Sunday, February 28, 2010

Visiting Expert: Anthropologist

Look at an ant colony. What is it's goal?
- to survive
-really? that's it?
-to do what the queen tells it to do.
-but why?
-because... they want to make more of themselves.
-they want to make more of themselves.
-they want to take all the surrounding materials and use them as the nutrients that will allow them to make more of themselves.
-they want everything to be them, they want to be everything.

Now look at humans. What is the goal of the human superorganism?
-i dont think it has one.
-you dont think it has one?
-well, i think that there are multiple colonies of humans competing for homogeneity. Right now, every country, every culture, every religion, every gang, every individual is trying to define their own way of being. Maybe the goal of the human superorganism needs to be identifying it's own purpose. honestly though, i think that we've had the fortune to study the smallest parts of organisms and find rules in the smallest of components.
-So then maybe the goal needs to be fundamental and more biological than cultural. Do we share the same goal as the ant? To make more of ourselves until we make everything us?
-but you can't make everything you because you need enough resources to provide for the continuation of a species.
-there needs to be balance.

An interesting take by PBS...are we 'weedy' enough to thrive in anything?

And...just for fun. Watch this... This video is incredible. It reveals the architecture of an ant colony.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My nostalgia is glow-in-the-dark

The Internet Has Eyes lets you see what the internet sees. It is the mirror of our collected mind and puts faces on the nodes of our human superorganism.

Basically, how it works is that the site connects you to video/audio/text chat with a "random stranger. Both parties have the option to hit "next" and move on to a new "random stranger."

People don't seem to know what to do with this site yet, how to act, or what new possibilities this opens up to us. While there are definitely some dicks out there (literally and figuratively), mostly people just stare at the person on the other end and hit 'next'. Flipping through humans like you would flip through channels on television. What are they looking for? How do they decide who to give time to... and how do you get somebody to give time to you? The funny thing is that people get really excited when they land on someone they recognize, and the ultimate is spotting a celebrity.

Entire websites are being devoted to chat roulette screenshots. These mostly display the funny/weird chat moments. (guy dressed like cat, scary clown mask, etc.) There are also regular people out there who are connecting and having conversations across the globe with people they might have never interacted with. They get less attention from the blogs, but these interactions are probably more meaningful as they spread information, stories, and culture in a whole new way. We can learn about people's aspriations in a new way too. Yesterday i spoke with a group of engineering students in Ranchi, India who were mostly interested in what kind of car i drove and the sports i played. Now, you probably think i left them completely disappointed, but my explanation of laser tag left them wide-eyed.

Also, hung out with my friend Tom the other night checking out chatroulette. see our misadventures HERE

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Personal Learning Curve

A lot of you have asked me why i decided to relocate. See chart.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Best Concept Ever

DinoRiders. People from space land on a far away planet (or presumably prehistoric earth). The bad guys use mind controlling machinery to capture and control dinosaurs, mount them with lasers. they battle the good guys, who have some sort of psychic bond with dinosaurs. Think 80s Avatar. This was my childhood. Batteries not included.

Rose being Rose

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bullet Ant Ritual

These rituals could be seen as cultural coping mechanisms for an evolutionary
need. Living in this forest means that getting attacked is a definite
possibility, so a strong tribe is required.

This ritual is a right of passage to become a man. Boys die--but those who
survive become men worthy of passing on their genes.

Makes me wonder, what are the cultural coping mechanisms in my own society?

Somehow this seems connected: Cyber Bullying Led to Teen's Suicide

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Future of the Workplace

Emcees of Innovation: The Rise of a New Discipline

There is no doubt that collaboration, or the romanticized ideal thereof, is intrinsic to the success of the modern organization. The idea makes logical sense; people working together should produce more than the contribution of any individual. And collaboration is not just an ideal, it is a functional necessity; people need to work together across geographies. However, in reality, the dynamics and tools of working together are often stumbling blocks.

Today, without easy and open communication, ideas can erode, and resources are wasted. Skilled specialists are being asked to take time away from their core capabilities in order to wrangle video-conferencing units. This can cause personal and professional difficulties, the detritus of which is dealt with by current HR and IT capabilities. We don’t need collaboration; we need fluent collaborators.

The Future:

As we come out of the recession we hang onto the dream that partnership will make a more productive and efficient workplace, the landscape of which is changing. Enter Gen Y flexing their technological and relationship-building muscles. They will appear to be excellent collaborators-they have the functional skills (see hours spent on Facebook). However, in a friction-filled committee setting, they are neither experienced nor self-directed enough in their fields to know what to do next. A backlash against the inefficiencies of collaboration is seeded.

Specialization regains popularity in the workplace, and along with it a new field of specialists is born- “Project Emcees”. These skilled middlemen help multidisciplinary teams communicate and understand each other, across the globe to facilitate progress towards common goals. This new function represents a paradigm shift in the way we work. Once again, employees in the workforce will be encouraged to do what they do best including Gen Y, who is poised to lead this emerging field and its supporting industries. The new workplace can have it all with collaborators helping specialists become more than the sum of their parts.

This new professional field will have social, technological, and market implications. Emphasis on the specialization of skills will return identity and pride in the workplace. Architectures and technologies will be reevaluated and designed for seamless group sharing. New corporate metrics and reward systems will be established for highly collaborative teams. The workplace that makes room for collaboration facilitators early will have a competitive edge by allowing for the connections that drive innovation and growth.

-Team Death Squad

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'll be speaking here.

Future of consumersim

A panel discussion & design charette on economic imperatives and the prospects for a post-consumer world

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Continuum901 Abbot Kinney BlvdVenice, CA 90291
RSVP by Friday, Feb 26th to

Discussion Panel Featuring:

Nathan Shedroff, author, Design is the Problem and Making Meaning, and program chair, CCA's MBA in Design Strategy

Sean Brennan, Senior Envisioner, Continuum

Tim Kasser, author, The High Price of Materialism, and Knox College professor of psychology

6-7PM Panel & Questions - The Consumption Conundrum
7-9PM Design Charette - Imagine Christmas/Gift Giving in 2020. What would Santa do?
In the wake of last year's crash, there was much talk about moving to "a post-consumer world"--less materialism, but more meaning; less stuff, but more sustainable. Record unemployment remains high, but as the economy creeps forward, car sales are rising, Apple sales are booming, and big screen TVs fly off the shelves. What happened? Is there still a more meaningful, more sustainable world emerging--or that could be created? Or are we simply waiting to revert to old ways? And if a post-consumer world is (or could be), emerging, what would that look like? Does it require new economic models, new politics and new ways of business? How do we design goods and services meant to be consumed, without 'consuming'--i.e., wasting--our future?

After the panel - we want to get our collective minds together to see what we can envision for the future and backcast what the implications are for us as designers and business people.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Reverse Engineering a Bad Advertisement

This is great. It could be done for probably any advertisement or even product. My job is to do this, but in the other direction.