brazilian slums.
"It's easier to make an inexpensive product more powerful than to make a powerful product cheaper...It's very dangerous to let anyone fly under you"
"Great things happen when a group of employees go out to dinner together, talk over ideas, and then come back to their offices to implement them. So you want to be in a place where there are a lot of restaurants around, not some dreary office park that's a wasteland after 6:00 PM. Once a company shifts over into the model where everyone drives home to the suburbs for dinner, however late, you've lost something extraordinarily valuable. God help you if you actually start in that mode.
"
"My final test may be the most restrictive. Do you actually want to start a startup? What it amounts to, economically, is compressing your working life into the smallest possible space."

real and surreal

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Check out Apple's behind the scenes look at Gunner Palace with filmmakerMichael Tucker for some fascinating background stories and apple realted tech talk:
"In the heat of it all, he says, soldiers kept in touch with friends and family using modern technology — unprecedented in wartime, but often making the separation feel even greater. In a diary entry from September, 2003, Tucker wrote, “Nothing is more bizarre than watching a soldier argue with his wife about which bills to pay as a firefight plays in the distance. The irony is, all the technology in the world can’t bring them home. You feel close, but in reality, you are further away than you thought.”

It was this constant juxtaposition of real and surreal, along with the soldiers’ attempt to cope and survive in the face of growing hostility, that made Tucker realize he had to tell their story to the world. “For the soldiers, it’s really validating that someone tried to capture what they’re going through,” says Tucker. “That’s probably what I’m most proud of — that to them it feels true.”"


Also, the Hitchhiker's trailer we've all been dreaming...complete with lots of meta-trailer references and Adam's-esqe humor.

more drink coasters?

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Today Alcatel CEO Serge Tchuruk makes some pretty damning statements about the DVD at some forum or another in Paris:
""The DVD will be short lived," said Tchuruk. "This kind of video was a passive exercise. Today things need to be much more interactive."
Alcatel isn't a disinterested party in these waters, but they have some strong evidence and market indicators to back it up.

On his blog The New Normal VC Roger McNamee serves up some very nice incites and future glimpses on a post-DVD world. Even the comments section warrants a thorough read.:
"Imagine how interesting the web would be as an eBay-like marketplace of creator/sellers of content.  Imagine how much damage would be done to the equity market value of content distributors who fail to understand the change and modify their strategy to benefit from it. "

links via /.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Coventry Cathedrals

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I'm reading Gladwell's Blink, and so far it has met all expectations. though i doubt it will infiltrate language and minds the way Tipping Point did, Blink is an even better read. Sure some of the anecdotes don't really contribute to a neat and coherent theory the way some readers might like, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's simplified neuroscience a tad, but the man can write. Its fun to sit back and enjoy ideas and stories in the hands of a virtuoso.

I started checking out the archives on his site and randomly poking around his New Yorker archives. This article on Group Think stuck out...SNL, Tubingen philosophers, and Café Guerbois in one swoop:

"We are inclined to think that genuine innovators are loners, that they do not need the social reinforcement the rest of us crave. But that's not how it works, whether it's television comedy or, for that matter, the more exalted realms of art and politics and ideas."

Monday, March 07, 2005

His name is Muppet and he dances on the floor

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my parents got a new puppy and i fashioned him a cape from a red dish towel.

Friday, March 04, 2005

I LOVE SPACE, Babies!

mustard

Money where your mouth is


Simple and "complete crystalline pure" effective...3M Security Glass Ad at Signal vs. Noise. link via b3ta