Saturday December 20th 2014

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University Course: Wasting Time on the Internet

Professor Kenneth GoldsmithDr. Kenneth Goldsmith mirrors an idea whose time may have come:

I’m so tired of reading, every time you pick up a paper, on how bad the Web is,” he told the Washington Post. “I don’t think that’s true. I think the Internet is making us smarter.

So he has set out to make an academic point.  Poet, UbuWeb founder and professor Kenneth Goldsmith is teaching a weekly class next semester at The University of Pennsylvania, which requires students to “stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots, social media and listservs”.

Appropriately, the seminar is titled “Wasting time on the internet“. The only course materials needed are a wi-fi connection and a laptop.

As the surrealists before him, Goldsmith says he hopes distraction will place his students “into a digital or electronic twilight,” similar to the state of consciousness between dreaming and waking.  It is this state that may be gold to mine, gold that seemingly, every undergrad dreams of: wasting time on the internet.

Goldsmith’s highest hope for the class is that students will walk away better from the experience, “having theorized what they haven’t already theorized.”

Wasting time for credit and creativity never looked so innocuous…time will tell.
Sources:  Dazed & WashingtonPost

ManServants.co Need We Say More?

manservants

What do women really want?  It’s a question for the ages.  And in this age, this idea started back when co-founders Josephine Wai Lin and Dalal Khajah were working at advertising agency AKQA.

“We hired men to act as body guards for our bosses as a joke.”

“One guy was actually a male stripper but we wanted him to just pretend he was fending them off from the paparazzi. We told him we didn’t want him to take his clothes off. He was so confused.”

According to a piece in TechCrunch:

They did this a couple of times with male body guards, and then started hiring men for their friends’ parties. Their friends loved it so much, the founders realized they were onto something.

ManServants was born.

And, if you are a man, who wants to get paid to be your handsome, charming self, Manservants’ compensation begins at $80/hr.  Heads up:

Do not consider applying if you have ever been called the following: douchebag, sexual offender, sexist, creeper, nutjob, weirdo, or convicted felon.

These ladies do know what women want!

Aging Boomers Become The Flat Age Society

agePhoto illustrations by Zachary Scott for The New York Times.

Have you noticed?  People over 45 don’t “act their age”?  And what exactly does acting one’s age mean, anyway?  We live in a time of physical augmentation and augmented reality as the norm.  At the same time, we live in a time of radical redefinition of the term “aging”.  What exactly does aging mean?

Neither of my parents are traditional when it comes to “acting their age”.  So I didn’t get the memo that said:  When you turn 50, hang it up,  start becoming a senior citizen, and generally shift into low gear.

And I’m not the only one.  Turns out, that may be more than coincidence.  Being youthful, and in the moment, takes more than an outlook.

Science is finding that when we are “actively making new distinctions, rather than relying on habitual” categorizations, we’re alive; and when we’re alive, we can improve.

Check out the work of psychologist, Ellen Langer in The New York Times Magazine, last week.  She has worked with this thinking for the last thirty years, and it doesn’t seem she’s destined to stop, as in this decade, the global population of elderly consumers is set to swell by 200 million.

By 2050, Boomers are expected to reach 2 billion, that’s BILLION people with a B, and, of course, marketers are noticing too.  With this attention, a new term for the “Baby Boomer” is emerging:

The Flat Age Society reflects the notion that most first world people in this demo/psychographic are aware of:  The ability to flatten aging, as opposed to aging as perhaps their parents and, most certainly, their grandparents accepted as inevitable.  The Future Laboratory’s editor-in-chief Martin Raymond and senior journalist Sonia Cooke discuss in the video below.

Trend Briefing SS14 London : The Flat Age Society from The Future Laboratory on Vimeo.

As we begin to see older women represented in popular culture, as attractive, vital and relevant; conversations open up about aging, and how the pressures of staying youthful impact women both in and out of Hollywood.

iris

Frances McDormand is a case in point as she ventures into territory most actresses avoid:

“We are on red alert when it comes to how we are perceiving ourselves as a species,” she said. “There’s no desire to be an adult. Adulthood is not a goal. It’s not seen as a gift. Something happened culturally: No one is supposed to age past 45 — sartorially, cosmetically, attitudinally. Everybody dresses like a teenager. Everybody dyes their hair. Everybody is concerned about a smooth face.”

francesWith 2 billion! of us entering into the next era of aging (and consuming), perhaps the Flat Age Society will expand the idea of aging with choices, and the effect will be that we become more comfortable doing so.

James Kerr AKA Scorpion Dagger Turns Animated GIFS into Augmented Reality Book

“I like the idea of these people bumbling around the world and having fun, and not taking life too seriously.”

At first, I was just looking for images without copyrights on them! It was maybe a few months into Scorpion Dagger when I realized that I kept going back to the Renaissance art, and started thinking that maybe there was something to it.

Slowly, I developed this idea of using these old paintings to create a world where the characters on the canvas would leave the museum and go home to this place I created for them. It’s actually a pretty natural fit for me because I’m fairly politically inclined, and the nature of these paintings lends perfectly to some of the critiques of things like religion and modernity that I’d like to explore.

From an article on The Creator’s Project.

So goes the thought process behind James Kerr’s world; a place drawing from classical imagery, married to modernity with hilarity.

In the next iteration of Kerr’s world, he partners with Anteism, a small Canadian publishing company, which works closely with artists to produce and publish seamless hand-made artist books. They also one of the first art book publishers to integrate augmented reality with  publications.

 

Kerr and Anteism currently have a Kickstarter campaign going to raise funds to produce two editions of Scorpion Dagger.

A 6”x9” softcover augmented reality book + app and a limited edition 8”x10” signed hardcover with leatherette case. With the use of a special app and tablet/phone the images on the page come to life with Kerr’s animations.

Check out the video for the campaign:

Oh, and be sure to get over to Scorpian Dagger for more of the animated GIF action.

Moving Always Changes One’s Perspective

sunset

After more than two decades living in the San Francisco Bay Area, and 14 years in Sonoma County, I made the move back to my roots in Southern California.  Los Angeles, is an amazing place, full of opportunity for the experiences I love.

Looking forward to more post inspiration and sunsets like this one.

More photos on dgirlp’s Instagram.

Mua Mua mashes up Waldorf with Lady Gaga

Mua Mua

Top: Anna Wintour & Donatella Versace

Bottom: Lady Gaga & Coco Chanel

“Mua Mua is a line of hand-knit dolls crafted on the island of Bali in their ‘Warhol-inspired’ factory. Designer, Ludovica Virga, creates playful representations of fashion figures and celebrities with the help of the local community including the likes of Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Gaga. Mua Mua aims to give the young women who help knit these high fashion poupettes an opportunity for a university education.”  via aha life

Indeed, though it looks like Ludovica mashed up the Waldorforian aesthetic with contemporary culture in a fresh, unique take.  Wethinks Coco Chanel would approve.

Hear the story in the video below:

Anaïs Nin: Anxiety is love’s greatest killer

Debbie Millman

Monday.  Words.  Anaïs Nin: Anxiety is love’s greatest killer.

 

Image:  Debbie Millman

Word on Wednesday: A Week’s Finds

I read a lot of articles on the internet.  In fact, the last book I read was a re-read of Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.  Not surprisingly it was an article that reminded me of how that book inspired me to write more.

Usually by Wednesday, I’ve sent a number of emails to clients and colleagues with a list of links that remind me of them.  So, I’ve decided to start a new column:  Word on Wednesday: A Week’s Finds.

My intention is that you find it inspiring or helpful in your travels.

Carry on.

 

Futurists discuss how the world will change in royal baby’s reign

baby
Image credit: Associated Press

With the birth of the Royal Baby, comes a rash of pictures, articles and speculation from the usual suspects.  With a unique twist, futurist and global consumer trends expert Kristina Dryza sent me this one.  The article creates an opportunity to speak to more than the birth of a royal.  It addresses what future babies today might expect to grow up into.

Modern Art Desserts: From Mondrian Cake to Matisse Parfait

cake
Maria Popova over at Brain Pickings curates interestingness.  This week she found Caitlin Freeman, pastry chef of the Blue Bottle café at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  Her now famous Mondrian Cake is featured in the video enclosed in the article, along with many other artful takes on dessert.  Good, sweet fun.

Make your life better by sending five simple emails

email

These suggestions just make so much sense.  As do most things written by of Barking Up The Wrong Tree.

 

 

Craft a Sustainable Career

trees

Image: Artist, Jonna Pohjalainen

 It’s from the Harvard Business Review, and it starts like this:

Imagine crafting a sustainable career for yourself. Year after year, you perform work that makes full use of your skills and challenges you to develop new ones. Your work not only interests you, it gives you a sense of meaning. You enjoy opportunities for learning and development. You work with people who energize you. You are confident that your skills and competencies make you valuable and marketable and that you can access opportunities through your network. You are able to fit your work together with the other things in your life that are important to you, like family, friends, and leisure.

Go on, you know you want to.

 

 

 

Food Porn: The World’s Newest Obsession

pizza

I live  in Foodie-Ville.

Sonoma County, California is known for its access to the world’s most beautiful, biodynamic, Demeter-approved, organic, humanely-produced, preciously prepared and ingested culinary perfection.  So I’m accustomed to seeing lots of social media food porn.

But really, how many pictures can we take of pizza, pasta, lamb chops, ice cream and cupcakes?  Apparently it’s an endless display, which makes the Tumbler, Pictures of Hipsters Taking Pictures of Food, a warranted nod to the meta-nature of this phenom.

Bon Appétit.

July 4th Afterthoughts: Andy Warhol on American Thinking

 

“Everybody has their own America, and then they have pieces of a fantasy America that they think is out there but they can’t see. So the fantasy corners of America, you’ve pieced them together from scenes in movies and music and lines from books. And you live in your dream America that you’ve custom-made from art and schmaltz and emotions just as much as you live in your real one.”

Andy Warhol, image by Alberto Schommer

via @claytoncubitt on instagram

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