Arts Culture Tech

‘Toys are preludes to serious ideas’

Those shiny toys, they give us all the answers and leave little to the imagination. What could unleash creativity like a blank paper does for a pack of gel pens instead turns off the lite-brite of ideas. #technology  #tech #ipad

“Toys are preludes to serious ideas.”

Charles and Ray Eames

Those shiny toys, they give us all the answers and leave little to the imagination. What could unleash creativity like a blank paper does for a pack of gel pens instead turns off the lite-brite of ideas.

Charles and Ray Eames knew about the risks of shiny objects all along.

Arts Creativity Uncategorized

Digital art by Manolo Gamboa Naon





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Culture Daily Prompts Social Media Tech Writing

The sorcery of screens

The sorcery of screens.png

The internet never ends. Mountains of content are piling up as we speak.

The hook is neither in our control or that of technology. We pull the lever, the slot machine spits out a variable reward.

It’s impossible to disentangle ourselves from the mindlessness of a ludic loop. With more data, the machine grows smarter and more manipulative.

But we can’t fault our own blindness, zombie scrolling in the sorcery of screens.

All the while, the trees are abundant, pumping oxygen into nature and encouraging humans to rejoin the broken.

Tethered to the magic of screens, we feed the data distilleries with our oil and reap cheap entertainment pellets in return. There is no quid pro quo. We are competent and conscious only in our dreams, awaiting that return to an archaic form of life.

Books Social Media Tech

Dave Eggers: Social media is like snack food

71XgEQwvBjL“It’s not that I’m not social. I’m social enough. But the tools you guys create actually manufacture unnaturally extreme social needs. No one needs the level of contact you’re purveying. It improves nothing. It’s not nourishing. It’s like snack food. You know how they engineer this food? They scientifically determine precisely how much salt and fat they need to include to keep you eating. You’re not hungry, you don’t need the food, it does nothing for you, but you keep eating these empty calories. This is what you’re pushing. Same thing. Endless empty calories, but the digital-social equivalent. And you calibrate it so it’s equally addictive.”

— [easyazon_link identifier=”0345807294″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]The Circle[/easyazon_link] by Dave Eggers (2013)

Social media is free fast food that can make your brain fat. As former president of Facebook Sean Parker said about the platform last year: it exploits a “vulnerability in human psychology.”

Science Tech

The future of work


The future of work is no work. Workers made of bits instead of human cells will occupy all the jobs. In the case of Uber, for example, “once you take the brain out of the driving, it’s just a person following a map,” explains the author Ryan Avent in his new book The Wealth of Humans.

The digital revolution is the modern day industrial revolution, except you can substitute big data and intelligent machines for human labor. Humans, like washing machines, are too abundant–supply exceeds demand.

People identify with their jobs, even if they hate them. Jobs not only give us a sense of purpose, they fill the day. No one wants to feel useless and bored. So it begs the question: when the machines are doing all the work, what are humans left to do? 

Avent believes the rich will be the only ones to hire human labor, as if humans become cherishable objects like vinyl. Perhaps more people will go into the arts and put on their philosophical thinking caps again–the last ‘metaphysical club’ met in 1872. Or will government prop up manual labor like it once did to regalvanize the American automobile industry? Anything is better than twiddling our thumbs. Says Avent:

“It is disappointing to think that we’d have to create make-work for people, but it may be the hard truth.”

The Next Industrial Revolution


The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

— George Bernard Shaw predicted why you’ll never win an argument on social media because of the whip-speed of digital communication.


Free up time. Free up space. Free up the excess and fill it with some constraint.

The mind needs to wander. Ideas need time to bake. What blooms is an epiphany that’s hard to fake.

Take one digital bite. Take another. Distraction is the new dopamine.

The more to do means less time to make. Keep the focus. Keep the faith.


Just can’t let go. Where They Create: Common Space
Just can’t let go. Where They Create: Common Space

Social Media Tech

Social Media Marketing

Marketing is subtle. It’s the art of selling without selling, manipulating people into checkout.

Subtle selling is supposed to be the catch-all of all social networks. But social media has never shown to successfully convert into sales.

Social networks are vehicles for conversation rather than sales channels.

Would you try to sell something other than beer at a bar?

Social users are more liable to sell something than a brand. Mass marketing, or push marketing, on social media channels does more to inform customers than convincing them to buy. In fact, the biggest fans if located properly can create more awareness than a top-down marketing campaign.

Social media marketing disrupts the traditional purchase funnel because it starts with getting a product into the hands of loyalists who then drive the conversation which increases trial.

Social media is its own unique marketing realm. The customers are the marketers.


Sunday Social Roundup

  1. Twitter now enables GIFs just like Tumblr. Tumblr is well known for reviving the GIF format on its platform for creators. But what’s this new GIF functionality mean for Vine, which was Twitter’s GIF outlet in the first place?

  2. Facebook introduced Slingshot, apparently a Snapchat competitor. The only drawback is that you have to send something in return to view your friends content. I may be old school, but why enforce such a hurdle? Based on Facebook’s previous copycat history, this app is also bound to fail.

  3. Facebook is reportedly not cool, again. However, what I find interesting about these teens’ perspective is that they’re realizing what adults realized long ago, that people want real interactions. Social media is just a way to get there.

  4. There’s 250 new emojis going to be added to all phones. Apparently there’s even one to express the middle-finger. How far we’ve come.

  5. YouTube continues to integrate itself into the TV. At which point does YouTube become the new cable. It’s already doing the music deal.