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Creativity Social Media Tech

Werner Herzog talks filmmaking, Pokemon Go, and how to manage our online life

The Verge interviewed legendary director Werner Herzog about his online class where both aspiring filmmakers and professionals can learn his tips and secrets on moviemaking.

Not surprisingly, Herzog practices an unusual style of teaching too. He encourages his students to break the rules of storytelling and make up their assignments.

“don’t wait for the system to accept you. You create your own system, create your own [budget] and make your own first feature film or your first own documentary.”

For all the affordable technology today though comes our self-inflicted barriers of Internet addictiveness. To avoid the pitfalls of a “parallel surrogate life,” filmmakers need to get offline and touch things. Herzog only owns a cell phone for emergencies.

On the contrary, he reveals a fascination with technology, particularly Bitcoin, as it relates to news ways of storytelling.

“I’m interested how can I commit a bank robbery holding up the bank and getting away with loot of something that you cannot even touch”

The funniest part of the interview is when Herzog needs an explainer on Pokemon Go. He does not think the game is moronic, only that it is not for him, at least not as real as the human connection. Talking about virtual reality, he still prefers it when you get on your two feet and encounter the world and others face to face.

The conversation over Pokemon leads to some of his deeper thoughts on the role of technology in our lives. At the end of the day, humans are morally responsible for their tools.

“Sure, and the question — is this technology good or bad? — is an incompetent question. It’s humans who are good or bad.”

Read the entire interview here.

Categories
Culture Politics & Society Social Media

How status and likability affect your health 


Popular people live longer.

As social animals, the number of friends predetermines our well-being and lifespan. The gregarious live long than loners.

But life hinges on authenticity — it is not a popularity contest.

The number of people we know means nothing if there’s zero reciprocation. The other person(s) have to like us back. There’s a real benefit to solid relationships.

Think back to high school: were you amiable to a few trusted friends or sworn to attention?

The same question applies to our behavior online. It’s rare to have both status — millions of followers — and likability. The difference between the two is subtle.

Explains Mitch Prinstein, UNC psychology professor and author of the book Popular: The Power of Likability in a Status-Obsessed World:

“Likability is markedly different from status — an ultimately less satisfying form of popularity that reflects visibility, influence, power, and prestige. Status can be quantified by social media followers; likability cannot.”

Mitch Prinstein

If we’re looking for happiness in the credibility of numbers, social media is the wrong game to play. Happiness links to likeability, not our number of followers.

It pays to be both well-known and well-liked if we want to extend our lives. So how do we start? For one, we can be kind to others, remembering their name, and seek a thread of commonality.

gif via Tony Babel

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Social Media Tech

Adding to the pile

Another tweet, yet another Instagram — we keep on adding to the digital morass. Can we archive it all?

Of course, we can.

Google and Facebook are hoarding every little iota of data we create. They own our words, even the ones we put in drafts.

The ephemeral qualities of a pixel are a treasure trove for the attention merchants looking to retarget us with their product offerings.

Data churns into advertising like oil does through a pump. Nobody understands the details but can comprehend the general idea of the scene.

Store and retrieve, so much production, from numb thumbs to naive. We persist in feeding the algorithms with more input it can easily handle.

The pile is infinite.

If you're a WRITER or aspiring blogger, I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Categories
Business Social Media Tech

‘Everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance’

An illustration of data passing through the web

“Another flaw in human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance,” said Kurt Vonnegut.

Everybody’s wants to start something, but rarely do they want to maintain it.

The problem in growing at no costs is that it obviates purpose and integrity. Instead of leading by example, the race to the bottom unearths the highest greed. Few win, more lose.

That’s the lesson of Facebook, the so-called ‘behavior modification empire.

The social network cut corners on data collection to make another buck. No Facebook: We will not answer any more questions “to help people get to know us.” Just replace the word “people” with the attention merchants.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal was the nudge Facebook needed to become more accountable. Seizing the data of others and building on top of it contorts the machinery of morality. 

The selfish reason to be ethical is that it attracts the other ethical people in the network.

Naval Ravikant

So now Facebook is all about the privacy game because it’s good for business. But just wait until Instagram becomes the victim of data exploitation.

Sometimes the genie of innovation requires that the master purveyor gets slapped again and again until it gets it right.

The seesaw tilts back to the morals of vision over avarice, eventually.

gif by Matthew Butler

If you're an artist, photographer, writer, etc., I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Categories
Culture Social Media Tech

Disattention is the new attention

A gif of a mask around a woman Silhouette with white eyes

There’s no cap on freedom of speech, nor is there one on attention. The latter, unfettered, encumbers our thinking with the juiciest of distractions.

Facts no longer keep attention. It’s all about the design, bluster, the infomercial, and the story. Distortion runs rampant because in the age of social media tribes bias controls the narrative. The downsizing from mass to niches means our grip on the world is more illusory than ever.

What information consumes is rather obvious. It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.

Herbert Simon

Hiding behind our screens of self-promotion does nothing to generate change. A digital identity is full of artifice and spin.

The key to unlocking the facade is to see through its pixel-less value. Avatars are mere masks. The real world still needs impactful design, a far stretch from craving the irreality of a facelift.

gif by @elinanikkinen

If you're a WRITER or aspiring blogger, I highly recommend creating your own blog and publishing something new every day (read my post on how to set up a FREE blog on Wordpress).

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Categories
Culture Funny Social Media Tech

The Beatles never look up

A cartoonish modern-day interpretation of the iconic The Beatles Abbey Road album cover. The only thing missing, besides Paul McCartney's shoes, is the Abbey Road zebra-crossing. Chances are the driver also works for Uber. #funny #thebeatles #art

What if the four distracted Beatles never looked up during the Abbey Road album shoot? This cartoon presents a funny, modern-day interpretation of the iconic The Beatles Abbey Road album cover. The only thing missing, besides Paul McCartney’s shoes, is the Abbey Road zebra-crossing. Chances are the driver also works for Uber.