Mystery in Media

August 25, 2010

Sitting here today reading my tech junkie news, I’ve noticed there has been a significant amount of, well, nothing.

Let me elaborate. When I say nothing I mean that media and marketing have adopted the J.J. Abrams philosophy: show you as little as possible for as long as possible and let the suspense kill you. Now I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Viral marketing has proven to be quite successful. Mostly I’m just making an observation about trends in the media as time progresses.

I don’t really watch much TV but I have seen many commercials for NBC’s upcoming show “The Event.” I must say I’m rather impressed by NBC as I have seen nothing, and I mean nothing, explaining what the aforementioned event is. NBC has been the underdogs in TV since the writer’s strike and their major shows like Friends, ended. This type of, for lack of better term, secretive marketing really draws in viewers. Even if the show tanks horribly after episode 3, I for-see a huge premier viewing.

I say this because human beings are generally a curious people. I’m guilty of this myself. We see commercials and ad campaigns for these shows and products we have absolutely no desire to see or use. Yet we see these commercials and we see these products advertised so much that we start to become curious, or just annoyed, and decide we’re going to check it out. This recently happened to me with “Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,” and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’m interested to see where marketing will wind up in the next 5 years, 10 years, and beyond. It will certainly show my age when I will be able to talk to my son about this in 10 years and have him notice the same things.


A Little On Life

May 18, 2010

Well its been a bit since my last update.  Unfortunately I’m at work so I won’t make this a long post.

I traveled back to my hometown last week to visit with my family and friends and also because it was my son’s first birthday so there was of course a grand celebration with the relatives.  It was good to see them all again.  I also managed an extended period of time with my better half’s mother and we didn’t get into an altercation so that is considered a perk in my book.

My stay back home, while fun, had to come to an end.  It was as Benjamin Franklin said, “House guests are like fish; they start to stink after three days.”  I try to hold this rule when visiting my family.  While I love them to death and love seeing them, three days is about my limit before we start to butt heads.

While back home, we experienced a slew of thunder storms.  I must say I loved them greatly.  One of my favorite past times is to sit and watch out the windows at night as the lightning cascades across the sky.  The rumble of the thunder resonates deep within my soul and each boom makes my heart flutter in excitement.  The storms help me to relax and to see the world in a new light.  It’s hard for me to explain so I shan’t.

I returned home shortly after to welcome in a new week.  My summer courses have started and I’m very excited to be able to work with Dr. Gestwicki doing a summer research project.  I’ll post more on that at another time.

Carpe Diem Is Not the Fish of the Day

May 7, 2010

This is the first of my blog posts.  In fact, its actually the first blog I’ve ever written.

I’ve always been a thinker and a writer, but I generally kept those thoughts private.  As this year has marched on, and by year I mean my academic year, I’ve discovered that keeping these thoughts and opinions private is not always the way to go.  In point of fact as far as academia goes, its almost essential to express your views and opinions.  Keeping things to yourself can only hinder you, both emotionally and spiritually.  It’s the same concept for being closed-minded.  What does one gain from not listening to others?  Nothing.  Thought stagnates and no new ideas can come to light.  Eventually, we decay intellectually and no further progress can happen.  In fact, it is at this point that society would start to decay.

Without new thought and ideas, we become bland and fixed.  We stop evolving and eventually we simply become part of the environment.  The lack of ideas will cause us to become uniform.  Each person will start to look the same, talk the same, act the same.  There is an old shirt I found in my closet recently which had an interesting quote that I’ve always liked:  “Without deviation from the norm, advancement is not possible.”  This quote adequately summarizes what I’ve said I think.

The primary point I’m trying to make is that we cannot be stuck in our ways for too long or we lose meaning and the ability to understand and think.  I see this all the time in politics and education and law.

Politics has degraded into nothing more than an old boys club.  Senators and representatives gather in Washington and do nothing but fight about issues.  They sit and play party politics and they have lost sight of their goal, to represent the wishes and will of the people.  I honestly can’t remember a time in the last ten years that I have not heard an election go off where the candidates religion came up.  Is it truly necessary to mention this?  I thought we had a distinct separation of church and state, or are supposed to anyway.  I don’t want a president or senator that makes their decisions based upon the holy script.  I want a leader that makes his decisions based upon the needs of the people.

I am an atheist, but that does not mean that I do not respect your own right to believe.  Each man, woman, and child can believe what they will, worship who they will, marry who they love, and do as they desire (inside the law of course).  I am but one man, human as the rest, and I have no more right force people to my side than any other.  I have no problems with religion, I truly don’t, but it’s when dogma stands in the way of social, economic, ethical, scientific, and any other kind of growth that I start to become agitated.  Believe what you will, but do not force your beliefs upon me and do not say my science is evil if I can use it to save lives.  If a person is willing to turn their loss into something that could bring joy and life to millions, who are we to stop them?

The primary problem with intellectual and spiritual growth and advancement in this day is age.  The people that run education and the people who run the country are primarily of the older generation.  Computers, cell phones, the internet; all of this is foreign to them in that they were not raised with it in their lives.  It was integrated into their lives only within the last 15 years.  They do not fully understand the technology.  It’s almost a foreign entity to them, one they must fear until they can understand it.  This fear and aversion to change is what causes stagnation.  The fear that this new thing, this new entity, might usurp from them a small modicum of their power, their authority.  We as humans fear that which is unknown.  However the days are fast approaching that in order to continue, we must accept the change, we must embrace the new and unknown.  At this point, we will be able to continue on and advance not only as a society, but as species itself.  This is the next step in our evolution.