I’ve got an idea. Let’s put Google in charge. Of, like, totally Everything. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
My wife and I have perfected the art of screaming at the TV while Google runs a new series of ads promoting something called Google Play. The ads seem tailor made for millennials, those wacky creatures with birthdays in early 1980s to the early 2000s.
Google loves millennials. Also grandmothers using AOL on Windows 95 who only know how to open emailed photos of grandchildren and stalk the entire family on Facebook. But it’s mostly the millennials.
Millennials are the people in your neighborhood who get run over by cars while texting, fall down open manholes when walking down a sidewalk while texting, running over other people while driving and texting, listening to lectures in college and texting, working mundane jobs and texting, and, if the rumors are true, even use their internet-powered smartphones while sitting on the toilet.
Whatever Google poops out millennials soak up like a sponge. How about Google in your wristwatch like George Jetson? Yes, please! How about Google in a computer you strap to your face? I’ll look so cool! How about Google you wear in a ring on your finger? Yes, I do.
These are people living enhanced reality sorts of lives. Why just look at a boring street when you can wear goggles that superimpose text (in the font of your choice) and describe what’s in view so you won’t have to hurt your brain? And it’s free, not counting the 20% of display real estate devoted to blinking advertisements.
Speaking of which, the ad campaign for Google Play is promoting the ability to watch Hollywood blockbuster movies like “Yankee! Look at me! I am the Captain now!”
Of course, with Google involved, it doesn’t quite stop there. In Google’s opinion, while watching the movie, you should be multitasking. Perhaps using some Google Docs to manage your money. Manage tomorrow’s expenditures and consumption. Let’s devote about 20% of the display to that.
Google is known for search (an admittedly archaic service they continue to offer for nostalgic reasons) so of course they recommend that while enjoying movies. In the commercial the clever viewer realizes, “Holy shit! That’s Tom Hanks. Click pause. Let’s google that sum bitch. I bet this isn’t his first movie. What else has this guy been in?”
With proper utilization of the myriad of services offered by Google, it’s possible to give less and less screen to the movie itself. If done properly, the movie can be shrunk to the size of a single twinkling pixel, much like a real star in Google NightSky.
Of course, at that size, the only part of the movie that can actually be enjoyed is the audio, and that is easily overwritten by Google Radio.
A good movie prompts a feeling of suspension of disbelief. It takes you out of the moment. Google doesn’t like people who are present in the moment. That’s why they launched Google Omnipresent Stimuli. Movies should never get your full attention. They should just be a tiny slice of the stimuli spectrum. With advertising, of course.
“Yankee! Look at Google! They are the Captain now.”
Guru Fieldwork: Anthropology
It was a Tuesday
A day like another other day
I left my hermit space
For a nation in decay
I know, I know! I deserve what I get when I leave the house. Stepping out into the world is exactly like asking for it.
I can’t help it. Stuff happens. I guess it’s all my fault for observing it. If I was oblivious then maybe it wouldn’t bother me.
But what has been seen cannot be unseen. Leaving the house is where the empirical process of data collection begins.
Sometimes, rarely, it works in my favor. Like two weeks ago when we went to the movies. I had to pee so I walked into the auditorium-sized men’s room. Along one wall was a line of 20 urinals. I picked my spot and made a beeline. Along the way I spotted the guy. You know, the one asshole who exists in every social situation. He was standing at a urinal, doing his business with one hand, and talking away on the iPhone in the other. Millennials call that multitasking. I call it being a dill hole.
That’s when The Miracle happened in the blink of an eye.
Clackity clack clack clack.
The iPhone got dropped. And there it went! Zoom zoom! Clackity clack all the way across that pee-covered bathroom floor. The guy stood there, still holding his other device, and lamely watched it go.
It just goes to show that – sometimes – good things can happen. It was pure serendipity and, for one brief moment in time, I forgot all about pain. I was in the moment.
Last night I left the house again but the empirical results were decidedly not as fun. Not by a long shot.
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Hack Online Dating
I thought I’d share this entertaining TED video. It’s from a highly intelligent woman who “hacked” social media to find true love. She didn’t like the framework provided by dating sites and went her own way. Bonus: In the video she makes use of data and graphs. She describes the techniques she used to take her online dating profile from 0 to a whopping 1,217 responses. (Unfortunately she fails to disclose how many of those were weinered.)
NSA Mining Phone Records? Well, Duh.
A very thought provoking post that makes some excellent points.
A quick post about this week’s flap about electronic spying. (Stay tuned for a review of Jaron Lanier’s new book, which is quite interesting in this context, as well.)
First—most of the information is deeply secret, so we really don’t know anything.
Second—the guys holding the secrets are very good at keeping secrets and at manipulating public opinion. Some “leaks” are deliberate misinformation, the best misinformation is plausible and partly true.
That said, there appears to be an amazing amount of hand-wringing about reports that the US security agencies are routinely obtaining all the phone records from telecom companies. Some of the reports seem “shocked” that this is happening, despite the fact that it has been happening for many years. Note that this is legal (under current laws), reported to Congress (per usual mechanisms), and routine. I.e., the US national security agencies should be assumed to have all phone…
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T-shirt ideas circa 2002
My wife has suggested I put less juice into my posts on the weekend, so here goes…
I’ve been cleaning out some old data. It’s a big job since I’ve accumulated a lot over the last two decades. Today I found a little snippet of a text file from September 2002 and felt it was quite telling in light of how my blog has turned out.
Apparently I haven’t changed all that much.
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