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Date: Saturday, 13 Feb 2010 23:18


Author: "scottheif"
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bedscreen   New window
Date: Saturday, 01 Aug 2009 13:02
From an ad on the subway:
From AmericanWell.com:
Picture 41
From Wall-E:

From David Byrne's True Stories:
And a clip of that movie
Author: "scottheif"
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Date: Monday, 20 Jul 2009 19:11

Author: "scottheif"
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Date: Friday, 03 Jul 2009 00:06

Author: "scottheif"
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now   New window
Date: Thursday, 14 May 2009 01:01
"this world of flow, of streams, contains a very different possibility set to the world of pages"...
"watching a 30 min delay on a stream — is somewhere between weird and useless"...
"Defined use case vs. open use case.. If Facebook  is the well organized, pre planned town Twitter is more like new urban-ism — its organic and the paths are formed by the users...
"Eno: It’s a misunderstanding to think that the traces of human activity — brushstrokes, tuning drift, arrhythmia — are not part of the work. They are the fundamental texture of the work, the fine grain of it."

SH note:
The Now Web is synchronous -- and synchronous tends to favor urgency over importance, drama over efficiency. Phone calls and IMs are to email what the NYT Stream is to the NYT home/front page: More now/synchronous/exciting, but arguably less efficient. Do we choose the excitement of urgency -- over importance? The excitement and human drama of waiting in line at the Apple Store -- and watching a crowd draw a crowd -- is less efficient than waiting a couple days to buy the Apple Thing a couple days after launch with no line. When does excitement & drama trump efficiency? And when does it not?
Author: "scottheif"
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inc   New window
Date: Monday, 11 May 2009 02:24

I'm a big fan of Douglas Rushkoff. His work has been a big influence on me -- from Media Virus to Coercion to Nothing Sacred. Now he's got a new one, "Life Inc" (amazon)

My blurb:
"fuck you, douglas rushkoff, for pissing me off and making me re-think everything. anyone who questions everything will have their everything re-questioned. this book is a painful read, and i loved it. gore ain't got nothing on this inconvenient truth. i couldn't put it down while i wanted to burn it, and i learned more from it than i learned in all of college. life inc's education is intense and puts you on a wild ride to seeing the world damn naked and disconnected. this book will either be burned or regarded a masterpiece. required reading for anyone who wants to really understand our world, our economy, our history, and our hope for the 21st century."

My 101 highlights of the book:

    1. the only corp violations worth punishing anymore are those against the shareholders (intro)
    2. the market and its logic have insinuated themselves into every area of our lives (intro)
    3. the line between fiction and reality, friend and marketer, community and shopping center, has gotten blurred (intro)
    4. just as we once evolved from subjects to citizens, we have now devolved from citizens into consumers (intro)
    5. corporatism itself: a logic we have internalized intour very being, a lens through wichi we view the world around us... we accept its dominance over us as preexisting... it just is. (intro)
    6. shop owners did not specialize in actually making anything, but in generating profit thru selling. biz for biz sake was born. 5
    7. consumers are easier to please than citizens 16
    8. independence from one another meant increasing dependence on the companies that served us 18
    9. slowly but surely a new definition of self as 'consumer' penetrated the mass psyche 18
    10. with no other choice avail, we grow up partnering with corps for our very identities. a kids selection of sneaker brand says more about him than his creative-writing assignments do 20
    11. but we all love corporations 20
    12. on the synthetic landscape of corporatism, corporations are the indigenous creatures and we are the aliens... we must work through them rather than through each other 21
    13. the invention of monotheism purposefully disconnected us from the forces of nature, the invention of the corp purposefully disconnected us form one another 21
    14. domestic localities fall over each other to win their business, either too confused or too corrupt to act in their own best interest 41
    15. where once an exec had a stake in the conditions surrounding the factory he commanded and the homes i nwich his workers lived -- if for no other eason than their procimity to his out home -- now he could hop on a streetcar and leave the filth and noise behind... labor unrest only exacerbated this urge to retreat to a home that was both a refuge and a fortress... arguing that 'society is not friendly'... strangers became criminals... 47
    16. french historian philippe aries, 'much of life was inescabably public; privacy hardly existed at all" 49
    17. self-sufficiency was part of the myth of the self-made man in his private esate, so community property, carpools, or sharing of almost any kind became anathema to the suburban aesthetic 51
    18. [nothing[ to do with people's real need for land, and everything to do with excess capital's need for a place to grow 55
    19. conformty shouldn't be confused with solidarity. the houses and families within these subdivisions were equal but separate. 61
    20. because doing well meant moving up and out, any gains in status were at the expense of commnuity 62
    21. going into debt, distancing ourselves from our neighbors, and striving for conformity became equated with freedom 63
    22. distracts us further frfrom the social crisis at hand by recontextualizing it as a market phenom. after all this, we're still most worried about the money? 71
    23. whatever once contributed to communit and connected people is slowly replaces by the real-estate market's simulations of what community looks like 72
    24. just because a centruy of misguied social engineering has sterilized our urban and suburban lanscapes doens't mean that corps offer the best hope of restoring a social fabric... with the civic center quite literally zoned off the map... any creation of meaning anca value comes form the outside in. to participate means to buy 77
    25. victor gruen.. his innovation what we now call the shopping mall... club meeting rooms in his original plans... the promise of the malla s a social substitute for Main Street was revealed to be a farce 79
    26. the more disconnected people became from one another, the more easily they could be manipulated... and more dependent on central authorities to create both value and meaning  89
    27. the invention of the printing press turned reading, lit, and bible study from a group activity to an individual one 92
    28. enlightenment, individuality, and ageny are all beautiful concepts, but they came along iwth new allegiances to larger depersonalized and abstract institutions... and kept people eye's and attention upward and off one another... aperson with a local sensibilitty understood his role within the fabric of his farming community or village relationships. now people were supplying commodies to more centralized businesses 93
    29. the brand replaces p2p  human relationships with abstract top-down ones
    30. branding defined and redefined individuals as subjects, citizens, workers, consumers, and eventually shareholders always counting on the power of image and myth to stir people's hearts more effectively than other people ever could 96 (FB)
    31. human relationships were further mediated through capital, products, or myths. collectivist impuleses were shunned in favor of strident individualism and personal achievement 97
    32. if the oats were bad, you'd know where to find the man responsible. you knew his face... if his oats were bad he's lose more than a customer, for you lived and worked in the same town... had had more at stake than your business. you were more than just one another's customers; you were interdependent members of a community 98
    33. learn to feel as good or better about hte picture of the Quaker as you did about he real person supplying your oats before... who doesn't feel good about Quakers? they're dedicated to exactly the kind of town meetings and local sharing that a national oats company would seek to replace 99
    34. the customer had to know who uncle ben and aunt jemima were just by looking at them once on a store shelf 99
    35. industrialization of the economy required a corresponding desocialization of the people within it 99
    36. while mass production desocialized the worker, mass marketing desocialized consumption 99
    37. it was more effective and sensationalist to call them a mob 102
    38. without any competition, corporatism spread as a national ideology and operating system 106
    39. corp PR men sought to discredit FDR's collectivism by showing how it threateneed the personal freedom of individuals 107
    40. the AAAA campaigned to defend their industry against muckrakers hopeing to destroy "public confidence" in advertising. the image industry was in peril as its targets -- the american public -- attempted to return to reality 107
    41. rather than see themselves as workers, americans would learn to see themselves as consumers 110
    42. corps were empowering people, through their consumption, to become more themselves. at its core, the new tactic would be to promote the idea that corporatism restored people's individuality, while collectivism and community forced only stultifying conformity. corporatism would help you be more you. 110
    43. people devising these schemes don't feel guilty about any of this becuase their stimulation of consumption is understood as a public good 111
    44. walter benjamin in 'the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction' is that by removing something from its original context or setting, we kill the sense of awe that we might attach to its uniqueness 117
    45. once people are relating to mass-produced symbols and imagery as if they were real, they are much more susceptible to mistaking any spectacle for real life 117
    46. the brand universe becomes an alphabet through which young people can assemble their own combinations of meaning and identity 118
    47. atkin: 'brands are being used as credible sources of community and meaning'... corps have stepped in where traditional meaning-makers have failed us... the more desocialized we are, the more dependent on atkin's external prefab meaning systems we become.... real religion, culture or art's original intent is to communicate values and meaning useful to human beings... with the intention of making society more functional and ethical... corporate advertiisng has no such origins... tested to evoke a response and nothing more... values that don't resonate with buying things -- such as those that actually bring people into direct contact with one another -- will be eschewed in favor of those that require corporate-manufactured intermediaries  120
    48. this generation of ad strategists... seem oblivious to the biases that were so explicitly a part of [the origins of] their work...  behave as automatically as the consumers they hope to control, promoting a corp agenda at the expense of agency 126
    49. gladwell's... justifications to today's generations of compliance professionals 127
    50. rather than attempt to educate the masses, we should simply dispanse with facts. the result is a world in which a few educated experts compete against one another for the 'blink' decisions of uneducated and unthinking human beings... corps with the most money would presumably have access to the best psychological technicians 128
    51. exploitation of community and friendship 'social marketing'. they don't see it as the destruction of social reality, but its very rehabilitation... believe they are creating opportunities for people to engage with each other once again... consumer chosen to be a product spokesperson gets to step into the role that only a trusted corp could play before... transcend the role of worker or consumer, and become a living part of a corp's brand image" 133
    52. personal freedom would become the rallying cry of one counterculture or another, only serving to reinforce the very same individualism... we were either individuals in thrall of the masquerade, or individuals in defiance of it. corporatism was the end result in either case. 137
    53. instead of annihilating the illusion of a self, as buddha suggested, the self-centered spirituality [new age] led to a celebration of self... the self-improvement craze had begun. instead of changing the world, people would learn to change themselves  139
    54. christian branding turns a religion based in charity and community into a personal relationship with jesus -- a narcissistic faith mirroring the marketing framework on which it is now based 142
    55. it's a difficult moment to try to return to being a human again, too. even that sounds more like a self-help course than a workable strategy. 144
    56. human beings go from subjects to citizens to worker to consumers to brands. 144
    57. consider the possibility that neigher our corps nor the money on which they thrive are real. they weren't here to begin with. we invented them, together, just as we invented our selves. 144
    58. the rand scientists believed that mutual distrust should rule the day 151
    59. the brilliance of reaganomics was to marry the antiauthoritarian urge of what had once been the counterculture with the antigovernment bias of free-market conservatives 153
    60. human beings are just as likely to share and cooperate as they are to cheat and compete 157
    61. assuage residual guilt the rich man might feel over the inequitable distribution of wealth 159
    62. dispense with the assumption that human beings were born to be economic actors... principles of the intentionally corporatized marketplace are not embedded in the human genome, nor is self-interested behavior an innate human instict 161
    63. ever expaning debt. sustainable business is no longer an option. everything must grow with the increasing money supply 163
    64. promoted collective investment rather than priate hoarding 165
    65. real people and businesses did best when prosperity was a bottom-up phenomenon, share by all instead of just a few 167
    66. centralized currecies [are perceived as] the end of a dark age rather than the end of decentralized prosperity. likewise, historians today are more likely to point out that the great art and science of the Renaissance was funded from the top by wealthy patrins, as if to disabuse us of the notion that such an explosion of imagination and inventiveness could have occurred from the bottom up .it did. 171
    67. double-entry bookkeeping... defines what can happen and what can't 175
    68. there are 2 economies: the real economy and the speculative economy 176
    69. as wealth is sucked out of real economies and shifted to the speculative economy, people's behavior and activities can't help but become more market-based and less social 177
    70. local currency... bartering... accepting favors... feels messy and confusing to us...walmart is a big company...with deep pockets we could sue if something goes wrong... rather hire a pro rug cleaner, nanny, or taxi... than borrow, babysitting exchange or join carpool 178
    71. successive disconnects 178
    72. kids want to be bill gates or to win american idol without wanting to be sw engineer or caring about singing ... the money & recognition they envision for themselves is utterly disconnected from any real task or creation of value 181
    73. adam smith's theories of the market were predicated on the regulating pressures of neighbors and social values 182
    74. credit card companies market credit as a lifestyle of choice 183
    75. in the zero sum logic of corporatist econ, creating value for anyone other than the shareholders means taking value away from the shareholders 187 (NOT TRUE)
    76. rhizome is a particularly horizontal and nonhierarchical plant structure 192
    77. things can feel -- or be made to feel -- novel or revolutionary, even though they still consistute biz as usual 193
    78. new opportunities for finding allies and organizing with them. but in the end we're still glued to a tube 195
    79. the more we are asked to adapt to the biases of our machinry, the less human we become. in spite of its chaotic and organic propensities, the intrnet isn't reversing the industrial age role exchange between people and corps  197
    80. the question is no longer how browsing the internet changes the way we look at the world; it's which browser we'll be using to buy and sell stuff in the same old world 199 (DISAGREE)
    81. the internet era [SH: ALOMOST] became about what we could get as consumers rather than what we could create as people 205
    82. for every disparate community attempting to 'find the others' on the internet, there is a social network site attempting to sell this activity in the form of a database to market researchers.... well meaning or not, these companies are themselves bounded by a corporatist landscape that works against their own best sentiments... sooner or later value must be taken from the periphery and brought back to the center  208 (NO)
    83. only be disconnecting from corporatism and its dehumanizing, delocalizing, depersonalizing, and devaluing biases can we muster the strength and find the tools through which a people-scaled society might be constructed -- or reconstructed  210
    84. instead of reconnecting people to their local communities, to one another, or to the value that tey might be able to create for one another, many well-meaning efforts against corp power conect people to abstract ideals and highly centralized organizations... disconnects us further from the truly bottom-up networks through which we can restore human-scaled activity 211
    85. like a new form of life, the corp culture fights for dominance against the humans who crated it. like a cancer it is willing to bring down its host organism for the sake of growth 217
    86. most progressive journalism... tends to frighten and isolate the middle class rather than bring them out of their homes to improve their communities 220
    87. we cannot market our way out of corporatism 221
    88. employing the techniques of marketing to repair the ravages of corporatism is a losing proposition; branding only disconnects us further from the means to rebuild what we have lost 222
    89. the melt-up (????) 229
    90. we'd rather send a donation to a middle east peace fund than engage directly with violence-endorsing extremists at our own place of worship 229
    91. donorschoose... even local needs are kept at a distance 231
    92. we're almost giddy at the thought of our dehumanizing infrastructure crumbling under its own weight 233
    93. as corp insolvency, home foreclosure, and unemployment increase, our financial system may prove incapable of providing us the essentials we need at prices we can afford. through what mechanisms might we do this for one another instead of depending on the distant companies who took this responsibility away from us before failing themselves? 235
    94. the surest path to global change in a highly networked world is to make an extremely local impact that works so well it spreads... shared with or copied by other groups in other communities around the world 235
    95. a local currency system can be as informal as a babysitting club 240
    96. everyone had time but no one had money... they like the care they get through the Fureai Kippu better than what they get from professional service agencies 241
    97. by restoring our connections to real people, places, and values, we'll be less likely to depend on the symbols and brands that have come to substitute for human relationships.
    98. create the website that teaches the world how to build community from the bottom up... ego trips... a successful movement depends on getting attn from media and institutions that are dead set against recognizing our ability to create value ourselves 243
    99. reinvesting in our local reality and reaping returns 243
    100. corporatized institutions... be they private or public 244
    101. the best reaso to begin reconnecting with real people, places and value is that it feels good. happiness doesn't com from the top down but from the bottom up.... real people doing real things for one another -- without expectations -- is the very activity that has been systematically extracted from our society 244
Author: "scottheif"
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support   New window
Date: Friday, 08 May 2009 18:23
new thing i say everyday: "everyone needs a support group" [around someTHING important to you] (& it's not your core friends)
Author: "scottheif"
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how   New window
Date: Friday, 08 May 2009 18:19
People ask: How to help re: Iraq? A: Build people-empowering tech for the world (esp low-fi, eg. sms) http://www.meetup.com/ny-tech/calendar/10153057/
Author: "scottheif"
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anarchy   New window
Date: Friday, 08 May 2009 14:14
@cnn "Meetup: An office where group anarchy works... more radical notion than Google's: 100% time"
Author: "scottheif"
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gobbldey   New window
Date: Friday, 08 May 2009 01:25
@Afine: "Fed’s Office of Social Innovation is Sooooo 1998... When the First Lady uses the phrase high-impact, results-oriented nonprofits' I know she means well, but the biz school gobbldey gook language sets the whole thing off in the wrong direction..."

Author: "scottheif"
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king   New window
Date: Friday, 08 May 2009 00:05
@antderosa: "On twitter, we all sound like Larry King" http://bit.ly/IDa3q

Author: "scottheif"
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money   New window
Date: Wednesday, 06 May 2009 19:46
Author: "scottheif"
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meeting   New window
Date: Wednesday, 06 May 2009 14:59
RT @jasoncalacanis "Brentwood community meeting..I’m getting into local pol" -- u go, jcal. start a meetup abt something!
Author: "scottheif"
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feel   New window
Date: Wednesday, 06 May 2009 14:57
Author: "scottheif"
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   New window
Date: Tuesday, 05 May 2009 00:15
L.Page: "easier to make progress on mega-ambitious dreams..sounds completely nuts. But..little competition... always work hard on something uncomfortably exciting"
Author: "scottheif"
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swipe   New window
Date: Tuesday, 05 May 2009 00:13
@fredwilson: "A swipe is a swipe" -- how will Membership have its Privileges in the future? Invest in them, not ads.
Author: "scottheif"
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us   New window
Date: Monday, 04 May 2009 15:20
Author: "scottheif"
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